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Des Moines, Iowa
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New Year’s Resolutions 2009

Geoff Wood

My wife is the one who is big on New Year’s Resolutions in our family but this year I thought I’d go ahead a name a few for myself:

1. No Soda in January (possibly to extend to all of 2009)

I like soda. I love soda. I drink it – a lot. I tend to gravitate to one specific brand at a time. In college it was Diet Mountain Dew (I once taped a plea to the Pepsi machine at the fratter to have the delivery guy add it to vending options). After that it was Diet Dr. Pepper, then Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, and for the last several years Coke Zero (it…is…awesome). Since I started graduate school more than 12 months ago, my intake has increased to unhealthy proportions. I’ve actually had medical professionals recommend knocking it off – my dentist every time I see her and my doctor at the pre-RAGBRAI physical last summer. I’m going to start with January and if it takes, I may extend it to the entire year.

Please note: I did not give up caffeine – I’m drinking more coffee than ever.

2. Smell Better

For the record, I don’t smell bad now. At least, I don’t think so and if I did I’m sure the wife would mention it (living with me and all). However, I’m sure that I could always smell better. I’ve never really been a cologne guy (other than a Hugo Boss experiment for awhile at the end of college) and I’m going to try it out for 2009. My mother-in-law gave me some cologne-like-stuff for Christmas and I like the smell so I’ll start there. Also, I’ve never been a “mints” guy, either, but due to the increase in coffee (see resolution #1) it might be a good thing idea to get out ahead of coffee breath. Anyone have good ideas for mints?

3. Networking 2.0, er, 1.0

Over the last few years I’ve become an avid user of social media/web 2.0 technologies such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I use them for different purposes, each of which is a little hard to describe. I like how Nathan Wright characterizes the difference at his LavaRow.com blog: “…social networks like Facebook are great for connecting me to friends from my previous life, but Twitter connects me with people I should have known my whole life.” I use Facebook to check in on the lives of the people I’ve known from college, high school, and before, as well as coworkers and others that I’ve called my friends. I use Twitter to find interesting people that I’d like to know and learn from others that I’ll likely never meet. I use LinkedIn mostly as a professional resource to organize “official” contacts with colleagues, MBA classmates, and business partners.

On to the resolution, I’m planning to take these three web 2.0 technologies and roll them back to 1.0. My goal is to personally contact one of my connections from these social media services each week in 2009.  It may be an e-mail, a phone call, or an invitation to lunch, but I plan to do strengthen my networking ties with a little “old school”, er 1.0, direct contact.