My Year In Lists






I love a list. Just call me Rob Fleming – chief character from the book High Fidelity, played by John Cusack in the movie – the likeness is in our obsessive measuring of our lives in Top 5 moments, not in bearing a resemblance to John Cusack you understand!

Much as I tried to rationalise the need to measure things in my last blog – I can’t deny the fascination with seeing my life through these statistical shapes and patterns. Sometimes they can give an accurate snapshot, other times they can be misleading.

Technology now enables more aspects of my life to be more measured so here I’m using it to bring you my State of Mervyn 2011!

What have I listened to?

Those nice developers at Apple now make it quite easy to find out what I play the most so my 5 most listened to 2011 released albums are:

  • Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  • The Horrors – Skying
  • Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  • Wilco – Mighty Love
  • Kurt Vile – Smoke Rings for My Halo

Clearly the ones that I’ve owned the longest have usually been played more…bubbling under were more recently acquired albums from Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey, Tim Hecker, Jonathan Wilson and SBTRKT.

So 2011 has seen me listening to my usual mix of americana, psych folk and leftfield electronica with Radiohead, Wilco and Ryan Adams – three of my favourite bands – all releasing albums I’ve liked. The list is based on what I listened to…sometimes my favourite albums are not always the ones I listen to the most. If it was most liked then the 5 would be as above but with PJ Harvey and SBTRKT replacing Bon Iver and Kurt Vile in the list.

Where have I been?

As a regular Foursquare user it’s quite easy for me to work out where I go the most…providing I remember to check-in! I don’t consider myself obsessive – I don’t have my home set up as a location, nor do I check-in to work locations every day – and I try to limit check-ins to those where there is a message or comment to add.

My top 5 categories of check-ins were:

  • Pubs
  • Train stations
  • Coffee Shops
  • Cafes
  • Hotels

Not sure the distinction between coffee shops and cafes so probably best to put them together and knock pubs off the top…the recent unlocking of the Wino 2 badge was not my proudest Foursquare achievement of the year!

Not sure this will tell anyone anything about me they didn’t already know…though the classifying of restaurants into different cuisines probably kept them off the list.

Who did I go there with?

There is little doubt that my social media activity has increased my social circles and created more opportunities for meeting people…many people that I have met through social networking have now become real life friends. December is proving to be a very active month socially – by the time I bring in 2012 I would have had arrangements (including family days at Xmas) on 19 of the 31 days of December – so who have I been seeing?

  • Traditional social friends – 7
  • Online social friends – 5
  • Family – 4
  • Colleagues – 3

Traditional, social, in-real-life friends still win, probably because it’s Xmas time, and haven’t (yet) been overtaken by those that I’ve met through social connectivity, though these latter friendships are very real and increasingly important to me.

I’m seeing all friends…I’m the winner; my liver is the loser (think there’s a new year’s resolution in there somewhere!)

What have I written?

Lastly I’ve been looking at the blogs on T Recs. This has been a strange year as I now blog very regularly as a major part of the day job so the personal blog has suffered by comparison…something I will attempt to address in 2012. Looking back at 2010, my most popular posts tended to be rants about the recruitment industry, something which has been tempered slightly.

The discipline of blogging 3/4 times a week as part of a social job hunt led to me to write more personal pieces and this is something that I have kept up during the year.

To get my Top 5 list I’ve looked at the most read, which were:

All very different blogs, some sharing good news, some sharing bad, and some posing questions…I will be sharing some of the most reads of other bloggers in my next post as I try to look for the themes that we like to read about.

So that’s me in 2011. Let me know about your year, what you’ve listened to, where you’ve been and what you’ve read….



6 thoughts on “My Year In Lists

  1. I love lists too. What an interesting way would look back at your year. Can’t wait to click through and re-read your most popular posts. Your writing always inspires me.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mervyn, it’s great to have a consistent UK (and Gunners!) perspective when I am on the other side of the world, in Melbourne. Enjoy your festive season.

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