Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.
2012 in Review
This year, I spent more time doing things that I enjoyed: reading, running, working in a job that makes me happier and much more!
- The single biggest change I made in 2012 was leaving Intel and taking some time off before joining Puppet Labs. I had been at Intel for 2.5 years (along with an earlier stint from 2000 – 2006). While I loved the people I worked with (and miss them), the job left me drained of energy, and I just wasn’t passionate about it anymore. I left without a real plan other than to take a month (or a few) off before starting anything new. I used this little sabbatical (aka funemployment) to read, run and hang out with friends. I started at Puppet Labs 7 weeks later feeling relaxed and recharged. I’m loving the work and enjoying being back in a startup!
- I read over 70 books last year! Most of them were science fiction / fantasy, and I keep a list of everything that I read here on my blog.
- I also ran … a lot. In 2012, I ran over 470 miles, and just over 100 of those miles were in August during my funemployment. My longest run of the year, also the longest run of my entire life, was 11.3 miles (just 1.7 miles short of a half-marathon distance). I also did some weight lifting and other workouts. Aside from falling off the wagon over the past month due to a couple of back-to-back colds, I’m feeling pretty good on the fitness side.
- Like last year, I did a fair bit of travel. For work, I went to Brussels, Belgium; Seoul, South Korea; Berlin and Nuremberg, Germany; and Barcelona, Spain. For fun, I took trips to Hawaii, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Ohio to visit family. I even have pictures from many of the trips posted on Flickr.
- As part of this travel, I presented at a few conferences. I did a few Tizen presentations earlier in the year, but recently, I’ve been speaking about open source metrics at LinuxCon in Barcelona and the LibreOffice Conference in Berlin.
- I’ve also been dabbling with programming again, mostly in Ruby, since that’s what everyone at Puppet Labs uses. I’m pretty terrible at it, since I haven’t done any real programming since the mid-90′s, but it’s enough to accomplish a few simple things and be more self-sufficient. And, I enjoy doing it
- I am still selling my vegan cookbook: What Dawn Eats: Vegan Food That Isn’t Weird. It was published last year and is available in paperback, Kindle edition and PDF format.
If I look back to what I wanted to accomplish in 2012 from last year’s year in review, I did pretty well!
- I continued to travel and visit new places (South Korea, Spain and maybe Belgium were new last year).
- I wanted to do runs in the 8-13 mile range and more regularly hit the gym to lift weights. I made it just over 11 miles, which is pretty good, and I did quite a bit of weightlifting, so I feel good about this one, too.
- For several years, I’ve been wanting to do some light programming, and this is the year that I finally started real work on that one!
- I also said that I wanted to get to a point where I can actually carry on a conversation in French that goes beyond basic greetings and travel phrases in 2012. With one lesson a week, it’s taking a while, but I’m finally getting to the point where I can carry on very simple conversations … as long as you speak very slowly, repeat yourself a few times and use mostly words that I already know
- I failed miserably at my goal to keep my blog updated.
What I Want to Accomplish in 2013
- Yet again, I’m going to make an effort to blog here more often.
- I want to travel to even more new places. I’m off to a good start on this one, since I’ve already scheduled a work trip for February in Belgium, Norway and Sweden along with a fun trip with mom to Aruba in May!
- I plan to continue meeting my fitness goals from last year with regular running, weight lifting and other activities. This will be a little more challenging because I expect to be doing quite a bit of travel this year, and working out is a lot harder when you are jet-lagged and busy working in another time zone. While I was happy with my general fitness in 2012, I still tend to eat too much, so I’ll work on that a bit.
- I also want to continue to work on my French. I’d love to be more conversational next year and ideally, be able to read simple books and watch movies in French without relying entirely on the subtitles.
- I hope to spend more time writing code. In addition to being more self-sufficient, I would also like to learn how to not suck at it by spending the time to learn how to do things properly rather than just doing whatever gets the job done the fastest.
- While I want to continue to read, I actually need to pull back on that a bit. I love reading, but it’s taking too much time away from other activities, so I’m going to try to read a bit less to free up more time to actually do the things mentioned above!
Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.
2011 in Review
In general, I stayed much more focused this year. In past years, I’ve had a tendency to become exhausted and burned out with too many side projects. This year, I focused on a couple of things and was happier and healthier as a result.
- I finally published my vegan cookbook: What Dawn Eats: Vegan Food That Isn’t Weird. I have been collecting recipes for this cookbook for 15 years, and I am really excited to have it published. It is available in paperback, Kindle edition and PDF format. Out of everything I did in 2011, this is what I am most proud to have accomplished.
