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Okay, I've got a new 30 day challenge. Each day I'll do something nice for someone. It can be
- an act of kindness
- donating to a good cause like open-source or a charity
- thanking, encouraging, or praising someone.

Day 1: Back in grad school, I used a program called "xv" to view and edit images: http://www.trilon.com/xv/ . The xv program was free for personal use, but the author asked for a $35 donation. I didn't have much money then and never sent $35. Tonight I did. It felt great.
Day 2: On my way to the #newsfoo unconference this weekend, I did a large tip to the taxi driver on the way from the airport.
Day 3: I saw Clay Johnson and tweeted about his new book coming out: http://www.informationdiet.com/
Day 4: Another large tip for the hotel maid and for the taxi driver who took me to the airport.
Day 5: An interesting day. I ordered takeout and went to pick it up. The cashier was a bit distant and left me hanging out for a few minutes even though I could see my food was ready to go. I gave the cashier a large tip (like, as much as the food) and he brushed it off. It was an unsatisfying act of kindness somehow.

I'm noticing that I'm on the lookout for nice things to do now, even if it's as small as jumping ahead to hold the door for someone wheeling a cart. On day 2, a college student somehow got past security with four bags. The airline employees at the gate said that he had to check some bags, and it would be $60. The college student said that he didn't have $60. I was really happy that a chance to do a good deed had dropped in my lap, and got up to help. But the airline employees let the college student check his bags for free. So they nabbed that good deed before I could get to it. :)

Day 6: I've been using Ubuntu for a long time. In the early days, they sent me several free Ubuntu CDs in the mail. Today I donated to Ubuntu at http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved/donate
Day 7: I donated to the Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/donate/index.php . They do a bunch of stuff for the web.
Day 8: I was up in San Francisco for an event by http://engineadvocacy.org/ . I caught a cab ride and the taxi driver had a wild story about how someone threatened him with a knife. He got a really big tip.
Day 9: Gave a really big tip to a waiter at Chilis.
Day 10: I was walking down the sidewalk and a local high school student was singing and selling CDs for them to travel to Ireland. I bought a CD and donated some money for the trip. Also someone was collecting funds outside of a grocery store and I dropped some money in the box.
Day 11: Louis CK put up a comedy special for $5 with no DRM. I love that he's taking chances and going out on a limb, so I bought the special and tweeted about it to my followers.
Day 12: I got an awesome reminder about raising money for charity:water. I raised money for them while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and they made me a short, funny video that was playing on the wall during an event: https://twitter.com/#!/paullyoung/status/146389416892571648/photo/1 I sent another donation in to charity:water.
Day 13: Louis CK continues to be not-a-jerk about his $5 comedy special, so I tweeted another link to it. You can read his update so far at https://buy.louisck.net/statement
Day 14: A co-worker had a great idea for a really creative holiday card, so I took a minute to thank him for his work on it.
Day 15: Checking out at the grocery store I saw a "scan this to donate $5" card for http://www.shelternetwork.org/ and added it to my cart.
Day 16: I did a nice big tip for the lady who cut my hair today. On the down side, I've been looking for things to do that don't involved money, and I realized that I missed an easy blood drive at work by just one day.
Day 17: Going into a local drug store, there was someone ringing a bell for Salvation Army, so I donated some money.
Day 18: Driving out of a parking lot, there was a guy holding a sign and claiming to be a disabled Vietnam vet. Gave him some money. Grabbed dinner at a sandwich shop and left a big tip in the tip jar. Also wrote a quick internal note praising the folks doing the free music for the Android market, because it's pretty amazing.
Day 19: I wrote a quick Google+ post to call out the great work that MAPLight.org does: https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202/posts/WDbr3DdezPf
Day 20: I donated some money to organizations like EFF, MAPLight, Code for America, Khan Academy, and Public.Resource.Org.
Day 21: I was on a plane that was a couple hours late for mechanical reasons. Other people had really tight connections, so I stayed in my seat so other people could get off faster.
Day 22: I'm spending Christmas with my in-laws in Omaha, Nebraska. They cooked a delicious meal, so I did the dishes.
Day 23: We went to see a movie (_Arthur Christmas_, which is really good by the way). I bought the tickets and snacks for folks.
Day 24: My wife did a ton of work to find presents for everyone. She's an expert present wrapper, but it can be a chore to wrap presents, so I got up a little early and wrapped as many presents as I could before she woke up.
Day 25 (Christmas!): I stopped by the webmaster help forum at http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters?hl=en to answer a few questions.
Day 26: In the Omaha airport, I buy a couple magazines. I notice that next to the cashier is a box taking donations for a childrens' shelter, so I put some money in the box.
Day 27: I donated some money to the Link Foundation: http://www.binghamton.edu/link-foundation/
Day 28: At work today I saw someone almost trip over a whiteboard in a hallway. I wheeled the whiteboard out of the hallway.
Day 29: A friend was due to travel tomorrow and realized that their passport expired. I helped them fill out the right form and take passport photos.
Day 30: I drove up to San Francisco with my friend to try to do a same-day passport renewal.

Thanks to +Christine Miner Toibin and +Brian Coca for the suggestions that I'm combining together.
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64 comments
 
I still think seeing you train jiu-jitsu would be epic, but good for you, Mr. Cutts. :)
 
John, that would be fun. I'm keeping it on the list. :)
 
Awesome! I just started my third 30-day experiment: drinking 7 glasses of water and getting up before 7:30AM everyday
 
I just bought $50 worth of tickets to #passportswithpurpose the travel bloggers fundraiser to build libraries in Africa. ;^D
 
I loved xv! I didn't use it much, but who could resist the rotating fish?
 
what a meaning life! i ma suffering in china,although i love my work as a software developer
 
I helped an old lady by carrying her luggage to the plattform (on a small railway-station without a lift) and using a complicated ticket-machine.
 
