Wow, 2011 did not go the way I intended. 2010 was supposed to be a rebuilding year, that rebuilding year continued into 2011. Calling it a rebuilding year is being generous. It started out on the right track, but quickly went down hill. Most of my goals for 2011 went uncompleted. I rolled several goals over to 2012.
I have been working for the last couple of weeks on my 2012 goals. Not sure why it took as long, but I have finally completed it or as complete as it is going to be. I have divided them into two groups quantifiable and General. Quantifiable goals are goals that can be easily measured. The General goals are more of an overview and general mindset type goals.
2012 is shaping up to be preparing for 2013. I hope 2012 brings about changes that make this year unique. Regardless, I expect great things over the next two years. For now, here are my goals for the great year of 2012!
Over the past couple of months, I have been working on a new company. The project is Legalized Software and the first product is called Legal Alerts. Legal Alerts is a Government 2.0 project that targets lawyers in Oklahoma County, Tulsa County, and several other counties to provide them with timely updates about the current cases they are working on.
I have always had the utmost respect for the law and I know enough to keep myself out of trouble. Besides this basic information, I don’t know much about the practice of law. I was approached by a gentleman lawyer, Shawn Roberts, with a problem and we put our heads together and came up with the simplest solution possible to prove that we had a solution. From that point on we started to iterate and add features to the idea. The idea changed to a tool then to a product. We recruited beta testers and continued to iterate. Finally we reached a point of what we felt was minimal product viability, plus all the testers loved it!
Shawn and I are both proud to announce the launch of our joint venture, Legalized Software. Please take a few moments and check it out. If you know a lawyer practicing in Oklahoma please spread the word to them.
I learned many new lessons with this project and I look forward to many more. I plan to post a few of these lessons here.
This is my first update on my 2011 goals. I did not plan to go this long before my first update. But I did.
Goals that have shown progress:
Increase Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn friend counts
My follower count is above 500. My Klout score is above 50. True these are just numbers, but my interactions on Twitter have gone up. I have made several new friends and strengthened others.
Read 10 nonfiction books
I have started 2 sperate books. I have not finished either. I am within a couple of hours of finishing both. I plan to knock at least one out this weekend.
Get better at doing house chores
I have started to give this more of a priority. My house is not in the best of conditions, but it is something that will take time. I have shown a marked improvement. Still a long way to go.
Participate in an organized sport
I have joined an organized soccer league. The invite came from a friend that I am not very close with, but am looking forward to changing that. I have had several good games and only one 2 minute suspension. I have noticed an increase in stamina and a slight increase of skill. Still dusting the rust off.
Reach inbox zero
I have spent sometime working on my Gmail account. I have probably reduced it by about 400 unreads. Still a long way to go.
I have made progress on these goals. Not ready to report on these, but I will soon.
Goals that need more focus:
Do 10 blog posts not related to this project
This is my second post of the year. Not Good!
Run 2 5k’s
Have only gone running once… Need to go again.
Listen to 10 albums from bands I have never heard before
Have not even touched this. Need to listen to at least get one.
Find 50 things that make me smile
I have a couple figured out, need to find more. Also need to blog about the ones that I have found
relationship building goals
I have worked on these some, but they need more focus.
This year has gotten off to a slow start. It is going in the right direction. Need to pick up the velocity. I have not updated the goals page yet, but I plan to on the next update…
Bryan, a good friend of mine, recently posted his goals for 2011. They are very ambitious goals, but I would expect nothing less from him. Good luck Bryan!
Goal setting and tracking has more or less been a hobby of mine. This does not mean I am very good at it. So this year I am going to try something different and step it up a notch. I have decided to blog the list and provide updates as the tasks are completed. There is nothing really impressive or flashy about the list. There are several items that are stepping stones for others. Some are time sensitive and some are for fun. The goals span different parts of my life including finical, health, and personal growth. My hope that I will get lots done this year plus get in the habit of blogging.
Projects are more entertaining when done with a friend plus there is some level of accountability. Patrick Allmond and I have talked about doing something similar for a year or two. After much talking, it is time for some action. Please encourage this gentleman to push himself and achieve his goals. You can see his goals over at stopdoingnothing.com.
