Open Sourcing Resolutions

Every year I make resolutions. Some years I do them. This year I want to try something different and open source them by opening it up to you guys. Here’s how we’ll try it: leave a comment with what you think my resolution(s) should be for 2009. I’ll pick the best ones, and if you’re the first to propose one I pick I’ll credit you in the follow-up post. I’ll print out the winning resolutions and put them on my desk for the year, so hopefully they’ll have a lasting effect. Remember, measurable things are better!

95 thoughts on “Open Sourcing Resolutions

  1. This year I resolve to be self-disciplined. Not only to make plans, but to stick to plans, and execute them in their entirety to the best of my ability. After all there is no point in making resolutions if you’re not going to try to stick to them.

  2. You’re good, I’ll say learn a language ( or at least the basics) of a new language (one where WP also has a big impact) (1) learning new things is fun, (2) the meet ups can involve more interaction and (3) could lead to understand the needs of wordpress on non english websites. its a win-win.

  3. How about writing an open source program or launching a site to help other people manage and achieve their resolutions? Maybe a community site to help people quit smoking? Or lose weight? Hook in some RSS feeds to create some positive peer pressure among people trying to complete the same tasks.

    I admit the idea is really raw, but it fits nicely with your theme.

  4. 1. Learn to play a new instrument. This resolution may require being in a location long enough for regular lessons.

    2. Take more videos. New SLRs such as the Canon 5D Mark II should allow you to step beyond photography on your travels.

    3. Teach a guest lecture on open source development or business. It’s under-represented in schools.

    4. Jam with Wynton Marsalis. Stretch goals are good.

    5. Be a better leader within Automattic. Building upon last year’s work-related resolution of not doing everything yourself.

  5. Resolve to introduce tough love into trademark protection:

    in January, buy a gun.

    In February, learn how to use it.

    In March, learn tracking skills from a wise Native American expert.

    In April, track down everyone involved in WordPress Direct and put a bullet through the exact parts of their brain that thought it would be a good idea to cash-in on WordPress.

    Then, escape at low speed in a white Bronco, pursued by the cops and media helicopters.

    In June, the spectacular trial will grab the World’s attention, massively increasing WP’s market share, especially the shock revelation, at the very end, that the real murderer was … Anil Dash, framing you in a desperate attempt to distract attention from the car crash that is Motion.

    In July, everyone decides to stop blogging and go outside.

  6. I know you read a lot on your Kindle. Crystallize your reactions to interesting books by writing at least one blog post a month about one of the books you read. The Matt “Book of the Month” club.

  7. leave a comment URL links to “You’ve almost reached a page that does not exist.”

    my resolution is to share with people more of the matt behind the lead developer of wordpress. more videos (like the tzatziki one), more casual interviews (like the scoble one), more book recommendations etc.

  8. Help launch 5 open standards/data portability based 3rd party showcase technologies intimately integrated with WordPress. Watch those 5 examples bloom into a world of unexpected others! And make a kitten or puppy feel better about their day at least once a month.

  9. More photography! Oh, wait, I should phrase that in the form of a resolution… I think you should resolve to take more photographs and post them here or at Flickr. Especially of all those cuties who use WordPress and/or show up at WordCamp. WordPress users are hot! (At least, they are in your pictures.)

    Alternately, you could try my New Year’s Resolution Generator. It’s weighted heavily in favor of tequila and dating strangers from the Internet, so, you know, it’ll help with the photography and interesting blog posts for later in the year.

  10. Write a haiku every day about something that you see that’s interesting.

    Every month, pick an open source project that you have no connection to, but still admire, and anonymously donate a small, yet significant amount–say $50.

    Package up and open source the crazy email system you described in Dubai at the WP meetup.

  11. Do some preparatory work so that the governance of can be taken up by a community council at some point, sooner than later.

    Happy new year to all!

  12. 1. For you to e-mail me the mailing address for WordPress so I can mail you the photo that was taken of you and me at WordCamp Toronto as I want the Matt Mullenweg Autograph.

    2. Same as #1 but for the MMA on my screenshot of the 500,002 download WordPress counter

    3. For you to invent a plugin that will make the computer of any blogger who types WordPress instead of WordPress to blow up.

    4. Write your biography

    5. Send whomever gets closest to 500,000 and 1,000,000 download screenshot a WP T-shirt

    6. Go to africa and show the charities how they can run their websites with WordPress.

  13. Hi Matt,

    How about focusing more on making wordpress, bbpress and gravatars work together seamlessly. Would be great to have some form of instant messaging to foster more community between a wordpress site and an install forum.

    That should give you some reason to rest for a while from your global adventures and enjoy the photos you took. 🙂

    How about an office in the Philippines? 😉

  14. 1. Get outside more. Enjoy the fresh clean air and get your mind off of work by hiking, biking, canoeing, mountain climbing, sky diving, etc.

    2. Practice more acts of kindness to others less fortunate than you.

  15. Strive to do something you hate every day — in order to grow, whether that is go to a trainer that you hate going to because you leave exhausted but I know it is good for you. Another example may be getting out of your comfort zone to reach out to XYZ who might be able to help you in some way/shape/form.

  16. Engage actively in a good cause that you already feel strongly about. It could be philanthropy or a community service project.

    Perhaps you should try to make it a cause that is deserving but relatively unknown, because you do have a big microphone. Perhaps it should be a cause that is completely unrelated to your technology related endeavors at Automattic.

    Of course you make it quantifiable my measuring the time spent, dollars given, or publicity generated, etc.

  17. I made a firm resolution not to make a resolution this year. Then broke it. I hope the powers that be fix the widgets section of the new WP – it’s a pain in the a… to create a text widget – the decide to move it from left to right sidebar only to see it disappear and you have to recreate – pain in butt

  18. Well, mine is a bit weird, but I think it can be a resolution for this year:
    Be more careful about the use of energy and resources (turning off the lights where it’s not needed, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, etc). It’s a move that helps the world, and you save some cents.

