2013: in review

Where do I start?

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 17.35.03

Photo from my trip to Aldwych Underground station in November.

Let’s start with numbers.


The most popular post of 2013 was the publication of a rare DJ set from The Avalanches (I can thank Josh Russell and an appearance on Reddit for that particular bump), and coming in at a close second was my super excited review of PACIFIC RIM back in July.

Overall, stats-wise, 2013’s numbers are down on 2012’s. As you can see below –


This is down to a number of things. First off, in 2012 I wrote up ‘Five things on Friday‘ every single week, without fail (maybe I should bring that back for 2014). Blogging regularly increases traffic – who knew?

That lift in 2012 combined with a general decrease in posts this year means the disparity is quite large. I’m not kidding on the post decrease either. YOY 2013 has seen my lowest publishing rate for some time. The lowest in seven years in fact.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 16.49.23

[more here, thanks Jetpack]

So why the dip in output? 2013 has been a very busy year.


I’ve had pretty much had two jobs for most of 2013 (this is changing next month, but more on that in the New Year – shh), which has been as fantastic as it has challenging. From awesome travel brands kicking ass on Twitter, through to award-winning innovations for an online furniture retailer. To say 2013 had been ‘a bit full on’, would be an understatement – but in the best of ways.

I’m staying true to my mantra of ‘Great work, with inspiring people‘ – and long may it continue.


This time 12mths ago, I set out two very public ambitions. Speaking and Running. How did I do? In the former I set out to beat 2012’s rather lacklustre total of THREE and at least match 2011’s total of SIX.

Looking back over 2013, it looks like I topped out at a grand total of TEN. Each one unique in its own way and each one different from the one before. If you helped me achieve this goal in 2013, then thank you very much – I am chuffed that I managed to beat it so definitively.

On the running front, I started on Jan 1st 2013 at zero. I’m finishing on Dec 31st at 228km, with a couple of charity efforts in there for good measure.

Highlights? The British 10k for CALM and completing the Tough Mudder with Team Expedia at Ogilvy. Again, if you helped me achieve this goal in 2013 – then thank you. I feel an enormous sense of achievement, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

In the New Year I intend to continue these two even further. The speaking one I’ll continue plugging away at it – it isn’t the number of gigs, it’s the intention to keep doing them (and I’ve already got three pencilled in for 2014, and I figure that should be my baseline). And on the running front, I fully intend to smash the 300k marker for 2014.

Hurrah and hurrah again.


In the summer of 2012 I wrote three social media predictions for 2013. Let’s review:

Prediction 1: The outsourcing of community management to emerging markets
I’ve got no proof of this happening yet. But I still think it will, if it hasn’t already (and I just haven’t seen it).

Prediction 2: 2screening + Advertising
The big thing I covered here was about ‘super micro targeting’, eg: Twitter allowing media planners to buy against actual TV shows. BOOM.

Precition 3: 4G networks spurring further innovation
I think I might have been a bit too hopeful on this front. 4G isn’t really hitting the ground here in the UK quite yet, so maybe it’ll be another year or so until it bears fruit.

Final score? 1/3.
Rubbish. My predictions for next year are out, hopefully I’ll do better next time.


Film: I really went for it this year, I saw loads but managed an average of one write up a month (12 film reviews).
Music: Spotify’s got me covered.


Gaming: I jumped off the Xbox ship and went for the PlayStation 4.
You should do the same.



I’ll be honest, 2013 has been a veritable roller-coaster of a ride. With super high ups, and woefully low downs. At one point, I honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it out alive. But here I am, in spite of it all, still kicking and at the precipice of a whole new chapter.

Who knows how it will work out.

I made a decision a couple of years back to keep a fair chunk of my personal life offline, and I’m pleased to say that I’m sticking to it. My friends, my true friends know where it’s at – and that’s all that matters.

There are some amazing people out there that have helped me through this past year. Friends and colleagues, old and new – you know who you are.

Thank you.

Next year is a whole new adventure.




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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

9 thoughts on “2013: in review”

  1. Thank you for making my 2013 a whole lot more entertaining, Mr. Whatley.

    James Whatley Reply:

    You’re welcome, Michael.

    Which reminds me: we did The Shard this year! What an awesome night that was! The geekiest Byron Burgers, the most epic view over London, and the bestest company a man could ask for.

    More in 2014 please!

  2. It’s amazing to see the joys and happiness the year has held for you. And of course, it’s saddening to know of the lows in the year as well.
    I hope 2014 hold at least as much joy, and far less sadness for you.
    With friends such as you (and I count you as a close friend), where great distance makes frequent chats difficult, I find it’s best to plan regular chats. I resolve to make that a reality for our friendship in the coming year.

    James Whatley Reply:

    Hey Craik, thanks man.

    I look forward to that, much.


  3. What a year!
    First, despite my weekly Sunday cinema trips, I haven’t seen many of the films you’ve mentioned in your reviews but The Way Way Back was excellent. I only went to see it as there wasn’t much else on that week. I’m so glad i did. i Loved it.

    Well done on the running, and keeping it going throughout the year. I love my fitness and exercise classes to keep fit but running is just not something I can get along with. Nosiree! I salute anyone who can do an actual race!

    Congrats on all your other successes throughout the year too, but also for getting through the tough times. And just so you know, we’ve a spare room here if you fancy a wee break from the 100mile an hour life. There’s open space for long runs, views of the hills and free-wifi, haha.

    But, seriously, fab read as ever. 2014 is going to be good, isn’t it?

    James Whatley Reply:

    What a lovely comment, thanks Angela. On the film front, you’ve inspired me to maybe track every film that I watch this year. I wonder if that’d be possible? I’ll give it a go, maybe. On a related note, my friend Lee has pledged to watch (and review) one film every day this year, you might like that.

    Finally, given the year I know I have ahead of me, I may very well take you up on that offer of a retreat at some point! 😀

    Happy New Year, lass.

    Angela Reply:

    Well, I’m glad I’ve inspired you. I realise I forgot the very first film of last year (lost ticket stub) – The Hobbit. And i think there were others. I may need to refer to my FourSquare profile to double check.

    I’ll check out your friend Lee’s blog. Great idea though.

    And yes!! let’s make 2014 the year of the great Whatley-Higgins meet-athon, haha.


    btw, I love empty underground.

    James Whatley Reply:

    I was gutted that FourSquare didn’t do any kind of 2013 round up, I would’ve liked that [tweet tweet].

    So far this year I’ve watched Olympus Has Fallen and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. DON’T JUDGE ME.

    Thanks for the EU love, I need to update that bad boy!

    Re Scotland, ask me again in the Spring 🙂

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