Very Cool , your own form of ..........Pay it Forward
 
Hope your idea goes Google exponential.
 
Speaking on behalf of Rand Fishkin; but I'd bet he would be willing to participate...

If SEOMoz adds $10 to the annual subscription price of their PRO Accounts with 100% of that amount going to the charity of your choice, will you convince your Analytics friends to turn off the filter in Google Analytics that hides organic keyword search phrases for logged-in Google users?

I will personally send you a check for $100. How about it?
 
Matt, Absolutely LOVED your 30 day challenge on Ted.com Cudos to you mate, became a fan after that!! Cheers from Pete - Australia
 
I like the doing one act of kindness. If we all did that imagine. It doesn't take much you can just smile at someone you don't like. But if we did it daily imagine the change to the world. I am going to try and join you, 30 days one random act of kindess, that I would not have thought to do.
 
Great idea, Matt! You might enjoy doing a donation to Donors Choose which puts resources directly into the hands of classroom teachers. The requests for instruments to help with music classes really got me!
 
+Matt Cutts Awesome project. I look forward to seeing how this unfolds and hopefully others catch the bug to do something similar.
Bob Q
 
There's a saying in Chinese: Do one good deed a day. Hope you can keep at it.
 
I appreciate your 30 day challenges... :) N all those for a good cause... All the best Matt...
 
cost often better than free~
 
This should be a 30 year challenge. Something nice should be done for people everyday all the time. :)
 
Best challenge ever, should be taken everyday of one's life :)
 
<del>#34 Used a guys software without paying for it</del>
 
<3 xv. My fisrt REAL Xwin screenshot that was uploaded had a modem attached to it.
 
Would be nice when you tell us the releasedate of ics for nexus s :)
 
Awesomeness thumb up
 
i think plan very hard to be in present.event its good plan.but open the heart ,open the mind always good in the life
 
awesome. if you are still thinking of nice things to do for someone on one of your days, it would be super nice if you shared our askalo.com
web community with people :)
 
Can I get a Job at Google...... :)
.An act of kindness........
 
Well back in the day I changed my employers policy and got 1100/1200 people a better pension - one person got quoted a cost of circa £15000
 
can i get a chromebook or a google nexus? that would be an act of kindness
 
if we all did this every day of the year we would all be happier and have greater inner peace.
 
Generosity must be praised, but watch out for the trap ... If feeling good is empathising with beneficiary wonderful ... but if feeling good is based on "I" have done this, then one could be training in pride ... this might be a better challenge to keep private :)
 
Oh, that is such a great idea: going back and donating to all the open source projects I used in school but could not afford to donate to back then. I also donated to XV just now - thanks for reminding me!
 
This is a really good idea! Now I'm starting to generate a list...
 
Matt your page is soo cool can you put me in your circle, I am a nice guy...
 
Well, Matt, as it turns out I've been publishing instructional websites, financed by advertisements through the +Google AdSense program, and because of my authors' success (less as of late, because of Panda), I decided that instead of donating money to a charity and forgetting about it, I'd start my own. We're focused on bringing computers, technology and English language skills to smaller villages of northeastern Thailand to help both students and parents avoid having to find work in Bangkok (otherwise referred to as the sex trade). We just incorporated as +The Nonsomboon Project and any donations are welcome. Really, at this point, anything would help. I'm leaving to do a needs assessment on January 5th.
 
i never thought about open source like that. that would be better than donating to a charity in my opinion
 
I should probably add that all of the computers we build for the children, thus far, are run with open source software to reduce expenses and increase security. If it were up to me, I'd run the Chrome OS on them.
 
Hi Matt. You will find yourself forgetting about a 30 day challenge on this giving..as.. you carry on doing such through the rest of your life. Some of us will label you with "a helper" tag. My way of doing this is to give away my golf instruction method for the benefit of many around the world who cannot afford current golf expenses. This is a continuing process with no side advertisements at my site. Total giving. Great post with great ideas in the comments.
 
Today you leak the crespo4g ics image anonymously to a random file share site :)
 
That's pretty pathetic for a 30 day goal in writing, including the last item. You should be thanking, encouraging and praising people every day.
 
I think, Gary, that you're missing the point. He's simply trying to be more mindful. Chances are, if he takes 30 days to be mindful of his kindness, he will be more aware of himself and his actions when the 30 days are over. It's a very basic exercise, and it works. Like writing notes in the margins when you read a book.
 
Starting good habits is not something that needs to be isolated for a major goal during the month. They're habits because they accrue over time. The 3rd item on the list, as a life goal, is something that if one hasn't learned by now, needs to be practiced all the time.
 
Wasn't it xv that, on a particular error dialog, had the close button labelled 'Bummer!'?
 
well i would donate to w3.org for this challenge but then again google plus one button code keeps failing validation... lol
 
i am crazy of ur comment,its really fantastic.
 
I like you Matt, but it seems that in this challege you substituted "good deed" with "good tip". I believe that you could have been more creative about what good deeds you could do.
 
Hi Matt. We have something in the same area of interest (kindness) that could be implemented across G+. If you are still working with this, please let me know. We are in SF.
 
Kindness's days of +Matt Cutts It's incredible! More giving than taking is awesome! Thank you for shared experience!
 
This December our office staff have decided to donate blood to blood bank and help physically challenge children and give 2-3 days salary to cancer research.
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