New year’s resolutions: An ode to independence [OPINION]

New Year's resolutions

It’s time for some New Year’s resolutions. Join me as I plan for the coming year, offering insight about how I will be enhancing this site and my life over the next 12 months. I do this in hopes that you might do the same with your life and join me on my search for truth.

I’ll reveal how I’m going to modify my coverage on this site, describe the changing role of technology and gadgetry in my life, show you how I’m going to change my approach to social media, and let you in on what I foresee for the future of CharlieWhite.net.




The second half of 2013 saw a personal renaissance for me. Escaping the bonds of corporate vicissitudes, I have enjoyed a level of total independence and freedom I haven’t experienced since I entered the ratrace more than 40 years ago. (If you’d like details about the long and arduous journey, see my LinkedIn profile here or check out my life highlights here.) This new freedom — along with my long-earned financial independence — makes it so I actually don’t give a shit about making money or impressing anybody.

That’s right, I can write the word “shit” and “fuck” without anyone telling me not to.

Why should you care? Because you’re reading a site written by a loose cannon, unfettered by the hunger for profits. It’s not written by someone beholden to corporate interests, afraid of the repercussions of fickle advertisers, or trying to impress cronies or competitors. It’s not written by some fucking neophyte, but manned by a writer who has published more than 3 million words, has seen people born and people die, understands the world and the topics he writes about, and rarely uses serial commas or writes about himself in the third person. Most importantly, he is not afraid to speak truth to power, afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. I search for truth.

I can do anything I want — as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else or myself. I’m not tied down to rewriting the press releases that thousands of other sites churn out ad nauseum. I’m not beholden to any incompetent manager who knows less than I do about technology, journalism, interpersonal skills or common decency. I’m no longer a wage slave to damn-fool overseers who can’t be bothered to read a single word I’ve written — posers who pretend to possess the ability to evaluate my work. Fuck them and fuck that.

This new freedom means I am not controlled by any corporate interests or profit motives, so I can write whatever I want — positive or negative, pointless or profound, mediocre or transcendent — and I don’t even care if anyone likes it or not. The important thing is that I must like what I’m writing and what I’m doing. That means if there is no story that I think is interesting enough to cover that day, I won’t cover anything.

Which reminds me, by the way: No, I’m not going to even acknowledge April Fools’ Day, the most pointless, inane and counterproductive holiday for journalists on the entire calendar. I don’t suffer fools willingly, and April Fools’ Day is the embodiment of that special kind of insanity.

Now that the rant part of my New Year’s resolution is over, I’ll give you some specifics of what I plan to do in the coming 12 months. First of all, my company, Tempamatic Inc., will be expanding. I’ll be launching a new site early this year called Top 5 Coolness Countdown, where every Saturday I’ll publish my picks for the best of the week. The entire site will be dedicated to that single post every weekend, and it will only include the best and the brightest in gadgetry, technology and way-cool shit I’ve seen during the week.

My writing partner John Biggs and I are almost finished with the second edition of Bloggers Boot Camp, to be published by Focal Press and now available for preorder. We expanded the new edition to a book of 100,000 words, updating and enhancing it with lots of new material that encompasses most of what John and I have learned in our collective careers at TechCrunch, Gizmodo, NBCUniversal and Mashable. We have a couple of other publishing projects we can’t reveal yet, but there’s going to be more exciting things to come.

Because of the explosive growth of CharlieWhite.net, companies far and wide are clamoring to have their products reviewed here. As I’ve always done, I’ll only pick the best and brightest stuff, and I’ll steer clear of the gadgetry and junk that other sites flock to like so many sheep. And the car companies will continue to deliver vehicles for me to review here at the Midwest Test Facility, so my continuing coverage of the convergence of cars and personal technology will go into an even-higher gear this year.

On the social media front, I plan to expand in some areas and contract in others. Gone will be any effort with foolish hookup sites like Foursquare, wedding-planning junk sites such as Pinterest, and like much of the world, I’m even scaling back my efforts on Facebook. But I’m revving up my Twitter presence, following a lot more people and gathering lots more followers, and expressing myself in a way I’ve never done before. I invite you to follow me at @charlie_white, and chances are, I’ll follow you back.

On a more personal level, like Henry David Thoreau, I’m simplifying. Ensconced at my own Walden Pond, I’m getting rid of many of the useless gadgets, detritus and material goods that were once important to me for some inexplicable reason. Rejecting the crass culture of American consumerism, I’m embracing technology that improves my quality of life. I’m reducing stress. I’m spending more time with my lovely wife here on the windswept prairie of the Midwest, I’m walking a couple of miles a day, getting plenty of rest and having more fun and fulfillment than I’ve ever had in my life.

For that, I have you to thank, dear readers. Thank you for following my work over all these years. I hope you’ll continue to do so, and I promise to make it entertaining and worthwhile for you. I’m certain 2014 is going to be a banner year for me, and hopefully for all of you, too. Happy new year!

Image: James N. Brown

  • Lee Allan Sanders

    One step, please, take that first step, and live what you have written. I shall pay attention for as long as you hold my attention *:-) Fair enough? Best regards, Lee

    • That is certainly fair enough, Lee. I will take that step and many more. Thanks so much for your comment and for your support.