About this time I do a Blog related review of the year so here goes…
Best Blog Discovery:
This was the year I started reading SolidWorks blogs. That may seem strange considering I don't use SolidWorks, or even Inventor, and don't do engineering work. The thing is, no matter what sort of modelling you do, many of the challenges are the same and solutions sometimes apply to other applications. Besides, even though they don't use Autodesk stuff those SolidWorks Bloggers are nice people too! Here are a few great SolidWorks blogs to check out:
A comment from Porter Wayfare stuck in my mind, as much because of the circumstances as the content. It was mostly complimentary but highlighted a bizarre coincidence. The day I ranted about the problems in the re-formatted Autodesk Discussion Groups my own blog layout went crazy with crunched up line spacing. That prompted this comment:
I feel a little trepidation mentioning this to you in the same post that slams the new format of the discussion groups, but, oh well.... Your formatting could use a little leading, as in lead, the metal. I'm not sure computer graphics uses the term--it may me referred to as line-spacing--but the upshot is that the lines are too close together. It makes the presentation less attractive and approachable, and hence less readable. Isn't the space between lines on a screen kind of free? Consider using a little more of it. Otherwise I enjoy your blog and have for a long time.
I'm a beta user for TypePad and it turned out I'd been migrated to the new TypePad platform that day. A template line spacing setting, I didn't even know existed, defaulted to "Tight" rather than "Normal" during the migration. It was easily fixed but the timing was rather amusing
I guess it has to be the MindManager Kiva Auction. Someone got a copy of MindManager for a great price and it contributed to Kiva loans. Then, to my surprise and delight, just before Christmas Mindjet followed it up by donating a multi-license MindManager package to Kiva for their own use. Thanks to all who supported this, especially Mindjet for allowing the "charity sale" of their gifted NFR license.
It's not strictly a podcast this year. Stephen Fry's Podgrams arrive infrequently but are well worth the wait.
In a multi-dept meeting at work we were asked to do a short "what I do/where" roundtable intro. I finished mine only to have the CEO add "...and Robin is also an expert blogger". Maybe suggesting a CEO Blog some time ago and sending relevant blog links, like this one, around the business does get noticed
Best Blog Decision:
Last year in an effort to simplify life I decided to stop using Vox & Blogger and posted "Goodbye" messages. Early in the year I even started looking at alternatives to TypePad. The main reason was it seemed TypePad development had stagnated. However, I didn't find a compelling reason to go through the trauma of changing platforms.
A few months later I changed my mind about Vox and still post there occasionally. The reason is TypePad is getting a new platform. It's an evolution of the one that runs Vox so knowing it has been handy. Hopefully TypePad will get more "Voxy" in future as I love it's media and library tools - areas that are currently lacking in TypePad.
I also got involved with TypePad Beta. Some of the results of that have appeared on the blog as they've gone public (header bar, comment system). What I've seen so far gives me confidence in the future of TypePad so the best decision this year was: Not changing anything!
Blog Related Concern:
It's only distantly blog related but given the gloomy forecasts for the year ahead you have to wonder how the world will look in a year. While I quite like the idea of being a full time blogger I don't want to be forced into it by a recession!
Perhaps the best approach to whatever lies ahead is this quote from ENIAC Programmer Jean Jennings Bartik in a fascinating conversation at the Computer History Museum;
"We only have today, tomorrow is not here and yesterday has gone. I believe in enjoying every moment you can, and every experience you can. I believe we are about as happy as we choose to be, so I choose to be happy!" (@ 01:03:00 in the video)
Best New Blog Tools:
This year it's a tie between two new tools that are both still in Beta!
Windows Live Mesh - www.mesh.com: Has been used to help compose most of the posts seen here since the middle of the year. Simply, Mesh allows me to work on any machine with the same data without worrying about transferring. I write off-line with BlogJet, save to a mesh folder and only post the final draft to TypePad. For a preview, now beta, it's been pretty stable and I look forward to whatever develops from Mesh.
TypePad Connect - www.typepad.com/connect/: Is new and still needs some fine tuning but it's making adding, managing and replying to comments much easier. You might think I don't get many to manage but that's because TypePad's anti-spam system is removing hundreds of garbage comments every day. It makes dealing to the few spam ones which get through easier but means you miss literary delights such as:
youtube amputee overlay christmas layouts for myspace alphabet letters cursive printouts jeremy roloff myspace help at school proxies beckett electric ignitor toccara jones photos free venn diagram coi phim mien phi high tail 2 the game nikki catsouras porsche crash photos hh greg com free asvab practice tests rodolfo corky gonzales kh2 mugen character download printable christmas mad libs ghetto gaggers evelyn sample clips download ichigo mugen character onion booty alexis nikki porsche picture of body "
TypePad Connect isn't just for TypePad so if you have a blog on Movable Type, WordPress or Blogger check it out!
“Doh!” of the year:
Stupid Internet moment, when Google finds the solution, to problem line scale settings in an old legacy file, on your own blog!
Boring Blog Stats – Only here so I can look back at them
RobiNZ CAD Blog [2007 figures]
Posts: 1395 [1,157] | Comments: 938  | TrackBacks: 85  | Pages: 5 
Page Views: Total 579,216 [405,974] | Average Per Day 335.39 [298.07]
Subscribers (via FeedBurner): Avg: 814  Max: 948 
Most visited post of 2008: Time flies, it’s Autodesk 2009! made February the busiest month of the year, with visitors staying on the page for over 3 minutes.
Most Popular Post from 2008: Time flies, it’s Autodesk 2009!
RobiNZ Personal Blog [2007 figures]
Posts: 1,446 [1,216] | Comments: 714  | TrackBacks: 14 
Page Views: Total 200,877 [160,101] | Average Per Day 144.52 [156.20]
Subscribers (via FeedBurner): Avg: 48  Max: 61 
Most visited post of 2008: Was from 2005. The Top Gear Stig still gets lots of traffic and even a few comments three years after it was posted!
Most Popular Post from 2008: Watch out Phil Plait... featured Wanderer's budding astronomer and was boosted by a link from "The Bad Astronomer" himself. Yes it was blatant link baiting but I reckon the material justified it
Why a Fiat Bravo HGT Interior should be so fascinating, I don't know!
MindManager & Camtasia for System Documentation leads with 4,700 views to date.
Thanks for visiting during 2008, Happy New Year for 2009!