Not an actual photo of my desk

Ah, 2010. Judging by the time capsule, it was a busy 12 months.

I was given the opportunity to present at a number of pretty fly conferences all over the world. I got to spend my first real European vacation (or vacation of any kind) in over a decade, reconnected with two of my dearest childhood friends and much of my family in France. I met some of the best people and organizations on the planet. I enjoyed a cappuccino in San Remo, Nutella crΓͺpes in Paris, a flat white in Sydney, and tapas in Dubai. I sunburned in Monaco and ate pambagnats in Cannes with the fam and 5 lbs worth of chihuahuas. I had my picture printed onto elevator doors. I got to wear a gladiator costume for a photo shoot. I was interviewed for UAE television. I was turned into a velociraptor. I even learned – perhaps with some delay – that the BrandBuilder blog was listed in Ad Age’s Power 150. Out of the blue, my favorite author sent me his latest book with a very kind personal note. In an unrelated incident, an anonymous stranger mailed me underwear. A handful of people blessed me with the gift of chocolate-hazelnut spread. I got to spend an afternoon in the offices of my favorite magazine: Fast Company, in New York. Pearson – the publishing house that owns Penguin – offered to pay me to write a book on social media program development and ROI, effectively beginning the process of moving much of what we discuss here on a daily basis into bookstores. The first book – already available for pre-order – is scheduled to hit the shelves in March, and I have just begun working on the follow-up.

Of course, it wasn’t all croissants and puppies. My beloved golden retriever – Sasha – passed away. My parents had a bit of a scuffle with cancer. Many of my friends, some of the smartest, most talented people I have ever known, are still looking for a job worthy of their gifts. All the preparation and skill in the world don’t change the harsh reality that great clients are hard to come by. My schedule forced me to postpone most of 2010’s Red Chair social media training sessions to 2011. Several opportunities to further the integration of social media into the business world passed me by. I am still not working with some of the brands I want to work with, both in the US and internationally. There is still a lot of work to be done in the space, both in terms of fixing the broken programs developed by snake oil gurus and building social media programs outright, and those of us on the side of doing it right are still vastly outnumbered by a small army of self-serving hacks. My work here is far from done. 2011 should prove interesting. But overall…

… 2010. ’twas a good year.

Thanks to all of you for making it so.