Tags: resolution

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The change you want to see

A little while back, Andy wrote:

Even if you happen to be a genius in the waiting, there are no svengalis to pluck you from obscurity and put you on the pedestal you know you deserve. … So if you want to contribute to articles, write books and speak at conferences, you’re the only person in the way.

You can contribute to A List Apart. You can write for Smashing Magazine. You can also put a resource written in HTML at your own URL that is retrievable via HTTP …write a blog post, in other words.

If you prefer dead trees, you no longer need a publishing house. Lulu, MagCloud, Newspaper Club …you have incredible resources at your fingertips.

Move The Web Forward is a guide to help web workers of any skill level contribute to web standards.

JSConf is looking for speakers. You have until January 15th to fill in this form and step up to the plate.

The Industry Conference is looking for speakers. Here’s the form for you to fill in.

In a few days it will be a new year. Traditionally this is a time of resolutions and vows of self-betterment. If you were planning on making any kind of resolution related to contributing to the web community, I hope that you’ll find some of these links useful.

And if you choose to ignore these links, that’s fine. But then if at any time in the new year you find yourself kvetching about articles or talks from “the same old faces” …physician, heal thyself.

Oh Nine

At the start of 2008, my past self wrote down a few resolutions for my future (now present) self:

  • Reduce and/or offset your non-renewable energy output.
  • Give blood.
  • Lose some weight, you fat bastard.
  • Play more bouzouki.

Let’s take them one at time…

Reduce and/or offset your non-renewable energy output.

Yeah… um… so that didn’t really work out all that well. Yes, I did fit energy-efficient light bulbs. Also, I don’t drive a car. That’s something of which I am not just proud but downright smug. But I did end up doing a helluva lotta travelling. Some of that was offset—all the Web Directions conferences are carbon neutral, for example—but I’m still responsible for a lot of jet fuel. My Dopplr animal is a squirrel, for crying out loud!

Still, I made the most of all that travel. Thailand and Japan—both new destinations for me—were certainly highlights but I also loved getting back to San Francisco and any trip to Alaska is bound to be good.

This year I’ll be cutting down on my travel. No, really! I mean… of course I’ll be going to South By Southwest again and I will be speaking at An Event Apart in Boston in June but apart from that, I’ll be staying close to home. Honest.

Give blood.

Score! I did this. Twice. I would have done it more but all that travelling makes it hard—they don’t like you to donate if you’ve just come back from somewhere exotic like, oh, the USA. Apparently it’s just awash with the West Nile virus in Summertime.

Seriously though… please, please, please give blood. Not only will you be doing a great service but I guarantee it will restore your faith in humanity to see the cross-section of society there with you.

Lose some weight, you fat bastard.

Alas, no. If anything, I might well be portlier now than I was this time a year ago. I need to start taking brisk walks along Brighton seafront and practising portion control in my food intake.

Yeah, we’ll see how that works out.

Play more bouzouki

Again, no. I played plenty of bouzouki with the band but my proficiency with jigs’n’reels is lacking. Being in Ireland for Christmas, including two days in Galway, has been a timely reminder of just how much I love trad music. I need to maintain that enthusiasm throughout the year and maybe even get out to a session or two.

So that was my scorecard for 2008. One out of four.

Given this woeful result, rather than add or replace any resolutions, I’m going to carry them over into 2009. I’ll start fulfilling them tomorrow. Or maybe Monday.

Please don’t hate me, future self.

Time and motion

One year ends. Another begins. This is the traditional time to cast one’s gaze downwards towards one’s navel as Mark, Jonathan and Tom have already done.

There appears to be a meme circulating wherein the past year is tallied by places visited. This dovetails neatly with one of my busiest travel years yet so I’m going to run with it:

The highlight was visiting Australia. That really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was also a New Year’s resolution I was very happy to have fulfilled.

I’ll be reliving some of that Web Directions magic this year, but in Canada this time. I’ve never been to Vancouver and I’m really looking forward to it. By the way, if you’re still wavering about whether to go to this fine conference, take note that you have been granted a reprieve: the discount pricing has been extended to January 14th, so waver no more.

With Web Directions North looming, and South by Southwest still to come, 2007 is already shaping up to be another fun and busy year. It looks like this will be the year that I finally make it San Francisco.

In between the travelling, I anticipate that I’ll be doing more a lot more work with Clearleft. I spent most of 2006 slacking off real work by writing another book (more on that soon). This year, I want to sink my teeth back into some design work. I can feel my skills atrophying from too much writing and talking and not enough doing.

This year’s resolutions are:

  • to get back to some “real” work,
  • to keep travelling and speaking (I do love it so!),
  • to not write a book,
  • to play more bouzouki.

That last one is probably as unrealistic as “to get in shape” but I’m including it to induce the feelings of guilt required to motivate me.