I am almost bursting with excitement as I type my 50th blog post, clocking more than 40,000 words this year.  And by 50/50 I don’t mean half-and-half, I mean I WROTE 50 BLOG POSTS!!!!

This blog has enabled me to peek under the stones of my mind and see that the “soil” of my data imagination is teaming with ideas!  We’ve explored so much together, and there are so many tips, lessons, and unsolicited opinions (hehe!) yet to come.  Thank you for joining me on this wild blogging and  justice-seeking adventure, especially to the 150+ readers who have joined TDAA as email subscribers (you can, too!  Visit the homepage and then subscribe on the right hand side – it’s free!)

thank you!

Experiments / TDAA Retrospective

5531986I’ve pushed myself to do some TDAA experiments this year and I’ve learned so much!  Some panned out, some not quite – and that’s ok.  Some readers love it when I do month-long series, like de-duping data, achieving a mail merge, and digital self care. Other folks prefer when I switch it up – better if you get bored easily, or if the theme doesn’t strike your fancy.   In general, my users didn’t love my survey experiment, but I’m still glad I tried it out.  I’ll experiment with other ways to solicit feedback next time!

community-problem-solving

Sometimes, I wrote about using spreadsheets to solve problems, like managing classroom behavior and sign in sheets for grassroots organizers.  Contact lists are an especially thorny AND useful set of techniques, and they featured prominently on the blog, like here, here, and here.  Do you need help solving tricky spreadsheet problems?  Write to me and I’ll help out as much as I can!

badges-570x570TDAA generated a few paid gigs which was not at all what I expected and turned out to be a lot of fun.  I loved supporting volunteers from the Working Families Party to increase their data and spreadsheet literacy, and I learned a whole lot about hosting webinars through the process.  It participated in a fantastic opportunity to support the Womens’ March when I learned that they needed a bit of help with email automation.  I used the money that came in from these projects to hire artists to help TDAA grow and become more beautiful and intuitive.  I still take on select consulting projects every now and again.  If you’d like to work together, check out what I can offer.

bubble-1Finally, I wrote some “think pieces” that surprised even me!   Some focused on data and activism, like this piece that went mini-viral with my Salesforce friends and this piece about why BMI is a lousy health metric.  I believe that for grassroots campaigns and social movements to succeed, we need to leverage the power of a good spreadsheet.  What started out as a project about spreadsheet tips and tricks has turned into so much more.  I feel very purposeful and directed when I am blogging and supporting grassroots changemakers.  This whole project is a labor of love, and I am so glad to see it flourishing.

Reflection

My activist home, the Earth Quaker Action Team, has instilled in me a deep appreciation for debriefing.  Today, I challenged myself to use this methodology that’s common in the Scrum/sprint world.  What do you want to see more/less of?  What should I start/stop/keep doing?  Write me a note or leave a comment!

starfish-retrospective

Keep doing:

  • 1-2 posts per week
  • Maintain punny, funny, empowering tone
  • Share real-deal, tried-and-true spreadsheet and database advice and solutions ALWAYS FOR FREE

Start doing (or… try out!):

  • Interview data rockstars about how they got good at data and social movements
  • Occasional book reviews
  • Guest posts
  • Hosting an in-person TDAA event
  • TDAA swag!!!
  • Find more venues and readers to share blog posts with

Stop doing:

  • Surveys!  Instead, I would love to hear your feedback in a way that works for you

Less of:

  • Presenting at conferences

More of:

  • Art and design
  • Storytelling

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