The One Thing I Want for Holidailies 2009

A day late and dollar short, that's me. This article's title is the writing prompt from yesterday, the penultimate day of Holidailies 2008.

Let's get this out of the way right now: Holidailies 2009 is not a given. Holidailies is a labor of love, and we won't do it unless we're feeling the love. That's not a passive-aggressive plea, but a statement of fact. It's a lot of work to organize and maintain. It all comes down to whether, a year from now, Jette and I feel like we'll have the capacity to do it again. I hope we do, because it's a lot of fun.

So, if we're writing a wish list for Holidailies 2009, the number one thing at the top of my list is to do it again next year.

More tactically speaking, I can tell you some of the potential changes I have half-baked in my mind, should Holidailies make another appearance.

First and foremost, I hope to have a full test suite. I blogged about this earlier in the month. I need confidence that if I make changes in one area of the site that it won't break something else. If there's an update to CakePHP that provides working (and documented!) testing support, I'll add that. This won't be a direct benefit to site users, but it will enable further development that will.

Next, I had to pull off the sidebar sort controls. That was another CakePHP bug. The sort controls interacted badly with the cache system. I'd like to reinstate that if the bug gets fixed.

I'm considering, and have proposed to Jette, an overhaul of the registration system. Currently, when you register for Holidailies, you choose whether you want to participate on the portal, or the "At Home" version (where you write daily, but you don't post on the portal). I think I'd like to simplify that so that you don't have to make that choice at the time you register. All you do is register. If you start posting, you'll move onto the portal. If you fall way, way behind, you'll probably get bumped back down. It seems simpler, more intuitive, and more flexible.

I'd like to bring back the banner ads that we did in prior years. I don't think they were too intrusive, and I liked the way they allowed us to provide promotional opportunities to individual journalers and non-profit organizations. Presuming the recession is not too long lived and we're all still employed a year from now, I'd consider donating the revenue to a worthy organization.

Speaking of worthy organizations, I liked the Holidailies Charity Project that we did last year. Maybe we could do something like that again next year. I like the way that it generates not just a bit of cash, but also some visibility for a worthy group.

As far as more structural changes, I keep thinking about mechanisms for collaborative filtering or organizing the posts, but haven't yet come up with anything that adds a lot of value while maintaining the simplicity of the project and the site. If you have any thoughts, chip [at] unicom [dot] com (drop me a line) (or leave a comment).

So, that's it for Holidailies 2008. It was a great year. Thanks to everybody who participated. Special thanks to the Readers Panel members, who played a large part in this year's success.


Comments have been closed for this entry.

I can't even imagine how much

I can't even imagine how much work Holidailies is for you & Jette. Thank you, thank you so much for all of it. This was my first time, and it was a wonderful experience for me. I really hope it's back in 2009, and can't wait to participate. Thank you both, again.


I'd never heard of holidailies until about two months ago, but I've really enjoyed it! Thanks for setting it up.

Holidailies 2009

My goal for next year is to be able to set aside more time and energy for the whole project. I feel like I was kind of slackery this year, both in terms of administering and participating. Hopefully next year I'll be able to do more.

Holidailies 2008

Thank you for hosting another year of Holidailies. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated by those of us who write and/or read throughout the Holidailies project.

Thanks for all of your hard

Thanks for all of your hard work. If you need any volunteers for anything, let me know.

Oh, I just got my converter box coupon in the mail and then later saw in the news that people are having trouble getting them, so thanks for that heads up in one of your earlier posts.

Work and Real Work

One always hopes that labors of love might lead to something like labors for money. This project has been a demonstration for me of your coding talents (as is this blog) and also for your practical skills in user interfaces. I'm sure you don't need resume fodder, but. unlike the callow youths whose future employers find pictures of them in compromising positions, your future employers will see a very competent piece of work.