I watched with trepidation as the “five things” meme wound its way closer and closer towards me — It was really only a matter of time. And of course while I was away for the holidays, both Bryan Murley and Graham Holliday tagged me.

So here, belatedly and with apologies, are the Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me. The first one might interest Bryan:

  1. Before I was a journalist, I was a sociology student interested in the processes of journalism and news production. My undergraduate honours thesis was a newsroom ethnography of an American college newspaper — The Daily Northwestern. My “fieldwork” in Evanston was carried out during the 1999-2000 academic year, but I made almost no mention of the paper’s web site, so I suspect it’s a fairly dated piece of work already.
  2. I became interested in journalism on 20 November 1988, when my parents took me, aged nine, to an exhibition about newspapers at the Staten Island Children’s Museum. I know the date with such freakish precision because the following day’s date appears on the fanzine-style “newspaper” I cranked out on my father’s old typewriter that evening.
  3. I have won three national championships in baseball since 1998. Unfortunately, that’s not saying very much because they were all with the Brighton Buccaneers, who play here in Britain, where baseball is a pretty eccentric sporting pursuit.
  4. My thumbs are double jointed. Paul Davidson recently described people with this talent thus: “[T]hey can … flick their thumbs out of whack in a weird dance-like rhythm that is both intriguing and nauseating all at once.”
  5. Like many people, I think Brussels sprouts are the vilest vegetable; just thinking about them invokes my gag reflex. Luckily the seasonal high-risk period for accidentally encountering the hideous mini-cabbages is now drawing to a close.

There. So now who shall I burden with this task? The major disadvantage of waiting ten days to respond to being tagged by a meme is that just about every blogger I read has already played. A quick search of my RSS shows that much of my regular reading list has already succumbed. Amanda Congdon, Jeff Jarvis, Howard Owens, Mindy McAdams, Andy Dickinson, Peter Krasilovsky, Matt Waite, Danny Sullivan, Ryan Sholin, Lucas Grindley, Ethan Zuckerman, Euan Semple, Tim O’Reilly, Anthony Mayfield, Rebecca MacKinnon, K. Paul Mallash, Danny Sanchez have all told us their five things already. Will Sullivan set the bar pretty high with a great two-part response, and Susan Mernitt has a nice roundup of her favourite responses.

Lots of others on my usual reading list have already been tagged but haven’t responded yet. However, it seems Adrian, Neil and Linda have escaped unscathed — so I’m tagging them. And perhaps I can move this out of the incestuous circle of meeja-bloggers by also tagging two of the UK political bloggers you should really be reading, Clive and Tim.