Thinking Backwards, Looking Forward

Ray Ozzie has an interesting post today summing up 2005 and looking towards 2006. It got me thinking a little about the past and pending year.

2005:

Day Job: I did some stuff right and some stuff less than perfectly. Brand building was my focus, and we did some good there. Politics and diplomacy are my challenges pretty much 24/7/365. My challenges are to learn what I can fix and what I can’t and to focus more of my efforts on the former. I think too many of us obsess on the broken stuff at the expense of the places we can make a positive difference.

Music: I suspect my completed song output in 2005 was about as low as it’s been since I was in my 20s. I finished one song and co-wrote maybe two. I did get three songs recorded and had one chart in Europe. I need to either write more in 2006 or stop thinking of myself as a songwriter.

Internet: I renewed my ACCBoards.Com affiliation with Scout.Com. It’s not a perfect relationship but it’s one that benefits both companies. I moved Newsome.Org to a blog platform, first as a content management tool and then as a full-fledged blog. I have worked harder that I thought I would have to to generate traction, but I’ve actually got a bunch of readers- thank you, each and every one of you.

Family: Saving the best for last, this was a fun year for us. The girls are doing great. They have a little brother who will be born literally any day now. We bought the property next to us and built a play area and a soccer field. We are going to really enjoy it over the years.

2006:

I’m not going to make a lot of predictions, but I will say a few words about my plans and then make a couple I feel pretty sure about.

My Plans: As mentioned above, I need to adjust my sphere of concern a little- to encompass what I can change and not what I can’t. This covers a lot of areas, but can be boiled down to this- try to be very, very good at a few things instead of pretty good at a lot of things.

My Projects: As we all know, Project Flickr was a failure. I will still do a little Friend Fishing. Everything else here will be more or less the same- maybe a little tweaking to write in a little more depth about things that interest me. I will also start a year long self-improvement project in early January, which will be updated regularly here. More on that later.

My Predictions:

I just can’t help it, so here goes:

1) The new version of Internet Explorer will impress almost everyone. Tabbed browsing will help close the feature gap. But over time, Firefox will own the “geek” market and IE will be the choice of the (still large and worthwhile) non-geek market. Eventually, Firefox will make inroads there, but not so much in 2006.

2) Someone will release the killer podcast creation, publication and management application in 2006. I’m not talking about a website; I’m talking about desktop software. Maybe it’s a better version of Audacity; maybe something else. But it will happen. Also the RIAA will loose the hounds on podcasting in 2006 in another futile effort to stuff the cat back in the bag.

3) RSS will gain widespread acceptance with the new version of Outlook (as we discussed earlier this week). More and more news services will start to distribute news that way. Some media source I read will try paid feeds and it just might work. If I am going to pay for a site, I’d rather read the stories in a news reader than a browser.

4) Someone, probably Google, will buy Technorati and pay a fortune for it. Google simply can’t afford to let Yahoo get in front of it again.

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