23. January 2018

Two thousand and eighteen, let’s let that sink in for a moment – a year count that sounds straight out of science fiction, it’s now really the future we’re living in! I’m happy to report that the now ancient-sounding year of 2017 was quite a lot better than 2016 at least for myself, even though opinions may differ for the rest of the world. I’m quite late with my traditional end-of-the-year post once again, but that happened mainly because I just want to take it easy and do everything without too much pressure this year. 2018 actually started for me far away from home because I was visiting my family in Berlin, so I didn’t even return until the year was already a couple of days old. And of course it took me a while to arrived back home properly, but now that I’ve got everything sorted it’s finally time for the yearly recap and outlook!

Once again, Photography has taken over most of my creative endeavours in 2018, as you probably have noticed on the ol’ Photo Blog – as usual, this is the creative outlet that is the easiest to maintain for me and also the one that is most fun and gets the most feedback and interaction. My photography also got an unexpected upgrade in the first half of 2017 when a good friend gave me his ‘old’ camera gear as a very generous gift, which turned out to be an amazing Sony DSLT with a lot of lenses, to which I already added a couple more. While I’m still occasionally using the Canon Bridge Camera I got back in 2016, I started to use the bigger camera more and more last year and it allowed me to shoot amazing photos I’ve never been able to take before. I’ve also started to film a bit more video for my Youtube channel as well, especially because I had finally managed to upgrade my slow-as-snails internet connection at the beginning of the year. 2017 has truly been the year of photography for me and I expect it’s only going to get better in 2018 – and I haven’t even processed all the photos I’ve taken when I was in Berlin!

The good old Blog – this website right here where it all started – at least got a little bit of attention from me this year and surprisingly not much in the Space, Science and Astronomy categories. Those I have shifted almost completely to social media, thanks to a new method I found to almost instantaneously post the same article link to Google+, Twitter and Facebook so I didn’t really have a reason to create special blog posts to collect them for the other networks. Nowadays, I tend to leave the science journalism to the the professionals, but my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ is still thriving and I’m trying to get a couple of selected news articles out there and the WSH Crew Community is also doing very well. I have to admit that it looks like I’ve completely thrown my principle of mirroring everything I do on social media on my own sites, but I don’t really think that link posting with short introductions falls under that self-imposed doctrine any more. It’s still good to have an independent, self-hosted website, though!

That said, I actually had some good honest self-written content on this blog that was mostly computer and game geekery related. There were two articles about Google+ and Google Photos that just needed to be written (more on that further down), classic adventure retrospectives, a product review of my new phone, a celebration of my finally upgraded DSL line and even some tips on how to play Twitch streams on old computers. This year, I’ll probably continue with this mix and I actually have something special for the vintage computer corner cooking – and I also want to write the occasional space, science and astronomy article sometime when I find the energy and time.

After the WSH Crew Community had really taken off in 2016 with the introduction of our own Slack channel and website in addition to the original Google+ Community, the whole endeavour has now evolved from a place for the hangout viewers to chat away from the now long-gone event page to its own entity that works closely with the creators of the shows. We have slowly become the official executive producers of the Weekly Space Hangout, recruiting guests, collecting news and generally supporting everything around CosmoQuest, Universe Today and of course Astronomy Cast as well. It’s an unique community that has only grown a little bit in the last year, but what we lack in quantity we make up with quality. CosmoQuest has also gone through some awesome changes in 2017 with new people added to the team and even branching out to regular broadcasts on Twitch that basically are the same as the Hangouts from way back. It’s been an amazing ride and it looks like it’s not going to stop here!

Google+ is still my favourite social network and there has been a lot going on there last year, even though it has developed from the hot new thing on the block to something that has become an insider tip. Rumours that Google+ is an abadoned ghost town still persist, but with over 10,000 followers on my Main Profile, 270,000 on the above mentioned  Space & Astronomy Collection and over 85,000 on the City Views Collection I can’t really complain and even though things have slowed down a bit, I still get quite some interaction on my posts and everything has a nice friendly feeling. There were some spam problems at the end of the year that have even hit some of my collections, but I think those have been resolved by now. I’m also still a member of Google+ Create, but I have to admit that I haven’t done anything specifically for that in some time – the Create Community has still been a lot of help and inspiration this year even though I have not participated a lot there – this is something I really want to get into in 2018 again. It’s still amazing to be part of this project and quite an honour to have some of my collections prominently featured on Google+!

My Vintage Computers & Games Colletion on Google+ is something I’ve sadly neglected for quite a while and in result it seems to have much less exposure than in the beginning, even though the follower count has gone up from about 30,000 to 37,000 in the last year. I still haven’t had time to rework all the old Commodore blog posts or get on with the Amiga era, but what I’ve done instead is put together a few Google+ exclusive posts with Amiga material at the start of 2017. This might have been a good idea in retrospective, because the long awaited Amiga book by Brian Bagnall was finally released in the Autumn and I now have a much better source to write something really interesting about my favourite computer. I’m actually thinking of starting all over again to begin with the C64 based on my older articles – but before, I will go even further back and write about the first computer I’ve ever used! I’ve finally been able to have a look at the Kaypro 2x again after more than 20 years and I took lots of photos of this unique 8-bit portale office computer which will go into a long and detailed post soon. Overall, this is one topic I’m not done with yet for a long time – stay tuned!

Unfortunately, DVDLog turned out to be the only one of my websites that got very much neglected, simply because writing reviews is very time-consuming and so I only managed just one translation from an existing German review and only a few other posts. I don’t even remember buying a single DVD in 2017 and of course I still don’t have the means to switch to Blu-Ray or High Definition in the near future, so there is simply not much to write about. I still have an eye on British television though and maybe I’ll be able to write the odd tv review or two this year or maybe even some retrospective ones when I have the time and actually find a way to write quickly and without much effort. And there’s also the not to be underestimated problem that the whole name and domain of the website is getting more and more redundant each year – I might change it in the future to focus less on the medium and more on content, but for now I still haven’t had a good ideas yet. If you want regular top-notch reviews of classic movies on DVD and Blu-Ray, I still recommend Glenn Erickson, who has recently rebranded from DVD Savant to CineSavant and now resides on his very own website!

Last, but not least, there has also been Twitch this year, quite a lot of it. I never much had my eye on what I at first perceived just as a streaming service for gamers, but in 2017 I found out that there’s a lot more to discover on the platform. It was all the fault of one of  my favourite musicians, Meri Amber, who started streaming on Twitch sometime in August with several amazing concert shows each week – and she introduced me to a lot of amazing other music streamers like Jonathan Ong, Lara de Wit, Andy Boing and many more.

And it didn’t stop with just music – while the Weekly Space Hangout and Astronomy Cast are still being broadcast on Youtube, Cosmoquest also branched out to Twitch as well with Pamela Gay and the new CQ postdoc Matt Richardson doing four shows each week and Pamela is broadcasing on her personal Starstryder profile as well with reading stories, talking science and even painting planets. Twitch has become a really interesting place even if you’re not interested in gaming streams and I’ve even considered to do streaming of some sort myself, but unfortunately it’s not possible with my ancient computers… yet!

And this is what happened last year and will hopefully happen this year. No promises, no new year’s resolutions, just some rambling plans which might or might not happen as usual. Happy 2018 Everyone!

Kategorie: Bibra-Online
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