2009 in Review

Welcome to my fifth annual :scare: year in review :/scare: post.

Last year I wrote this as an intro to my annual retrospective:

This year, unlike previous years, my blog is less of a good record of the past 365 days. It’s a combination of being a lot busier due to the growth at Crowd Favorite, and working on more client projects that I can’t talk about as they happen the same way I can with things I’m building for myself.

This year was a year of many starts and few finishes. I have too many projects still in a state of “mostly working, not quite ready for release”. I’m pleased with the base that I’ve built in 2008, and I’m hoping that 2009 will see much of this work come to fruition.

Unfortunately, many of these things were true again in 2009. I had several spurts where I tried to make time to blog more frequently, but was unable to keep it up. My responsibilities have grown significantly in the past few years, and I don’t get as much time at the keyboard as I used to.

I currently have a number of projects in various states of completion, blog posts in various states of draft, etc., etc. Time has become my biggest challenge. That said, we’ve got a number of things progressing nicely and I’m very excited for what I see on the slate for 2010.

Instead of going through month-by-month as I have in the past, I’m instead going to pick and choose some events to highlight.

Personally, this has been quite a year:

  • I became a father – my daughter Caitlin was born on April 18th. She’s doing great; is now crawling backwards (hasn’t gotten forward figured out yet) and walking around while holding onto my fingers. She’s turned our lives upside-down a bit. :)
  • 10 Year Anniversary – my wife and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in November. I feel very fortunate.
  • More family time – my in-laws moved to Colorado from Minnesota and they have provided invaluable support to us. My parents have also visited a number of times from Seattle – it’s great to be seeing them more often.

All of this has me feeling like an adult in a very real and scary way. I’m working hard to develop my “I’m too old for this sh*t” persona and building a cache of “back in my day” stories accordingly.

Professionally this has been a great year as well:

  • Crowd Favorite continues to grow – this year we were fortunate to enjoy 30% growth in a down economy, keep our entire team intact and add a few more talented folks to fold. All of which I am very thankful for.
  • WordPress HelpCenter launched – I’m very pleased to report that the service is doing even better since we took full control of it last month.
  • BackupMoxie launched – our managed backup service launched smoothly is working very well; it’s saved our clients a few times already. Look for an announcement about a new offering from BackupMoxie soon.
  • WordCamp Denver – we put on Denver’s first WordCamp in February 2009. We are planning another for 2010, probably in June this year (we are coordinating around several other events and WordCamps we plan to attend).
  • I went to SxSWi for the first time – I had been meaning to go for several years and it was great to connect and re-connect with a number of folks there.
  • WordCamp SF – I finally got out to WordCamp SF, and was privileged to be invited onstage to discuss some of our successes.
  • TechStars – I once again participated as a mentor in the TechStars program, though I was not as active this year as in the past (due to the little one). I’m looking forward to next year and the expansion to my hometown of Seattle.
  • Carrington Framework – it was great to see Carrington power some of the best WordPress implementations launched in 2009. I put out more documentation and I’m excited about some unreleased features that we are working on.
  • Oxygen Framework – we build most of our custom PHP applications on the excellent CodeIgniter framework, but we’ve built a framework on top of CodeIgniter that enables even more rapid application development and implements our own best practices as well as some of the best aspects of the customization ability found in WordPress. I did a ton of work on this in 2009 and it powers a number of our internal systems as well as BackupMoxie. I’m looking forward to releasing more projects and products on the framework in 2010.
  • My mobile obsession continues – I used two BlackBerrys, an iPhone, and tested an Android and Palm Pre this year. I moved from AT&T to Verizon, and am becoming more and more frustrated with the BlackBerry OS, software and hardware speed while I lament the lack of an equal keyboard on any other mobile platform.
  • Netbooks were a new toy – I experimented with them in the spring, then got them for the whole team for the holidays.
  • WordPress plugins and themes – we released a number of plugin and theme updates in 2009, and should be in position to do even more in 2010. I have a personal list of 5-6 that I hope we can complete and release.

My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the items listed above. I’m quite looking forward to what we can do in 2010.


For you statheads out there, I’ve continued the blog/site stats.1

Posts Avg. Length Total Length Comments (Mine)
2009 181 1,659 300,361 1,750 (109)
2008 186 1,551 288,465 2,399 (151)
2007 404 1,478 597,200 3,613 (276)
2006 556 1,679 935,392 2,919 (442)
2005 457 1,457 665,849 2,436 (437)
2004 538 1,210 650,980 2,159 (486)
  1. Run yours using these SQL queries. [back]

This post is part of the thread: Year in Review – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.