Living in a digital world, part 6 — end-of-year review posts

The reopening of the Library in January meant digging my way through my inbox, checking in journal issues that had piled up in the intervening weeks. The colleague who delivers the mail had filled the box as full as possible and left the rest on my desk.  Normally, as I prepare the tables of contents for distribution, I browse and find at least one or two articles of personal interest to me. At least three periodicals had December or January issues with “best articles of 2011” or “most important x of 2011”, and as these articles traditionally provide good synopses of 2011 from different perspectives, I had expected these issues would provide rich and intriguing content.

They didn’t.

Instead, I found myself trotting over to Google Reader (which I still use as I am still evaluating some of the options SES suggested in “Google Reader Fail”) and scrolling. It was a mixed bag, but there were some very good and helpful year-in-review style posts that might have been otherwise overlooked in the first month of the year, when suddenly one realizes that there are hundreds of new e-mails and thousands of new posts and one really needs to invest in a better strategy to manage information overload.

Now that February is giving me a chance to breathe, I wanted to share the few end-of-year review posts that I think are not to be missed.


Why have one list when you can have three?  Or rather, why have one list, which would be long and unwieldy, when you can have lists of best blogposts in different categories of importance to your readers? GradHacker produced three 2011-in-review blogposts: Personal and Wellness, Professional and Productivity, and Technology.  As I only started following this blog later in 2011, I missed a some great and useful material as it turned out.


As much as I love BoingBoing, sometimes, there is simply too much and it is a simple truth that I just do not have enough time or brainspace to read everything. So, it was curious to see which posts on BoingBoing’s list I remembered (the peer review ones, for instance) and which had completely passed me by (maybe I’d overlooked the coffee ones because I don’t drink this much-lauded beverage?).  I wish there was greater information about how the posts were selected, as I’ve often wondered which posts are the most popular, in terms of site visits and re-posts.


While there were certainly other “top whatever of 2011” posts at Wired, two in particular caught my attention. Best of 2011: Pop Culture’s Tastiest Bits was a revelation because I recognized absolutely nothing on the list. While I have not been living under a rock, I discovered that I recognized nothing on this list.  At least now I am starting to vaguely understand all the hullaballoo and those status messages I kept seeing about Game of Thrones and Bridesmaids.

The second post of note was Top 10 Things Nobody Cared About in 2011. Dear Wired, just so you know, you’re not entirely right. I’m possibly in a minority, but, for the record, I’m still upset about REM breaking up, I am also upset I missed seeing Adventures of  Tintin in the cinemas, and I think  one of my family members is addicted to Groupon.

Hack Library School

Although it only covered fall semester, Hack Library School’s 2011 retrospective post was still one of the most interesting of the bunch. It was the only one to include information about the most popular posts as well as favourite posts from the blog’s contributors. The list of weirdest search terms by which someone found the blog was a giggle, and it was useful to see what other bloggers with similar interests have found useful.

Do you have a favourite 2011 retrospective post? If you had to pick the top posts which influenced you in 2011, which would make the cut?


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