Raise your hand if you’re tired of people asking you what your New Year’s resolutions are? Well, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and suggest 5 more
original ideas that will change your life forever, or at least give you something to think about until next year. Feel free to also leave your own deep thoughts for 2010 in the comment section below, because everyone cares.
1. Follow less and interact more…
Seriously, does one really need to follow thousands of people on Twitter? Yes it’s more difficult to spam follow now and one can argue that there are some benefits to following so many people like…um…you now look cool because half of them followed you back as a courtesy and now you can strut your Twitter package around like you’re the next Henry Jones. But seriously, let’s be realistic and stop trying to be like someone else.Â If you want a lot of followers, let your work and content speak for itself. Follow those who you want to follow. If it turns out to be thousands, then I will personally worship your Twitterish powers.
Interaction is also important. Humans are needy and there are a few of those who will follow you and long for communication andÂ acknowledgment. Now understandably the more popular you get, the more time it takes to interact with your followers. Not everybody will have Jedi-like skills like David Airey when it comes to communicating with followers, so don’t try to please everybody if it gets out of hand. You may gain success on Twitter or your blog, but lose out on other important things in your life.Â Whether you are a web god with 25,000 followers or just some designer who made a few icons, throwing out a few @’s or comments shouldn’t take that much time and being able to find that comfortable balance for you shouldn’t be that hard.Â
2. Expand your knowledge and get better…
Get off your butt and go learn something new. The web world is constantly changing and the only way to make it is to be two steps ahead of what’s next. Whether you’re a specialist or an all-around circus act, there is always something or someone out there that you can learn from. We all fall into the trap of just kind of learning about something because most clients could care less about the knowledge monster that you already are. Maybe the only one who will pat you on the back for your hard work is yourself, but welcome to the world of the unappreciative customer. Who knows, maybe all that geek work could pay off with number 3.
3. Write effectively…
How many small web agencies out there actually blog on a regular basis? Probably not too many. It’s funny to visit a design or development website that advertises a blog link yet their last post was 3 months ago and it was about their dog Fido taking a dump in their backyard and how it inspired them to create an icon that they used for your last project. Who cares. You don’t have to be aÂ Smashing MagazineÂ or aÂ Six RevisionsÂ inspiration machine to feel worthy enough to blog. Try to write once a week about something relevant in your company or something useful for somebody to use. Maybe you’ll find your niche and become the next web evangelist changing lives everywhere and you’ll never have to deal with a crappy client again. Maybe just publishing content keeps your site looking fresh and involved to those visiting it. With time you will not only develop a better following, but you also may gain an extra client or two because of it.
“But it’s soooo hard to do.” See number 2.
Release a new WordPress theme. Put together a free workshop in your local area for web dummies. Help out the smaller non-profits in your city. Sponsor a contest or giveaway with something cool and useful, not something like a free man massage – uncool.Â
You’d be amazed how much you get back for giving so little.
But don’t get too carried away. You do it too much and you’ll negate the price of your work and the respect of your peers. Keep it high quality and low quantity when it comes to giving away your work. In the words of Latrell Sprewell, “I got my family to feed” and so do you and everyone else.
5. Get a new chair…
If you already care about your body and your chair costs more than your computer, then you automatically get entered into our free drawing for a 24hr Fitness membership next year that will be used twice and then you’ll just keep the mini-me card on your keychain so it looks like you really are into working out. Everyone else, go spend some money on a good chair because you’ve spent enough time in that Kmart chair that you only got because your wife said it matched the bedspread. Then again, maybe you should work on moving your ‘office’ out of the bedroom first.
Happy New Year.