I don’t remember who said it, I suppose I could Google it, but I will save that for another time. Those that are in the “know” are the ones with the answers. The more information you have the better the decisions you are likely to make. The thirst of knowledge and power drives many of us.
One of my favorite pastimes is to go to a book store or library, yes they still exist, and pick up a random magazine that I have never read before. By reading the magazine I hope to learn several new bits of information about the topic. This expands my sphere of understanding about our world. The diversity of what we know is just as important as being an expert in a given topic. Learning new things in new fields helps to develop new wrinkles on our brains. It will also help to keep our brains active. You are forcing it to look at things differently and to expand areas that you don’t usually touch. Trying new hobbies will also accomplish this. You should always strive to try something new.
With more and more content online the options of exploring new topic areas is limitless. Sure you can read all the blogs from just about any walk of life of which the merits can be debated endlessly. One thing I have discovered recently is iTunesU. iTunesU is a place where colleges and universities post videos of their class lectures online for their students to access. The neat thing is anybody can access them. You can be watching a physics lecture from Stanford University or a business ethics lecture from MIT and not leave the comfort of your home.
We have entered the information age. Exactly when is not important. What is important is that we have basically unlimited access to just about any information that we want. With great sites like wikipedia.com, about.com, google.com, wolframalpha.com we can find the answers to many questions. Lets not forget social information with sites like myspace.com, facebook.com and linkedin.com we can find out lots of information about just about anybody. Having this type of power to be able access knowledge from anywhere and at anytime is truly amazing especially from such a cheap and portable device like our phones. There are many people working to improve the way we access that information and the way that it is displayed.
I think that the second half of the quote I mentioned at the beginning of this post is “knowledge is free.” I challenge you to learn something new today outside of your area of expertise or start a new hobby. Heck, make it your challenge to learn something new everyday for the new year!
If you find an interesting lecture of class on iTunesU, please comment or email me, I would like to hear about it. What did you learn today?
The events surrounding the crowd-sourced map for the 2009 Oklahoma blizzard are very interesting and deserve to be shared. The power of volunteerism, technology and social media all collided to create this impressive and unique exercise. This is my account of what happened.
At the time, I had no idea what that was about. A bit later I started seeing posts from @sidburgess talking about an interactive map for reporting road conditions and locations of people that were strandred. The map was setup at http://blizzard.clevyr.com which is ran by @mattwilliamson.
When I caught up with @sidburgess he was in the early stages of organizing the group of volunteers on Google Talk. He asked me if I could help. Seeing how it was snowing outside and I was not going out, I figured why not. At this point there were about five people in the chat room and working on the map. We were focusing on people that were stranded in their car, people opening their homes, and shelters. There were several key places where there were a lot of reports were coming from. We were following the real-time update over at KOCO and anything we could see on TV or that came in via Twitter. It was around this time that someone setup a Twitter account called @OKBlizzard and a google mail account. At this point it felt like we were official. We started having people send us information to put on the map.
For the first several hours we were coordinating the entire activity via google talk. We had started talking about expanding the effort to a 24-7 thing and needed a place to organize that was a bit more permanent then google talk. This allowed us to have a dedicated place to communicate about the map and other activities. It was also a place to send new volunteers to help out with the map project. You can find the history of the room at http://yackall.com/room/okblizzard.
Once a new home for chatting among the volunteers was established at Yackall, we had more people volunteer and a lot of new updates added to the map. We started to add road conditions. We had several people tasked to creating the first iteration of the road conditions for a large portion of the state. We had people monitoring the email and Twitter feeds. We had several people using websites that would aggregate the Highway Patrol, Sheriffs, and EMS radios for several counties and posted the updates. Several people were working the KOCO stream, including @sidburgess, for any new updates and to help pass out information for people that were following the updates there. Everbody was watching KOCO and retweeting anything related to the Blizzard. I kept meaning to check to see if anything from the Blizzard was a trending topic on Twitter, but I was usually chasing down new information. Around 10pm we started seeing hints and links to a crowd-sourced map on several news sites. Personally it was very cool that a couple of concerned citizens were using technology and volunteering to organize the vast amount of information and make it publicly available. I do remember tracking down some random road in Oklahoma to update the condition when I heard the KOCO TV anchor start talking about places to get information and the map was mentioned. I immediately went into the Yackall room to make sure everybody knew and could watch the coverage that our effort was generating. The room was full of people excited and messages of excitement were being sent out over the mention of the map..
