Neerav Bhatts 2008: The Year That Was (Twitter, Tipping Points and Hyperconnectivity)

The biggest turning point for 2008 occurred on January 4th when I bought a new Nokia 6300 mobile phone which allowed me to carry a source of Internet access in my pocket. This in turn inspired me to join the online micro-blogging site

Joining Twitter was the best decision I made all year

Like many people I was a doubter of Twitter for a long time, thinking it was a waste of time to keep track of all the small mundane things people say and do all day 24/7.

Many people had suggested that I should join but the tipping point which convinced me was when This Week in Tech (TWiT) panelist and notorious anti-meme/hype curmudgeon John C. Dvorak joined Twitter

This is when I realised that Twitter is a tool and how it’s used/misused is up to you. I decided to use it to:

1. Find smart people in industries I’m interested in eg IT/Web/Politics/Old Media/New Media/Science/Finance. Listen to what they have to say and converse with them.

2. Discuss topics I didn’t have time to blog about, link to interesting articles that I read, news/factoids I’ve found and answer other people’s questions as often as possible using my internet research skills.

Thanks to Twitter I’ve been able to learn from, get to know better and have online & in real life conversations with many people including: @stilgherrian (raconteur & occasional columnist), @bitethedust (pharmacist working in remote Australian desert), @valeriekhoo (entrepreneur & freelance writer for Fairfax), @lebard (owner of, @IanWoolf (Science broadcaster/physicist), @jdlasica (social web/media junkie), @kcarruthers (IT consultant), @catrionapollard (owner of PR company), @jayrosen_nyu (teaches journalism at NYU), @Scott_Drummond (Malcolm Gladwell look alike), @warrencheetham (Digital Services Librarian) …. amongst countless others

Twitter Connections

To date a lot people are following what I have to say on Twitter so I must be participating and providing links to useful/interesting information 🙂

As a sidenote: having access to the Internet on my mobile this year allowed me to read newspapers while commuting, waiting in queues etc. The Guardian, New York Times and The Australian have replaced the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC News as the sources I check for breaking news / “newspapers of record”.

Big Events of 2008

Network 10 TV News interviewed me and 2 other Australian Professional Bloggers

Feature photo of me & several quotes in AFR article Play it Safe, Click for Cash

UWS Gradlife magazine interviewed me and published the article “Professional Blogger Hits Big Time” on their front page. I was really proud of this because it’s only been 6 years since I graduated from UWS with my undergraduate Business Computing degree.

I gave a short presentation at the Wordcamp Australia 2008 conference: $US5 Donation to WordPress: the best investment I ever made

display on wall of Google Sydney office

Other Interesting Events of 2008 in Date Order

January, February, March

April, May, June

SMX Sydney 2008

July, August, September

Neerav Bhatt near start line for City 2 Surf 2008

  • Started working as a casual Information Services Librarian (2 half day shifts/week) at the University of Technology (UTS) Library’s Research Helpdesk – I have a strong customer service ethic, love researching random topics and helping people find information they’re seeking so it’s a great adjunct to working in my own Business the rest of each week as a Professional Blogger & Consultant.
  • Trained the staff at a PR/marketing company using my Guide To Twitter Etiquette and Efficient Use To Achieve Your Goals which led to further consultancy work later in the year giving similar training to a major Australian financial services company
  • Sony Ericsson Australia asked me to review their new c902 camera phone and join their blogger product review program.
  • I used the c902’s camera to take photos as I ran the City 2 Surf – Sydney to Bondi Fun Run
  • Thanks to Twitter contact Valerie Khoo I got to review the Sydney Writers Centre Travel Writing Seminar
  • Watched PIXAR’s WALL-E – movie of the year in my opinion. WALL-E is a robot movie with heart and soul. Everyone I know who’s watched it, loved it, regardless of their age or whether they usually dislike animated movies. You must watch it 🙂

October, November, December

  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky Read many great books written by Big Picture Thinkers in the Internet/ Information industry including:
    Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky and Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott.
  • Found out that author, newspaper columnist & financial literacy evangelist Scott Pape was a long time reader of my blog! 🙂 He sent me a copy of his book The Barefoot Investor: 5 Steps to Financial Freedom to review and I might do some consulting work for him in the future.
  • I’m almost finished a Graduate Diploma in Information Management at UTS (1 subject left in 2009). I was sick/injured during 2 assessment tasks of the subject I was enrolled in and had to work almost 2 days straight without sleep each time to hand the tasks in – thank goodness passed it by the smallest margin possible 🙂
  • Attended the 4th ALIA New Librarians Symposium. The presenters were informative and it was fun to chat with other young people working in Libraries around Australia
  • Took time out to relax during December – catch up on TV shows I’d recorded on my PVR, met with friends, reduced the backlog of books to read etc

EDIT: In a late development the talented editorial cartoonist for Andrew Marlton aka “First Dog On the Moon” drew personalised animal avatars for lots of his friends on Twitter including me 🙂 As I’m tall I asked for a Giraffe and this is what he came up with…

Firstdogonmoon arty giraffe

All in all 2008 was a great year happy face: my websites got well over 1.2 million pageviews through 2008, Advertising income was volatile due to the huge fluctuations in the $AUS but averaged out well in the end, I made new friends & business associates, got in touch with many people working in old media/new media who I can learn from …

2008 opened up many opportunities for me thanks to my more visible reputation as a professional blogger, to paraphrase the Ferengi species from Star Trek “2009 will be the year to carpe jugulum (grab opportunities by the throat)”

My Best Blog Posts for 2008

If you didn’t notice when I published them a few days ago I’ve created a list of the best 2008 Blog posts at my Rambling Thoughts Blog


3 responses to “Neerav Bhatts 2008: The Year That Was (Twitter, Tipping Points and Hyperconnectivity)”

  1. Wow – that’s quite a year Neerav: TV, newspapers – I’ll be expecting to read about an upcoming film role when you do the same review next year!

    It was a pleasure meeting you at SMX and whilst I’m not sure I’ll be able to make the Sydney event again this year I do hope to be back soon (I kind of view the place as my spiritual home) and hope to see you then.

    All the best for a great 2009.


    EDITOR: Thanks Ciarán 🙂

    The media coverage was achieved through a mixture of good luck and knowing the right people because I realised journos would see blogging as a “hot topic” for 2008 and made sure the right people found out about my websites

    For 2009 I hope to get more confident at public speaking by trying to get a speaker spot at 1 or 2 conferences

  2. Now I guess I am one of the few people that still aren’t using Twitter (I have signed up though) because I still do see the benefits compared to the time I’m sure it’ll take away from my business.

    I can see the benefit of being able to chat with high profile people that you can talk to otherwise but that is also about it. I’m not sure that will be worth the time I expect it’ll take away from my daily tasks.

  3. Stilgherrian

    The Ferengi speak LATIN? Cool.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles