A notch above a monkey » 2011 review

2011 review

It’s hard to judge importance of events as they are unfolding or soon afterwards, but 2011 feels in many ways like a historical year and I will be amazed if it doesn’t prove to be such. Arab spring and unresolved eurozone crisis alone practically guarantee that this will be a year to remember although it’s too soon to say in what light. There are definitely plenty of good reasons to worry, but there always are.

This year was also a year of big personal changes. I left Zemanta in summer and went on sabbatical. Leaving a company in  the middle of economic crisis doesn’t sound like a prudent idea, but I’ve yet to regret it. I started contributing open source before I left, but having more time certainly helped me do more of it and with a bit of luck I may even finish first version of my web Instapaper client before this year runs out.

I built Supervizor with Primož, which is a project I am most proud of. We haven’t done everything we set to do yet and we unlikely will this year, but I hope that in early 2012 Supervizor’s data will become easily accessible.

There were lots of experiments on myself. Having a list of possible (and finished) projects on wall feels liberating. Counting books I read doesn’t work, but digital sabbath is great. I left Twitter for better use of my time, but it’s really too soon to tell. I  learned and did a lot, more than I expected, but as always less than I hoped. Somewhat unintentionally we reduced our carbon footprint further even though we traveled a lot.

I also finally found time to really reflect on what I want to do and my personal research agenda is getting more of a shape. I want to work most on use of open data to improve civic engagement and exploring social software for introverts.

So what will 2012 bring?

Nobody really knows, but this year it became clear to me that I want my work to be more socially engaged and I am thrilled I got an opportunity to join amazing people at Aptivate for I hope a long time. I’ll continue to work on a so far semi-public open data project which I am sure will become public soon. I plan to read lots of books, but start less than two new projects. I am sure I won’t finish everything I set to do, but that’s alright. We always overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in ten so I  just need to keep going.

And surely I will continue to worry. There are only more reasons to despair over environment and eurozone of today might not be around this time next year. However we are not pilling on canned food yet so optimist in me obviously hasn’t completely died yet.

But first I will enjoy holidays. I hope you will too and I wish you a happy new year.

Comments (2)

  1. I really like your year review posts. End of December is always so full of things for me I never find the opportunity to reflect in peace on the past 12 months and in January it feels too late.

    Nice ideas by the way. I forgot to ask last time: how strict is your digital sabbath? I guess it includes phones, but what about e-book readers? Where do you draw the line?

    I might try sticking my random ideas above my desk. Just yesterday I flipped through my notebook and noticed I hardly ever go back to those notes.

    Comment by Tomaž #
  2. Thanks. It’s not too strict since its purpose is to get me do stuff I otherwise don’t do (enough), not to be pure. As it happens I read mostly paper books, but I wouldn’t mind e-readers since it is reading I want to do. I do think having a set time in week for it helps me because then I am not tempted to skip it by moving it around until it would fall off schedule (same goes for regular exercise).

    Whatever works for you is fine as long as it frees your time from things you do too much already, but I do find simple rules to be easier to follow. Mine is really to avoid computing, communication and internet (so even computer as VCR would be fine) and do this from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

    I like to have ideas on the wall behind my back because that way I see them often enough to pick one up without them being too distracting.

    Comment by markos #

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