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?