8 Web Worker Wishes for 2008


Last year about this time, I offered 7 web worker wishes for 2007. None of my wishes came true, but that won’t stop me from wishing for more this year.

So here we go:

Web workers will revolt en masse against Vista and choose Linux instead. Readers tell me Vista ain’t that bad, even though it’s bloated and demands way too much hardware. Still, I’d love to see more people choose an open source alternative. But if web workers switch away from Windows, they’ll likely go with Mac OS X. Hey, at least that’s Unix!

If you make the switch from Windows to Mac in the new year, check out Sam’s tips for getting up to speed with OS X.

The falling American dollar will make the U.S. workforce more competitive. American labor continues to be expensive on the world market, but the falling dollar could make some companies reconsider whether they should hire inside or outside the U.S. And U.S. freelancers visiting online professional marketplaces may find that their foreign competition will no longer work for such low rates. That could soften the pain of slackening growth in the U.S. in 2008.

People will stop deriding Internet usage as addictive and deviant. Sure, there’s bad stuff on the Internet… there’s bad stuff wherever you find human beings. But there’s so much good stuff too. I hope in 2008 that the myths of the Internet are seen for what they are: fear-mongering stories, not balanced depictions of what actually happens online.

Facebook will not regain the momentum it had in 2007. The Beacon fiasco happened right as the tech blogosphere was getting tired of Facebook. Wham! That’s the end of Facebook, at least for a certain fickle set. LinkedIn, to me, looks much more promising. Bonus: no food fights or vampire bites on a business-oriented networking site.

A thousand Getting Things Done variants will bloom. I love that Gina of Lifehacker and Leo of Zen Habits have offered their own versions of David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity system. I hope more people do the same — because no one way of doing things works for every situation and temperament. David Allen has some awesome ideas about making your life more productive and less stressful, but they need to be customized for the individual.

Home-based work becomes ever more popular — with employers, not just with workers. Despite evidence showing that home-based workers can be more productive and more loyal, employers are hesitant to put widespread telecommuting programs into place. And really, I don’t blame them, because work-at-the-office practices are well understood, while managing remote workers is not. Still, I hope that the Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger is right when she sees good news for professionals who want to work from home. Home-based work rocks!

People will question the wisdom of the “do less and you’ll succeed” mantra. It’s seductive to think that you can succeed by doing a whole lot less than you’re doing now — communicating less, reading less, working less, studying less, and generally minimizing what you put out into the world. The reality is that most grand achievements require great amounts of work and sweat and tears and risks and relationships. As Scott Berkun says, “Show me a genius and I’ll show you a workaholic.”

Authenticity will be the urge and the ideal of the year. I’m not just saying that because the Web Worker Daily book features the theme of authenticity and because I personally find authenticity — living according to what’s important to you rather than what’s trendy — the best touchstone for making career decisions. I truly believe that authenticity is one of the most important values we can explore and aim at, no matter what the year.

Could 2008 be an auspicious year for authenticity? I think so — given the U.S. presidential elections, the questionable economy, and the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, all of which encourage people to consider what really matters instead of what’s hot or not.

What do you wish for in 2008?

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Why should other web workers conforming to your personal ideology top your list? If your wish that web workers revolt against christianity and support Islam everyone would be completely up in arms. In what way does it benefit you that other people should conform to your ideas of what is or is not good software?

I just don’t get it.

Joe Flood

I want to revive one of your wishes from last year – the coworking space, with Starbucks coffee, nap rooms, giant displays and the pleasant sounds of nature. Why can’t we have this?


Linux is great for web work. I do a lot of web programming with Python and PHP and Linux just makes that super easy. Fonts and graphics don’t look as nice as they do with Mac OS X but it’s pretty close.


Count me in as well for not giving in to Vista…to me, the OS is supposed to be some kind of shell that just enables other apps to run, this is should not be using ALL MY RESOURCES ALREADY!!! That and having tinkered with computers running it, I don’t see any noticeable improvements over XP…then again, I’m someone who switched from Windows 95 to XP, so I’m used to seeing night and day difference between operating systems.

Lawrence Salberg

Excellent. As a 20-year purchaser of IBM and Microsoft products, I have no intention of buying Vista (in its current form) as I can do everything I’ll ever need to do for the next five years with XP SP2, and Adobe CS2. So, when I upgrade my 3-year old HP laptop sometime in 2008, I’m looking strongly at getting a MacBook Pro. Just because. I hate Apple fanboys (a simple read of my blog would prove that), but it’s rather ridiculous that here in almost 2008, the PC still doesn’t have an answer to something as native and necessary as TextMate. Sure, we have giant full-blown IDE’s from Microsoft et. al. (that take 650Mb of disk space and 2 minutes to load), and freeware/shareware offshoots (some good, some bad). I’ll always be a PC guy at heart (I heart DOS), but I guess I’m going to return to my Apple II roots this year.

As for your number 3, unfortunately, I think that will go the other way. The whole ‘dumb bunny’ population has yet to truly get online. They still pay with checks at the grocery store, buy throwaway cell phones, and go to the library to check their email. As broadband prices come down even lower, as computers become more necessary, as pressure from family and friends increase, this populace will suddenly discover YouTube and MySpace – and their heads will explode. Trust me, we’ll be getting forwarded emails about a very sick girl who needs our prayers… for many, many, more years. For every one person we educate, two more are getting a new computer and broadband this Christmas. Ugh… I look forward to 2020.

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