People started to drop off because of different reasons with most promising to get up early and work on the map. Some of us decided to stay up late to continue the updates. I lasted until about 3am. I know my updates started to drop off as it got later. One of the last things I remember was the Oklahoma Highway Patrol started to wake the truckers that were stuck around I-35 and Tecumseh road and it sounded like those people that were stuck there would be moving soon. When I went to bed I was curious to see what updates if any would have been made. I was a bit nervous that the movement would die overnight.
Boy was I wrong. I woke up and the first thing I did was check on the Yackall room. There were people updating it pretty regular. Next I checked on the health of the server and noticed that it was severely overloaded. What normally is a sub-second update of a new message was taking as much as 10 or 15 seconds to update. I notified my hosting company (http://getyourwebsitetoday.com) and we began to work on the problem. I modified the site to not be so intensive and the hosting company checked on the hardare and processes on the server. It took about 20 Minutes for things to get back down to normal.
I worked on the project on and off during the morning and early afternoon of Christmas day. There were not many strandred motorists. It was mainly updating accidents and road conditions. We also started adding new items to the map. We added links to the city traffic cams and there were several that were linking to video of the roads or what they saw. We continued to have a good number of volunteers and several regulars working most of the day and into December 27th.
Overall it was a very good experience. For me, my Christmas plans were moved to Sunday and I enjoyed giving my time around the Christmas holiday season to helping a greater good. Most of the people I volunteered with I had never met before in real-life. I have since added several to my followers list on Twitter.
@sidburgess did an interview with a local TV station and that interview can be found here. http://ow.ly/Qy30. One thing of note is the interview was done over Skype.
If you have a story about how the map or technology helped or effected you during the Blizzard of 2009 in Oklahoma, please drop me a line and share it or post it in the comments.
I just read a really great post by Mark Cuban. It is from a couple of weeks ago, but still good. I have followed him on and off for several years. When it comes to business there are few in his league that are as successful and as public about what he does. Thank you Mark for all the great blog posts over the years. They have provided me with lots of inspiration, motivation and education. I look forward to many more posts to come. And NO, I am not getting paid for this!
I love to play computer games. I enjoyed several semesters of solid gaming while in college. Several years ago I decided to cut back on my gaming time because there were too many other things I want to do, especially in business. To me business and life are a game. One of several goals I have is to get back to the point where I feel I have the free time to game. Occasionally I have fallen off the wagon and I spend serious time gaming. I don’t own a PS3 or an Xbox for this reason. Since I have cut out gaming other distractions of popped up……TV….nuff said.
Mark Takes the idea of business as a sport to a whole other level. I would venture to say that his mentality of approaching the game of business is largely responsible for his success. Reading his post reenergized me to refocus on my game of business. I plan to reread this post daily this week to make sure that I am motivated to play the game of life the way I want to play it.
Recently, a friend of mine and I have decided to start publicly encouraging each other to focus on our goals. You can find Patrick’s blog here. Drop by and give him some encouragement.
Fear not, a post on taking time to stop and smell the Roses is already in the works. It is all about balance … people.
At Openbeta3, I gave a presentation on doing a web-based startup in Oklahoma City. We had 5 minutes and 20 slides, one every 15 seconds. This was my first talk in this format. It was a bit rough, but fun.
This is a great interview with Kevin Rose of Digg.com. It starts out with a bit of history of how Digg was in the early days. It follows with a history of where they are now. The interviewer is able to get a few bits of information about where Digg.com will go next. The interviewer is a bit annoying.
This video gives a bit of insight to a well established company and how they got to their current condition. I think it is a good history lesson on Digg.com.