New Year, new Make Every Week resolution

Jan. 1, 2019

Three years ago, following the advice of builder-journalist John Keefe, I resolved to make something new every week.

At the time, I wrote and coded for The Atlantic’s politics section, and my editor might have argued building every week was already my job. But these projects were supposed to be different — off-the-cuff engineering hacks, with learning something new as the primary objective.

What I quickly figured out: making something every week is hard. In the end, I made only five things, and sometimes they took a lot more than a week:

But it was fun!

So it’s back. For 2019, I’m resolving to Make Every (Two) Week(s), launching a new project or improving an old one twice a month. These won’t always be perfectly polished — sometimes they’ll just be a non-functioning prototype. But I miss having the pressure of a publication deadline to keep me honest and busy.

This time, things will be different. Each month, I’ll have two mandatory go-live dates — on the second and fourth Sundays of each month, I have to publish something. Revisiting a project over multiple weeks is fine, but I should pursue something substantive, like a round of user-testing or a major enhancement.

I’ve already picked out my first project, which will be turning the one-off “draw the line” interactive I built for this story on declining homicide rates into a reuseable web component. Here’s a shortlist of what other stuff I might dive into:

  • An algorithmically generated magazine;
  • A website to help you quickly rank your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movies;
  • An app to help teams see where their members fall on the “chaos-order muppet scale”;
  • An app to help worker bees quickly surface ideas to top leadership;
  • ???

Hit me up if you’ve got a great idea. Otherwise, let the making begin!