I originally planned to write my last blog entry for 2005 on the final day of the year, but I'm traveling between Friday and Saturday and I have a feeling I'll be quite jetlagged come New Year's Eve. So here it is.
I will always remember 2005 as the year I started podcasting. The fact that the term 'podcast' has been declared Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary validates my personal sense of accomplishment even more. 'Bird flu', 'sudoku', 'ICE' and 'rootkit' are among the runners-up for this year. Speaking a few weeks ago, Erin McKean, editor in chief of the New Oxford American Dictionary, said that 'podcast' "was considered for inclusion last year [in 2004], but we found that not enough people were using it, or were even familiar with the concept." I believe that more Maltese people will catch up with podcasting in 2006.
Aside from this somewhat personal highlight (along with some other moments I'll get to in a minute), I have a feeling that I'll remember 2005 as a not-so-great year. The destruction caused by the 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami, which left more than 230,000 people dead or missing, marked the early part of 2005. Furthermore, the hurricanes in the Caribbean and US Gulf Coast, as well as the earthquakes in Iran, Pakistan and India, made 2005 a year we all want to forget.
I'm not saying it was an uneventful year. I doubt that such a thing is actually possible. All I'm saying is that there weren't enough positive memorable aspects. Malta's ever-growing crisis with refugees and illegal immigrants became very evident in 2005. The suicide bomb attacks on the London transport system in July, which killed 52 people, spoiled any long-term jubilation that could be drawn from the Live 8 campaign. And that's just two of all sorts of other things I'd rather were different about the last 12 months.
The change in pontiff at the Vatican dominated the news in April. Such a turn of events always has a bitter sweet character. However, many argued that this time the sweetness was quite lacking. I suggested that we would only really know after some time. Several months have passed now and I'm still waiting for some sugar from the new pope. Perhaps I'm expecting too much or maybe I don't really care that much either way.
I've blogged about most of the things I just mentioned. 2005 was the first full calendar year for my blog. I was greatly flattered when a handful of friends decided to mark the first 12 months since I started blogging in 2004. One way to pay them back the compliment was to invite them to bring their own blogs to the MaltaMedia Online Network. Robert Micallef's Wired Temples and Pierre J. Mejlak's Blog (formerly known as Book and Beans) have now joined my blog on MMON. Just a few weeks ago, we added another one, called Real Virtuality, from Martin Debattisa. Something tells me that we'll continue this trend in 2006, especially if Wired Temples keeps attracting guest bloggers the way it has in recent months. It is also in this spirit that we have collected entries similar to this one on MaltaMedia's end of year review.
Last year I presented a partial, most subjective, list of blog entries from 2004 to mark the highs and lows in my year, as chronicled on my blog. I think I'll try to make that a personal tradition by doing the same thing this year too:
AND HOW CAN I EVER FORGET?
Many thanks for reading my blog and listening to my podcasts in 2005...I wish you a very happy new year!