  19. Give enough to to drill one fresh-water well for the thirsty. It only takes $4,000 to do the trick. It changes an entire community forever, almost guaranteeing the saving of lives. This is my resolution as well.

    It’s really sobering when you think about how much we can actually get done when we decide on it.

  20. Give WordPress a better search capability including an advanced search much like [removed link to GPL-violating plugin] has done.

    Create the ability to sort posts within the admin area by clicking on the black labels at top. i.e. post, author, tags, date, etc. Same goes for Pages & comments area. (this would be huge).

    Come up with a more modern base theme for the self installed software package. One that developers and hacks can better learn from.

    Improve the Media library and build-in some cool slide show features and video players.

    Make the User area more robust greater control over user roles & rights.

    Ok, thats enough for 2009.

    Loving WP 2.7 Matt, a big thank you!

  21. Apparently people (including me) are for you to visit more countries this year 🙂

    Me and other friends from WordCamp Israel would love to see you in 2009

    p.s: and if my proposal is to go, I would prefer for my link-credit to go to my future wife’s blog – . which should also give you a good taste of the rich dance culture we have here in Israel (in case you are into that sort of thing).

    p.p.s: any chance to add “subscribe to comments” to the blog ?

  22. I love Donnachas answer, put a smile on my face.

    Apart from that I’d say make a resolution to never make resolutions again. At least not on new years eve or thereabouts. Making resolutions just for the sake of having to make resolutions (Everybody’s doing it!!) is a highly overrated concept. It’s a bit like marriage I guess. On the wedding day you have the best of intentions, but sooner rather than later most people get divorced again. Just like resolutions…

  23. How about:

    I will find very different perspective to the things I do or think. And then I will try to fully, 100% take this viewpoint. If only for a while. At least one daily.

  24. My resolution is to keep a routine, working flexi time means I get lazy and end up getting up late and working til 8pm at night instead – not much time left over after work for other projects…

    Do you need a routine?

  25. If you feel like something needs changing in your life, change it without waiting for a new year to come and make resolutions.

  26. how about make a fusion version of WordPress and BBpress, maybe i will use it on my work .and with clean code please… 😀

    the last one is make automattic office in Asia.

  27. Learn how to answer questions asked of you and follow up on complaints. Learning some manners would also be a plus.

  28. 1. Become a better photographer and
    2. Initiate a opensource colloberation to make the ultimate photo publishing plugin for WP which includes all interesting photo publishing like zoomable images , interactive images, annotatable images etc…

  29. I agree with so many, and adore Donnacha’s advice. There are some days…sigh. I might take his advice, too. hee hee.

    I’d recommend slowing down rather than speeding up in your personal life, as many have also advised.

    I’d also put on your list to simply and clearly clear up all GPL explanations so everyone is on the same page this year.

    For many years, I’ve tucked in a note with my holiday decorations for the one thing I want to be different or achieve in my life by the time I open my decorations next year. After five years with the same message, I made it come true, so I wonder what your one thing would be, my friend.

    Happy holidays and fantastic new year.

    PS: Also add solve the economic crisis with open source this year, okay. 😀

  30. this will sound a bit stupid, but i really mean it xD
    Finish unfinished things… start new things that will become unfinished… cycle things up.
    For my desktop phrase of the year this will be:
    “Recycle the unfinished status; pending is not something you can depend on.”
    My english is not too good, but since you don’t speak spanish… xD (sounds better in spanish thou)

  31. Hi Matt,

    Resolve to change your diet in at least one memorable way. For instance, in 2007 I gave up sugar and high-fructose corn syrup cold turkey. In 2008 I became pescetarian. The diet changes are interesting and teach you a lot about yourself…and open you up to new types of food/drink!


  32. 1. Let’s reinstate WordPress Wednesdays, and you have to make it to at least half of them.
    2. Make WordPress capable of doing kick-ass photologs.
    3. Take a week and go somewhere remote, alone or with one travel companion. Don’t bring your laptop or iPhone.

  33. My resolution: never go a day without respond to all of your friends who have left you comments, emails, or FaceBook posts. Keep relationships alive!

  34. Support (resources, connections, money, other) ambitious plugin ideas that leverage WordPress as a foundation platform to do wonderful things. Appointment scheduling, event management, CRM, etc.

  35. Keep in touch with people personally when possible. Maybe measure it at one message every month or so.

    Visit me in Puebla!

    Make a gallery of your best shots.

  36. Create a viral marketing program promoting education and entrepreneurship for girls in developing countries including the middle east. Bring the world together, one girl at a time.

  37. Hi Matt,
    In 2009, please adding more exiciting theme in WP, and maybe like this blog theme..:)

    Adding more widgets in WP.

    Write a book about Matt and about WP.

    Btw, why there are many spams in latest this several month? but fortunately in WP had Akismet.
    Now in my blog there are 2.760 spam.

    Good luck and have a nice day!


  38. Here’s a resolution I’ve personally followed: Pick one physical feature about you, and on the first of every month, track its changes and the general mood of the prior month (busy launching WP 2.7, etc, etc). At the end of the year… you’ll see how much you can track your life via yourself a la rings on a tree.

    I personally do that with the length of my dreads. I just informally track their length, and other features, and what was going on that month. I can actually now relate different stages in my life to the length of my hair at the time, and recall more vividly experiences from those times when I see pictures.

    Cheers, and best wishes for 2009.

  39. I always “resolve not to resolve.” You can’t break them if you don’t make them. I do, however, set goals for myself throughout each year.

    You can steal that if you wish.