Well 2011 has been an interesting year for me, a couple of things have changed, and all mostly in a good way. From a personal perspective, my biggest lesson was that, you should always do what you love. Follow your passion,and sometimes, taking a leap of faith, won’t hurt :) I decided to do wrap-up of my year. Be warned, it’s a pretty long read (1400 words) :)
The site has done pretty well this year, with some fantastic exposure I received through various channels. So many new avenues have opened up, and I am really grateful for everything. This site, for me, is still purely a hobby, and even though there have been opportunities to take it full time, I prefer to keep it a hobby & a passion and try and keep people informed & entertained where I can.
The 5 most popular posts this year are pretty interesting, and again, shows me what I need to keep blogging about :
- Get a US iTunes Account – Probably my most searched term as well
- Invalid iTunes address – Apple changed the goal posts and I put up a little workaround
- iPhone 4 Prices in South Africa – a 2010 post which still makes the top of the list !
- iPhone 4S in South Africa – Shows how popular and wanted this phone really is
- How to update your iPhone or iPad firmware manually – A quick & easy tutorial for those annoying iTunes download timeouts
So, I decided to put together a quick roundup of the year (same as I did in 2010)
At the beginning of the year, I decided to set myself a couple of goals, called #Project2011 and with that I got sponsored a bike from the guys at Cannondale. The bike is amazing, and although I haven’t used it (properly) in a couple of months, I am hoping that in 2012 things are a’changing and I’ll be back in the Saddle. The actual project itself wasn’t a fail, and even though I slacked a bit over the last couple of months, I still managed to lose a couple of KG’s and feeling a lot better. So here’s to next year. 2012 -> Big Plans for my body !
The good guys at Apple also launched the Mac App Store, which has proven to be a great success ! Locally, we got to see the launch of the iPad 1 in South Africa on the 27th of Jan, which although not as successful as the iPad 2, it still made waves around the country.
February saw me do my first ever mini Triathlon, called the Mudman. A HUGE personal achievement for me. I also started doing Kettlebells with the team from Flux Motion, which I can honestly say, has changed my life. This is by far the MOST complete workout you can give your body, and showed the results throughout the year. If you haven’t tried it, you HAVE to. I also got to attend the U2 concert in Jozi, compliments of Highveld Stereo. AMAZING !
One of the lowlights of my year, was being asked to remove a post that I did on Smokoo from my blog. At the time, I didn’t have much of a choice, but to remove it. In hindsight, I could have left it up, but, well, all over now :)
In March myself and a friend started a little side business doing iPhone Repairs. FiXi is still booming, and we getting loads of requests to fix iPhones & iPad’s on a daily basis. 2012 holds some exciting opportunities for FiXi, so hold thumbs. I also got an amazing opportunity to learn how to trade some stocks on the stock exchange, thanks to the guys at Global Trader. Really great platform if you looking at learning all about that
April saw my site getting a little infected by the Pharma Hack, which saw my traffic plummet, but I managed to fix that. We also got to see the awesome iPad2 launch in South Africa. By far one of my favorite “gadgets” for the year.
May saw the introduction of the iPhoneography Showcase series on my site, which lead to amazing things later in the year. iPhoneography is growing at a rapid rate, and I am excited to see how it pans out in 2012. I also teamed up with the guys from Flux & Apple Tree Live for the next step in #Project2011, which saw some amazing results both physically & mentally !
June saw Apple announce a whole whack of exciting new things at WWDC this year, with the launch of iOS5, Lion OS X & iCloud, our lives have changed quite a bit with everything now in sync in the cloud. Going to be very interesting to see where this goes !
On a personal front, a HUGE change took place for me when I was offered the position of Mobile Product Manager at the Durban based company Private Property. For me, this was like a dream come true, and I could follow my passion of what I loved doing. And 6 months down the line, I can honestly say, I don’t regret 1 second of my decision. An amazing company. Seriously !!
And to top it all off, I also launched the first ever South African iPhoneography exhibition. More on that in Sept’s round up :)
July saw, THE most innovative South African company of 2011, FNB, launch their iPhone/Android/Blackberry app. This app proved to be a pinnacle of app’s in South Africa, and has really gone from strength to strength.
August saw the launch of our new version of the Private Property iPhone app. A nice facelift from the previous version, and some really cool things to come in 2012. Stay Tuned !!
September saw the first ever South African iPhoneography exhibition, in partnership with Core, take place at the iStore in Sandton. This was probably my biggest personal achievement of 2011, and was an amazing success. I really hope to try and do another one in 2012, and given the amount of interest already shown, this is looking VERY likely.
On the South African tech front, we say Alan Knott Craig from World of Avatar buy out MXit. An interesting move, and I for one, will be watching how this pans out. Every single time I have sat down at a table with anyone who is in the social/mobile/web/tech space in South Africa, this topic has been brought up. Interesting indeed
I also managed to get my hands on what is probably my gadget of the year. The Olloclip. Really. If you have an iPhone, and take photos with it. Just get an Olloclip. An amazing accessory.
October saw the worldwide launch of the iPhone 4S, which recently hit our shores. We also saw FNB launching a campaign bringing high end smartphone & tablet devices, like the iPad 2 at discounted rates, as well as an opportunity to buy them over a 24 month period. This has changed the tablet landscape in South Africa, and we now seeing more & more of these devices around. Awesome
I also got to speak at my first ever public speaking gig. I was as nervous as all hell, but it was an amazing experience. I really really enjoyed it, and hopefully 2012 will see another 1 or 2 public speaking gigs. I also managed to attend to great conferences, Tech-Ed in Durbs & Tech4Africa in Joburg. Both really enlightening conferences, and I walked away with some insight into where we going in South African Tech
One of my most commented posts of the year was my Blackberry vs. iPhone post, where I summed up a couple of the misconceptions people have about these 2 devices, specifically in South Africa. Some great debate around this !
November saw me attending the Gary Player Invitational at Zimabli, compliments of Johnnie Walker. A fantastic weekend all around, and met some great people. I also launched the South African Mobile Apps Directory, which has shown some interesting insight into Mobile Apps in our country, and what is being developed where. I am constantly updating this list, so keep checking back.
All in all 2011 has been an amazing year for me. I am really happy with where I am going with this, and honestly can’t wait to share my 2012 experiences with you. I wish you a blessed festive season, and want to thank every single person that has taken the time to visit my site, and be a part of it. I really appreciate the support !
Catch you on the flipside :)