2010 was a difficult and great year for me – I did a lot of freelance projects in addition to my fulltime job, which meant I blogged less frequently but one of those opportunities turned into my current job at Automattic.
Here are some sites, tools, and statistics from my 2010. Feel free to add your recommendations and own tips in the comments!
- Daily sites I visit: Twitter and Facebook are still my favorite networks though I use Flickr and LinkedIn. I like having dedicated Site pages on Facebook for each site I run – it gives me a different way to interact with readers for those specific topcis.
- I joined Diaspora (the open-source social network platform) but it’s too early to tell if/when it will be useful – I don’t think Diaspora will be a threat to Facebook.
- Quora is gaining some buzz as a Q&A platform.
- Epic virtual relationship made physical: Finally met the lovely Michelle from Bleeding Espresso after exchanging emails and Skype calls for 4 years. When you know someone this long, it’s almost anti-climatic, but we still stayed up until 2am talking every night like it was a slumber party.
- Domains I have active websites on: 8 – all using WordPress :) Several more domains sitting and waiting to be born into awesome ideas. Launched the Eye on Italy podcast as well as a few other sites.
- RSS Feeds – I crested 400 feeds, and I continue using Google Reader to manage all my feeds. A noted increase this year in personal travel bloggers (like the very interesting Legal Nomads blog) and women who provide some inspiration (Gwen Bell, Mighty Girl)
- Popular posts: The most popular posts in 2010 on this site were: Top Mistakes Tourists make in Italy: Tipping, Tickets & more, my Nutella & Mascarpone chocolate tarts for World Nutella Day, and Broccolo Romanesco – Roman cabbage with Pasta.
Camera, Videocamera & other Gadgets:
- Camera: This year I did a pretty decent upgrade – taking my Canon XTi (entry-level DSLR) to a Canon 7D. It’s a learning curve even though things are familiar at the same time.
- Lens: In addition to the 50mm 1.4 I use often & my zoom 28-135mm travel lens, I also got the 85mm lens which I experimented with in Thailand but I think my next lens will be a wide angle lens, like the 10-22mm, the 17-40mm, or my dream lens 16-35mm.
- Quick shots & video: I still use the Canon PowerShot SD750 7.1MP for quick shots and the Kodak Zi8 for video – it was a huge help for the whales I saw in Alaska.
- Other toys: It was the year of the iPad for me – a purchase I don’t regret at all, but I am definitely looking forward to the next version to see what other features will be added.
- Digital frame: A bit of a late entry is the Kodak Pulse 10″ digital frame I got thanks to Kodak Italy in December – I love using it to display my pictures as I rarely print anything anymore, and the Moo cards I constantly carry can only give me so much satisfaction. I see it also being great for people who want to keep up with family & loved ones far away – you can send the frame pictures via email and it will download them automatically via wi-fi! The 7″ Pulse is nice, too.
- Backing up Data & External drives: This continues to be the most important part of my regime – backup! I am still employing the 3,2,1 method – 3 copies of everything, 2 onsite, 1 offsite. For the onsite, my Western Digital MyBook 750GB, and for offsite I’m also still using Mozy online backup (a Pro account) to do a further backup online of my photos and other critical files, now from my Mac. I’m interested also in testing Carbonite but haven’t had a chance yet. Read more about How to Backup Files using Online and Offline Software on my tech blog.
Fundraising, Donations, and Supporting Causes
- Working with causes, powered by Social Networks and Bloggers: this year I had my hands full and we didn’t do a dedicated effort for Ovarian Cancer, and Menu for Hope was unfortunately not held this year, but luckily I participated in the travel blogger-run Passports with Purpose which raised more than $50,000.
- Offline, the Girl Geek Dinners in Milan events I organize did a used clothing donation drive at our December dinner and filled 2 cars of clothing for Sicomoro organization destined for Tanzania.
- Supporting other entrepreneurs via Kiva.org – I am still re-investing my initial investment with Kiva – I’ve now made 12 $25 loans to different entrepreneurs, all female.
- New to me: I’ll be checking out DonorsChoose.org this year and adding them to my list. (Updated to add: I got a Donors Choose gift certificate from my awesome company, Automattic, for the holidays so I’ll be trying it sooner than I thought!)
If you have another charity/fundraiser site to recommend, let me know in the comments!
Reading and eBooks
I read more books than ever – though I stopped keeping track of them in my little spreadsheet part-way through. I started using the iPad as my main reading device, and I’ve started using the Amazon Kindle app as well as the Stanza app for my reading.
- Books (new) read in 2010: 83 newly purchased books and dozens of re-reads. My reading increased quite a bit as the 1-click buying experience on the iPad means I’m never without a book, and usually have a few in my TBR (to be read) pile.
- Book tracking: Recently I signed up for Good Reads as an experiment to see if I find it useful. I’ll let you know – so far I like their lists.
- Ebook Advocate: I have been digital for 5 years now and have never regretted it – I wrote a Guide to Ebooks on my tech blog, When I Have Time, for those that are new to ebooks or are interested in getting started!
Travel and Moving Around
- Tracking with online sites: I stopped using Dopplr‘s travel site and started using TripIt which I love mainly because I can forward them my flight reservations and they will import them automatically. They have an iPhone app, too.
- Cities lived in: 1 – Milan, Italy. Our apartment is starting to feel too small…who knows what will happen in 2011, though we really love our neighborhood.
- Countries visited: 5 – U.S. several times, England, France, Thailand, Scotland
- Trains taken: Dozens – I spent a lot of time running around the Lake region for Fodor‘s guide books, and several trips down south.
- Longest trip: coming back from Thailand and going to Puglia in the same day: 20 hours to get back to our house in Italy, 3 hours at home, and then another 9 hours to Puglia via train. It was a long day.
- Years with a car: 1 (previously was years without a car). I still need to get my Italian license – I don’t drive the car and we take it out occasionally for a weekend jaunt.
- Commute: My daily commute hit its peak in 2005/2006 when I was commuting 3-3.5 hours a day, and then reached a lower average of 1.5-2 hours a day until recently. Now that I work from my home office I put those hours to better use. I still take public transportation first and foremost, though working from my home office means I don’t commute every day.
- Number of trips to the emergency room: One, just hours before departing to the US, for a dangerous skin infection. My fear I wouldn’t be able to depart was almost as strong as the pain I was in.
- I completed 442 items with To-do list manager I love Remember the Milk! Their iPhone / iPad app is free, too.
Note: I have an Amazon affiliate store – many of the links in this post have an affiliate link to the Amazon site in case you are interested in buying that product. I will get a small percentage of the purchase price if you do (4-6%) and I thank you for helping support this site and my writing. Otherwise, plug the name of the product into Google and buy it somewhere else!