Eight Ball | Decisions, Rats, and That Kind of Thing

Another year, already, and change is the buzz word. I hear it in the speeches during the primaries (and from the pundits, who editorialize about the “change election”). It’s an election year, and we all want change. How time flies! Our astral mascot is a rodent, and we’re going to collectively do things differently this year. That’s the Zeitgeist-y feeling, anyway.

But change is really in the offing for me, too, so all this talk of change in 2008 resonates with me on a more personal level. I resigned from AOL to do my own thing for a little while, and so far, it’s been great. Here’s what I learned about hard decisions.

You just make them.

OK, a bit too pithy, that last sentence. What I mean is, you listen to that voice inside your head, and you evaluate your opportunities, and you agonize a bit over things, and then you see the light.

That’s how it was with me. I liked working at AOL. A retrospective of my career there includes the time I spent as one of Netscape Communications’ Technology Evangelists, before we shipped viable Mozilla-based browsers. This was followed by the creation of the Mozilla Foundation in 2003 (and mass layoffs at AOL’s west coast campus, and soul searching on my part …). There was work with the Technology Strategy group, and work on Web Personalization (check out Mgnet), and W3C Standards work as AOL’s Advisory Committee Representative. Your work place kind of becomes a part of you. I mean, I was there for a whopping 6 years (and more, counting my time as a consultant for iPlanet doing work on Netscape’s Communicator 4.x series of browsers).

I’ll miss the great people I worked with. But the technical future of Web Personalization (check out Mgnet already) is in stonse’s able hands. And W3C stuff is in Kev’s able hands. And AOL will be AOL, with or without me.

So I’m going out to do some traveling, and some work on my own projects, and some searching, and some mending, and I’ll be back. Watch this space.

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