New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, since I end up not keeping them. But I wanted to put out some professional resolutions and hopefully by putting them out in public, I’ll be more likely to keep to them.

  1. Become a better archivist: This has been my first few months as a professional archivist.  I’ve done some good things, but I’ve also made some stupid mistakes.  I know that I can do better, and I will do better.
  2. Learn PHP: For years now, I’ve wanted to learn some sort of scripting/programming language (I’ve even wanted to try and become a Debian Developer).  I taught myself HTML back in 1998 and have picked up some CSS along the way, but I haven’t been able to do more complex stuff than that on my own.  The three main content management systems (WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!) are all written in PHP, Mediawiki is written in PHP, Archon is written in PHP, and the new AT/Archon platform may be written in PHP.  I want to know enough PHP that I can go into their code and not feel completely lost.  Maybe someday I’ll even write a plugin or a theme or something.  So if anyone has any good resources for learning PHP, I’d be much obliged.
  3. Attend conference(s): I’ve now been to two professional conferences (2007 MARAC and 2010 SNCA), but I’ve never really been a part of them.  In 2007, I helped usher people into Swem for the evening reception and went to one panel discussion the next day, but I had other things to do.  In 2010, I was part of a panel that discussed collaborative processing techniques, but I was unable to stay around for the rest of the conference (I was proposing to my then-girlfriend the next day).  This year, I want to at least go to the spring MARAC conference and perhaps make it to SAA.
  4. Start a podcast: This one is more of a wish than a resolution, but its something I’ve been thinking about.  I’ve wanted to do a podcast about archival topics for awhile now, but I’m refusing to let myself unless I know I have enough topics to last me at least a few shows.  If I don’t have enough to say to regularly post on this blog, will I really have enough to sustain a podcast? Or will starting a podcast prod me into actually working on it? Who knows. If I end up doing it, it will probably be in the shotcast format, meaning a short, 10-ish minute show that is merely the start of the conversation.  I do have some ideas smoldering, so perhaps this will eventually happen.
  5. Blog more often: Every blogger’s resolution.

Those are the four resolutions that I’ve been pondering on.  As long as I succeed with #1, I’d be fine with the others falling by the wayside.  What about you all? Any archival resolutions from the crowd?

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