A new year

03 January 2008

Here we are in 2008, then.

2007 was, I think, hectic. The first half was largely uneventful; busy at work, mainly. Everything ramped up from about May, though: another trip to Copenhagen to attend and talk at Reboot, which was fantastic as ever; then a short natter at Interesting 2007.

At the end of August, Alex and I eschewed our usual city-breaks for a week in Whitstable, escaping to the seaside with books, beers, and a camera. It turned out to be one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. A few weeks later, we went to the End of the Road Festival, and had a fantastic weekend amidst great music, lovely weather, and a bunch of peacocks.

And then, in October, I left Nature after 18 months. I enjoyed my time there by and large, but found myself clashing with the corporate culture far more than I’d expected. Working with a non-colocated team (the majority of whom were on GMT -5), in an environment that didn’t exactly support multidisciplinary interests so well, turned out to be tough at times, and it slowly wore me down. I made many good friends there, and learned a lot, so I was sorry to go, but I think I made the right choice for me. I left to join Headshift, returning to being in a smaller company, and which seems to be working out OK, so far. I’m still working out what I want to do; Headshift seems to be a good place to do that.

I liked 2007, all in all, although I found the hectic nature of it quite tiring by the end. I hope that this year will be no less eventful; I also hope to be able to manage it better.

On to the year to come, then. A new year is traditionally a time to make resolutions. Some will always be private, but I think it’s time to make some in public, if only so I can hold myself to them. And so: here are some things I want to be able to hold myself to:

  • I’m going to write down what I read. Alex does this very effectively, and I’m annoyed that I haven’t got good records, because I’m convinced I read way more than I think I did. Still, I think I’ve done OK this year.
  • Actually, I’m going to write down everything I consume much better – films and games, especially. This might involve a spreadsheet; it might involve an existing service like All Consuming. We’ll see.
  • I think I might actually launch a web app, for real. I’ll keep you all posted on this one, but it’s not far off now.
  • I’m going to write more about what I do, if only because I want to work out what I do. I write code; I design interactions; I think about things. When people say “what do you do?“, I say that “I make things on the web“. This is deliberately vague. I’m still trying to work out if that’s really what I want to do, or if I have some higher-level goal in mind. Right now, I’m finding it hard to juggle an interest in programming with a desire to push my design/product thinking a bit harder.
  • I’m going to write more about what I enjoy. I want to write about photography a lot more, and my games-writing here has tailed out a little bit. That should be redeemed a bit.
  • I’m going to write more, full stop. There’s too much to keep in my head and to the pub forever. I need records.
  • I’m going to lose weight – get rid of some flab, try and vaguely acquire some tone. This is going to be hard, but more frequent runs and less snacking will get us a long way.
  • I’m going to keep a better notebook. I’m always embarrassed by my scratchy handwriting, my shapeless layouts, my mucky scrawl. I envy my friends their tidy notebooks, often embellished with bold illustration. I’m always too afraid of making a mess, and I think perhaps too afraid to make the notebook an artefact in its own right (rather than an transition artefact). This fear also means my notes are, sometimes, either too brief or too illegible to be of real use, and I think if I took more care over the artefact itself, it’d be more useful to me.
  • I’m going to learn to drive. About time.

I think I’m going to end up rambling if I don’t stop soon, so maybe that’s enough resolutions. I’m not sure I can keep to them all, but I want to have them here, in public, to be held to and to return to at the end of the year. We’ll see how we did then.

I hope you enjoyed your 2007. Here’s to 2008.

1 comment on this entry.

  • Riccardo | 6 Jan 2008

    I could say “Hey! Me too!” to each and every of your resolutions. So thank you for sparing me the tie to write them d… no, wait, they’re about writing, aren’t they? Crap. Ok, will post something… ;)

    See you soon and thanks for the inspiration,