Category Archives: Personal

Twenty-six

Today is my birthday! It is also, if you write it the right way, a palindrome: 01-11-10. (Hat tip: Mike Adams.)

Twenty-five was a very good year. I started out with a lot of goals and actually made progress or accomplished most of them, as well as some things I didn’t anticipate. Of my 14 resolutions last year 10 of them are solid or at least had significant improvement, while the things I never do I still didn’t do: Spanish, cooking, exercise. (I might post a more detailed review later.) The thing I’m most happy with this year has been quantity of reading — I’ve read more in the last year than the past several years combined, and have also started keeping up with periodicals (New Yorker, Economist, Atlantic, Wired) pretty much every issue which has helped me feel much better informed about the world. The most significant device to me in 2009 wasn’t the iPhone, it was the Kindle.

In some ways I’ve nested a lot in the past year, including the oh-my-goodness scary commitment of buying my first place, but at the same time I’m still addicted to movement. I saw the excellent movie Up in the Air recently and related to it more than I was comfortable.

I’d like for twenty-six to be an infrastructure year, laying down the groundwork for things to come. No open source resolution like last year, but here’s what I’d like to focus on in 2010:

  • Minimize and simplify, try to de-cruft and streamline as much as possible, particularly with regards to physical possessions.
  • Move, which hopefully is a good opportunity for the above.
  • Eat, hopefully not too richly, and stop when I’m full. (I have so much trouble with that, I love food and I’m a completionist.)
  • Watch Farscape from start to finish, since my sister gave it to me for Christmas.
  • Bike and walk, more than drive.
  • Learn more about captology.
  • Showcase my photography, in print, somewhere.
  • Redesign, this site, because it’s fun. :)
  • Talk more, with the people I love.
  • Eliminate “sort of” and “kind of” from my speech.
  • Launch, launch, launch. (Code for me: JQ, OT, NA, MT, BB, UL, MA, VP, NT, 5L, 20, 70.)

This is the eighth year I’ve blogged my birthday: 19202122 (this one is funny), and 23, 24, and 25. Whew. Here’s to the second quarter century of life.

Twenty-Five

Today I am a quarter of a century old. To be honest I never thought I would be this old, it was a number beyond where I could imagine or visualize but the last few years have just gone by in a blur and here I am, 25 years young and finally able to rent a car without paying an age penalty.

Following up from the open source resolutions, here’s what I’m going to aim for this year in no particular order:

  • Learn a language where WP has a big impact (probably Spanish).
  • Take more videos, post at least 2 a month.
  • Post 10,000 photos in 2009.
  • Post at least one book a month I’ve enjoyed.
  • Don’t try to do everything myself.
  • Redesign Ma.tt! (And get back up in the search engine rankings for “Matt” on Google.)
  • Post more personal stuff. (Like this.)
  • Spend more time working with and coaching other young entrepreneurs and startups.
  • Donate to 5 Open Source projects that touch my life daily.
  • Learn to make/prepare one food item a month.
  • Launch, launch, launch! (Real artists ship.)
  • Get people to capitalize WordPress correctly, and stop using the fake mis-proportioned W. :) (Here are some correct ones.)
  • Print my favorite picture of another person every month and send it to that person in a picture frame.
  • Reinstate WordPress Wednesdays and make it easier to do an amazing photoblog with WP.

(Hat tip to Boris Mann, Benji, Niall Kennedy, John Roberts, Titanas, Network Geek, Avinash, Kirb, Julie, Mark Jaquith, and Kabatology for the resolutions.)

This is the seventh year I’ve blogged my birthday: 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, and 24. If you had asked me 7 years ago where I would be today I couldn’t have imagined all of the amazing things that have happened, the incredible people I’ve met, and the communities that I’ve become a part of. Thank you. Here’s to the next 25.

Top Emailers 2008, etc

As an update to last year’s post:

  1. Toni Schneider — 1,052
  2. Maya Desai — 826
  3. Mom — 659
  4. Raanan Bar-Cohen — 452
  5. Donncha O Caoimh — 424
  6. Barry Abrahamson — 386
  7. Mark Riley — 222
  8. Jane Wells — 218
  9. Ryan Boren — 200
  10. Andrew Ozz — 197
  11. Matt Thomas — 193
  12. Liz Danzico — 148
  13. Mike Hirshland — 144
  14. Heather Rasley — 139
  15. Joseph Scott — 129

I’ve expanded the list to 15. A lot of the same folks at the very top, but new faces in Liz and Jane from 2.5 and 2.7 usability cycles. Also three people on the list have changed their domain in the past year, just like I did. It must have been a year for that.

Also for fun here are some yearly posting stats courtesy of Alex’s queries:

Posts Avg. Words Total Words Avg. Comments Total Comments
2002 360 139 50,190 1 390
2003 429 168 72,359 3 1,287
2004 990 54 54,257 6 6,236
2005 624 48 30,090 9 5,963
2006 313 70 22,010 11 3,503
2007 334 60 20,267 17 5,919
2008 302 50 15,206 21 6,493

As you can see I’m doing fewer posts with fewer words than ever, but getting more comments. At this rate I’ll be down to 40 words per post next year. Yay brevity. ;)

Working on collating some travel / WordCamp stats.

On Ma.tt

A few weeks ago I twittered I was heading to the bank to wire money for a life change. People got excited, and assumed I was buying a house, fancy car, plane, company, jewelry… it was really amusing to see where people’s imagination went. I’m afraid the truth is much less exciting, at least to other people. I was wiring money for the domain I’m on now, ma.tt. How did this come to be?

Around the beginning of the year I was going through a spreadsheet for international domains, listing all the different countries, and I spotted .tt. I noticed they did the top-level thing, not .co.tt or something lame like that, and I wandered over to the 90s-era NIC site for Trinidad and Tobago. I did a search for “ma.tt” and was utterly shocked that it was unregistered!

Now I’ve been at photomatt.net for 6+ years now, but quite honestly the .net threw people off. I can’t tell you how many times media coverage has misspelled my domain name, usually with .org or .com. The .org guy was a little wacky, but eventually he let the domain expire and I picked it up. But the .com guy was a little more damaging — he had a somewhat active and well-designed site, it just focused mostly on pictures of harajaku (sp?) girls. People assumed this was me and I had a weird Asian fetish. No matter how many times I contacted him, he never got back to me about a price for the domain, or a mutual link, anything. I had also thought about something like matt.com, but I think that’d be way too expensive. It became more obvious that photomatt.net probably wasn’t going to be a domain name for the ages.

Back to ma.tt, it was unregistered but to register a domain in Trinidad/Tobago you have to do an international wire to their bank, they don’t accept credit cards, and the cost is 500/yr for the first 2 years. (Which is probably why you don’t see too many.) The cost is much higher than an unregistered .com, but you can easily spend 1-10k on a good .com and this was way cooler, so the price seemed reasonable. It’s a 5-character domain, the same length as a single-letter .com. So about two weeks ago I went to the bank, wired the money to their foreign account and then… didn’t hear anything for a week. At first I wondered if I had been scammed 419-style, but then I got an email from their admin that everything was set up. :)

I originally wanted to launch the new domain with a new design, but knowing that yesterday’s post would get a ton of links it seemed like an opportune time to make the jump. Switching over took 2 seconds, I just updated my siteurl and home options in WordPress, and I shortened my permalink structure to remove the day, and it started magically redirecting all my old links to the new ones.

If you can, don’t forget to update your blogroll links, though old ones will continue to work forever. Not everyone would consider moving domains a “life change,” but it is to me. I’m looking forward to many, many years at ma.tt.