2016 End of Year Wrap-Up

You know that old saying, make sure you save and save often. Well I usually do that, except for this time and the computer crashed and I lost what I had done.

I thought I would do a wrap up of how 2016 went for me. This year was a very mixed bag of things, with a bit of crappy stuff happening but the good outweighed that and always will. Here is a roundup of the good the bad and the plans for 2017 in regards to all areas of things.

This Website

2016 Highlights

  • I wrote better blog post entries than I have in the past and I was happy with what I wrote.
  • I removed a bunch of randomness from the front page and condensed it down a bit.
  • I changed the name of the site and made a new logo to go with it. I am happier with the new name and how it all fits in with everything else.
  • I vlogged for a whole month, which was challenging and cool. But I feel vlogging isn’t really for me. Although I’d like to film some new things
  • I got some business cards made to help when I am explaining about all the things I am up to

2016 Lowlights

  • I didn’t get around to adding a photo type page to the site
  • My frequency of posts wasn’t as good as it could have been

2017 Plans

  • To be more consistent with my blog posting. Initial plan is once/month (although I did manage to bang out 15 this year)
  • Implement some type of photo page into the site

Giant Pumpkins NZ

2016 Highlights

  • I was there when the heaviest pumpkin in the Southern Hemisphere was weighed again for the 2nd year in a row
  • I felt like I was in a better place with all of the pumpkin stuff
  • I sent a bunch of seeds to new growers
  • I was there when the seeds were taken out of the pumpkin and it started to be turned into a Cinderella carriage
  • Went to Little River down in the South Island for the first time

2016 Lowlights

  • I didn’t really shoot any video
  • I’ve been slack on the newsletter – I don’t get any feedback and apart from the general stuff am not sure what to put in it
  • I’m growing in a small stupid area again
  • It’s taken me a long time to sort out the photos on the website, and I still haven’t done it
  • I didn’t get my shit together and sort out the online shop, I have installed something new, but I’m unsure how I feel about it

2017 Plans

  • I’m planning on going to more events, including Bushmere Arms for the first time
  • I want to video more of the events in 2017
  • I’m going to update the YouTube Channel
  • I’m going to finally nail the photos on the website
  • I’m going to grow a bigger pumpkin than last year
  • Sort out the online shop aspect of the site

Op Shop Directory

2016 Highlights

  • More Op Shops were added to the site and more updates were made
  • I had an award made for Op Shop of the year 2016
  • I sold some photo upgrades on the website

2016 Lowlights

  • I sometimes didn’t keep on top of the updates in a timely fashion
  • I didn’t have anything planned for the Op Shop of the year thing, so haven’t used the trophy L

2017 Plans

  • I’m going to get the sticker for stores finally made
  • I’m going to have Op Shop of the year and hopefully will partner with someone to help with that
  • I’m going to update more of the Op Shops, including the opening hours

The Chris and Sam Podcast

2016 Highlights

  • We had out 100th episode, along with a party which was really good and have missed only 1 week I think for the whole year
  • I swapped from typing show notes into Google Docs, to using Word and posting directly to the site. It’s a small time saver but seems to help.
Podcast artwork from our #1 fan.

2016 Lowlights

  • Some episodes have been a real struggle to edit and get ready
  • We haven’t implemented Patreon like we had wanted to
  • I’ve been slack with the tweeting of episodes, something that does drive ppl to check out the podcast
  • The mixing board stopped working, possibly due to the other PC we started using. We’re using the Zoom recorder at the moment

2017 Plans

  • Sort out Patreon
  • Look at a new intro incorporating past episode sound bites
  • Look into a better system for Tweeting, or getting motivated to do it
  • Fully check the sound board and see what’s happening with that

The NZ Filmmakers Podcast

2016 Highlights

  • I’m not sure if there were any highlights this year.

2016 Lowlights

  • No episodes. This is Chris’s project, I edit and help produce it. If it carried on it could have been quite good. There was an appeal for money to make episodes, but that went nowhere, and isn’t a good thing in my opinion.

2017 Plans

  • I’m not sure what the plan is for this. I think Chris is renewing the domain name shortly.

The Great Pumpkin Carnival

2016 Highlights

  • We had another good Carnival
  • Heaviest pumpkin in the Southern Hemisphere weighed in again
  • Good media coverage
  • Set up an incorporated society and committee to run the event
The heaviest pumpkin in the Southern Hemisphere at 789.5Kg’s

2016 Lowlights

  • I’ve been finding it hard personally to deal with people that don’t really use technology. Have been stuck with email and phone calls.
  • The usual mission of finding sponsors and money for the event

2017 Plans

  • To have another successful event
  • Try and not be as busy on the day of the event

Other bits and pieces

  • NZ Secret Santa was on again this year with lots more media coverage from around the world.
  • Went to Wellington for a holiday
  • Went to Christchurch multiple times
  • Feel like I have a better system in place to get things done

Planning and scheduling

  • The bullet journal has been going strong, with some months being better than others. But I am looking forward to setting up a new one for 2017 and using it even more.
  • I just recently started playing around with a tool called AirTable and I’m finding it really good, I’ll do a post on that later.


  • Works going fine, never any problems and am used to it now.


  • Family’s been good, trying to juggle when to visit and travel is always a challenge.
  • Been on some cool little trips all over the place.


2016 seemed quite busy when I stand back and have a look at it, but there is always room for improvement. From what I’ve taken on, what I haven’t done, time management and making sure I know what I am doing.

Having a proper laptop has helped tremendously, as well as all the little tools, plugins and apps that I’ve found that work for me. I’ll share some of those in 2017 blog updates.

2017 will be busy again and another year of trying to grow things bit by bit, having multiple things on the go instead of just focusing on one thing seems to be the way everything is rolling at the moment and 2017 is shaping up to be no different.

I’d love to hear how your 2016 was, what you learnt, what you are going to try in 2017 and all that good stuff.  Feel free to leave a comment.

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  1. HI Sam

    Very interesting site! Found you via searching for bullet journal stuff.

    I have a ? How do you know if people are looking at your site? How do you define a ‘successful’ blog?



    1. Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      To get analytics (stats) on people looking on your site Google Analytics is a good start, you sign up and have to have a piece of code on your site, then you can check it out. Alternatively, if you are using a WordPress site, you can get the JetPack plugin which helps show you some stats as well.

      As for the second question. You can define it by the amount of visitors you receive, the interaction you get or the money you make from your site. It pays to have some sort of metric in mind. For myself, a successful blog is one that I want to update regularly, that to me looks good and is a place I can write whatever I want.

      Hope that helps answer the questions.

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