Things I'm thankful for this year

ONA10 Conference

This year was my second year attending the Online News Association conference. Last year was San Francisco. I didn't know very many people. It was the first time I met Greg Linch, Daniel Bachhuber, Ryan Sholin, Jay Rosen, Scott Karp, Emily Ingram, Jessica Estepa, McKenna Ewen and countless others in person. This year's conference was like a huge reunion, plus an introduction to dozens and dozens and dozens of people that I'd known from Twitter for years. I met amazing people and learned a lot.

Words cannot convey how at home I feel at conferences when I'm surrounded by my people-- my journalism family.

Veganism

I try not to be too preachy about it (although it happens sometimes), but I went vegan two months ago. Yes, that means two months without meat, dairy, honey-- anything that comes from animals. The decision was just a month-long personal experiment, but I can't go back now. I feel physically better and more energetic. My skin and hair feel healthier. Unlike diets that always make me feel deprived and cheated, veganism empowers me and makes me feel good. I'm going to stick with it for life.

The opportunity to work on PressThink

Out of nowhere this fall, I had the opportunity to redesign Jay Rosen's blog. It was a huge opportunity that fell in my lap and I didn't pass it up. I'm glad I didn't -- it was a great learning experience, a joy to work with Jay, and brought me lots of unexpected exposure.

My involvement with 10,000 Words

Around the same time as the PressThink opportunity, I was approached by Mark Luckie about becoming a contributing blogger to 10,000 Words. I had wanted to start blogging regularly again, but hadn't been able to find the time. But now that I have the right audience, the right topic and an amazing set of peers with which to work (Mark, Chris, Kevin, Ethan-- I'm talking 'bout you!).

My iPhone4

I got an iPhone 4 in August. It is the single tool that I carry with me at all times. It is my lifeline. It helps me navigate unknown cities when I travel. It helps me discover names of random songs I hear on the radio. It lets me document all my memories with friends and family through video and photo. It helps me check in to locations and meet up with people I know. It lets me Google things via voice command when I'm on the road. There are endless, unexpected uses for my iPhone in my day-to-day life and I honestly don't know how I ever lived before it existed.

My LA journalism crew

Moving to a new city is hard. Around this time last year (December), I moved to Los Angeles and never thought I'd find a circle of people that I click with. Then Kim Bui, Robert Hernandez, Eric Zassenhaus and crew who are my sanity every few weeks when we meet up for dinner and drinks and geekery. I'm also now building out my "LA crew" to include the tech community thanks to the awesome people at Border Stylo who have invited me to their events.

The CoPress crew

Outside of LA, I am thankful to still have amazing connections in San Francisco, DC, NYC, Seattle and Bangor -- the cities where my former CoPress colleagues are now. Even though CoPress disbanded nine months ago, that group of talented young people are still the ones who influence my way of thinking the most day-to-day.

Longshot Magazine

I briefly had a chance to work on Longshot Mag when they came to LA this summer. Although my involvement was minimal and brief (I helped Adam Hemphill build the site and contributed an infographic, being locked in a room with so many talented and sleep-deprived journalists and designers was absolutely enthralling and led to many connections in LA at GOOD Magazine and at Border Stylo.

WordPress 3.0 and Twenty Ten

I blogged about this today for 10,000 Words: With arrival of WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” was the launch of a brand new default theme called Twenty Ten, which was built to make the most of all WordPress’s brand new features.

The theme is an amazing foundation for both those new to WordPress and to advanced designers. After its launch was the first time I had ever dabbled in WordPress child themes.As a lover of open source and a WordPress enthusiast, this release was a huge milestone and a testament to what can happen in an open, collaborative community of great minds.