Another year over, and as many look forward to the year ahead, I am left pondering a mixed year that has passed by.
Around 1.2 million people visited the blog this year, and the most popular articles published this year are:
- Watch the Space Station Fly Over London on Xmas Eve
- List of London’s 2013 Bonfire Night Fireworks
- Best places to photograph London Underground’s heritage steam train trips
- Photos from inside an abandoned tube tunnel
- Public Tours of HMS Illustrious Next Weekend
- Google celebrates the London Underground with a Doodle
- A visit to the Dr Who museum in East London
- Photos of empty London on Christmas Morning
- The abandoned Post Office Railway to be opened to the public
- Photos – Inside the Crossrail station at Bond Street
Despite that list, I suspect I will still get emails from PR agencies asking me to write about perfume, credit cards and holiday insurance. Sigh.
Fortunately, there are PR people out there who do understand, and I wont deny that I enjoy some of the site visit opportunities that come from them. It’s still “work”, but such enjoyable work.
It’s enlightened self-interest. I get to see things I enjoy seeing and you the reader hopefully get an interesting article to read. More of that and less of the fluff!
Away from blog, in terms of the digital existence, the biggest change has been the sheer frustration that Google has become over the past year.
I run a number of websites, and the headaches in trying to have separate accounts for different websites is legendary — and deeply annoying. When a person has to log into their YouTube account using a Yahoo email address because of the account conflicts within Google’s systems, something is wrong.
From shutting down their RSS reader and frankly capricious whims in how they treat websites, the company has ceased to be a decent provider of services and turned into a generator of gritted teeth and snarling.
A curious improvement was the enforced need to buy a new laptop this year. At last bloated websites such as Buzzfeed and Huffpo don’t try to crash my web browser any more. And I have loudspeakers again for the first time in a couple of years.
The ability to watch a live television broadcast on iPlayer a few minutes after it started has been a revelation. No more panic’d rushes to finish work at 8:50pm to give time to settle down for something to watch on the dot of 9pm!
Sadly, it has been less positive personally, with a financially motivated downsizing of the accommodation earlier this year and now the need to look for a new job in the new year as well.
That may lead to a turn around financially, but it will probably mean a drop off in the blog, for a while at least. Shall have to see how that pans out.
There is the perpetual desire to write better in-depth articles for the blog, but that is very dependent not so much on having the time, but not being too mentally exhausted to think clearly at the end of the day.
There seems to be a finite amount of writing a person can do in a single day, and I often hit the mental block in the evening that says the brain has run out of juice.
The daft thing is that there are more opportunities to write content now, but few of them pay anything, or pay miserly amounts. The same with photography, which despite my struggling camera I still get regular emails from commercial organisations expecting me to hand over photos to them for free.
A person can’t live on “brand awareness” or weblinks, we need money!
Hopefully I’ll see more of the filthy lucre with whatever my new job ends up being.
Happy New Year