2010 accomplishments


At the start of the year i made a list of 10 things i wanted to do in 2010. Here’s how i got on with them…

1. Get a Degree – Done

2. Start an honours Degree – Done

3. Get a new car – Done

4. Blog daily on smemon.com – Done

5. Increase traffic to smemon.com – Fail.

6. Double traffic to theleavingcert.com – Done

7. Launch BeerChief – Fail.

8. Add to portfolio – Done.

9. More networking – Done.

10. Upload more pictures & video – Done.


Although i take it for granted that i’ll pass everything and pick up degrees, it still has to be done. Exams still have to be sat, assignments still have to be completed, i still have to haul myself up and down the road every day. I picked up my first degree in 2010, a degree in “Computing in Applications & Support”. I’ve started in to an honours degree in IT Management in September and i’m already half way through that.

The more education you have, the more you realise how little you know which is why i’m eager to ditch the books and pick up the IT version of a hammer, nails and some wood. I think i’m happier doing practical stuff, making stuff, seeing stuff work…

The websites

theleavingcert.com got a lot of my attention in 2010 and we were rewarded for that… traffic to theleavingcert.com has not only doubled, it’s almost quadrupled in 2010. Traffic to smemon.com is on course to decline by around 3% this year but with a few days left in the year that may change. I could deliberately drive traffic to the site just for the sake of hitting the target but i was hoping traffic would naturally increase by about 50%… back to the drawing board i go, i’ll have to make sure it increases in 2011.

Creative Commons License photo credit: tplcstudents

On the subject of this blog, technically i haven’t blogged daily in 2010, i missed one day on January 2nd but come January 2nd 2011 (one week away), i’ll have blogged daily for 365 days. Mission complete.

One of my other goals of 2010 was to launch BeerChief, i could have done that but it goes back to the problem of me not being happy with it… i want to get it right. I haven’t talked about it much at all in 2010 but that doesn’t mean i haven’t been working on it. Will it be seen in 2011? Possibly. It really depends how the chips fall. For the first 5 months of the year, college will destroy a lot of things.


One of my goals for 2010 was to upload more pictures & video. I did upload more video although not enough… i really want to get in to the habit of uploading HD video and editing it properly. That will be one of my goals in 2011 again.

What has really surprised me though is just how often my pictures are being used around the web. Anything i upload to my flickr account is given a creative commons attribution licence which means basically anyone can use my pictures provided they link to my flickr account.

As a result of this, i’ve seen my pictures being used in lifehacker, mashable, problogger, the guardian… some of the biggest blogs and tech readerships online. I don’t even look out for my own pictures either, i usually find them by people sending me messages or through my own browsing.

Office space
Creative Commons License photo credit: Miguel Pires da Rosa

Just the other day i was reading an article about a woman giving birth in Dundrum town center the day before new years eve on thejournal.ie… it was only after looking at the accompanying picture i realised it was taken by me! It was taken over a month ago on my iphone… i was on my way back to the car and happened to look back and seen some christmassy stuff hanging from the ceiling all lit up.

I spent about 10 seconds taking 3 or 4 photos and went on my way. Had i not uploaded them to flickr, they would never have appeared on that article. So there’s a few things to note here…

  • take pictures and lots of them, even if they’re stupid and you don’t think they’re or any value to anyone
  • upload them online somewhere, anywhere and tag / describe them properly
  • lift all licence restrictions or as much as possible if you want to share them with the world

I’m regularly looking for appropriate images and the more text that’s published online, the more images we’re gonna need. Nobody likes reading text online. Images are vital for context and our eyes tend to smash and grab anything that looks pretty. Pictures for me are like ‘rewards’ for reading text. I’ll see an image alongside some text but i won’t let myself study it until i’ve read all the text, then i’ll let my eyes go wild on the image.

So yes, more pictures, more video, more multimedia – that’s the future. And lift all those copyright licences whilst you’re at it, the internet will be a better place because of it.

2 thoughts on “2010 accomplishments”

  1. Congrats on achieving all those goals, Sean. 365 consecutive days of blogging is amazing to me.

    Regarding photos, I’m interested to know if there’s much benefit to you beyond seeing your work being used by lots of big name blogs? Does it affect traffic to your blog at all?

  2. Good question, it’s something which i haven’t taken advantage of to be honest… i mean it would make sense to link to my blog in the description of every image but i haven’t done that, so i am definitely losing traffic there…

    My flickr profile contains a link to my blog, but it’s relatively hidden so i’d imagine the majority of viewers don’t see it, it’s something i’ll try to change in 2011 and i’ve spoken about it before – i could add much more description to the images with a view to getting more search traffic but it is an awful lot of work.

    In total, my pictures have been viewed 48,089 times on flickr, the vast majority of that ‘traffic’ comes from flickr itself (so searches, random browsing, the community etc…), the pictures i post on my blog don’t count as ‘views’.

    So to answer your question i can’t put an accurate number on it, google analytics (on smemon.com) reports 24 referrals from flickr in 2010 but i haven’t really studied the stats in much detail, it’s definitely something i *should* make use of though, i must look in to it more…

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