Here we go. It's Ink Blot Awards time. A time for fun, and time for some introspection, a time for passing time, and a time for looking back. I've been blogging both here and at GottaBeMobile.com for over eight years now. I began this little annual tradition on the first annivesary of this blog as a way of celebrating a community that no longer exists today. That community was a group of geeks devoted to the early Tablet PCs. Things have changed quite a bit since, but here's what I wrote on that first anniversary as some context.
I created The Life On The Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards as a celebration. Yes, it's a celebration of the 1 year anniversary of this blog. But it is more than that. It is a celebration of a community that I have come to know and admire. The Tableteers that make up the Tablet PC Community are an amazing collection of individuals who know and work with the Tablet PC platform. They are fiercely protective of it, insatiably curious about advancing it, very intelligent, often wickedly funny, at one time very forgiving and patient, and in the same breath, scathingly critical when the need arises. They are also exceedingly willing to evangelize the platform to anyone who will listen, and in my humble opinion, have helped keep the spotlight on The Tablet PC in ways that may, in the long run, prove to be responsible for keeping the platform thriving.
Like I said, many things have changed since then. The Ink Blot Awards continue to evolve, without or without any hint of intelligent design. Those early Tablet PCs might as well be made of stone given how the technology has advanced. The media that covers Tablets (and other things as well) proves over and over again that the exciting technology we have at our current disposal doesn't mean that the stone age thinking of how we cover things goes away with new technology.
What hasn't changed and what's consistent about Tablets and mobile tech is that they offer a very personal experience. Apple gets this. Microsoft and others are trying to, but they insist on making devices while Apple creates experiences.
My attitude about politics, cultural happenings, and other things are also changing. I've also changed how I observe and remark about them. The convenience of Twitter, App.net, Google+ and Facebook take something away from this blog. I used to worry about that. I don't any longer.
I used to find most of what revolves around us as we make our way through this crazy life as entertaining in a "Human Comedy" sort of way. That has stopped, largely. What used to entertain more frequently just fills me with disdain. I guess that's mostly because those that pull the levers seem to view us all with disdain and they are becoming more transparent about it. I suppose I'm losing my tolerance, but perhaps that's because these days you can't talk about things in a nuanced manner. Whether the subject be politics or the latest gadget, you're either with us or against us, whoever the us is. Why remain tolerant with intolerance? Hating is the in thing these days, though for whatever reason I can't quite figure out. The ins and outs of life begin with the foibles of humans. We can create beauty and magic. We can also screw up just about anything we touch given half a chance. It used to be we acknowledged that, celebrated it, and moved on, bettering ourselves in the process. We might still do some of that, but far too often I increasingly feel like we're playing a sucker's game. Granted the game is being rigged by other suckers who just don't realize that's what they are. Rats in a maze can only repeat their paths so often before they pass out and die or get too fat from finding the reward. I often wonder why we get so many chances to make the same mistakes over and over. Maybe we're just too small to see the maze.
All pretense aside, the rules for inclusion on this little list are the same as they have always been. Award winners are subject to my own whims and fancies. Some are best in class, some are just frivilous, some deserve the small heaping of scorn these awards might cast their way. Human nature, no matter the field of endeavor, is ripe with that which needs celebrating, and that which needs derision cast its way. Good friend and Tableteer, Mark “Sumocat” Sumimoto, christened these awards with the nickname of ‘The Blotties’ in year one, and that sorta stuck. So we'll let it keep sticking. And finally, if you don't like the list, go make your own.
So, as always, hit the jump, cue the dancing girls, beat out a tattoo on the drums, sound the trumpets and get ready for the Eighth Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards .