One can get stuck in a niche, perhaps one could eve call it a rut. That's why I was so happy to start writing for the Mother Nature Network last January, covering subjects that interested me but did not quite fit on TreeHugger. Like smart home technology; on TreeHugger I praise the dumb home, but on MNN I check out (and usually diss) all the smart home tech. I also write about baby boomer issues and sometimes do slip the occasional green building story into the mix. Here is a roundup of the roundups I just finished for the end of the year on MNN:
Why we're still waiting for the smart home revolutionIt's been a year of anticipation — and not a little disappointment.
The smart home was going to be big this year; all our stuff was going to be connected via the Internet of Things. I started writing this column a year ago, thinking I would be regularly posting about all the wonderful new devices that would change our lives and our homes, and complaining about the products that were silly and misguided. I am still waiting for them to show up. More: Why we're still waiting for the smart home revolution
Boomer alert: A look back at the trends of 2015From the best smart tech to where to live and how to do it better.
A few years ago I pitched the idea of a blog dedicated to baby boomers, a fit and active generation usually treated by blogs as being ready for the nursing home. But when I tried to find fit and active boomers to contribute to it, they acted as if I was trying to make them join a club that they wanted no part of. In fact, studies have shown that most baby boomers look in the mirror and see someone 20 years younger (particularly men). Many don't want to admit their age or, as is also said about children, to act their age.
I hope and believe that this is changing. It's one reason that I asked to cover this topic on MNN over the last year, to talk about the issues that face baby boomers, many of whom are still looking after their own parents and supporting children and grandchildren, all at the same time. Here are my favorite posts on the subject from 2015. More: Boomer alert: A look back at the trends of 2015
Why the year of wearables was really all about the smartphoneThe smartphone proved to be the indispensable tool we talked about the most.
One of my preoccupations this year was the changing role of electronics in our lives. It was supposed to be the year of the wearable, where electronics would move onto our wrists and other parts of our bodies, with the Apple Watch being the big story. Wearables were overhyped, as was the watch, and in fact the smartphone, and how it changes lives, became the real story of the year. By far my most popular post of the year on MNN was about all the complaints of refugees taking selfies with fancy smart phones; it is a good thing the MNN doesn't have comments. More: Why the year of wearables was really all about the smartphone
Lessons from 2015: We have to rethink how we talk about efficiency and green buildingWe can't just build better; we have to change the way we live.
The green design scene on MNN is usually covered (wonderfully, I might add,) by Matt Hickman, but I have slipped in a few that are more technical and look at different issues and trends. They are sort of summaries of issues that are covered in more detail on TreeHugger for the MNN audience which is a bit less hardcore. More: Lessons from 2015: We have to rethink how we talk about efficiency and green building