Happy Birthday Next Starfish

Happy Birthday to me !

It’s been exactly one year since I wrote my first post on Next Starfish – Does the World Really Need Another Blog ?

Needless to say when I started I felt I was on very uncertain ground indeed – what was I going to write about, would anyone be interested in reading it, could I find the time to write several posts a week, could I sort out all the technical aspects of maintaining a blog ?

I also did a bit of wrestling with a few slightly deeper questions – why did I want to write a blog anyway, what was I hoping to achieve, how would I know when I’ve achieved it ?

I finally came to the conclusion that I’d never know the answer to any of these questions unless I gave it a go.

It’s been a really enjoyable twelve months, despite all the late nights, cups of coffee and wrangles with WordPress. The number of people reading Next Starfish has grown steadily over the year, finally totaling a little over 15,000. I’m also pleased to have attracted a good number of followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

Most enjoyable of all though has been making contact with some of the many fantastic people who are out there making the world a better place in their own way. Knowing there are so many individuals and groups striving for positive change, forming part of what Paul Hawken calls “The Blessed Unrest“, has genuinely been both inspiring and humbling.

So what’s next for Next Starfish ?

Technically I plan to do a minor update on some appearance aspects of the site over the next couple of months, and also want to improve the integration with social media – something I’ve been struggling with lately (you might have noticed).

In terms of writing I plan to cover a slightly broader range of issues, and perhaps also explore a couple of other article styles – such as interviews or debates. I’m always on the lookout for interesting guest posts, just send me any ideas.

I’ve also begun writing a book, which (all being well) I plan to publish electronically in the late Autumn.

I plan on calling it ‘The Year I Saved the World’ and it’ll present one idea, issue or call to action every day over the course of a year.

I’ll put a sample chapter free for download on my site, so, if it sounds like your kind of thing, you could check it out in advance before deciding whether to buy it or not. If you’re interested in being kept informed of progress, and perhaps also listening to me moaning occasionally, please either send me an email asking to be added to my newsletter list, or sign up on the right hand side.

It’s been a great year – thanks so much for being part of it, I really appreciate it.

If you’re out there ‘saving the world’ too and there’s anything I can do to help, just drop me a line.


  1. Lorna Prescott says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    And thank you for starting, and continuing, to blog. For me your posts provide things to ponder and reflect on, and sometimes try out, and importantly offer useful ideas and information in bite-sized chunks. The Ethical Consumer magazine drops through my letter box every couple of months but I rarely read more than one or two bits of it, and then not in entirety as they are so detailed. However I can easily read the whole of your posts and feel I’m being informed about things which are important to me.

    Following your post in the New Year about Getting Things Done, I finally read the whole of David Allen’s book (which had been on my bookshelf for some time) and started to implement “The System” as my husband calls it. I haven’t got there yet, despite a nice GTD iPad app to help me, but I did clear out a 4 foot high pile of papers from home and work and started to understand the beauty of the approach. I’m determine to get there, though sorting out my numerous stores of information stored electronically, and my email inboxes is proving more boring than I thought and easy to get distracted from. I hope that when I do get a bit more sorted, as you suggest, it will then be easier to do some other things which are important.

    In response to your request for interesting guest posts, perhaps Emily Wilkinson or Deborah Ravetz – here’s a Emily’s blog of an interview with Deborah: http://septembersunjournal.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/on-learning-to-love-your-questions-the-role-of-ethical-individualism-authenticity-%E2%80%A8and-meaning-in-creative-practice-and-everyday-life/ I’d never met Emily or Deborah when I first read it, but re-read the post today as I have recently met Deborah and been invited to have dinner with her and others tomorrow, as unbeknown to me she lives 4 miles from where I work! I hadn’t made the connection until Emily tweeted me after a phone conversation she’d had with Deborah.

    Perhaps you could consider having parts of the debates you are considering on twitter – maybe a way to engage and involve people who might not have read your blog and who might feel differently about these issues than most of us who comment here. I quite like it when there is a date and time (perhaps an hour) set aside for a focused chat on twitter, and even if I’m not around I can have a look afterwards to see what folk have been contributing.

    Good luck with your book writing, it sounds like a great idea and I look forward to a sneak preview! And thank you for sharing all the things you do – your blog helps me to feel less odd in my little efforts to consider the impact of my actions on the world and people around me.

    • Lorna – so kind, thank you very much.

      Glad you’re giving GTD another shot – it’s made quite a big difference to my way of working, I don’t follow it religiously, but the basics of: capture, process, sort, do, review, definitely seem to work for me

      Thanks for the advice about Twitter chats – sounds like a good idea, and something I’m keen to try out. There’s a couple of ideas I’m kicking about and I’ll pick one to try out perhaps later this month.

      Thanks so much for support for Next Starfish over the last year, it really is much appreciated. Sometimes the only encouragement needed is just knowing other people ‘get it’.

      Rest assured when I’m sending out drafts of my book, I’ll make sure you get one )

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