At the end of the year, it's a tradition for many sites and blogs to pick "best of" lists, offer predictions, show their best posts and the like. At louisgray.com, we're no different. In fact, we're probably worse than most when it comes to liking to sort, use statistics, find trends and display highlights. I thought it'd be fun (at least for me) to do a quick run through the year soon to be completed, looking at how things progressed - the good, bad, interesting, and not so much. Below is a quick summary, somewhat, of how each month went, including the top stories and new companies and people we encountered along the way.
Question is... what's the most common word in this wrap-up? My guess? The word "debuted." See why below.
In January, I said I didn't care much for the year's MacWorld Expo, discovered ReadBurner in stealth mode, which led to the introduction of Shared Reader... considered joining Twitter... got in a quick tiff with Mashable... actually joined Twitter... hit the Techmeme leaderboard for the first time (which was short lived)... noted the passing of church president Gordon B. Hinckley... saw the launch of AssetBar, and became part of the Elite Tech News Reddit. And at the end of the month, Rating Burner debuted.
February saw Microsoft and Yahoo! start their mating dance, as I admitted rooting for the underdog, but voted for Hillary anyway... saw RSSmeme debut to compete with ReadBurner, the introduction of LinkRiver... I introduced the LouisGray.com logo and revamped the site... and revealed my wife and I were expecting twins. I noted issues with FeedBurner, and saw FriendFeed open up to the public with Series A funding. At the end of the month, I met Chris Brogan, and wasn't so impressed with MyBlogLog's lifestream.
In March, we discovered Yokway! incubating in alpha before launch, saw the debut of Mergelab and Shyftr, but in the bad news camp, ReadBurner shut down (temporarily). To welcome new readers, I gave a history of the site... and started highlighting new blogs for the first time. Meanwhile FriendFeed started to take off, even if I said Duncan Riley didn't get it right away. I also managed to smash my laptop at Spring Training. Later in the month, Toluu debuted.
In April, we looked at changes on the Techmeme leaderboard... I was not impressed with Favorit... Yuvi put me under the microscope... BlogRize and Socialmedian debuted on back to back days... and we first discussed fractured conversations. Alphatwitter debuted... ReadBurner relaunched... and I made no friends in the blogosphere by ranting against ads. FriendFeedMachine was introduced... I went to Web 2.0 Expo... where I learned about the Profy platform... and then ticked everyone off on Twitter by making up a "Noise Ratio". I later added Disqus comments and discussed my social media consumption workflow.
In May, the StatBot launched, but Mergelab closed down while still in beta. I noted Socialmedian's early growth... and Duncan Riley's first week at the Inquisitr.... started the weekly FriendFeed Friday tip series... saw LetsProve start up... and the introduction of FFToGo, which took FriendFeed mobile. I also added Lijit to my blog... and noted who first brought stories to Techmeme. The end of the month saw TweetSmart launch.
In June, we talked a lot about comments. Were they conversations or replies... and was FriendFeed stealing them away... I slammed TiVo for having no social media presence... saw FriendBinder debut... our 18 year old beagle passed away... we discussed five stages of early adopter behavior... I praised Disqus... and saw the debuts of Feedly, OneSpot and Loud3r... Sarah and Matthew were born... and I told you my expectations... Browzmi launched... as did NoiseRiver and MioNews, as new interfaces to FriendFeed.
By July 1, Sarah came home from the hospital... TweetDeck was introduced... and AssetBar relaunched with FanFlows... we encountered blatant racism online... Ballhype was purchased... and I mocked the title of social media expert. Twitter started limiting API requests... as Gnip went live... Socialmedian gave me an iPhone... Identica rose as an alternative to Twitter as the site found new ways to fail... Cuil was a dud... I joined SmugMug... and Matthew lost his job at CenterNetworks.
In August, I told you about a creepy would-be online stalker... California banned driving without a hands-free cell phone... the twins started slowing me down online... Feedheads launched on the Web... I joined ReadBurner as an advisor... YooPlace launched... we discussed why the embargo process was broken... rumors flew the church would buy Facebook... Strands debuted, as did BackType.
September saw the introduction of Google Chrome... FriendFeed rolled out lists... i.TV came to the iPhone... the falling stock market started to hit my wallet... Sitemeter laid an egg... I went to BlogWorld Expo... and I thought Chi.mp was a waste of time...
In October, I noted Obama's widespread support at tech companies... saw Spokeo give up on Web 2.0... started e-mailing RSS items... forecast the future of social media... and saw FriendFeed launch real-time updates. Guest posts gained momentum... and my kids got embedded in social media early... Twine launched... we discussed Prop 8... as Socialmedian made an election news hub.
November brought us instant streaming films via Netflix... Strands went mobile... I started using Wakoopa... Twitter promised (and failed) to open the firehose by Thanksgiving... I said to be a "real friend" to social networking friends... saw the Twitterank controversy... participated in an emerging media panel... watched Glue launch... saw the MotrinMoms issue explode... SocialToo added surveys... I kept losing money... slept next to the iPhone for comfort... and enjoyed new apps for the device.
I started off December annoyed at TiVo and Amazon... but still loved the iPhone... talked about Secret Santas and Amazon Wish Lists... PeopleBrowsr debuted... as did Kallow... ESPN.com introduced a beta version... and my wife started a family-oriented blog... Netflix came to my TiVo... BlogRize returned... I picked my top ten 2008 debuts... Twitter kept growing like mad... but last year's predictions sucked... TwitOrFit launched... Steve Jobs bailed from MacWorld... Gawkk opened up... Embargoes flared up again... Socialmedian was acquired... I got a new TiVo XL... promised to get better... Scrapplet debuted as did TechFuga... I even retold the Christmas Story through Twitter...
And... that just about catches you up. So if you're just visiting the site for the first time, started late, or missed a few months, you probably have a pretty good idea of how the year went, what we wrote about, and where we went. All in all, it reminds me of a lot of stories of months past, and services that need a revisit. It also tells me we had a pretty busy year. Should be interesting to see if 2009 is more crazy, or if I burn out. My money is on... "more crazy" - the exception being I don't plan on having two more kids next year. So... did I leave anything out?