Hello 2024!

Time for the annual retrospective and a look forward to the year ahead (belatedly, near the end of January…)

How was 2023?

In my previous review I talked about online changes. A year on and social media still feels in flux. At its best, Twitter was a one stop shop for communities of interest and emerging news. Mastodon has been cool, but it hasn't had that critical mass of people embrace it on the work side, which is the only downside as it's been a great platform for everything else. Lots of people who were part of my work network are now using Bluesky, so it will be interesting to see how that develops.

Once I got on Bluesky to check it out (diolch Jaz for sharing the invite – you know your Mastodon instance admins are good when they're unafraid to get you on alternative platforms, so join Toot.Wales!), I couldn't motivate myself to do anything with it for a long while. That was for a couple of reasons…

  1. I get a lot of value from Mastodon. Whilst it's not perfect, it's focus on user owned communities still feels like a tonic after the megalomania of Twitter.

  2. Setting up a social media account takes so much time and investment. This year was the year that the penny dropped – I don't have the space to put as much time into developing my social networks as I did in the early days of Twitter. I still want to use the platforms to learn from others (and to share my own learning when it's valuable), but I don't have the time to commit to the level of networking that I once did.

My colleagues in work are using LinkedIn to fill the void, but I still can't really get on board with it. Whilst people are starting to share their whole selves on there, it still feels like a very curated platform.

LinkedIn A GIF with two people looking at a computer screen titled “Yet another think piece about working from home? Yes pls!”

What does this mean for 2024?

I will be thinking more holistically about my wellbeing when I use social media in 2024. This year I twigged that I'm using podcasts as social media too, and they are not giving me space to switch off and relax. I want to give myself more opportunities to properly chillax and reflect this year.


In terms of features I have loved using Write.As this year. The text editor is great for copying hyperlinks and embeds across my bilingual blog posts.

I left Medium because of all the bluster and hustle culture on there. I had big intentions for how I would integrate Feedly into my use of social media. That never really happened – it was an add on, so I haven't really been checking content from sources that I value.

What does this mean for 2024?

In 2023 I posted 11 blogs, which is above the target I set myself. I felt pressure at times to achieve that, which wasn't really what I needed, and I'm not sure that it aided my reflection. A target in this space is no longer helpful, so what will be will be.

I'm fortunate that Research in Practice have encouraged us to put time aside for personal development. This started off well, but I've gone off the boil. I've put a reminder in my calendar to check feeds that correlate to my areas for development every Friday. I hope that this will help me to make better use of Feedly and to better share and reflect on learning resources.

How did I do against my aims?

I feel like I have been braver this year, and have had helpful and constructive conversations along the way. Less stress at home has helped with that, as we are getting back to where we want to be after a sleep deprived 18 months. We do have some challenges coming up this year though. I've talked about some of these in supervision and I am very grateful to have support in work as well as in my home life.

I am still knee deep in guidance, but lots of the stuff that I had to take on is done. This coming year I'd like to inform the design of some of our resources a little more, getting a bit deeper into the UX side of things. I've been aiming to develop my knowledge of UX, and adding UX hashtags to my home feed on Mastodon has been helpful (which directly led to and inspired this post on learning and strengths).

Anything else?

One of my highlights of last year was an off-road bike ride around Mid-Wales. I've got a couple of ideas in mind for this year – the Trans-Cambrian and Traws Eryri in particular really appeal to me. They'll give me a good focal point for maintaining my health and wellbeing. In the meantime, it's the turbo trainer and hill climbs til we get a bit more daylight.

Here's to 2024!

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