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2007: The Year in Review, from Macro to Micro

As goals go, hozho is as good as any, and better than most. The balance it describes was no more easily achieved in this year than any other, but the highs and lows were navigated, I’d argue, more or less as prescribed by the approach itself. No permanent damage, at least, appears to have been done.

That said, it can’t hurt to review the year gone by. And fortunately, unlike Orpheus, there are no dire consequences if I should happen to glance behind me, hence this self-indulgent retrospective. In all honesty, this is probably one to skip.

This particular year was heavy on the travel, but as I only embraced Dopplr midway through it I’m not going to try and capture all of the cities I stayed in. I suspect the list would be depressingly long, in any event.

Professionally, I’m content with the year. We didn’t blow up, and neither I nor RedMonk was perfect, but we continue to have happy customers, a brilliant community, and the areas on the report card that got marked “Needs Improvement” should see some. Soon. In the meantime, I enjoy what I do, and appreciate just how rare that condition is. How many jobs are there where you feel that you’re learning something every day?

Personally, there were some rather challenging background events not entirely covered in this space, but things roll on. If anything, I’m most pleased with some substantial if non-obvious changes wrought over the course of the past 12 months. Like Matt Damon’s character in The Departed, who says “I’m Irish. I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life,” I’ve got a tendency to endure where I should cure. Whether or not it arrived with the apostrophe in my last name is ultimately irrelevant, the important thing is acknowledging the issue and addressing it, and solid progress was made. The ability to endure is useful; the need to is not.

I don’t expect perfection, but positive change is crucial, and I’ll pass myself on that score. I’m in better shape than I was the year before, I’m better read than I was the year before, I’m more knowledgeable than I was the year before, and I cut my television consumption almost to zero for six plus months. All good. Sadly, I also caught far fewer fish than the year before. As certain individuals delight in pointing out.

Blurring the line between the personal and professional realms were a variety of social networking and related tools. From Twitter to Facebook to Dopplr to Google Calendar, more of my life is captured digitally every year, but the one just completed was the hockey stick on the graph. As the content below indicates. I’ll have more to say on this point later, because I think it has important implications for general and personal histories in the longer term, but suffice it to say that there’s a lot of me in the cloud. Which is mostly for the better, though not without its risks. If I remember 2007 for anything specific, then, it will probably be the Year of the Cloud.

For those that crave detail, a more detailed look at the year just ended.

The Numbers

Thanks to Alex’s scripts, some details on my contributions to this space. This year saw 585 total posts, down slightly from 601 in 2006. While the number of posts was down, however, the length of posts was up: 2007′s average character count per post was 4435, up from 3705 in 2006, which in turn was up from 3341 in 2005. That I’m writing more is both good and bad, but either way is indicative of a long term problem that warrants monitoring: wordiness. The comment count was off slightly, 1313 this past year versus 1460 in 2006. Some of that is a lack of responsiveness on my part, which I’m hoping to address at some point soon via technical means (think XMPP). Lastly, the total number of characters in this space for the year 2007 was 2,594,218, against 2,226,907 in 2006 and 1,463,385 in 2005.

The Year

Later, plans for the upcoming year.

Categories: Personal.