- I spent a lot of time traveling in 2011, which is something I had been wanting to do for a long time. After ending a relationship of 6 years in May, I realized that this was a great opportunity to combine some of my work travel with a few fun side trips, since I didn’t need to hurry home to anyone. Aside from a few trips to San Francisco, Ohio, Seattle and Austin, most of my travel was international. I went to Vancouver (BC), Victoria, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. You can see pictures from some of my trips on Flickr, but I’ve been a little lazy about getting the set from Europe posted.
- I also had more than my share of personal turmoil this year after my father unexpectedly passed away in June. It was a sudden reminder that life is short, which also fueled my travel bug to see the world while I can. However, the silver lining in all of this is that my sister and I learned that we had another sister that we never knew about. It’s been great to spend some time getting to know her and my new adorable little niece.
- Aside from a little slacking during the holidays, I’ve been happy with my progress toward getting stronger and healthier. Over the summer, I had a few long runs of over 8 miles (~13k), which is longer than I had ever run in my entire life! I had a minor setback in an unfortunate incident with a sidewalk (sidewalk: 1, Dawn: 0), but I didn’t let it slow me down. The doctor called me an endorphin junkie as I was sitting in his office a week later looking at the follow-up x-ray of my fractured finger asking him when I could start running again, but he gave me the OK as long I as didn’t fall on my hand. During the cold and rainy winter months, I’ve been mostly a gym rat, lifting weights and doing cardio on the machines, but it keeps me in shape until the weather improves enough for me to want to run outside.
- From a work perspective, I am still leading the Community Office within Intel’s Open Source Technology Center. While it’s been a rough year with a lot of changes in some of my projects (MeeGo and now Tizen), I’m happy with the work. I get to work with amazing, smart people both on the team at Intel and in the community of open source developers, and I have the opportunity to work on interesting projects while traveling to new places.
- I’ve also presented at a bunch of conferences this year. Most of the presentations were related to my work at Intel talking about MeeGo, Tizen or community metrics at various Linux Foundation events, the MeeGo conference, AppUp Elements, OS Bridge and OSCON. However, I also did a couple of presentations about Hacking RSS at SXSW and WebVisions, just for fun
- I also somehow found time to read almost 40 books this year and am attempting to learn French.
What I Want to Accomplish in 2012
- I plan to continue to do more traveling in 2012. I really have the travel bug, and I just want to visit places that I’ve never seen before.
- Like last year, I want to continue to be even healthier this year to build endurance and strength with longer runs in the 8-13 mile range and more regularly hitting the gym to lift weights. After pigging out over the holidays, I also need to get more diligent about not eating too much and making better choices about what I eat.
- In a carryover from what I wanted to accomplish in 2011, but never quite got around to it … I still want to get back into doing some light programming for fun projects. I’ve been dabbling a bit over the past couple of years, but mostly with things like shell scripts and awk that aren’t really programming, so I’d like to do more with PHP and APIs.
- Right now, I’m at the phase in my French lessons where I know some basic vocabulary, but I want to get to a point where I can actually carry on a conversation in French that goes beyond basic greetings and travel phrases in 2012.
- I will also try to get better about blogging here after neglecting this blog for the past few months.
Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 2007, 2008 and 2009 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.
2010 in review
First, the big changes:
While all three of these were really hard decisions to make, I’m happy about each of them. I was really burned out in the first few months of 2010, and I’m just now starting to feel re-energized. The goal of each of these big changes was to free up more time for myself and more time to work on fun little projects that I’m passionate about doing.
Progress Toward my Goals for 2010:
If you go back to my 2009 post and look at my goals for 2010, I feel pretty happy about what I’ve accomplished. Here are those goals and my progress on each one.
- Continue to do interesting work on fun projects where I can collaborate with cool people: My work on MeeGo fits this goal pretty well.
- Start a few more websites: Well, maybe not a few, but I did start one: Rednecks in the Wild.
- Stay healthy by continuing to work out and eat healthy food: I’ve been doing a lot of running this year, and even did my first 5K. I’ve also been making a real effort to eat more real food and less crap.
- Spend more time reading a combination of fiction and business / technology books: I have read at least 45 books that I’ve counted, mostly science fiction / fantasy, which is about a book a week.
- Take more beach vacations! Todd and I had a lovely Thanksgiving vacation in Hawaii this year.
Other Interesting Things I Did in 2010:
What I Want to Accomplish in 2011
- Finish that cookbook that I’ve been threatening to write for the past 15 years. I started working on it over the holiday and am making pretty good progress.
- Get back into doing some light programming for fun projects. I’ve been dabbling a bit over the last year, but mostly with things like shell scripts and awk that aren’t really programming, so I’d like to do more with PHP and APIs.
- Work on a couple of side projects or random websites with the goal of helping to build more programming skills.
