Reviewing 2009

While end of year retrospectives may seem like a good way for journalists to fill column inches during a period traditionally bereft of good new source material, I think it is healthy to be reminded of the recent past, to re-evaluate events within a wider context and a little bit of hindsight, and also marvel at how things which now seem so distant were actually recent (for example the day that London turned white).

Highlights for me in 2009 have undoubtedly been changing job, getting married and buying a flat—2010 is going to have a hard time living up to that! Holiday destinations in 2009 included San Francisco (including an amazing day of ski-ing in the sunshine in Tahoe), Gdansk and Sussex.

The three events mentioned in highlights did not leave me very much time to write about these trips here, or in fact write very much at all. There was also less need for me to write here to draw people’s attention to something: if I publish my photographs to Picasa Web then they are automatically pulled into Facebook and my friends are notified through in their new feed. The biggest change in web publishing in 2009 was not actually about the publication but consumption: twitter and the aforementioned Facebook news stream have provided non-techies with an interface to a facility geeks have had for years with a feed reader.

Traditionally, at this point, a review article should turn towards predictions for the new year. I do not have a prediction but a hope, that having to register individually for websites will become to be regarded as outmoded and unfashionable as blinking text. Not for important (or even semi-important) websites, but for “disposable” logins of low importance, privacy and security, I should really like to avoid having to generate a user/password combination and go through the rigamarole of “verification”. Do I ask too much?

Happy New Year.