Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolution for Now...and Later

I'm a couple weeks behind the 8-ball on this, but after taking my "day on" yesterday to comb through tons of personal belongings, organizing some while throwing away several bags full of trash, I finally have a resolution for 2011: to be lighter.

Don't worry, I'm not about to start talking about calorie counting or gym memberships here. I'm talking about actually lightening the load of *stuff* that I carry around (and yes, I still can't bring myself to use that 's' word without a nod towards the sky and a thought to one of the best friends that I never met, Mr. George Carlin). Anyway, after finally completing my iTrifecta with an iPad purchase this weekend, it's time to face up to the fact that I don't need to buy so many printed newspapers. Or books. Or CDs. Or DVDs.

I can read newspapers on the iPad. For the ones that make me pay for some content, like my beloved Wall Street Journal, that's totally fine. Newspapers aren't breaking my budget, they're just making me messier. I can read books on my iPad, too, and I can also use iPad-stored audiobooks to make better use of my *me time* on 128, or Rte 3, or the more fun and scenic 133 to 28, or the not-as-scenic but palate-friendly 38 to 129.

Between the Pod, the Phone, and now the Pad, I've long since ceased to buy CDs, which used to find homes of opportunity in all the strange nooks and crevices of my car.

And now that the Pad lets me watch streaming Netflix anywhere I go, I'm vowing not to buy DVDs, because I don't need 'em. I might even downsize a bit by just getting rid of the ones I have now.

I could try to pretend to ascribe to nobler motives, like eco-friendliness, but really I think it's about taking up less space at home and being less of a slob.

So anyway that's the resolution for now. I like it because it's not something pie-in-the-sky and impossible to measure (i.e. be nicer, be more thoughtful, more resourceful, etc.) It's actually about cancelling hard-copy subscriptions entirely and finding new ways to acquire and store knowledge.

The resolution for later is actually more specific to this blog. I won't be able to make this adjustment in 2011, but in 2012 I'm going to take the blog in a new, different direction -- I'm going to focus it on interviews. So rather than just me cranking up the centrifuge on the daily news cycle, or making Seinfeld-esque pontifications about why it's unprofessional not to leave voicemails in work settings, or why the friends who come to visit you should be thanked and not vice versa, I'm going to break out the old shoe leather and pull a page from the Studs Terkel playbook.

My Area of Operations will be New England, and my Area of Interest will extend down the entire Northeast Corridor.

I will link up with people for coffee, pick their brains about the few things that REALLY matter, take one single snapshot (from my iPhone, of course), and I will write about it.

It might be the mayor of Brattleboro, VT. And then it could be the Hillsborough, NH County Assessor. Followed by a sit-down in Worcester with the CEO of Polar Beverage. Mix in tons of non-profit directors, small business owners, local politicians, aspiring authors, university faculty, etc. and there are a million different directions in which it might go.

Obviously, time and money constraints might mean just a couple of these updates per week. But I think doing this could be a lot of fun, a great way to learn about economic and political trends as they develop on the horizon, and a ready-made opportunity to network.

The focus will naturally be regional, and I think the niche I might start working towards is a business-oriented one. That's partly just because I become more and more interested in business all the time, and see myself heading in that route in one way or another, next year and beyond. Also, it's because I think there's a void that could be better served in the blogosphere - there are tons of blogs that go heavy into politics, but there aren't enough that really get serious about business.


C R Krieger said...

Streaming Netflicks.  I hadn't realized.

Did you get a Blue Tooth keyboard?  I picked up one at the Apple Store, and while at this moment I am using my "Pogo", I like the keyboard.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Cliff -- streaming Netflix is the bees' knees. It's less than $10 a month. The downsides for a while were the poor resolution and the thin movie library, but Netflix has done a lot of work lately to address both of those.

No blue tooth keyboard for me...just using the one that it came with.

Welcome back from K of P, btw..