At the end of 2008, I posted an internal year in review, month by month, which wasn't just a look at the world through louisgray.com lenses, but also at the Web at large, seeing companies debut and change through the year. As you can imagine, what seemed important at the end of the year varied a great deal from that catching my eye at the beginning of the year. Similarly, the issue is no doubt true for 2009 - year that saw a lot less, at least for me, in terms of new startups, and instead, a lot more concern and issues with the economy. As mentioned in last week's roundup of new Web services that debuted in the year, many new products were extensions to others, or leveraged existing platforms.
That's a message you can see through the site's activity... below. Last year's big word was "launched". I dare say this year's word was "Twitter".
In what proved to be a prophetic (or ironic) post, I advised FriendFeed on what they should do to gain market share... and said why I talk to companies via the blog... Twitter OAuth slipped... Mike Fruchter penned an epic post on getting started in social media... non real-time Web got me down... Steve Jobs took sick leave... the recession started impacting ads... TweetDeck got funded... but Twitter kept screwing up... scammers joined Facebook... Twitter was funded... and BuzzGain launched.
FriendFeed tapped their database with advanced search capabilities... and I visited Lijit in Boulder, Colorado... seeing Gnip as well... Sirius Radio tried to die... and Outbrain was funded... Facebook ads remained off-topic... while I started playing iShoot on the iPhone... while wondering what companies would get us out of the recession... Trendrr launched... we debated Twitter's utility for following people... embraced Google Translate... talked about the cloud and SocialToo blocked automated direct messages.
I attended SXSW in Austin, and future Twitter screenshots were leaked... Likaholix launched... I said you should stand for something... while Twitter spammers got creative... Kosmix launched MeeHive... Google Reader added comments... the iPhone gained Facebook Connect... I talked about how to blog live events... CloudContacts launched... as did DoodleJump and FeedBlitz RSS... the recession highlighted a downward spiral and Britney Spears passed President Obama on Twitter. Although mocked at the time for the post, it was a key "tell" in the trend that saw Ashton Kutcher, Ellen and Oprah become top names over the geeks.
Twitter ticked me off again... ReadBurner launched BurnURL... while FriendFeed went real-time... Shyftr filtered RSS feeds... I rode a Segway at TechCrunch... Twazzup challenged Twitter Search... Tweetie for Mac was released... I said to stretch me thinner as trade show attendance cratered... Lunch.com debuted... and more Twitter screenshots were leaked.
Adobe didn't want me as a customer... saying they were expensive... Microsoft said search could be improved... I debated the intersection of skill and luck for job hunters... Socialmedian integrated into XING... the mob yelled at Twitter... I gave up on Apple rumors... discussed social media data flow and being an early adopter... Twitter's search engine broke down... Flickchart launched... as did Qajack, Topsy, and PeopleBrowsr... and blogging and RSS "seemed slow"...
Google introduced an improved blog search... Drew Olanoff got cancer... I bought Robert Scoble's BMW... Palm and Bing managed not to suck... I was on SocialWeb TV... BackType launched BackTweets... FriendFeed spiked my RSS stats... I subscribed to Sirius Radio... Matthew and Sarah turned one year old... as I visited TiVo and highlighted the importance of blogging.
FriendFeed added real-time search... retweeting started to trump linking... TweetDeck turned one... Google announced Chrome OS... Lazyfeed launched... as did Echo and Seesmic Web... I discussed beta processes and being a VC in text form... Pubsubhubbub launched... I drooled over the potential of the CrunchPad... and my6sense debuted.
I was curious about Apple's plans beyond Mac OS X... noted RSS Feed readers giving way to Google Reader... suggested not to unfollow everyone on Twitter... held a Lunch 2.0 panel with Kosmix, Mozilla and FriendFeed... tried Spotify for the first time... as Favorit shut down and FriendFeed sold out to Facebook... while that was debated... Twitter was under attack... conversations on Google Reader skyrocketed... Blogger turned 10... and Lazyfeed and my6sense opened for everyone.
Following an SFAMA panel, I said social media was infrastructure... as Brizzly debuted... I was on a panel with Ev and Biz to discuss Blogger... Steve Jobs showed his face... Reader2Twitter sent updates from Google Reader to Twitter... Ecademy went real-time... as I flew to London to speak on social media for business... I told you my 10 favorite Google products... MaxiScale debuted... as did Simler... and I got tired of the distributed conversations battle... and talked about why companies raise money and the pressures that result from VC funding... and Twitter readied lists.
Google Wave proved to be cool, but very busy... as Twitter took over the world... I yawned at the FTC... and was curmudgeonly about social media... explained why I share what and where I do... lauded corporate openness... and said there was no perfect Twitter client... I went back to BlogWorld... and said blogging wasn't dead yet... the Salmon protocol was spec'd... FriendFeed started to crumble at Facebook... I said Twitter couldn't replace RSS... Google Reader launched Magic... BlogTalkRadio launched Cinch podcasts... I debated going completely Google... and discussed the issue of open APIs.
The Motorola Droid looked pretty cool... Stalqer was interesting... every Twitter client added lists... Cadmus launched... and Google released Closure... I went to Defrag and discussed the social Web and the flow... introduced Paladin Advisors Group... Facebook filtered out my sister having a baby... I discussed the pillars of successful social networks... and the Chrome OS release... Twitter promised ads... I found issues with FTC's disclosure rules... and the CrunchPad was dead, unfortunately.
I said Google wasn't going to go evil... Lazyfeed revamped into square mode... we released FTC disclosure icons... SocialToo did the dirty work on Twitter for me... as the microblogging service matured... my6sense introduced mytweetsense at LeWeb... where I was hosting a Twitter apps panel... Google expanded Web Elements... I fell in love with Icerocket search and Spotify for the iPhone... I said companies that set the agenda win... highlighted how tech news writers are incentivized... and showed how RSS readers continue to grow. More recently, I recapped ten top applications from the year, recapped my yearly predictions and whether I met the year's goals.
And that, barring dramatic news in the next few days, encapsulates much of 2009, as captured by the site. Now you can see how the year's developments took place, get an idea for the events I attended, where I spoke, and what companies were making news. A busy year, as every year seems to be. The year was marked by some slowness in terms of new company debuts, but plenty of movement at the big ones. 2010, as the economy improves somewhat, should see some new names again, and I'll be looking forward to recapping those in a year.
Disclosures: I am an advisor for SocialToo, ReadBurner and BuzzGain. In addition, my6sense, Kosmix, Ecademy, and Simler have all been clients of Paladin Advisors Group in 2009.