Monthly Archives: January 2010

Cool Touch Interface

While reading Michael Arrington’s essay Why Desktop Touch Screens Don’t Really Work Well For Humans I came across this video, which I thought was pretty cool.

Hopefully this whets your appetite for whatever comes out of Apple tomorrow. Should be an interesting day for as well: whenever Apple does a major announcement we blow past all our previous traffic records. The current one-day record is 63.5 million pageviews.

Ask Matt: Tips On Public Speaking

I get asked a lot about tips on public speaking because I do it so frequently. Positive response when I give a talk is generally proportional to how relaxed I was when giving the presentation and on good days I’ll get comments like people were able to relate to what I was saying or that watching me calmed them down. I don’t mention this in the video, but besides breathing and remembering the audience is there to see you do well, the best way to relax is to know your material down cold. I’ve lived and breathed WordPress for almost 7 years now, so I can talk about it for hours without thinking twice. I think practicing and knowing your material well comes across most in your body language which probably affects how people perceive your presentation more than what you say.

We recorded this before Scott Berkun’s new book Speaker Confessions was out, which I recommend now.

Trying out Nexus One

This week I’ve taken the SIM card out of my iPhone and put it in the Nexus One, which I’m going to try to stick with for the next week. I love my 3GS, but I’m just hungry for something else as the iPhone has felt a little stagnant lately, and the Nexus has the most beautiful hardware — it’s a pleasure to hold and look at. So far I’m really happy with the screen, the grass live background, the Google and Facebook contact syncing, news/weather widget, Google Voice (!), and I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to the UI. (Only other Android device I’ve tried was the G1, and that lasted 10 minutes.) I’m not impressed with the email application IMAP support, the app store seems a bit anemic, and the camera application crashed once when I was trying to take a picture. I’ve found equivalent apps for the most-used stuff on my iPhone.

Facebook McAfee

Facebook is offering its users a 6-month free trial of McAfee and promoting it heavily, and even forcing people to run a scan before they can reactivate a hacked account. They’re “not aware of another free Internet service that takes this much responsibility for helping people keep their accounts secure.” (Didn’t Google promote McAfee through Google Pack at one point?) I think this is a laudable step, more security is intrinsically good, but I have to suspect this is more about revenue than security. They will probably make many millions of dollars from their users installing or buying McAfee as a result of this.

Modern versions of Windows include free tools like Defender which are just as good and appear to have less of a performance impact on the computer. But if they really wanted to have a long-term impact on desktop as a vector for attack on web services I’m surprised they didn’t start, sponsor, or promote an Open Source equivalent of McAfee. This seems like a space very well-suited to address with an OS tool in the digital commons, much like a Windows anti-spyware equivalent of SpamAssassin, with self-updating rules and a completely transparent process.

Top Emails and more, 2009 Edition

As I like to do every year, here are the top 10 people who emailed me this year:

  1. Toni Schneider — 914
  2. Maya Desai — 672
  3. Mom — 475
  4. Raanan Bar-Cohen — 284
  5. Barry Abrahamson — 276
  6. Rose Goldman — 256
  7. Jane Wells — 193
  8. Michael Pick — 185
  9. Donncha O Caoimh — 179
  10. Alex Shiels — 167

Email is my most frequently used social network, so it’s always interesting to see the trends.

This year I got 11,459 emails consider “important” by my script, or about 34 a day, and 53,030 “other” emails, excluding spam, mailing lists, and junk.

For the first time, I’ve decided to take a look at my outgoing emails as well, of which there were 9,101 of to 2,087 unique people, and here’s that list. These are less accurate because an email can be “to:” multiple people, or cc:s, but only ever From: one person, so the stats aren’t entirely correct for the to-list.

  1. Toni Schneider — 524
  2. Raanan Bar-Cohen — 450
  3. Maya Desai — 428
  4. Barry Abrahamson — 243
  5. Rose Goldman — 212
  6. Alex Shiels — 203
  7. My moblog post-by-email address — 148
  8. Michael Pick — 139
  9. Support — 123
  10. Andy Skelton — 108

I obviously need to email my Mom more. Here are my posting statistics:

Posts Avg. Words Total Words Avg. Comments Total Comments
2002 482 105 50,800 2 980
2003 559 130 73,009 3 1,723
2004 1,108 49 55,025 5 6,594
2005 703 43 30,485 9 6,343
2006 340 65 22,173 10 3,662
2007 360 56 20,408 16 6,091
2008 314 48 15,368 21 6,636
2009 182 80 14,675 23 4,280

My number of posts went down, but more words per post, so I’m posting less but meatier things. I made 391 comments myself last year, and it fell off rapidly after that. I would like to get more regular commenters next year, maybe by making the comment form more obvious on the photo pages. Photo pages draw the most repeat traffic.

I’m curious about travel stats, but haven’t gotten annual report from Dopplr yet.

Here were the top posts for 2009:

  1. How P2 Changed Automattic
  2. The Way I Work, annotated
  3. A Day on Necker Island (gallery)
  4. Starting a Bank
  5. 6 Steps to Kill Your Community
  6. New Spring Design
  7. Sun, Oracle, WordPress, and MySQL
  8. Elissa’s Wedding (gallery)
  9. WordPress Party Pictures (gallery)
  10. Visiting Shindo Labs (gallery)


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.