Blogs Still Work, and other stuff I learned in 2010

Picture of thewikiman logo in the snow Here's a summary of some things I learned in 2010.

1. It's not what you know, or even who you know - it's the fact that you're willing to step up and share the knowledge

I've said before, the great thing about all the technology floating around the net right now is that it enables you to do stuff for yourself. Why wait for someone else to come up with the same idea, or to act on yours? You don't need any seniority, or even any money - just ideas and a will to put the time into making them happen.

On a similar note, you don't have to be particularly expert on something to talk about it, or write about it, or create it. You just have to stick your head above the parapit and be visible and a bit determined.

2. Blogs still work

2010 has been great and much of the good stuff seems to revolve around having a blog. The blog is like the sun and all the other opportunities that come up are like the planets - they get their light from the blog. The blog is like the conduit, or the gate-way, for cool stuff.

Since I started blogging a year and a half ago, I've read many articles claiming blogs are dead or dying. Those accused of man-slaughtering the medium include micro-blogging particularly, and also more visual stuff like Tumblr and video-blogging. I can see the arguments FOR those media, but I don't neccessarily think those same points are arguments AGAINST traditional blogs. Blogs allow context, space to let ideas develop, and they allow you to give a fuller account of yourself.

More than that though, for me this blog is the route of the opportunities that have come my way. People only know to ask you to do things like write articles or books, or present at events, if they know who you are, what you're doing, and what your views are. A blog is a great way to ensure this is the case, and to synthesise and anchor all your social media presences.

3. Make one thing happen for yourself, and five things will happen TO you with pretty much no effort on your part whatsoever...

I'm amazed at how many opportunities come to you once you've made a few for yourself. Once you set the boulder rolling down the hill, it gathers momentum on its own.

4. There is no divide between new professionals and senior professionals, not really

I've heard a lot of talk of such a divide, but in my experience we all work together pretty well. Of course, they are people (in both camps) who are difficult to deal with and don't want to work with the other camp, but that's just down to the personalities of individuals.

We really do need to be able to work together to change, move forward and indeed protect this profession of ours.

5. In the social media age, we all grow up in public - may as well get used to it, and embrace the journey

I am not fully formed as a professional. I make mistakes, I make errors of judgement, I do things I look back on with embarassment. I learn all the time. I approach things differently now to how I did in Janurary. I worry. I feel vulnerability that I try not to show. Like most people, I fret when I shouldn't. There's still part of me that puts gaining a follower on Twitter down to pure happenstance, and puts losing one down to some grave error in the way I've conducted myself.

Part of me would like to show more vulnerability but at the same time, someone who comes across as confident tends to get more stuff done. I want people to listen to me - I believe in my ideas, whatever periodic crises of confidence I may have about my approach or myself or the way I'm perceieved. So I try as far as possible to come across as fully formed.

That said, if you embrace social media fully than inevitably people get to know a lot about your process as well as your results. And actually I quite like that. I like how human we all know each other to be, because we reveal this online. I actually feel like the people who went through all their journies before social media arrived have missed out, in a way.

6. Babies are ace!

No review of 2010 for me would be complete without reference to far and away the most significant thing that happened to me, and has ever happened to me. Emily Alexandra Potter is, quite literally, the best thing ever. I never knew babies were so much FUN!

Picture of me and Em