Good Things From 2009

This last month my schedule has been really jam packed. No time for blog updates, researching employment trends or checking out leadership links on Twitter (yes I know that sounds geeky).  I’m even behind in reading HBR articles which is really not like me — though I am taking time out this weekend to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Outliers”.

This post – my last one for the year – is dedicated to all the interesting and good things that happened in 2009.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll keep adding things as I find them. Click on the comments link below to tell me what I’m missing and I’ll include your good things, too.

  • Here is the best Christmas story EVER — Students at a Coquitlam, BC school are volunteering their time to walk the streets of Vancouver’s downtown east side with Christmas cards and stamps.   This area is known as one of the highest density areas in North America for homeless people.  The students help these people write cards and then they research postal codes and complete addresses and get the cards to their rightful recipients.  What a fantastic way to promote connectedness and caring.
  • From micro-activism via mobile apps to social causes on YouTube, read how social networking promotes the spirit of giving in 2009
  • Read this piece from Mashable.com called “5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009″
  • Bing was launched as the first serious competitor to Google search.  Bing has not yet become a verb – as in the phrase: Just Google it - but they’re hoping!
  • The Hubble telescope underwent a risky 13-day service mission to put it back in action. The results are spectacular (that funny looking thing on the right is a photo of the Bug Nebula)
  • Dollar Stores came to the rescue of bargain hunting shoppers grappling with double-digit unemployment. Name one other place on this planet where you can buy seven toothbrushes for a dollar!
  • Facebook got spanked by the Canadian government for privacy violations. As a result, FB users worldwide have better choices over how much information is shared with third-party applications.
  • LinkedIn ballooned to 50 million members and the site got some pretty slick updates.  It also gained serious credibility with recruiters and hiring managers everywhere as a great way to check work history and accomplishments.
  • Twitter made numerous improvements, from decreased fail time (I haven’t seen the fail whale in ages) — to a fancy new way to retweet — to adding personalized lists. Have you tried it lately?
  • Susan Boyle turned a jeering audience into a cheering crowd in under 15 seconds when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Most Talented.  She even transformed Simon Cowell into a fan as evidenced by his helping her turn out her first album.
  • Investors and fans fretted when Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced in January he would take a 6-month medical leave.  He’s back (with a new liver) and the iPhone has grown to 6.4 million users.

Some favorite inspirational words

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.  Abraham Lincoln

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up someplace else.  Yogi Berra

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.