My wishlist for 2010

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t smoke or drink coffee or alcohol, so those vices I don’t need to cut down on or quit altogether. I play tennis at least once a week, and have a Kung Fu/Tai Chi/Qigong class every week. I take the stairs whenever I can. And I also enjoy good food, which includes fresh veggies and lots of fresh fruit. Sure, there’s always room for improvement. I’m far from living the perfect life. But I love singer/producer/DJ Ben Westbeech‘s motto “Welcome to the best years of your life”. Live life to make the best of it. But this year, I’m making an exception.

A resolution for 2010

I joined Project 52, which is a personal challenge geared toward getting fresh content on your website. The goal is to write at least 1 new article per week for 1 year. Because we all know what it‘s like to procrastinate on our content. A website is not just a fresh design that can be uploaded to the web and forgotten about!.

Writing once a week (at least) shouldn’t have to present a serious problem to me, I have a lot of ideas for topics to write about. The problem will be to convert hose ideas into readable and enjoyable posts. This post is the first for my project52 series so please let me know what you like and dislike about my writing style.

Anyways, back to the topic. 2010 is a few hours old and I thought it’d be a good start to give my wishlist for this year. And just to be clear, it’s not a list of things I want other people to do for me, but things I want to achieve myself (with or without help from everyone, of course).

People I want to meet in person

In 2010, I want to have a decent conversation with some of the most inspiring people I know. In real life, face to face. So, I have to find ways to meet them in person.

First of all, I’d like to finally have that talk with Moly Holzschlag, web standards guru extraordinaire. In 2009 I had a decent conversation over e-mail and an even better one over Skype, we Twittered a bit here and there. But 2009 was mainly the year of missed chances -where us meeting up is concerned. First was a date we had scheduled in April in London, where she was to talk at the FOWD conference, and my wife and I were enjoying a city trip together. We were supposed to meet over a genuine English High Tea at a classy hotel, but Molly sprained her ankle and sadly wasn’t able to join us.

Then, in november, Molly was headlining the 2009 Fronteers conference in Amsterdam. As a volunteer helping out at the conference, I was invited to join the speakers at the speakers dinner. And lo and behold, Molly was there too! We finally got to meet face to face. But because of some drama over at Opera (with a company called Opera, there’s bound to be drama, isn’t there?) she just had to sit on my seat next to David Storey and Andreas Bovens (and for the record, there wasn’t any real drama over at Opera, but with a company called Opera, that’s bound to be an exception, right?). So we didn’t get a chance to really speak. But  since the conference was the next two days, and she’d be in Amsterdam for another few days after that, we thought we’d get our chance. But Molly’s back hurt a lot after she tried to lift a laundry basket and epically failed, and she was bedridden for -you’ve guessed correctly- until her flight home. I was on my way to Amsterdam to meet her in her appartment when she cancelled. So that was the third time lucky.

So, in 2010, I want to have that talk with her. She’s an expert, a guru, and an inspirational person, and very nice to boot -I think.

But this wouldn’t be a wishlist if I didn’t set the bar even higher. Having a meaningful conversation with one of the worlds leading standardista’s isn’t enough. I want to meet the Godfathers of Webstandards: Don Jeffrey Zeldman and Don Eric A. Meyer. I haven’t been in contact with them in 2009, so I have nothing to build on. But that’s what challenges are all about, aren’t they?

Books I hope to finish reading

I have a disability. It’s probably a mental one. I can’t just read one book and finish it. There’s always two or three books I’m reading at the same time. Some books I finish, but not all of them. So, my wishlist is about books I’d like to finish in 2010.

Designing with Web Standards, 3rd edition, by Jeffrey Zeldman and Ethan Marcotte. This book explains why any website designer should work with web standards.

The Smashing Book, by various authors. Smashing Magazine became one of the web’s most influential web design and -development magazines, and this book has chapters written by some of the emerging experts.

Developer Evangelism, by Christian Heilmann. Chris Heilmann is Yahoo’s developer evangelist, a gifted speaker and a passionate man about all things web. His book should be overflowing with inspiration for my own web standards evangelism goals (more on those in later posts).

And these aren’t books, but DVD’s, but I’ll add them here anyway: Designing with CSS and Designing Web Accessibility, by For A Beautiful Web’s Andy Clarke. I got ’em both on DVD.

Skills I’d like to learn

Well, this is where it gets challenging for real. I don’t want to learn these skills, I want to master them, and skip the learning bit. At least, that’s what I think most of the time. I have a new hypothesis tho: that learning stuff is at least half the fun. If you get past the frustrating first bit of being confronted with lack of skills, that is. But these are the skills I’d like to develop in 2010.

For my work as an e-government consultant I need to be more structured and effective, so I’ll focus my professional development on mindmapping, the GTD method and tools, giving effective presentations to large groups of people, and facilitating creative and effective workshops.

I’d also like to learn more about Web Standards, and specifically by applying them myself. So, I’d like to learn about (x)HTML, CSS, the DOM, accessibility and semantics. And then their cutting edge representations, so HTML5, CSS3 and some basic scripting, as Javascript is a whole new territory for me, and not to be conquered in 2010.

Also, I’d like to learn more about web standards evangelism, and how I can bring across my message to a different and relatively new group of people. But, more on that topic in later posts as well.

Events I’d like to attend

Here’s where the wishful thinking kicks in. And probably some experimenting too. The event I’d like to attend will most likely not be sponsored by my employer, thus making it difficult to raise the funds necessary for me to actually go there. But if you look at my goals for 2010, one of the best places to reach them, is by going to a conference or meeting or workshop or something. So that’s a goal I’m adding as well.

I’d love to go to An Event Apart in 2010. There’ll be 4 of these events, but I hear they’re the best there is on web design and development, so I’d love to go to one of them. How, when, I don’t know yet.

I’d also like to go to @media London, Future of Web Design, SxSWi, or any other web design and development conference, but the AEA is at the top of my list.

And I have to mention Fronteers 2010, the excellent conference organized by the Dutch Fronteers society. I hope to play a small part in organizing it this year! So most likely, there’s more on that in future posts too!

Year of the Challenge

So, it’s quite a year that is ahead of me! So I hereby announce that 2010 will be the Year of the Challenge! Lets make it count.

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