Tag Archives: Resolutions


Today is a fun day — 2011-1-11 (not 1:11 PM anymore, I’m a slow writer) and I’m turning 27. This is the time of the year I always look back, and from last year’s resolutions I actually did pretty well. I was able to simplify a number of areas of my life, including reducing the number of computers running in my place. I bought my first apartment and remodeled it. I slowed down my eating by chewing more, a vignette that made Tim’s new Four Hour Body book. Redesigned this site. I didn’t bike at all, but walked a ton. I started exercising with a kettlebell over the summer and was pretty consistent about it until last month, with some noticeable improvements in strength and energy. Got all the old photo galleries imported going all the way to 2002.

I petered out on Farscape, and didn’t display my photography anywhere in print, so a wash there. I spent a week in the woods with Beau at Tracker camp. I joined the board of the non-profit Grist, and was able to expand charitable donations to cover more organizations than previously, including Charity: WaterFSFApacheArchive.orgSamasourceEFF, and GAFFTA. I had a tweet go viral and end up on Time and CBS (I still need to blog about that), and a blog post about shipping go viral and get over a hundred thousand visitors. (With an interesting traffic pattern too — lots of Twitter and Facebook like you would expect, but 92% of the traffic from the long tail or blogs like Daring Fireball.)

Speaking of launches, was lucky to hit all the big ones I had planned in the beginning of the year in that abbreviation-coded list: VaultPress, new Akismet, mobile WordPress apps for every platform, Ma.tt themesAudrey Capital, WordPress Foundation. Also hired 28 new Automatticians, added 7.2 million blogs to WP.com, and had 38 million downloads from WordPress.org.

This year, along lines of simplifying, I have six main goals:

  • Increase the release frequency of core WordPress, I think we can hit our goal of three major releases this year. (Only did one last year — 3.0.)
  • Keep reading the New Yorker every week, and hopefully work in a few more books every month.
  • Launch a new jazz-related site I’ve been working on sporadically.
  • Finally upload my un-uploaded photos for 2005-2010.
  • Keep exercising regularly. (The first time I have a health-related resolution, if you believe it!)
  • Launch secret new thing, code abbreviation JP. 🙂

It’s not a resolution, but I think I’m going to spend a lot more time in Houston in 2011. As for some other stats: 208 posts here on ma.tt (up Y/Y for first time since 2007), 535 posts on my moblog, 4,456 comments, and posted 2,432 photos. The top five posts were 1.0 Is the Loneliest NumberWildcard DNS and Sub DomainsThe Headers of Twenty TenChange OS X Computer Name, and Sonos vs Squeezebox, but most of the traffic was to the home page. My top emailers were Toni, Rose, Paul, my Mom, and Raanan with 3,028 emails between them. I sent 10,813 emails to about 2,228 people.

According to TripIt, which I love and use constantly, I was on the road 227 days out of the year, traveling 122,066 miles across 59 cities and 17 countries.

27 is a really awkward age — I’m not young anymore but still before the looming 30. It’s inbetween. That said, I think 2011 is going to be a year where a lot of things come together and a lot of the foundations laid down in 2010 (and when I was 26) come to fruition.

This is the ninth year I’ve blogged my birthday: 19202122 (this one is funny), 2324, 25, and 26.


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.

All birthday posts: 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40.

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!

2007 Resolutions

  1. Not be so late with things like resolutions.
  2. Make my writing shorter. Because… nevermind.
  3. Read 2 offline books a month.
  4. File taxes on time.
  5. Do 3 major releases of WordPress.
  6. Get Wii tennis score to 4000.
  7. Eat more regular meals.
  8. Release 3 new Open Source projects.
  9. Normalize sleep schedule.
  10. Throw out clothes I don’t wear, junk I don’t need.
  11. Keep inbox in the single or double digits.
  12. Stop trying to do everything myself.
  13. Take it to thirteen.

Resolution Recap

Like Tantek, I found I didn’t seem to make any public resolutions in 2006, so because of my awful memory I don’t have any idea what I hoped to accomplish last year. Anyway I thought it would be interesting to make a progress report on the resolutions I made two years ago.

