Projections for ’09: A good year?

After completing the lengthy 2008 post,  I’m going to write briefly about 2009 so far and what I hope to do.

From a professional perspective:

– Work more with websites. I would like to work with Umbraco, Sitecore, Reddot, Fatwire etc.., which are open source content management systems. More like finding out what the client wants, developing a strategy and design, managing the build and overseeing the process.

– Online Display Advertising – I’ve very keen to look at stuff like banner ads, learn about adblaster, open ex ad serving and the like.

– Become involved with social media. I would like to experiment with online marketing campaigns involving social media. I haven’t done any yet, but I am eager to do a viral campaigns using Youtube, social bookmarking, etc….I’m really into social media from a personal perspective because its interesting. However,  it’s hard to see how it can be monetised & the commerical appeal – there’s no real formula.

– I’ve started up a work basketball team @ Alexandria. Unfortunately, I’ve sprained my ankle but hope to be back soon. It’s the first sports team @ Next Digital, Sydney so should be an interesting ride.

– I’m attending a few events in the next month or so:

I would like to attend events,  every now and then to hear industry thoughts, meet people, etc…The event that I really want to attend is Wiki Wednesdays if they ever hold it again. Its for people that are involved in wikipedia’s which leads to……..

– Working on a wiki using Confluence. Its my pride and joy at the moment, and I’m currently the residential expert. I hope to evangelise a wiki culture into our business and show others how to use it. It was my suggestion back in October when I posted about it on my internal work blog, and it slowly coming to fruition.

– continue to find out more about folksonomies, search engines, cloud computing (my favourite topic area at the moment), and RSS.

– I currently have an allocation of work time to study search engines and I will be going for the Google Advertising Professional Exam.

– I hope to find a mentor at work or outside of work.

From a personal perspective

– I would like to do some travelling this year around Australia. I’ve seen so much of the world (Europe, states, Asia, etc.) but I’ve never seen Ayers Rock, WA, Great Barrier Reef, etc… This year I will tick one of them off my list.

– International travel – if not this year then the next. I just had a look at tickets to South America, maybe somewhere like Brazil or Peru would be cool.

– Get my own car & move out!! These two things have long been overdue. They both will be done (or a least one!) by the end of the year.

– I would like to sign up for this local mentoring service. I saw a notice at the library asking for mentors, and I feel like I could help someone. I also believe that I should do some volunteer work if I can find the time (there always is time, I just can’t find it :P)

– Fix up this website and get a proper website. It’s ok having a stock standard blog, but I would like to upgrade the website.

– Sign up for a gym – something I’ve also been meaning to do. I have the form on my desk and was about to complete it, but then my ankle injury hit.

I’m out like moving out,


Reflections on 2008

This is something I’ve been meaning to write for a while but haven’t got around to it. I just need some time to think!

2008 was a weird year for me. I started the first two months still on the road, traveling from Guatemala to Belize to Mexico and then back to New York. I actually didn’t write that much in 2008 when I was travelling, I started pumping out less travel notes (but higher quality of course :P)

Highlights of 2008

1. Watching the NY Giants v Green Bay Packers in New York

Then celebrating the win by running riot in Times Square. We were one of the first people to get there because we literally ran there after the game finished. Who could believe that New York would win? Not even the most diehard NY Giants fan. I was interviewed by two different cameras about the win, and I knew nothing about NFL!!!

2. Watching the David Letterman show live

3. Saying goodbye to my Mexican host family in Playa Del Carmen

I promised to send them pictures but still haven’t – I will one day!!

4. Visiting Washington DC

A very profound place where I wrote something really deep about what I saw – the monuments, the poverty, the history.

5. Playing competitive basketball again

I actually hadn’t played any form of basketball in a long long time since April 2007, when someone tripped me over and landed awkardly on both my knees.

I started playing two nights a week, Mondays at Bankstown and Tuesday at Hurstville.  To be honest, I hadn’t played comp basketball since university finished save the odd game (mixed basketball doesn’t really count). I also started playing more frequently at my old high school, once or twice on the weekend in addition to twice during the week.

