My three top stories of 2013 were all human-interest based rather than hard-hitting news.
The first one was probably the most dramatic headline I'll ever write in the channel, after Tony Price the boss of distributor Chiltern IT witnessed a real-life shootout in Las Vegas.
Price, who was attending the HP Global Partner Conference in February, had just been out for an early morning run when he witnessed the aftermath of a shootout near the Bellagio and Caeser's Palace hotels on The Strip.
Four vehicles crashed resulting in the death of three people, including rapper Kenny Clutch.
Second is an interview with Transputec boss Rickie Seghal in April, a year after he was set up in a sting by an undercover Daily Mail reporter.
During the interview Seghal (pictured) explained what happened and how
he had been the victim of a classic 'hatchet job' by the national press.
Judging by the number of supporting comments under the story, he certainly had the backing of the channel.
My final story is another human interest-type story, based on the BBC series The Apprentice.
Viglen chief Bordan Tkachuk opened up about the impact the well publicised Tribunal case with former Apprentice winner Stella English.
English had taken Viglen and owner Lord Alan Sugar to Tribunal for 'constructive dismissal' and claimed her £100,000 job was a 'sham'.
However after a lengthy legal battle, the judge ruled in Sugar and Viglen's favour, saying the case should never have been brought to court in the first place.
The first of my top stories from this year was from way back at the start of January when a South Welsh council conceded even more publically funded kit was not being used at the time.
Last year, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request I received revealed that some £1m of laptops procured for schools had not been used amid a procurement mix up, and in January, an additional £800,000 worth of wireless equipment was revealed to be gathering dust in storage too.
While it's never enjoyable having to report on staff which are unhappy with company decisions, my next top story did have a happy ending. Back in May, sales staff at Tech Data - then Computer 2000 - got in touch about a move the distie took which halved its commission payments for up to the previous four months.
The story attracted a flurry of comments from disgruntled staff, but later one commenter claiming to be a staff member said later on that the company had reversed the decision based on the negative feedback it received from staff.
My final top story of 2013 is one of perseverance, hard work and determination - what more can you ask for?
Last year, US vendor Connectwise's boss Arnie Bellini vowed to demonstrate his commitment to the UK channel by swimming the English Channel (do you see what he did there?) Despite months of training, he actually failed to reach the French coast.
He vowed to return to the choppy seas, and true to his word, this year he was back, and this time he did it!
My top three all feature shocking developments at a trio of the UK channel's biggest players, with revelations that stunned readers and shaped the future - for better or worse - of some true industry giants.
We began 2013 by breaking news of some big changes at one of the UK's biggest VARs, including a root-and-branch remodelling of the workforce, new leaders, job losses and financial mishaps.
The first few months of this year could scarcely have been more eventful for the UK's largest print reseller. After we revealed a management shake-up that saw company founder Colin Daniels leave after 40 years, and a wider restructure that ultimately saw hundreds of staff depart, in this article Danwood took the opportunity to tell a little of their side of the story.
When you factor in an accounting scandal that led to six years of numbers being restated, new CEO Steve Francis has certainly had his work cut out. Later in the year, he told us he was making good progress on "his mandate to professionalise the company".
The second story - in which we revealed that Cisco Gold partner Phoenix IT Group had been booted off the vendor's partner programme - is one of the few stories during my nigh-on six years at CRN to have genuinely shocked me.
In an industry with a sales culture as dynamic and fiercely competitive as the channel, we frequently get word of conflict at both a personal and corporate level, but it is rare that such a long-standing partnership combusts so suddenly.
We hear of vendors handing out the odd verbal warning or slapped wrist, or even showing lower-level partners the door. But I have never seen such a big channel player - Phoenix is a £250m company that has long been one of Cisco's elite partners - expelled in this manner. The only other Gold partner I can recall being excommunicated is HP, which was hardly surprising given the increasingly fevered competition between the two vendors.
My third choice is a real horror story, representing one of the channel's darkest days in this, or any other year.
One of the things I love most about my job is that you never know what you may be reporting on from one day to the next, and over the years I have learned to expect the unexpected.
Nevertheless, I did not foresee that my career as a channel journalist would lead me to report that "store apologises as middle-aged man and others visibly distressed at being asked to bust a move to electronica and hip-hop tunes". Or that a job-seeker "was not originally given a position with the store on the strength of his robotic dancing".
Rightly or wrongly, writing this article gave me a few chuckles. But underneath the laughs there is a serious, worthwhile story here, and the manner in which these job interviewees were treated is shameful. Currys will hopefully have learnt a lesson in respect, and in just how quickly negative stories can disseminate in the social media age. Particularly when they feature robotic dancing.
Like my colleagues, I've tried to plump for some of the more offbeat stories CRN covered this year in order to avoid coming across as a Christmas Grinch.
My first pick centres on the story of a former VAR boss who swapped the channel for the heady world of hoppy ales this year after launching his own micro-brewery.
OK - it's not exactly a classic CRN story - but Darron Anley's decision to pump £500,000 into his new venture, Siren Craft Beers - is a great example of what channel entrepreneurs can achieve outside the industry once they've cashed in their chips (he sold Security Partnerships to Bytes in 2011). Anley told me this week he's now producing and selling 25,000 litres of his super-strength beer every month and was currently in the process of bottling up a 20,000-bottle order bound for Sweden.
I certainly hope people enjoyed reading my next pick as much as we enjoyed concocting the headline.
Michael Dell's triumph in his battle to take Dell private is perhaps the story I should have chosen. But in my defence, how many of the Dell customers that complained that its Latitude 6430u laptop stank of cat urine would really care who owns the firm?
Finally, any news round-up of 2013 wouldn't be complete without a reference to 2e2.
This story from late March covered the contents of a document the administrator sent to creditors nearly two months after 2e2 collapsed. It revealed not only just how rapidly 2e2's financial performance deteriorated in the run up to its administration but also some tantalising factoids, including that 70 parties expressed an interest in the UK business.
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