2017 Reflection and 2018 Goals

Welcome to the Ashley Blewer annual report. Here is last year’s.


2017 was not good. We all know it was not good. I spent a lot of time getting hurt and staying hurt. I spent a lot of time supporting those hurting near me (even if not physically near me). I’ve experienced a lot of heartbreak from institutions and the people within them and have had to distance myself from a lot of people who turned out to be not very good. I don’t want to dwell on this, but I feel like I lost a lot of time to mitigating damage from multiple sources.

I’ve learned to pay attention to what people do, not what people say they do. I feel like I’ve learned habits I wish I didn’t have to learn.

I suppose, then, this was the year of reinforcing personal infrastructure.

Writing this entry was actually very cathartic and made me feel like I did accomplish things despite a mix of personal setbacks and the endless, disastrous news cycle affecting all of us.


What did I do?

My goals were lofty and I made some progress, but there is more work to be done.


The new A/V Artifact Atlas was launched at the beginning of this year – a huge redesign! We got more contributors, more contributions, and more eyes on the project as a result. I am happy!

My site and ffmprovisr both got redesigns. Well, my personal website got many redesigns in one. I put these both in the category of “getting organized.” I still love ffmprovisr very much and it’s been so nice to see it grow. I pushed to ensure its longevity and health by making sure I wasn’t the default benevolent-dictator to the project and set up a maintainer team. Many hands make light work.

Behind the scenes, my physical and digital archives are both in order, and I reduced my online presence and ties with fundamentally corrupt systems (although there’s always more to do!). I restructured some previous tiny applications too, reducing their codebases, and also made some new ones.

I followed up with the successful Minimum Viable Workstation document with one for recipes and a similar-in-spirit project, the Collection Management System Collection. I continue to oversee both of these little projects and people seem to like them.

Work things

The good thing about blogging regularly is it is easy to remember what I did this year. I went to No Time To Wait! in Vienna and Open Source Bridge in Portland. I spoke at both. I went to !!Con and textAV. Did I do anything else?

Both MediaConch and QCTools have concluded as projects (although final announcements are imminent!). I had a good time organizing and teaching at BAVC’s SignalServer Workshop, which featured SignalServer, QCTools, and the new command-line report generator, qcli. Here is a blog post I did for qcli. And here is a report from the workshop. I got to fill up the MediaConch blog with nine interviews (with eleven people). It’s incredibly rewarding to see the cumulation of these projects and get user feedback in this way. I look forward to QCTools 1.0 being released in early 2018 and MediaConch’s future efforts.

I started 2017 still in love with my job. Unfortunately there is something very bad happening there, and I became the 14th to leave my department in less than a year. That number is now at 20.

New things

Internet Girlfriend Club launched over the summer, which has brought me a lot of joy. In a way, it’s been one of the hardest personal projects I have ever done because it relies entirely on other people sending in contributions and involves me endlessly nudging people to fulfill favors of writing stories or sending material to me. Asking for help has always been a weakness for me. It is worth it though. BTW, contribute!!!

I’ve taken this picture every day this year.

There a couple of projects in formation that I won’t speak about right now.

Still hardly watched any movies. I did read a lot of books.

I joined the ALA ACRL TechConnect blogging team, and I will need to deliver in 2018!


I am, as ever, dedicated to vigilance.

If you are reading this far down, you get a sneak peek of something I am launching very soon and look forward to continuing work on in 2018, and that is my collection of audiovisual preservation training materials, available ✨ here. I’m very excited to put everything I know in one place and I hope it will be helpful to others.

You may notice the URLs for this blog have changed to my domain (as well as the above link to training documents). I want to continue this pattern of minimizing dependence on systems I do not have control over. My content is still being served by GitHub but this is a step towards having the power to re-direct if necessary. I keep threatening to switch to a Dell running Linux but we’ll see if that happens.

I’ve spent the past few months feeling like I am intensely in a limbo, and I find that picking definitive goals in for the next year during this time period would be ill-advised. (My I Ching app tells me this constantly!) So although I have some things to propose, impatiently I will wait.


Addendum: I will note that I have set myself up for over-conferencing-syndrome in early 2018. Maybe you’ll catch me…

And potentially a couple more that are TBD. Maybe I will come back with a goals list after this first-quarter marathon, with “less conferences!” certainly at the top.