RyboMedia: 2009 Year In Review

I’m not going to lie – 2009 has not been a great year for me.   Both semesters this year have been pretty tough, relationships have gone awry, and I’ve experienced the ups and downs that everyone goes through.   BUT I’ve met some really cool people and made some lifelong friends.

I think if I had to put a label on this year, I think it would be “friends”. I’ve met some good ones and gotten a lot closer to some old ones. They’ve helped me a lot this year, and I’m very blessed to have such a great group.

I guess I’ve learned that it’s not always fun to learn.  In a lot of ways it’s been a rebuilding year…breaking me down and hopefully building me up stronger.  In times like that, we can take comfort in the fact that even through the hard times, you’re learning something.

A good friend of mine from high school was killed towards the end of last year.  After our senior year, we would talk occasionally, but she moved and so I did not hear the news until the beginning of 2009.  Throughout the past year, though, I feel like it’s taught me to appreciate those that you love, because you never know if they, or you, will be there tomorrow.  My grandfather shared a great quote with our family a few years ago.

“Treasure those you love, and tell those you treasure now, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

I urge everyone who reads this to follow this advice – it can mean a lot to those you love.  Now, on to more happy things!

If my count is correct, I’ve written 151 posts in the last year.  WOW.  That’s crazy.  I think that the blog has grown a lot since last year in terms of maturity, depth, and importance.  Instead of short, link-sharing posts about whatever I stumble across (I now have a Twitter account for that!), I’ve tried to write longer, slightly thought-provoking posts.  Obviously that means there won’t be as many, but hopefully you have (and will) enjoy them more.  Throughout the last year, the website has undergone some design changes, we’ve now got a pimpin’ mascot, and things are rolling somewhat smoothly.

So, if you will let me, I’d like to highlight a few of my favorite posts really quick – just in case you missed anything.

The Switch: Windows to Ubuntu

“…Within one hour of using Ubuntu, I was slamming my head on the table, wondering why I had been so stubborn in not trying it out.  Sure, I had to install a few drivers, go through 236 updates (even though I had 8.1, it was a touch outdated), and I’m still working on wireless (Broadcom is messing me up – any help?), but it is, in a word, AMAZING.”

Introductions, OpenDNS, and Project Euler

My first guest post, written by my good buddy Breland Miley.

“I have no idea how I should start this off, but I’ll give it a shot. My name is Breland, and I’m a new blogger here on RyboMedia.com. I go to college with Rybo, and after meeting at a first year book experience of all things, we found out the we had some friends in common and that we were both pretty much computer geeks. I’ve been messing with computers since I was about five and my fascination with them has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years. I’ve participated in programming competitions (FBLA) and won first place in nationals. My favorite programming language is probably PHP, only because I know it best, but I have experience in many others.”

3 Films from Last Year You Missed and Shouldn’t Have

My second guest post, written by Daniel Thompson.

“There are so many films that come out in a year, it’s almost impossible to avoid seeing a few that were a waste of your time and missing a few that were worth your time.  While I’m sure you saw the big budget summer films like ‘Iron Man’ and ‘The Dark Knight’, and you probably made it out to a few award winners like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, I can guarantee you missed a few of the more underrated films of 2008.  Don’t worry, I’m here to help.”



7 Sites in 7 Days

The link here is actually to the whole list of the 7 sites that I chose for this campaign.

The “Twitter is Narcissistic” Refute

By far one of the most popular posts of all time on this blog.

“…Ok, so Twitter was built to help friends and colleagues stay connected.  Now let me explain why I find Twitter so appealing….”

Getting to the Core of the Apple Problem

The most read, commented on, and hated on post I have ever written.

“I hate that guy.  You know exactly who i’m talking about.  Sipping his latte on a couch at Starbucks, Macbook propped on his lap, iPhone vibrating at his side, a $200 messy haircut, and an assortment of grungy, but not too grungy, clothes.  He turns to me, a smug look on his face.  Depending on which friend it is, he’ll describe some application he’s just discovered, a podcast he’s just recorded, or a website he’s just designed – all using his trusty Mac.  Without fail, in a somewhat sadistic, most definitely condescending tone, he’ll end with, ‘See, Apple stuff is just better.  Vista sucks.’ “

ConvergeSC

I had the pleasure of attending my very first web conference this year.  Here are the summary posts of what the speakers talked about.

Of iPhones and Gnomes…

“Big Prize. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, there’s a good chance you’re somewhat familiar with the name. Whether you check the fan page every hour, are constantly confused by the odd little sayings your friends write on their wall, or your Twitter homepage is sprinkled with #moonfruit tweets – you’ve seen the name.”

Computers, People, and the Fact That I’m Selfish

You see, computers appeal to me in a maniacal way that people don’t – I can manipulate them, create an idea and mold them into what I want them to do. I can put as little or as much time into them and receive a directly proportionate amount of joy from the results. I can have a problem (even something as simple as boredom) and make something to solve it. And what’s best, the selfish part of me can come out saying, “I built that. I made it, you didn’t, I rock.” It might not be the best, it might not help anyone else in the world, but it’s mine and I’m proud of it.”

Spotlight at NecessaryCool

Chances are, you’re probably wondering why you’re reading about some random guy when you could be reading about all things cool. Jef told me a little while ago that he would like to have me help kick off the new “Spotlights” feature of NC – where you get a little glimpse of what some fellow bloggers do on their own sites.

Basically, RyboMedia is a blog about all things tech, geeky, or internet related. I write about awesome internet companies, design tips, blogging tricks, web conferences I have attended, and even some controversial pieces. Oh, and I do occasional giveaways. How’s that for concise?”

Whiplash

My third guest post by Jimmy Sawczuk (and one of the most popular posts on the blog).

“We ran into a problem at work last week that was, at the same time, a nightmare and exactly the kind of problem you want to have. The culprit was our latest Big Prize Giveaways promotion, and the problem was that our app had metaphorically gone from 0-60 in about two seconds, and it experienced the same thing your neck feels when it accelerates that fast: whiplash. This was my first experience with an app that was this big; even in my McJournal days, I rarely averaged more than 60,000 (well, take that number and divide by 10,000 and you have the real number) hits per day. So in the last week, I’ve learned a ton during our march to a million fans that I think can be useful to everyone, no matter how close your app is to that kind of scale.”

My Columbia Twitter Revolution

“Now here’s the important part.  I’m one person.  I can’t do this alone.  For this to catch on, I’m going to need lots of help.  It’s going to take getting used to, but I think if it ever does take off it could serve very useful.  Think about it – a live list of tweets to keep you constantly informed on traffic problems, breaking news, local food deals, and weather alerts.  All for free.”

100 Things I Love On the Internet

“This is the 200th post on RyboMedia (hence the 200 “o’s”).  To celebrate this milestone, I’ve put together a list of 100 things I love about the internet. Why not 200? Read until the end and you’ll see. Enjoy!”


And that’s it, y’all!  Hope you enjoyed.  I am looking forward to the new year.  I have a new guest post lined up that I think you will really enjoy, and I have another big review of an awesome website coming up soon.  Stay tuned, and have a fantastic new year!

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