2012 has been a great year for me. On a personal level the year had a tough act to follow, as 2011 was a year of amazing highlights – I got married in February 2011 and we enjoyed a superb honeymoon in New Zealand in September.
And while there weren’t similarly outstanding personal events in 2012, it nonetheless feels like a very good year.
For us too, as for many Brits, it was a year of sports: we supported Ulster Rugby all the way in their campaign to reach the Heineken Cup final and were there in Thomond Park when they beat Munster, in the Aviva Stadium when they defeated Edinburgh, and in Twickenham when they lost to a magnificent Leinster side.
We experienced the Paralympic Games in London and had an absolutely fantastic few days there watching legends such as Oscar Pistorius and David Weir break records and amaze the world.
More importantly, in 2012 I’ve grown even closer to my wife, maintained friendships and started new ones, and feel that I’m right where I’m supposed to be in life.
On a professional level, 2012 has been a truly outstanding year. I’ve grown as a SEO and digital marketer, and feel I’m really coming in to my own. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at some major digital conferences in 2012, specifically SAScon and Think Visibility.
The wonderful people at the University of Ulster’s DMC programme asked me back for some more guest lectures on SEO and digital marketing, and I’ve given a fair few one-off lectures and workshops as well. I’ve found that this is something I genuinely enjoy doing, which is a bit unexpected for someone who used to dread any form of public speaking.
In the same month I was promoted to the position of Digital Director and tasked with making our web development and digital marketing business an even bigger success. It’s a huge new responsibility for me, and one that I embrace wholeheartedly.
We have some major challenges ahead of us, with a constantly changing digital marketing landscape, a sceptical marketplace that (in Northern Ireland at least) is not quite ready to fully embrace digital yet, and strong competitors keeping us on our toes. But we have a very strong team of great talents, and I’m confident that we can handle anything thrown at us. So I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.
To all of my readers, followers, colleagues, friends and family, I wish you a very merry Christmas and may 2013 bring you at least as many joys and highlights as 2012 brought me.