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I "shipped" in 2010 - you can too

What did you ship in 2010?

This might be a useful exercise. Doesn't matter whether it was a hit or not, it just matters that you shipped it. Shipping something that scares you ... is the entire point.

[Funny, it's actually difficult to publish a list like this... maybe that's another reason we hesitate to ship, because we don't want to tout too much]. Seth Godin

"What did you ship?" is a great question for all of us to ask ourselves. What, beyond just doing one's job, did you accomplish (not try to do, not intend to do, not think about doing, not hope to get done, not plan to do - but actually DO) in 2010? What did you do that was a little bit scary? That you might have drawn criticism for? That may changed the world just a little bit?

Godin listed a baker's dozen of things he "shipped." I can only think of nine things I shipped outside my day job. (But then he is Seth Godin and I am not.) Here they are:

  1. Presented nationally at FETC in January, the Catholic Library Association conference in April, Spotlight on Books cconference in April, Rhode Island School Library Conference in May, Newport News school library workshops in June, ISTE in June, MEMO, Sioux City school workshops, ITEC and ILA in October, North Carolina school library conference in November, and TIES in December. (If I missed somebody, I apologize!)
  2. Presented internationally at the American School of Bombay's Unplugged Conference in Mumbai in February, CEESA in Estonia in March, and AAISA in Nairobi in October.
  3. Presented in Second Life twice and presented using web conferencing/Skype software four times.
  4. Published these articles/book chapters:
    1. Changed but Still Critical: Brick and Mortar School Libraries in the Digital Age,”InterED, Association for the Advancement of International Education [AAIE], Fall 2010.
    2. Taming the Chaos, Learning & Leading with Technology, November 2010
    3. Miles’s Library: Annotated” - chapter in Visionary: Leaders for Information compiled by Dr. Arthur Winzenried from the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia.
    4. Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) Skills Curriculum Based on the Big6 Skills Approach to Information Problem-Solving. 2010 with Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz.
    5. Guidelines for Educators Using Social and Educational Networking Sites (with Jen Hegna) Library Media Connection, March/April  2010.
    6. Censorship by Omission”  Library Media Connection, January/February 2010.
    7. Computing in the Clouds” Leading & Learning, Dec/Jan 2009/10
  5. Published these columns:
    1. “What Does a Good Library Tell You About a School?” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, November 2010.
    2. “The E-Book Non-Plan” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, October 2010.
    3. “School Libraries as Third Place” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, August/September 2010.
    4. “Gone Missing” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, May/Juel 2010.
    5. “Don’t Confuse Social Networking with Educational Networking” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, March/April 2010.
    6. “21st Century Libraries and 20th Century Schools” Head for the Edge column, Library Media Connection, January/February 2010.
  6. Published 265 blog entries.
  7. Spoke at my local Kiwanis club on hiking and e-books, chaired a club foundation board and servered as club webmaster/photographer.
  8. Hiked NZ's Abel Tasman coast with my son in April and summitted Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in October.
  9. Got a physical, walked 3 miles a day, 4-5 times for about 80% of all weeks; and lost 20 pounds.

OK, I will admit that writing and speaking and most of this stuff is more fun for me than work. I don't have small children or other dependents to care for. My day job doesn't require much overtime. I don't play golf, fish, or square dance. My Saturday and Sunday mornings and many an evening are spent writing and reading and designing presentations and workshops. I have, through just plain dumb-luck, very good health, a supportive wife, an interesting job and great co-workers, and lots of opportunities to speak and consult.

I personally measure my days not whether they were happy or unhappy, but whether they were productive or unproductive. Did I have a fruitful conversation or meeting? Did I get something finished? Did I write something worth sharing? Did I read something challenging? Did I do an hour's worth of physical activity? Did I clean up a mess, revise an article, or organize something for the future? Did I do something that made my own life or someone else's just a tad better?

All of us need to "ship" - do more than is necessary on our jobs and professions (especially librarians and tech integration specialists), at home (as spouse/partners/parents/grandparents), and for ourselves (exercise, healthy eating, recreation, and the occasional reward). I am by nature a lazy person of middling intellect - so if I can ship, you can ship.

What did you ship in 2010 and what will you ship in 2011?

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Reader Comments (6)

Doug, an impressive list for 2010! Your second last paragraph is most astute. I think many of us can identify with this desire to be productive and get the most out of each day. What we ship may be tangible and intangible products of vitality and enthusiasm for life, enriching ourselves and the people around us.

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul C

Hi Paul,

As a regular "shipper" of blog posts, I thought you might identify.

When can we expect a book from you?

Wishing you a happy and productive new year!


January 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Biked again this summer, now with a 25 pound kid and a trailer towing behind me.

Wrote many a paper as I took the plunge back into grad school to get my admin certifications.

Subscribed to way too many feeds in my Google Reader.

Was cited on a Blue Skunk Blog post.

Over the summer I created a dozen tutorial videos for all our secondary teachers on how to use the new grading program.

...hopefully shipping in 2011, a blog and/or twitter account to share info with my district. I need to make a conscientious effort to do that.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathan Mielke

Hi Nathan,

The video project sounds totally ambitious. You ARE a shipper!


January 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

I am privileged to be on your "SHIPPED" list! It is an area in which I hope to improve in the future!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen Hegna

Hi Jen,

Only the one of many professional contributions you make and will continue to make. It's an honor to work with you.


January 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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