Here’s what the year of 2014 looked like for me.
I took a month-by-month look at 2013 to get a sense of my year, always striving for having a bigger impact than the year before.
It was a good year.
- January 2012: I moderated a CSPAN-televised online privacy panel held at the National Constitution Center.
- February 2012: We celebrated three years of Technically Philly.
- March 2012: I finally became an official member of the Pen and Pencil Club.
- April 2012: Invited to private roundtable discussion held in the Pulitzer Room at Columbia University on the next stage of news innovation academia, which resulted in this academic report released in November.
- April 2012: We hosted the second annual Philly Tech Week.
- May 2012: I designed and launched Ph.ly/newsweekly, as first discussed here.
- July 2012: After first hiring a reporter back in December, we hired another in Philly and our first in Philly.
- September 2012: After a July soft launch of Technically Baltimore, we more formally expanded by hosting the inaugural Baltimore Innovation Week.
- October 2012: A short profile of Philadelphia’s new Chief Data Officer was my first proper clip in a major regional print magazine. (I also landed another Temple Review feature.)
A year ago, I felt scattered. I wanted to focus in 2011, and I think, as a full-time employee of my own business with clearer goals and objectives, I have accomplished that.
As detailed below, I feel very proud of the success I had in meeting my professional resolutions for the year. So, it’s important to me that I do so again, which I also did below.
In them, I’d say the theme for my 2012 is RISK.
It’s time to risk fast or succeed for me professionally. I want to be more aggressive in business and outreach, now with a more stable company and clearer focus.
I’ll set goals to do so, but it’s also worth reviewing what has been a wonderful year. Here are some professional milestones not included in my planned resolutions below:
- January 2011: Launching Technically Media, a consultancy that publishes Technically Philly and launched that month a new blog strategy for the National Constitution Center.
- February 2011: Philadelphia magazine covered a multimillion dollar journalism effort at Temple Unuiversity and referenced that we at Technically Philly helped conceive of its structure. (I offered other strategy around the effort and wrote about a similar effort.)
- March 2011: I helped develop the strategy around OpenDataPhilly.org, an open data catalog built by Azavea and unveiled in April during Philly Tech Week.
- April 2011: I was invited to attend the Hardly.Strictly.Young conference on news innovation at the University of Missouri.
- April 2011: Addressing Philadelphia City Council, regarding Philly Tech Week.
- May 2011: NBC 10 listed me as among 20 locals who are worth following on Twitter.
- June 2011: I was invited to attend an intimate Aspen Institute roundtable on news innovation.
- July 2011: I spoke about technology issues on local NPR affiliate WHYY several times, like here, here, here and here.
- August 2011: Alumni magazine or not, I had my first glossy print feature published in the Temple Review.
- September 2011: With the generous support of the Center for Public Interest Journalism, I attended the national Online News Association conference in Boston.
- October 2011: I released a particularly large piece of journalism around a bottlenecked city data set.
- November 2011: Yes, I finally got a smart phone.
Below, see my 2012 resolutions and a review of how I did with my 2011 goals too.
I had no heat, two plastic chairs and a coffee table. I was chasing down the last of that year’s freelancing invoices to make about $16,000.
I was certainly still privileged for an endless list of reasons, but, to put it shortly, for a lot of reasons, 2009 was a miserable year for me. The three of us all had disappointing years. We all agreed that 2010 was going to better. Much, much better.
What I did do last year was reflect on 2009 and decided upon a theme: slow start.
I haven’t paid it much mind until now, but I think that’s a great task, summing up a year and trying to move in the direction of another for the following year. In that post, I suggested 2010 would have to be a year of ‘next steps.’
Basically, I need a thousand flowers to bloom so I could see which one I wanted to pick.
As expected, 2010 was a much, much better year. It was a year of tremendous growth for me, and, yes, next steps, as I’ll reflect upon below.
Yes, I’m doing a resolutions post. If for no other reason than to hold myself accountable.
Looking at last year’s professional goals, which were much more about staying afloat financially, I think this year, the theme is laying the foundation of sustainability to grow a business and opportunities at journalism and the like.
I broke them out more specifically by month, as I did for last year’s personal resolutions:
But first: yesterday I shared my best read posts of 2009. Because ultimately I’m a freelancer, I thought I ought to share my best clips of the year, if only to satisfy my concern that 2009 was all for naught.
See my portfolio here.
Meaning they must have met a good portion of the four reasons a freelancer would write a story, below I list the best one or two clips from each calendar month of 2009:
Update: Today, Dec. 19, 2010, I’ve gone back and looked at my goals. It’s interesting to see a split and failure to finish most of these. Three of these resolutions I succeeded in meeting definitively and met in spirit a fourth; I outright failed at three, and two became un-applicable as the year wore on.
After all, 2009 was a brutal year, so 2010 should be plenty better.
- Stabilize my income — Update: I did that in January 2010 in an unexpected way. It’s varied wildly throughout 2009. One way or another, I want to focus it.
- A new, solid pitch at least once a week — Update: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. (to buttress other work and those fed to me)
- Contact a new client at least once a month — Update: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. In writing, editing, multimedia or other
- 100 RSS subscribers for this site, up from 60 today — Update: Nope.
- 1,500 Twitter followers, from the 960 today (I hope a plurality of them can offer value in connecting to sources, ideas and content) — Update: nope, though, at nearly 1400, I got closer.
- Distribute remaining 600 business cards — Update: Nope. I still have more than 400.
- Bring Technically Philly to profitability — Update: By way of its parent company, we did do that, as I’ve come on full-time.
- Earn grant funding for real journalism — Update: Yes, for both NEast and Technically Philly.
- Write regularly on this site — Update: check! It’s a place to improve my web writing and connect with audiences. I want to perhaps write a little less but make the product more meaningful.
It’s a new year, so it’s time for resolutions. Here are my professional ideas, as I shared some more specific personal ones here.
Here are a few I’ve been thinking about:
- Write: I want to write more here, journal more, more establish my freelancing career, get pieces into big newspapers and magazines and be part of meaningful journalism. Most important, I want to think I am a better writer, reporter and journalist a year from now than I am now.
- Technology: I need to toe more into the obvious steps of tech, multimedia and web design. I want to invest time in using my point and click camera, editing video and audio and move this website maybe to a self-hosted version without the wordpress.com.
- I want to make $30,000: Making that pre-tax total would mean I made more than I did as a post-graduate intern and allow me to save a little bit of money. I could do this freelancing, but I also might look for some writing and journalism jobs.
- Make a book out of WDSTL: I created a lot of content with the cheap travel video podcast while backpacking in Europe, so I’d like to do something more with it.
- I want to say ‘I don’t know’ more: All of us get trapped into making educated guesses and generally trying to answer questions or offer opinions for matters we don’t know. I want to stop that. If I don’t know something, I want to
- Frame clips and diploma: I have some great newspaper clips and that diploma I paid so much for, so I’d like to display them to show them off a bit and be reminded of how hard I worked for them.
- Update portfolio: I have a print portfolio that I’d like to update.
Those are my clearest objectives for 2009. What are yours?