- Be even healthier in 2011 to build endurance and strength with longer runs and more regularly hitting the gym to lift weights.
- Continue to read regularly and take another beach vacation.
It’s really nice to look back at the past year to see what you’ve accomplished and come up with ideas for how to be even better the next year. I started doing these as a way for friends and family to keep up with me without the hassle of doing holiday cards (2008 and 2007 editions). I’m going to try to make this one shorter than in previous years and focus on just a few things.
2009 in Review
- Wrote a book – Companies and Communities: Participating without being sleazy (available in paperback, kindle, or PDF versions).
- Launched The Crazy Neighbor, a new website celebrating crazy neighbors everywhere, where you can contribute pictures of your crazy neighbors.
- Helped organize some great events as part of Legion of Tech, including several Ignite Portland events and BarCampPortland. I encourage you to watch the Ignite Portland documentary. Liz did a great job of capturing the spirit of the event in just 8 minutes of video, and I was honored to participate with an interview.
- Spoke at some great events, including sxsw, Innotech, WebVisions (video interview and presentation materials), Community 2.0, Ignite Corvallis (video of my talk), Business Leader NW (audio recording of my discussion), and others. More details and some of my presentations can be found on my speaking page.
- Continued my work with Yahoo Pipes, including a bunch of 2 minute video tutorials.
- Had many great clients and really interesting work in 2009. Most of it was confidential online community strategy work that I can’t link to, but I also wrote a bunch of blog posts for GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily and Intel.
Some thoughts on what I want to do in 2010
- Continue to do interesting work on fun projects where I can collaborate with cool people.
- Start a few more websites, like I did with The Crazy Neighbor. It’s a great learning experience, a good way to practice my skills and fun to experiment with something new.
- Stay healthy by continuing to work out and eat healthy food.
- Spend more time reading a combination of fiction and business / technology books.
- Take more beach vacations! I haven’t taken a real vacation that didn’t involve visiting family, since I started my own business. In my defense, I did take two beach vacations the previous year, but it’s time for me to start planning another nice vacation.
At WebVisions, the Strange Love Live crew was on the scene doing interviews with various speakers, organizers, and attendees. I spent a few minutes with Cami talking about my book (Companies and Communities: Participating without being sleazy), Shizzow, and other topics.
Here’s the 6 minute video if you want to watch me talk.
I gave up on a holiday letter or cards a few years ago; however, last year I started doing a year in review post, and it seemed to work pretty well. Here’s the 2008 version …
Let’s start with the negative.
What did I want to do in 2008 that didn’t quite make it?
- Didn’t quite achieve 501(c)(3) status for Legion of Tech. The paperwork is nearly done and will be submitted in January.
- Didn’t get the O’Reilly Art of Community book published. For too many reasons to list here, we finally decided to can the project.
- Didn’t do anything spectacular enough that it prompted someone to write a Wikipedia article for me.
Now on to the fun part.
2008: A year of change
- My biggest change by far was deciding to leave my steady employment at Jive Software to become an Online Community and Social Media Consultant. I am very happy with the change, and despite the economy, things are going pretty well.
- Redesigned my blog with a better look and feel.
- Helped organize events like BarCampPortland, Ignite Portland, and more as the co-founder and chair for Legion of Tech.
- Ignite Portland was featured in the Oregonian resulting in mayhem, overcrowding, and a new LoT policy of no mainstream media coverage prior to events like Ignite and BarCampPortland.
- Spoke at a bunch of conferences: OSCON, Community 2.0, Innotech, BlogHer Business, Web 2.0 Expo, Ignite Portland, Love@First Website, a few BarCamps, etc.
- Attended too many local Portland events to count.
- I took my mom on a vacation to Maui where we spent time lounging on the beach and drinking fruity drinks out of pineapples.
- I joined Portland-based startup, Shizzow, to manage the Shizzow community (as a side project, since we are currently bootstrapping). We were also honored to be guests on the Strange Love Live podcast.
- Became obsessed with Yahoo Pipes resulting in a video podcast series with Yahoo Pipes demos.
- Began writing for GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily.
My personal hopes for 2009
- Grow Fast Wonder Consulting into a more successful business with a few more clients.
- Achieve 501(c)(3) status for Legion of Tech.
- Continue to help organize more awesome events in Portland.
- Finish my eBook about Companies and Online Communities.
- Learn more about Yahoo Pipes.
- Continue mission #GetOffButt to get healthier, stronger, and in better shape.
- Again, I want to do something spectacular enough that it prompts someone to write a Wikipedia article for me.
Another thing I’m excited about for 2009
- The Portland tech community. I rave about it almost constantly, but I do expect the Portland tech community to continue to produce exciting new companies, projects, and community organized events to become even stronger in 2009.
Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:
I was just tagged by Fred on the 8 things you may not know about me meme. Hmmmm, I live most of my life online, but I’ll try to come up with a few things you may not know.
- I was raised by hippie parents (Hi Mom!) and grew up in rural Ohio on a tiny organic farm with chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, a variety of other animals, and lots of organic vegetables. We even had a goat named Sausage for a few years, but that’s a long story
- In college, I got pretty good at playing pool and even won a few tournaments. I still have my own pool cue (a Meucci), but I haven’t used it in many years.
- I played the clarinet from 5th grade all the way through high school in various capacities, including marching bands and various wind ensembles. I even played a the flute and classical guitar very badly and for very short periods of time.
- I love to cook vegan food (stir fry, pizza with homemade cornmeal crust, pasta, etc.), but I never make dessert. I can make a decent apple crisp, but beyond that I’m better off buying something from a vegan bakery, like Sweet Pea.
- My first computer was an Atari 400 (later Atari 800XL), and I loved writing stupid little programs in Basic that did something cool, but had no practical use whatsoever.
- In college (many, many years ago), I carried a flask of tequila and a lime in my pocket most of the time and knew where all of my friends kept their knives and salt shakers.
- I have a real weakness for questionable music. My most recently played iTunes list includes Rammstein, Godsmack, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Madonna, The Go-Go’s, Rob Zombie, Blondie, The Offspring, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kajagoogoo, David Bowie, Rancid, the Kinks, the Prodigy, and more.
- At the end of my senior year in high school, I held the records for the 100m and 300m hurdles.
Now the hard part … tagging another 8 people: Todd Kenefsky, Justin Kistner, Paul Biggs, Adam Duvander, Scott Kveton, Josh Bancroft, Selena Deckleman, and Aaron Hockley.
Raven Zachary just launched a really cool new project yesterday, Portland on Fire: a daily discovery of PDX people. The idea is to profile one interesting person a day from Portland (not just techies, either) with information about how to connect with that person. I was lucky enough to be the second profile featured on the site.
If you are interested in participating, you can fill out the form and answer a few simple questions about yourself. You even get to choose some of the questions!
So, if you ever wanted to know what I was like as child, what my personal interests are, or what I like most about Portland, you should take a look at my profile on Portland on Fire!
I thought it would be good to do a year in the life of Dawn for 2007. What the hell, everyone else is doing one, so I will jump on the trend.
As I think about 2007, I can’t help but be a bit surprised by how much fun and excitement I was able to cram into a single year!
2007: Non-Stop Excitement:
- Organized a whole bunch of Portland BarCamp Meetups
- Decided to sell my house in Hillsboro, and Todd and I moved to the hip (or hippie) neighborhood of Hawthorne to be within walking distance of my favorite restaurants, book stores, groceries, and more. We love it here, and it is a much better fit for us than the suburbs!
- Attended my first sxsw to be on an open source panel and was also able to attend the Austin BarCamp at the same time.
- Launched the Fast Wonder blog (an evolution of my older Open Culture blog, which evolved out of my Open Source culture blog) with a new look and feel and a real logo.
- After leaving Intel in November of 2006, I started off in 2007 working at Compiere.
- Left Compiere to join Jive Software and was surprised to see it reported on CNet.
- Co-Organized the first BarCamp Portland with 250 attendees!
- Organized a Technology Community Leader meetup along with attending OSBC where I was on a community panel.
- Had so much fun that I organized another community leader meetup to go along with OSCON.
- Jive launched Jivespace, the developer community I was hired to build!
- Began doing video podcasts for Jivespace.
- Went to Ohio to visit family for a few birthdays. This is where I learned (the hard way) that my family reads my blog.
- Helped organize quite a few smaller community events like the Jive Show and Tell dinner and the Portland Blogger Dinner.
- Wrote an article for an O’Reilly Women in Technology series.
- Co-organizer for the first Ignite Portland event with ~300 people attending!
- Spent Thanksgiving relaxing on the beach in Cancun
- Started a weekly Fast Wonder Community Podcast (audio) series (3 episodes so far)
- Getting the O’Reilly Art of Community book back on track.
- Co-founded Legion of Tech, an Oregon non-profit, and currently acting as chair of the organization
- Went back to Ohio for just a couple of days to hang out with family over Christmas, and I’m still trying to catch up on email!
Now what? How in the hell am I going to top that in 2008?
- Achieve 501(c)(3) status for Legion of Tech?
- Get O’Reilly Art of Community book published?
- Help organize a bunch of other community events in Portland?
- Improve Jivespace to make it a really kick-ass developer community?
- Ultimately, I want to do something spectacular enough that it prompts someone to write a Wikipedia article for me.
Have a Happy New Year!