2009: A Year in Review

I’ve read many posts lately providing predictions for the coming year.  Instead of offering my own predictions, I would like to review this past year.

This has been a great year. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot, and had fun writing my blog.  I would  like to share some of my favorite posts, some of the things I’ve learned this year, and thank those who’ve helped me.

I’ve always maintained my blog for my own record of thoughts, but its humbling to know that people find what I say interesting. While my web traffic has remained consistent month to month, the number of RSS subscribers has increased from 5 (Jan 2009) to 57 (Dec 2009).

With Humble Thanks

While I always worry about thanking people publicly and forgetting people, I feel its worth the risk to thank a few people who have helped me this year:

  • Karine Joly: Karine is the editor for collegewebeditor.com, an independent, popular, and influential blog about the Web, marketing, and PR in higher education.  On a number of occasions, Karine has highlighted one of my blog posts in her newsletter.  Each time I’ve noticed a substantial spike in web traffic.  Thank you Karine.  All the best in 2010!
  • Kyle James: Kyle is the founder of .eduGuru, he also works at HubSpot as an Inbound Marketing Consultant.  I met Kyle last year at a Stamats conference in Florida and was impressed with his knowledge of web analytics.  I’m very grateful for his willingness to let me write a guest post on .eduGuru, it was a great experience.
  • Stewart Foss: Stewart maintains edustyle.net, a web design gallery for higher education websites.  He’s been involved with web design in higher education for over 6 years and has some great insights. I’ve really enjoyed my conversations with Stewart and his promotion of some of my posts and tweets has been appreciated.

My Top Ten Favorite Posts

  1. Social Media Marketing
  2. Marketing Convergence
  3. Perpetual Feedback
  4. The Death of Mass Marketing and The Rise of Tribes
  5. Redesign With Transparency
  6. Be Honest About Your Web Goals
  7. What Should Our Web Team Do?
  8. The Danger of Inconsistent Marketing Messages
  9. Listen To Me Already!
  10. Measure Twice, Cut Once

Key Points I’ve Learned

I’m not going to go into much detail, but at high level, would like to share some of the key points I’ve learned in 2009.

  • Twitter is a powerful tool for increasing traffic, discovering useful information, and making connections.  It can also be abused.
  • Do not forget to include key stakeholders in your design process.  It’s important to be transparent and get support, but avoid design by committee.
  • Businesses cannot afford to participate in social media.  If for the most basic reason: your competitors are there.
  • Traditional marketing is shifting.  Its no longer about mass media, but about customer service and giving your ‘tribe’ a platform to speak on.
  • User centered design and usability testing is absolutely essential. We need to design for our visitor. Lets put on our external lenses.

I’ve learned much more than these five points (as my various posts will show), but these are the critical ones that have shaped my thinking over the course of the year.

It’s been a great year! I look forward learning much more in 2010 and sharing my insights.  I just can’t resist one little prediction for 2010: Twitter will become a mainstream player in the business world and give LinkedIn a run for their money.

  • karinejoly

    Thanks, Mike!
    Keep up the good work. It's always a pleasure to feature great posts in the Higher Ed Experts' email newsletter.

    Best wishes for 2010

  • http://doteduguru.com jameskm03

    Mike,
    The door is always open if you have another guest post that you are interested in sharing. Let me know if there is ever anything I can help with and stay in touch. I hope 2010 is an even better year for you!

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