Here it is – 2010. As an American, I feel some pressure to create something that is the über-positive, rah rah, positive thinking, can-do, inspirational, gung-ho, motivational piece that will get myself plus every reader of it filled with the happy feeling of the great year ahead and the terrific things we’ll do in it. Although we Americans are known for our ultra-happy missives, especially at times like the New Year, I’m just not up to it.

The Economy

Both in the sciences and in laboratory informatics, there are too many people that are now unemployed and underemployed, as well as companies that appear to be worried about their future for me to be super-bright and sunny about the year ahead. I suspect it might be a year that many will be glad to just survive. This is an issue in countries besides just the US, from which I am writing, and we’ll have to wait and see if our mutual economies turn around any time, soon.

Software Products and Terminology

In 2010, we will continue to argue about whether ELN, LIMS or SDMS is the right tool to use, will continue to confuse the terminology, and will continue to try to turn them into one big blob of a software package. Although not every company will take this strategy, this appears to be one of the major trends coming through 2009 and into 2010.

Yet More Projects Will Fail

In 2009, just like every previous year, we continued to talk about the high failure rate of our laboratory informatics projects. As such, I doubt that 2010 will be the year we see a change in those numbers. That is, UNLESS we do something to change them. In the coming months, I’ll blog about ways we can change this. As usual, we will claim each new tool to be the thing that will save us from our failures and, as in previous years, I will continue to be the naysayer to that kind of foolishness.

One Tool Toward Change

Although I started the LIMS/Laboratory Informatics group in LinkedIn a couple years ago, it’s really in 2009 that I started to realize how much it could bring us together to create a place for professionals to share their ideas and information. It was only in 2009 that I truly understood and became committed to the ideas of Web 2.0, where we can really make a change in information delivery by becoming part of it.

This group is the oldest group in LinkedIn for LIMS and/or Laboratory Informatics. It is created with the model of a professional group. So, just like the professional groups you belong to, this group is about sharing information, educating each other, and does not allow advertising and promotional material in place of discussions. Also, since I want the group to truly be a group for our industry rather than“Gloria’s” group or the “GeoMetrick Enterprises” group I have been working to bring a variety of people in to manage it – people somewhat removed from me so it won’t turn into some kind of club for people that are buddies and who can’t see past their own ideas.

If you’d like to join the group where the experts like you and I share our expertise rather than merely promoting ourselves, join us at:  http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/36640/6A50095E87BA

Conferences

I expect to see most of the conference’s attendance rates drop as they’ve been doing in previous years. Some conferences continue to do well despite this, but I suspect that this is partly because, when faced with  the choice of going only to a single conference (if any), we are more likely to choose the newest one – the one we’ve not yet been to, than the ones we’ve previously attended. I also expect to see local conferences growing in areas where they are feasible. In places like the Boston area, where I live, there are a lot of people within a confined area with an interest in many of the scientific-related issues. Both the geography and the demographics of the area can support these events.

The Blog Versus the Newsletter

For 2010, I plan to continue to run my newsletter separate from this blog. The newsletter will continue to be a higher quality monthly article on a serious issue. The blog will contain whatever comes to my mind, some of it will be about upcoming conferences, other times whatever issue hits me on a particular day. Both are free and you can signup for the newsletter at:  http://www.geometrick.com/newsltr_signup.htm

They each have a different following. In fact, since the blog is rather new and since I spent too little time in its few months in existence promoting it, it doesn’t have nearly the followers that the newsletter does, at this point.

Some Inspiration

Just over a month ago, I did say that the goal of my business isn’t just to provide great services but to inspire my customers. I really meant it and, although I started this blog posting somewhat gruffly, I do plan to work through 2010 to set a good example for others in order to inspire them to have better projects; AND, I intend to continue to look for customers who are running projects that will inspire me, in return.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises
http://www.GeoMetrick.com/

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