Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Looking back at the blog in 2013.

Welcome to 2014. First week back at work, first week back on the blog. Let’s start with how 2013 went. #TechHubris

Most viewed post
It turns out that the post you read the most was on the demise of Blackberry’s zeitgeist. The post tried to highlight the danger of relying on being fashionable in the technology sector. On re-reading, it seems to highlight my own struggles with fashion.

Post that I enjoyed the most to write
The (forced) comparison between Doctor Who and TV technology was lots of fun to write, especially the very last line. Looking back, it would have been interesting to ask the question, why (not who). The main reason for longevity is success, and the main reason for success is because it communicates with audiences in the way that audiences want. Technical innovation, though the most interesting aspect for me, is a natural consequence of the longevity. The imperative is to innovate or become obsolete. This is true of both the TV show and the TV set itself.

Predictions that I got right
To refresh your memory, I predicted that: I would finally stop buying physical content; I would spend more on physical content; I would start using wearable tech; I would buy energy monitoring devices; and that 2013 will be a lot like 2012. So how did I do?

My Amazon purchase history for physical media shows that I bought 0 books, 0 CDs, 1 LP and 2 blu-rays (excluding presents, because they weren’t for me). The average spend £14.66 per item. The most expensive purchase was £17 and the cheapest was £10. Contrast with my spend on digital media: £167 on e-books, £19 on digital music, £19 on in-app game purchases, £157 on digital subscriptions (iTunes Match, Now TV, LoveFilm and free Spotify) and £0 on digital TV. The cheapest item was 69p, and the most expensive the £9.99 per month LoveFilm subscription.

My prediction on buying fewer physical items has indeed been borne out, but my increased spending per item hasn’t. I was assuming that I’d buy more fan-boy editions, but it turns out that I don’t care as much for fancy cardboard boxes as to actually consume the content. Which explains why my spend on physical is dwarfed by the spend on digital.

I didn’t buy my iWatch, mainly because Apple inconsiderately didn’t release it in 2013. My credit card remains on amber alert for mid-2014. I also didn’t by an energy monitoring device, because I lost my fervour for micro-managing energy. In the same way that I don’t go to the supermarket any more (Ocado delivers), and I don’t manage my rental flat (my letting agent does an expensive, appalling job), I’m happy to let my energy supplier charge pretty much whatever they want, just as long as the light always goes on when I flick the switch. Better to let them do it, to give me more energy to play with my gadgets.

And 2013 really was quite like 2012. Final score: 2 out of 5.

The geekiest post
Re-reading my posts, I find that I still quite like the way they turned out. But perhaps my post on square pixels wins this particular award, because: only a very small number of people will have experienced the issue; the explanation is quite involved; and not many people actually care – the very definition of geeky.

Post that I’d wished I’d written
I’ve read some marvellous tech posts over 2013. Well-researched, cogently presented, compelling reading, grammatically precise – everything I wish this blog was. However, the idea of this award is to look at topics that I wish I’d written about – perhaps they’ll crop up in 2014. Here are some of the titles that remain on my ideas pile:

Up-selling myself, or why I always buy a more expensive version. How Spotify is killing piracy. Qualification is subjugation; there's no moral high ground in art. Commentary on Kevin Spacey’s MacTaggart lecture. Protectionism is the opposite of innovation. Efficiency of recommendation engines. How 1D demonstrates both the importance and the irrelevancy of music labels. (Perhaps not a post about One Direction – aargh, ear-worm!)

So what of my predictions for 2014? That’s a topic for another post…

1 comment:

  1. I suspect you didn't spend as much on fan-boy editions because your wife bought them for you ;)


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