Half-yearly review

In Vancouver, June 2011

I’ve been wanting to reflect on the past six months for a few weeks now. To share how life is going on my little space on the web. I’ve duly titled it “Half-yearly review” and with the absence of a outside ‘boss’, it’s almost a performance review. As with a case of a lot of things on this blog, it’s more for me than you. Rude, I know! It’s a summary of what’s been going on and what needs to go on in the next half. One of the biggest changes in productivity this year was moving to Things as my task manager of choice. Here I was able to track multiple projects, both personal and client-related (when not in-house), large and small, while on the go on my iPhone and on my Mac. Before this, believe it or not, I was mainly running via my memory which only scaled so far! I also cut out the majority of coffee meetings and catchups – it’s amazing how much time goes simply commuting and talking about what you’re going to do. Now I kick the first action off in the initial email. So, without further ado, here are some highlights of 2011:

  • Launching The Fetch and building a community of ~ 1400 subscribers (and the same again in the social channels) in a few months has been up there. It’s my first project (I wouldn’t really call #socialmelb a project!) so I’m glad to see it’s been received well. I’d like to thank some of the innovative brands such as Ninefold and Eventarc who’ve partnered with us to date, making it a sustainable endeavour.
  • Working regularly with Travellerspoint has also been rewarding – it’s one of the biggest sites I’ve been across with over million UVs per month and has an active community to manage. Cofounders Peter and Sam have great business and technical nous, and have really been open to suggestions and feedback. Plus there’s lots to do. They’re also partly the reason why I’m currently overseas, after sending me to TBEX in Vancouver last month.
  • I enjoyed doing the launch communications and social media for popular news and analysis media startup, The Conversation. In a short space of time, they’re now flying through Twitter and Facebook and growing quickly.
  • Revitalising the Silicon Beach community in Melbourne this year with Roy Hui (and now Adventure Capital) has also been fun. I recall rallying the masses back in February one by one, so it’s great to see 321 ‘Beachers’ now attending the drinks!
  • The longstanding Socialmelb community has also had a few updates. At the start of the year, I moved the breakfast over to the current venue 1000 £ Bend and in the summer months (when people got out of bed early!) we had a crowd of over 60 at one event. I also ran two events – a sold-out one at Earl Canteen in February and another in support of social entreprise Scarf Community in April, but have put future after-hour events on the back-burner while I travel and focus elsewhere.
  • Giving Australians a first taste of Women2 in the form of a Melbourne Founder Friday event was nice for the small but growing female entrepreneurship community. I’d still like to bring it all together regularly in the Women Hack initiative.
  • Other event and community involvements included bringing together over 40 Instagrammers and iPhoneographers in Melbourne for a CBD May photowalk #instameet (check out the photo on the IG blog here). There was also a small part played in organising the Melbourne Travel Massive meetup.
  • I also graduated from my Masters in Business (Marketing) with a 14,000-word thesis in ‘The knowledge and practice of professional marketers in relation to strategy formation and planning in social media marketing’. It feels great to have this wrapped up and although I don’t think it counts for much in my field of work, it’s a solid tick to have a postgraduate qualification under my belt.
  • I’ve often noticed a lack of support and role models throughout my career, so I decided to change this by not waiting to give back and mentoring early. Therefore, I brought on two interns earlier this year to see if I could help them by them helping me. Jonathan is the reliable super-smiling face in the Travellerspoint office and the amazingly-talented Liz keeps me on my toes at The Fetch and is someone I’d love to work with well into the future.
  • I tried to keep some speaking engagements active to ward off the skills rust and as a result particularly enjoyed doing the IABC debate on what each generation brings to the communication profession (speech available here).
  • There’s obviously other projects, radio and writing gigs in there but I don’t want to bore you too much – and I’m assuming you’ve not made it this far!
  • Regarding the financial front, while I generally follow the old-school etiquette of being reserved – I’m pleased to say that since going out on my own, the income of two to three days a week equates to what I was making fulltime before. But that’s not to say I get to work less, as other independents will agree, you end up working more!
  • On the home front, I did something I wanted to do for a while: sell my car. I’m now a proud one-bike and two legs show.
  • I also dug away at my sentimental accumulative tendencies and donated eight bags of material goods (clothes, shoes, bags) to charity.
  • A huge part of my current existence is engrained in the digital nomad life. I’m now travelling around the world for a large part of the year and am happy with the lifestyle I’ve designed for myself – it’s certainly not easy to create. I’m meeting inspirational people everyday, seeing friends and family (a global bunch), checking out the digital and creative scenes in various cities, enjoying an immense amount of freedom while working and chipping away at some new endeavours. Photos here. At the moment, I’m in rainy London with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin and Prague some of the next places on the list. My rough itinerary’s mapped here. Although I can’t tell you how much I’m missing Rex!
  • And most importantly and on the personal front – I had a pleasant, dream-inducing surprise at the start of the year. I am lucky enough to have met a partner in crime, a best friend, a fellow journeyer… an equal. Someone who I share everything with – including outlook on life, interests and a zany sense of humour. Thanks Mat. I hope you challenge me for years to come. :)
Well, I must stop indulging in the past and get back to the present. Have a lovely weekend and hope we meet again soon.

13 thoughts on “Half-yearly review

  1. Amazing! What a huge list of achievements in just half a year. You continue to inspire Ms Kendall.

    PS. Rex says hello. He’d like a gift from Berlin.

  2. Very Impressive Kate!

    I have to say: Because of your initiatives I connected with some really cool social media people in Melbourne. Without Social Melb or Silicon Beach it would’ve been so much harder to get in touch with all of them.

    So a BIG thank you for being you and doing what you’re doing!!! You proof every day that social media works ;-)

    Keep enjoying your travels and life ;-)

    Big kiss,
    Bjorn

  3. Great work Kate. Like the other guy said, you have been adding great value. Keep up the good work. Don’t stop. Don’t take no for an answer. Except if its from me. Please stop.

  4. Pingback: A taste of hate « Kate Kendall

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