Each year brings all of us more experiences and lessons that shape our perspective as we move throughout the world. While I’ve previously written about two things that drastically changed my life this year, my reflections about 2010 over the past few weeks have yielded realizations of other major changes for me and those around me.
I consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by the people I am and with the opportunities I have. 2010 was a year of huge growth for me, continuously supported friends and by the Internet. So, I’ve laid out two TOP 10s of 2010 – exploring the great accomplishments of those around me and some of the most interesting places I hang out online. After you read these, I encourage you to think about what made 2010 special for you, and thank the people that are helping make life special for you each and every day.
ONE: Ten Coolest Things My Friends Have Accomplished
1. Best Friend and Ex-Bandmate/Hockey Teammate Andy Jalali was offered a position in the Navy. Andy has a lifelong dream of getting into space, and flying for the Navy is one big step to accomplishing that dream.
2. Creative Genius Darick Dang was hired as an Art Director at HMH in Portland. Darick has to be one of the most creative and inspiring people I know. His always brings something new to the table and works tirelessly to make his visions reality.
3. Best Friend and Ex-Bandmate (and current housemate) Kevin Hanaford is playing rhythm guitar in the Tony Bridges Band. Kevin and I have been playing music together since we were 13, so to see him on stage with other great musicians doing what they love is a true joy for me and all of our friends.
4. Ian Clark was accepted to the MFA program at University of Oregon and filmed Supwitchugirl’s video “I Love My Ducks” which recieved over 1 million Youtube hits. I met Ian through my work on a video project two summers ago. We spent three weeks on the road together, sleeping in tents and riding in the back of trucks, and I couldn’t have asked for a more engaging and fun person to be around. Ian, like Darick, has a unique perspective that always adds new dimensions to projects. I hope to be working with him again soon.
5. Alexis Hope (and her research team at the University of Washington) won a Gates Foundation Grant to develop a portable ultrasound for midwives in Uganda. Alexis is an HCDE colleague of mine whom I share an office with. Throughout the quarter, I’ve learned a tremendous about her and am very excited to see where things go with this project, as she, as well as those she works with, are all quite motivated to make the world a better place.
6. Allon Freiman launched Homecourt Hoops to a successful first season in Ghana. Allon came to me in early 2010 with an idea of bringing basketball to Ghanaian youth. He wanted to build “Homecourts” all around the country to help spread the game and engage young children in team sports to cultivate their sense of community. A year later, we have one court finished and a second in progress.
7. Artist/architect Milan Heger released his semi-autobiographical work “The Art of Freedom.” Milan is a close friend of mine, as the father of my best friend Robert Heger. He is a designer in the fullest sense of the word, making art, furniture, buildings, and now novels. “The Art of Freedom” is a great read, especially for those artists looking for inspiration.
8. Sam Kuhn built a sailboat by hand. While I’m constantly impressed by the work Sam has done with a camera, his choice to begin constructing a sailboat this summer came as a minor shock. However, knowing Sam, I had lots of hope for the boat, and just a few weeks ago I visited him to see the final touches being put on. Check out his journey at Let’s hope it floats!
9. Willamette University alumnus Bryce Clemmer launched his brainchild DuroCast to a public beta. Along with Elliot Swan and Matthew Polzin, Bryce has been working on building an internet hub for local radio stations, allowing users to listen to any radio station in the country, from anywhere. In order to do that, the DuroCast team compiled the internet’s largest terrestrial radio station database, and created a social site that allowed users to tag and favorite radio stations they wanted to listen to. I use DuroCast far more often than Pandora, especially since I’ve found some great jazz stations on the East Coast. Plus, it solves the problem of having to suffer through poor local stations when you travel.
10. Shelby White (aka Wanken) launched Designspiration. I saved this one for last because DSPN kicks off my list of Websites you need to visit. Shelby is not only a talented photographer and designer, but he is a great sharer. Hence, Designspiration was born – a place for creative people to show and share their creative inspirations.
TWO: Ten Websites That You Should Visit
1. DPSN // Designspiration is the brainchild of Shelby White and has already gained permanent residency among my Chrome bookmarks (and usually is open in a tab). The site is fed by a wide variety of creative people and is constantly updated, making any visit to DSPN an inspiring experience. To learn more check out Shelby’s behind-the-scenes look or visit http://ds.pn
2. TED // If you are reading this, you’ve likely seen my TED Tuesday series, where I highlight different TED talks that I find inspirational of educational. I made watching TED Talks a regular weekly activity in 2010, and I would encourage you to do so for 2011.
3. GOOD // GOOD first caught my attention with one of its quarterly reviews that I picked up in a Chicago bookstore. Every page of the magazine (just like all of its articles online) was full of thought-provoking content. Whether you are interested in education, public affairs, the economy or sustainability, GOOD has something for you.
4. The Economist // I am a believer in a variety of opinions making for better discussions, so I frequently check out The Economist to read news from a perspective that comes from outside of our borders. Even though England is our ally, they can also be our strongest critic.
5. Information is Beautiful // Let’s agree on something, information is everywhere, and there is way too much of it for us to digest it all. However, we are more prone to paying attention if that information comes in beautiful infographics. Enter IiB – your best source for, well, beautiful information.
6. Twitter // This follows up #5 really well, since Twitter is NOT a social network, it is an INFORMATION network. It is where information is shared, re-shared, commented on and passed along. So check it out. You don’t have to tweet, but I bet there are plenty of interesting people you’d like to follow.
7. Engadget // Technology is cool, technology is helpful, and technology is here to stay. Engadget is the best place to keep up on the latest news about technology, whether you want help finding a new information appliance (what some people call “smartphones”) or you want to know when the next Apple product is coming out.
8. Flickr // The world is a beautiful place, and a good portion of it is catalogued on Flickr. Browsing around is like doing a Google Image search, only with better images. Next time you want to find a picture of something, give it a try.
9. Unpluggd // Unplggd is a part of the Apartment Therapy network, a group dedicated to “helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.” Unplggd’s tagline is “smarter homes, fewer wires” and they definitely have some great resources to make that happen.
10. Your own homepage // No seriously. You should make one, then visit it, and then make it better. The Internet isn’t going anywhere, and if people want to find you, chances are that it’s the first place they look.