As all things must come to end, so has 2012 come and gone. It’s been an amazing year, but I am looking forward to what 2013 has in store for me and my family.
These year-end review posts are a dime a dozen, so I won’t spend too much time on it. But I do want to be able to look back at the end of 2013 and reflect on where I started and how I fared on achieving the goals I set out to accomplish.
I want to start this post out right by sending you, the readers of this blog, a HUGE thank you! While MBurnette.com has been around for almost a decade, I have really focused on it being a web design and development resource just this year. Site traffic and engagement has grown quickly over the last 6 months and it’s all because of you. So thank you for your interest and make sure you check back for great (I hope) articles throughout 2013!
This website, MBurnette.com, has existed since 2004. Up until earlier this year, however, that was presented in the form of an oft-ignored personal family blog. For a long time, I’ve wanted to more actively write about web design and web development, partially to give back to the community and partially to become a stronger writer. I subscribe to the theory that you only get really great at something by working hard and practicing often.
So in June I moved the personal blog to its new home (TheBurnetteAdventures.com) and dedicated this site to web design, web development, photography, and anything else design related. I’ve written more and the reception has been fantastic. Visits are up 660% (Unique up 690%) and time on site is up 30%. It’s been a really great launch.
Time for a confession: I’ve never been a big “social media guy”… until this year. Coinciding with the launch of the new site, I decided to dedicate more time to cultivating relationships with other professionals in the design community. While I’ve purposefully decided to leave Facebook as my personal safe haven, my Twitter (@marcusdburnette) and Google+ profile have been dedicated to sprouting web design-centric relationships.
As I continue to seek out new professionals to connect with, I’m overwhelmed by the wealth of information provided by so many of you. What I once thought was an avenue for posting merely thoughts like “Cheerios for breakfast. Mmmm.” turned out to be a solid resource for all things design related.
This year marked my 3rd anniversary at FliteHaus, where I am the Senior Web Designer/Developer. Much of the landscape here remained unchanged, but this year we focused on re-setting the framework for our workflow and client relationships. We revisited the processes we had in place and rewrote processes that weren’t working. Over 2012, we spent numerous hours cementing a workflow and foundation that we could build upon going into 2013.
In July, we went on a company retreat. This happened in the form of a Caribbean cruise, so no complaints there. We were able to grow our relationships together and talk about the plans we have for the company. It was a great team building success that I hope will become a tradition – hint, hint 🙂 .
In 2012, I celebrated my 5-year wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife, our daughter turned 2, and we learned that we would be expanding our family with the addition of another baby – due in May 2013. My family went on its own Caribbean cruise back in March and visited Disney theme parks more times than I can remember (that’s part of the luxury of living in Orlando!). Although my father-in-law passed away in September, we were still able to spend some time as a family in the Keys for Thanksgiving and with family in North Carolina for Christmas.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster year, personally, but has overall been super great. It’s the rollercoaster times in your life that you can learn and grow from the most.
So what does that mean for 2013? Where do I go from here?
In 2013, I want to continue to grow this site into a solid web design and development resource. I want to add more tutorials and web-related help articles. These take a lot of time, but are some of my most popular types of posts on the site. I want to add more original freebies and share the parts of the web creation workflow that I use. One of my biggest goals is to become a more proficient writer and that will only happen if I keep writing.
Specific learning goals for me this year include diving head-first into responsive design. I get the concept, the argument for it, and where to start. I want to have some level of mastery of responsive design within the first quarter of 2013. Within the same thread, I want to become better versed in handling mobile devices of all kinds as they influence web design decisions.
For the last several years, I’ve been completely focused on learning about the newest technologies and scouring the plethora of jQuery plugins for great web interactivity. In 2013, I want to be more of a contributor to this community and not just a consumer. I want to solidify and expand upon the basic knowledge I have of jQuery. I want to figure out how to help incorporate more HTML5 tech into my Drupal sites. In general, I just want to help the web move forward.
For some time, I have been thinking about ways to boost my intake with some passive income. I currently sell a handful of 3D objects on TurboSquid and people can make a donation when downloading one of my fonts on DaFont.com, but it really just amounts to a few drinks and a tankful of gas each year. In 2013, I want to branch out, maybe write an e-book or two and just find some ways to create resources for the design community while making some extra money.
Thank you so much for helping me make this site successful. I look forward to making it even more of a design/development resource over the next year and connecting in relationships with you in any way possible.
If there’s anything you specifically would like to see more of on this site, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!