credit photo to: swamibu

credit photo to: swamibu

I cannot believe it has been one year since I started this blog. It has truly been an eye-opening experience for me and has taken me to a world of social media that I had been little exposed to - from Twitter to LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google Reader, and commenting, tweeting, texting, google waving, and being introduced to the likes of so many social media marketing gurus like Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, Tom Peters, Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Clark, Chris Anderson, and others. It has been helpful and inspiring.

I know this has been a difficult year for many with a troubled economy, continued job losses, foreclosures, Bernie Madoff, Earl Jones (Bernie’s Canadian counterpart), and now Tiger! As my wife says ‘2009 has been the year of disillusionment‘. But through all of this I have been lucky enough to have had an incredibly successful year and it all started with this blog!

Now, I am not saying that this blog has directly driven new sales to my business, nor has Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook for that matter. In fact, based on my actual web traffic, readership, and followers, I would guess it barely made a blip. But what this blog did, was give me focus. To blog means to think - think about what you know, think about what value you could bring to others, and think about how this could help grow your own community and business.

Over the past year, I worked on a variety of interesting consulting projects from best practice research, to system selection, to full blown data conversion and integration projects.   It is into the latter, more simply referred to as ‘Data Transformation Services’, that I decided focus my business development so that we can better serve retailers with this critical service.   Retail IT industry expert, and good friend Bill Robinson, likes to describe this as the ‘under-belly of IT projects’. It is often neglected, under-estimated, under-resourced and lacks the appropriate expertise required, which leads to delayed deliveries, missing data, lack of data integrity and could ultimately lead to failed projects!!  

And so it is with this in mind that I have re-focused my efforts and business development, to better serve a community of retailers and software vendors that understand the critical and difficult nature of this work. A well executed Data Transformation project is essential to project success.  With complete business plan in hand, some new business associates to help, and alliances with key vendors, we are already seeing the positive results of this endeavor.

In the coming year, I intend to further extend these services and continue focusing on my blog, sharing information and knowledge, that is pertinent to retailers of all size and types. So here’s to a new year of blogs, tweets, emails, and community-building.

I wish all my readers a happy, healthy and proserous new year!