Yes, yes, the ubiquitous New Year's Resolution post. With a slight twist: sharing my internet finds.
The first internet find, and one which I really want to encourage folks to use, is 101in365, which is developed by a former colleague, @jennjenn. It's a way of committing to the things you want to do in the next 365 days. Yes, you really have to think of 101 things, which really isn't that easy a task, and then lock them in and start doing them. Its a pretty simple idea & very easy to use. My list is here. Some of it is mundane and some is ambitious, but none of it is unrealistic for the next year, which I think — for me at this juncture — is very good. Some of it I've done before but that haven't done in a while (like bake a pie). Some of it I've never done (like post a book to Blurb). I'm very curious to see what happens in 2011 because of it and I'd love to see your lists there, too, since others can comment on your list items. One of my items is to post at least 25 times to this blog, so here's the first post. Woo.
The second internet find is Mostly365. It's taking the idea of a photo a day (there are many 365 groups on Flickr) and building a website around them. The website is populated by images that are tweeted and hash tagged #mostly365, so it's pretty easy to use and it supports a number of service, including Flickr and Instagram. At any rate, my rate of dropping out of 365 projects is pretty high, but I'm going to try to tweet a photo and that hashtag every day this year, because it's simple and I like their website. My first thought when I saw this site today was, "Wow, why didn't Flickr do this?" Meaning, why didn't we ever leverage machine tags for site pages grouped to a theme? Imagine an Explore >365 page, not unlike the Explore > Galleries or Explore > Analog pages. I know. I hate the thumbnail display, too, on those pages, but it'd still be nifty. Or gamed, probably.
I'm adjusting to moving to the next moment in my life sans Flickr, which hasn't been all that simple given how much of a power user I was of the site. It was weird to go from being a member of a site I loved to working there… and now it's weirder to not work there but still use the site. I don't feel comfortable engaging as much as I once did there, but that's allowed me to go out exploring on the 'net a wee bit over this holiday break. So, other great finds I'm using daily now are Instapaper, Pinboard, and Quora. It's so good to be a Netizen again after spending 18 months with my head jammed into the problem du jour at Flickr. I had some fun, I had some not-fun, and now I'm having different fun. I hope to remember to keep my online life diversified at whatever my next gig will be.
One last find, which I'm ashamed to admit I only heard of yesterday, is the concept of technical debt (or code debt). Wow! Really? There is a name for this and that name is not "half implemented features"? The concept really struck a nerve for me, probably since it's framed in terms of economics. I'm working on getting out from under personal debt, so this rings my bell; here's the quote from Ward Cunningham that sums up the concept,
Shipping first time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite. Objects make the cost of this transaction tolerable. The danger occurs when the debt is not repaid. Every minute spent on not-quite-right code counts as interest on that debt. Entire engineering organizations can be brought to a stand-still under the debt load of an unconsolidated implementation, object- oriented or otherwise.
Or, as I might more simply state it, shipping a half-baked product is fine so long as you swing back around on a map to manage that code debt. If it's not on a map, you're not taking it into consideration, and things can turn around and bite you hard in the ass if you let the debt pile-up (like my own bills). I wish I had known that this was a concept that actually existed while at my last job, although those stories are for another day. But I do know that if I work for someone else again, I'd like them to have this sort of debt on their radar and a plan of action to manage that debt.
Those are my internet finds for the day, the first day of this new wonderful 2011 year.