2007 An Introspective Blog Year In Review

It’s been a quiet year, blogwise.

It wasn’t unexpected.

Early 2007 saw the addition of my 3rd child (my second boy, giving me three children under five years old). I can’t overstate how much time and work goes into children, especially when they’re this young (every outing of any sort is a campaign of epic proportions). The reward is worth it a trillion times over, but it means that things like blogging tend to get sacrificed on the priority list, and the entries that do happen occur through creative time usage. Such as this one that’s being authored in my son’s room while I wait for him to fall asleep.

Dinosaurs at the ROM Add the fact that I’d switched from running a mostly one-man consulting company (which was yafla’s former purpose, providing business justification for the time spent on every entry – they were gaining eyeballs, clients, PageRank, professional credibility, and so on for consulting and development opportunities) to instead dedicating my time and energies exclusively to one client.

My mental efforts these days are focused on an amazing New York City back-end financial services company, imagining and building the next generation of software for the industry. While it is very rewarding professionally and financially, basic professional courtesy and confidentiality restrictions limit how much I can discuss the discoveries, trials and tribulations of that adventure.

So where does material come from then Much of the wisdom I had to dole out had been exhausted earlier in the lifecycle of this blog (all bloggers have a finite amount of accumulated wisdom to espouse before they start recycling, or worse outsourcing, content. Beware any blogger that operates on a schedule, because their creation will almost certainly be vacuous or intellectually stolen tripe). I’ve since accumulated a lot of observations and suggestions about mixing work and family life in this industry, and at some point I need to put virtual pen to virtual paper, however the low hanging fruit material has already been stored in the archives.

When I agree with things I’ve read and seen elsewhere, I don’t see much point in a toss-off “I agree” post, so instead the limited content was usually seemingly negative – where I disagreed with something or someone. Like most people (excluding cults and fan clubs), I’m more motivated by disagreement than agreement, so it inspired the extra effort to find a moment to author a post.

Lacking the opportunity to post normal posts to balance things out, it gives an unsavory “critic” feel to the blog, which was never my intent.

There is hope, however!

With the dawn of a new year, yafla is going to gradually (but immediately) start morphing into something new (this isn’t a new year’s resolution or anything of that sort, but was the planned timeline all along). For far too long I’ve sat on the sidelines waiting for the perfect idea for casual development to reuse a relatively well-ranked domain. Realizing that is a self-defeating bar, I’ve decided to go with an imperfect but viable secondary option.

So where is it going Failing a market segment categorization, let’s just say Slashdot * Digg ^ Wikipedia * Reddit + StumbleUpon + Delicious ^ Blogger. There are a million and one competitors in this space already, but I’m targeting something special, implementing ideas that have clattered around in my head since the early Slashdot era (having one’s carefully crafted, timely submissions rejected by a Slashdot editor was undoubtedly the impetus behind the creation of a lot of the follow-up sites).

Daughter Playing in Leaves In a nutshell, the yafla realization will be quality above quantity, and value above distraction (I have no intent of catering to the crowd using it to avoid work. I want to cater to the people using it to further their pursuits, whatever they are pursuing, not to avoid life.) The differentiator will be the people empowered by the analytics, bringing a special perspective to information coalescence.

It’s going to start terribly and hackishly (a transparent, ultra-agile work in progress), and will probably be ignored and seldom used for a while after inception, but it will at least give me comfort that something is being done with the domain, and will most certainly provide unencumbered source material for the blog.

Let’s see what the new year brings.