I really do feel like now I’m a much better player, more confident having played a lot more and with and against better players.  I must give some credit to playing with Adam Labbad and Bardya for teaching some of the finer nuances of the game.  Sometimes, at Bankstown I would stay back after the game and shoot around and once I went there when we didn’t have a game and practiced myself. The highlight must be of course scoring like 14 successive shots in a pick up game at Kingsgrove high school against Chuck & co (which I’ll never hear the end of and probably will never be repeated).

As you can see basketball is a big part of my life and always will be.

6. Seeing my family again after my trip and being able to sleep in my own bed & having home cooked food: this really should rank higher on my list.

7. Deciding to start a new career

I made a big decision to try something new. I wanted to do something I could be passionate about, was challenging and that had some creativity around it. For someone that was trained in accounting and law (two relative conservative fields), having a really good job I could go back to and great colleagues, it didn’t make the decision easy. But I was on momentum thing when I came back and it was kinda like now or never. I was 26, and if there was a time to make a change, it was now.

I had a really supportive workplace. Even though I wanted to make a change and I wasn’t really sure what, my old workplace tried to facilitate that. People gave me tips about what to do and my old boss, Matt Turner was really understanding and helped me get my mind right in terms of what steps I needed to take. And I thank him for that.

I decided to look elsewhere and decided to work at a place called Next Digital, where I work on a bunch of different things. That was one of the reason I chose to work at this place, because they did everything from websites, email marketing, search engine marketing, SMS, etc…So far it’s been pretty good as I’m very into the internet so it’s been a good fit.

8. Going to advertising school

As I was thinking about embarking on a new career, I needed some fresh knowledge and I had a lot of time since I was unemployed. So I enrolled in AFA Advertising School.  I decided to do one subject to test it out “Media Buying & Planning”. I really wanted to do “Account Management”, but this was the only course that was available. It ended up being pretty interesting and I made some new friends.  Plus I got a distinction – I aced the final exam!!!!

9.  Melbourne (twice)

Before I started my job, I booked a trip with my two best friends Tim & Ashby to Melbourne. It was a good trip and we stayed at some dodgy hostel. We checked out this place called Nightcat club, the GameOn exhibition, met up with Tim’s Melbourne friends,  saw DJ Roc Raida and had a pretty good time.

I also went to Melbourne for my company’s end of year Xmas bash. That was cool because the company paid for it, and I stayed a couple of extra nights. Also, I had a bunch of mates Limo & Christian that were also there and we hit up da clubs!!!

Oh yes, I also went to my favourite kebab place Stacalities twice in a year! How good was that.

10. Being a part of RICEFest & seeing Mark Driscoll speak

I’m not very big on attending Christian events, but last year I actually made a conscious effort to do more. I helped run two events for high school kids as part of the RICE Festival. It’s kinda like an outreach ministry event at Homebush and the Entertainment Centre in August. So that kept me busy.

11.  Concerts – Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg/Ice Cube/Bone Thugs

I love live music and I got to see some of my favourite artists. It wasn’t cheap (except for the Snoop one which I got in for free – thanks Dan!).

12. Starting a new blog focused on digital media –


If you have highlights in a year, you must have lowlights as well. For me there were a couple, and I think one of them was being unemployed for 2 months. When your making a career change, its never easy especially when you have no relevant experience that people can see nor studies in that area. Also, bumping into someone from my past unexpectedly was not good. And I’ll leave my lowlights at that because the highlights have far outweighed that.

I don’t feel like I did that much in 2008, but after typing all this out, I feel like I’ve had a pretty big year.  One of personal & professional growth, lots of travelling & trying new things, but also getting back into the swing of things. I feel like I have to continue trying new things in 2009 as I have regressed back into doing the “same old”. I always wanted to try a salsa class, submit some writing to a magazine ( I thought about it a lot and enquired with two magazines) but never made that extra step, and travel around Australia more.

I’m out like 2008,