  • Build up piano chops — This pretty much tanked. I got an upright piano for my living room and started taking piano lessons from someone I found on Craig’s List. However right before I left CNET I got this awful pain in my hand, particularly my thumb, that was pretty crippling and I ended up with my left hand in a cast for a bit. The only thing that had changed in my routine was that I was practicing a lot of piano at the time (probably too much) and the doctor recommended I stop. I lost touch with my teacher, and basically haven’t done much with it since. Mainly I use the piano these days to keep my ear up by transcribing parts of music I enjoy. (Did you know Timberlake’s Lovestoned is all pentatonic?)
  • Read more — I’ve done pretty well on this one, mostly thanks to travelling about 20x more than I used to. I’m a little bit addicted to computers, so I rarely read at home, but when forced offline I tend to tear through books. I usually carry a book in my bag to grab moments for cafes/parks, which doesn’t happen very often, but is worth having the book for the once every month or so it does.
  • Release more — This has been yes and no. WordPress.com is the epitome of release more, with pushes sometimes dozens of times a day, but the space between WordPress 2.0 and 2.1 is way, way too long. (2.0 is over 1.5 million downloads now.) We’re trying an experiment after 2.1 to encourage more frequent release, since the codebase is pretty much “stable” all the time since it runs live on WP.com. I’ve heard about book writers who have to stop blogging to work on their book, so similarly maybe I should take a break to get some of my unreleased software out the door. On the bright side, I feel like everything currently released, from bbPress to Akismet, is getting all the tender loving care it needs, so nothing is really neglected. (Which is a bad feeling.)
  • No more mental roadblocks — This is a little ambiguous. I still procrastinate sometimes. I think what I was referring to was assuming certain resources were needed before doing something and a fear of failure. One thing I’ve certainly learned in the two years since making that resolution is that there is no causation between resources, especially money, and success. I really believe with committment and elbow grease, you can make almost anything happen.

Now to start thinking about resolutions for 2007, hopefully things a little more measurable.

Welcome 2005

At midnight I hope to be no where close to a computer, so I’ll post this now because I’m sure it’s 2005 someplace already. Thank you, everyone, for such a wonderful year and I wish you all the very best for the coming one.

Here are my resolutions for 2005:

  • Build up my piano chops — On some level I always wondered how things would be different if I stuck with piano instead of switching to sax. I’d like to learn a lot more piano.
  • Read more — I got some great books for Christmas and I think more offline reading would be good for me.
  • Release more — I let releases build up too long, I think most things I’m doing would benefit from a shorter development cycle. I also still have a lot of code I still need to clean up and GPL, more for the *Press family perhaps.
  • Write more — I’ve been happy with my code output lately, but my regular writing has suffered and I haven’t composed or arranged any significant music in about two years now.
  • No more mental roadblocks — For any of the above it would be easy to say “it would be easy to do X if I had Z” but this year I’ve learned that Z is just holding me back. Physical or habitual crutches may be more comfortable, but comfort is a terrible thing when you’re trying to push the envelope.

More Writing

So how is the experiment going? Pretty well I would say, except that I didn’t realize that some words are much harder to write than others. Some words flow while others trickle. Sometimes some words flow where there kshould be no words. A “quota” encourages writing more than editing. So I’m not tracking word counts anymore, though the part of me that wants to quantify everything than can be quantified really wants to.

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

Robert said that “don’t worry about writing or minimum quotas. Lousy way to learn to write. Just keep blogging, write a web article or two and when you find a good thing to write about for a school assignment, run with it. ” He was right and wrong. Explicit quotas are lousy, but the musician inside me knows that discipline is necessary to excel, and daily practice makes perfect. (To which Kel often counters “But nobody’s perfect, why practice?” I suppose it’s the thought that counts.)

A Thousand Resolutions

For the next two weeks I’m going to try to write at least a thousand words a day, every day. Some of these words will be here, others may be other places, and some might not even be destined online. (Gasp!) When I met Tyler Cowen he told me that writing every morning is just about the best thing you can do to improve. We’ll see how this goes. I’ve always thought lots of reading was crucial to good writing as well, however my reading time is currently monopolized by John Locke. And thus if I start to write like him, it is within your rights to slap me upside the head.

One thing that’s making it nicer is WordPress has an option to make your posting <textarea> as big as you want and I already know all the quicktag shortcuts by heart so posting is as easy and pleasant as using a good editor like Dreamweaver or Topstyle. My textarea is currently 50 rows high, which is growing on me.

I would like to have more links in entries.