2011: Annus mirabilis

According to the lovely folk at Wikipedia ‘Annus mirabilis‘ is Latin for ‘year of miracles’ (amongst other similar phrases!) and professionally that is kind of what 2011 felt like for me.

If 2009 was a disaster and 2010 was a pretty good step in the right direction then 2011 finally found me happy and settled in a job and at least starting to do some decent work again. In fact 2011 was the first time in five years I have managed to see out a calendar year in the same job so that is something of a miracle 🙂

I was lucky to find an organisation and a team that is a good fit for me and given the pressures on the public sector these days I am aware of how lucky I was with that.

I started the year with something a bit different though – Bettr had almost pushed me to breaking point and the stress levels convinced me that I needed to get out of the events game for a spell. That said it seemed to go well and also at least indirectly spawned a few other events.

The stress of Bettr did lead me to stepping away from most of my other projects though – including Eventstreams with Stef. Towards the end of the year I started to get involved with things outside the day job again but it has taken a while. My aborted attempt to take a more structured role with Mozilla by becoming a ‘representative’ proved to me that I need to be careful what I commit to – as much so as not to let other people down as anything.

I did get a little more involved with Bathcamp as the year progressed – organising and speaking at Bathcamp 26 and helping out with the Christmas get-together both of which were great fun and I intend to continue to help as long as Mike allows it!

The day job had its share of highlights most of which I’ve already written about but the work with Wikipedia was a particular highlight as was the responsive microsite for the Annual Review. It wasn’t without its frustrations though – most of them caused one way or another by the letters C, M and S.

[I seriously believe if I collated all my bad corporate CMS experiences plus those of various friends and ex-colleagues it would make an interesting book – depressing but interesting.]

I am hopeful that 2012 will be the year I finally crack that problem – either that all it will finally cause me to crack!

I managed 66 blogposts (including this one) so better than one a week again (though this year it did feel like I was blogging less weirdly).

So what is ahead in 2012? I’m pretty certain it will be dominated by a major corporate website project that I am hoping to document here as it happens. There is alot to do and I’m looking forward to at least most of it! I’m also hoping to do more with Wikipedia – really embedding contributing to it as something the organisation encourages and also we’ll be implementing some ideas around digital publishing as well building on the Annual Review work which will be a nice step towards ‘digital by default’.

I’m going to be doing some training in the new year as well – for the first time in a long while – with a focus on ‘agile’ techniques and product management as I think that is the way the job is going and sooner or later it will filter down from GDS to the rest of us in the public sector.

I’d also like to talk a little more at events rather than just help organise them – not really sure about what mind but I’m sure I’ll think of something 🙂

Anyway all in all it was a very good year and hopefully next year will be even better.

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