2006 In Review

With Daddy

I’ve read a few end of the year posts and figured I’m make one as well.

It’s hard to imagine where I was a year ago. First of all, this blog did not even exist. I was not involved in the blogosphere whatsoever. I didn’t use an RSS reader. It wasn’t even until May 18th that I launched Traces of Inspiration. I was interested in using a blog format for a community resource I was developing at work. I have run a forum-based community for years but had yet to dive into blogs.

The blog was just a personal notebook at first. My first trackbacks and comments didn’t come until the (seriously) life-changing WebVisions conference in Portland, Oregon. At WebVisions, something happened.

I took notes.

Apparently I took pretty good notes because people started linking to them. It was a very, very moderate amount of comments and links, but it was a great start. My More Thoughts on WebVisions post generated the most comments. That post actually generated a comment from my web design superhero, Dan Cederholm, and another designer I have the utmost respect for, Derek Powazek, even quoted me on his site. Those were chronicled in a post called Web 2.0 Autograph, which actually attracted a comment from THE Andy Budd. And I hadn’t even linked to Andy!

I came back to work a changed man.

I’m now the admin of a ton of blogs. A year ago at this time it was none. Now it is this fine blog, the blog of my baseball simulation league, the Rule V Baseball Blog (a spot where my brother and I occasionally write about baseball), two blogs for projects at work that are under development (and at Phase II in the SBIR process), and the forthcoming CogBlog (the corporate blog for Aptima).

I have met some great people along the way—some in person and some just online. Dan Cederholm, I can now say, knows who I am. It’s amazing what a little stalking will do for you (kidding). I met Jeremiah Owyang at WebVisions and have kept in touch ever since. I shared an elevator with Dan Cederholm and Ryan Carson. Ryan and his wife Gillian (who I had lunch with the same day I met Ryan) are simply awesome individuals. Folks that I have not yet met in person but hope to mark “met” in the near future are Brian Oberkirch (I still want to help with your book, man!), Matthew Anderson, and Chris Messina.

Those I have not contacted yet that have really helped me get started on … whatever the hell this is I’ve embarked are Tara Hunt (unless you count Chris letting her know I said she rawks), Kathy Sierra, Jason Fried, Joshua Porter, and Tantek (well, I guess I had a bit of contact—ever so briefly—with Tantek about Microformats a while back).

The purpose of this post was not to create a link orgy. It was to look back and establish some goals for 2007. I got my start this year. That’s great. That’s the first step. Now, where do I want to go with this?

Here are some goals for 2007:

  1. Speak more
    I’ve given a couple of brown bag presentations at work and I’m almost done with a weekly public speaking course. I want to expand on this. I’ve mentioned to a couple people that I should offer to talk to students at UMass Dartmouth (where I got my onlygrad) and discuss web trends, things I’ve learned outside of school I wish I had known, etc. Time to go ahead and offer to do that. I also really would love to speak at a conference like WebVisions within the next couple of years. So, I need to give myself a bit of an identity, perhaps find a specialty, and find some places to practice.
  2. Incorporate more web strategy into my daily work life
    I’ve developed a bit of a niche at work… and that niche is multimedia training development. Well, that’s so last year to me now. While I understand this has been a successful part of my career, I’d like to move more and more of the training applications to the web. Not only that, I’d like to take on more projects like the two blog-based ones I’m working on where I can play with more compelling web tools. Basically, I want to ensure that my workday becomes a better reflection of my true passions.
  3. Write (more?)
    I say “more?” with a question mark because I haven’t done much writing outside of this blog. I’d like to change that. I’m probably not going to get into Vitamin or A List Apart any time soon, so perhaps I need to identify some other places to publish in the meantime. But above all, I want to keep writing here and contribute more he conversation about the future of the web.
  4. Meet more folks
    I’ve submitted a budget at work for the SXSW conference. If that’s not approved, I’ll find a way to do it anyway. I’ve met some great people this year and have many more to meet in 2007.
  5. Edit: Design this blog!
    I actually forgot to add this goal the first time around. When I started this blog I just did it with the free Benevolence theme. I’ve made quite a few modifications to it, but it is not mine. As a web designer as well as strategist, I’ve simply got to change that. I may have to take the approach that many others did recently and just rip out all styles, forcing me to make my own changes.

And because I’m a music junkie, I’ll leave with a couple Album of the Year awards…

2006 Album of the Year: Mogwai, Mr. Beast

Late to the Party Album of the Year (released before 2006 but I finally heard it in 2006): The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Happy New Year, everyone!

4 Comments

  1. On January 2nd, 2007 at 4:04 pm Chris Messina said:

    Hey Adam — will you be able to make it to the Web 2.0 Expo in April in San Francisco? There’ll be an open track that you could definitely talk — and get yourself going on the circuit… ;)

    And yeah, I still have to meet Dan Cederholm myself. Just missed him this December when I was in Boston.

  2. On January 3rd, 2007 at 8:53 am Adam Darowski said:

    Just emailed you, Chris, but I’ll say here that the Web 2.0 Expo will be tough to swing, especially since it is so close to SXSW. However, if this open track had pre-booked speakers and I got on the list, I bet my company would send me. :)

    Forget Dan! You just missed ME in December! :) I have to look at my RSS feeds more on holiday breaks.

    Oh, and don’t forget Dan… I was kidding. ;)

  3. On January 18th, 2007 at 10:32 am Chris DeFazio said:

    I saw a post somewhere online about the band Teenage Fanclub and then I remembered all the days at Mazer where you made me kick ass mix cds. So I thought I’d come over to your site and see how things are.

    Very nice man.

    Have you given up on the solo music though?

    And I will concur that Mr Beast rocked. I saw them last year at the Avalon and they blew me away. Such a fantastic band.

  4. On January 18th, 2007 at 11:12 am Adam Darowski said:

    Hey Fozzie!

    Yes.. just listened to Mr. Beast a little while ago. After that was The Reindeer Section. Right now? The Appleseed Cast. It’s a good day.

    I’ve become more of a music listener than creator, though I haven’t completely given up on the idea of recording again. Perhaps one day when some free time comes up. Might be a good mid-life crisis.

    Long live the Teenage Fannies.