A resolution by any other name

4 Jan
Reflections of a sort

Reflections of a sort

I swore off New Year’s resolutions a long time ago because every year, my list involved the same general types of goals — get to the gym more often, make more yoga classes, get back into Spanish. Like so many Americans, I’d make headway for all of about three weeks before work and life inevitably got so busy that something had to give.

For some reason, 2009 has reinvigorated my resolve to — well, resolve. Maybe it’s because so many people around me have high hopes for year — a few because they passionately supported Barack Obama, some because they have a gut feeling, and others because 2008 proved to be such a personally difficult year that they have no choice but to believe 2009 will be an improvement.

I can’t deny that my enthusiasm for social media has something to do with it too. 2008 was the year that I discovered the potential and power of microblogging, blogging, feed aggregators, social bookmarking and all that good stuff — the year that I took the leap from reading and only dabbling in the Web 2.0 world to actually engaging it and integrating services and apps into my daily life. Reading Mashable is as much a part of my routine as checking out the top stories on Washingtonpost.com.

So I’ve decided to give resolutions another try. But I’m sticking to social-media resolutions. If this goes well, I’ll consider doing New Year’s resolutions in 2010 and adding goals that don’t involve social media — like losing 10 pounds.

1. Get more in tune with online music sites

I always get incredible music recommendations from friends and people I meet — I’m lucky that way. But that shouldn’t stop me from discovering new music on sites such as TheSixtyOne, Favtape, Pandora and Last.fm.

2. Pull together a podcast

I’ve been meaning to do this since I attended Podcamp Michigan 1. Still haven’t had the chance.

3. Open my heart to OpenID

I am a pretty private person, which is one reason why it took me so long to get on Twitter, start a blog, or even do something as basic as starting a Facebook account. As a former reporter, I feel far more comfortable handling other people’s stories than I do broadcasting aspects of my own life. But I’ve gotten past all that, and now, I can’t picture going back. Having a single digital identity across sites — whether it’s through OpenID, Google Friend Connect or Facebook Connect — that follows me around the Web is the logical next step.

4. Practice less moderation — at least for a while

An end-of-year Ars Technica titled “New social media tools, same old lesson: moderation” offered a good reminder about the pitfalls of spending too much time with social media. In fact, back in November I logged off for a weekend to prove to myself that I still could. That said, I’m far from the point where I’m putting in more than I’m getting out, and I’m looking forward to spending even more quality time maximizing the usefulness of sites such as FriendFeed and Delicious.

5. Get an iPhone already

Apple rocks my world, period. I’ve wanted an iPhone since it first came out, but I’m stuck in my current family-plan contract and I’m pretty sure my sister would have to kill me if I break my end of it. I need to whip up an escape plan — plus, I can justify it by saying that getting an iPhone will help me with my other resolutions, right?

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