Looking back on 2005

I don?t like year-end predictions, so I am going to skip making any, but I do want to look back at some of the people, events, and technologies that rocked my world.
A few things that stand out:

  • The explosion of MySpace and other social networks for under 25’s: This is the year when researchers’ statements about how under-25s have different notions of how online and offline relate become dramatically clear-Just as clear is the huge behavioral gap between networked MySpace kids and the rest of us.
  • Newspapers’ dying gasps–Did anyone think the dying breaths of many print properties, and the steep fall off in both ad revenue and the under 40 year old readers would come quite as fast as it did? While the biggest corporations are fighting back, and the small ones are going local, the mid-sized conglomerates are staunching the bleeding as fast as they can,but not replacing the audience–and in some cases, getting sold.
  • A growing sensitivity toward gender diversity. BlogHer, kicking and screaming by certain outspoken women and the realization gender balance matters have sensitized some great guys,and some cool tools, much to the good (And yet, making sure women are represented remains a tough row to hoe.)
  • Tagging’s explosion, and the complete confusion over standards, scaling, and tools. Tagging is a critical part of the distributed web that we all live in today, and yet, it’s a mess. Not only do consumers not get how to use tags, lots of content providers don’t get it either, and the squabbling over formats is maddening.
  • Jeff Jarvis, Dave Winer, Mike Arrington, Gabe Rivera–Jeff and Dave continue to wow me almost weekly with the bright ideas they debate (and their healthy egos are amusing, aren’t they?). Mike Arrington has launched himself at emerging technology news with the heat of a stealth missile and the acrid wit of a 1940’s beat reporter,he’s got the news. And Gabe Rivera’s changed many people’s reading habits,mine included, with the terrific memeorandum, which just keeps getting better as Gabe tweaks. And finally, Jeff Clavier, who has quietly convinced me he knows which start-ups to bet on and where the money is, plus, I want to drink what he’s having ( oenophile).
  • Mary Hodder, Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins, Charlene Li, Sylvia Paull–These women rock bigtime and exert quiet influence in the emerging tech space. Sisters.

I could go on, but this is enough…everyone else’s lists will cover what I’ve missed.

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  1. Randy says:

    Usually, I take observations about diversity of any kind, including gender diversity, with a huge grain of salt. I am yet to be convinced, for example, about why diversity of gender, race, or sexual orientation is important in university admissions. But I don’t doubt the importance of diversity in this connection for an instant. If you aim to create an interactive community and effective tools to reach that community, if you don’t pay attention to diversity, you are going to just plain screw it up. You’ll not only fail to create community, you’ll achieve the opposite, through, exclusion, atomization, and balkanization. You’ll also cut yourself off from lucrative markets. No small part of the tech story is how the creators get surprised by how the community uses the tools the creators supply; who can afford to exclude self-identifying blocs within the community that could be your best markets? Besides, if there is any truth to the notion that women relate differently than men do, why wouldn’t you want to field-test your applications with half the human race to see if it suits them?

  2. Elisa Camahort says:

    Wow, Randy: that may be the best bottom line description of why it matters that I have seen in a long while.
    Anyway, thanks Susan, for everything you’ve done this year. Consider our worlds mutually rocked :)

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