Succumbing to Content Creation

OK, that’s a fairly glum title, but it’s true: I finally decided to start a proper YouTube channel. And I have mixed feelings about it. ???? I have actually wanted to make some cocktail-related videos for a long time now, but time management, procrastination, and self-doubt kept it on the back burner… until now. Except somehow I ended up talking about non-alcoholic stuff instead! ????‍♂️ It’s something I’ve been getting more into and it feels like an interesting niche.

It takes a lot of time, and I’m not totally happy with the results yet. I’m also still working through that “OK but who am I to have an opinion on the internet?” impostor syndrome feeling. But hey, I’m doing it! And it does feel good to do something, you know? I have felt a sort of pent up desire to “create” for a while, so I had to try.

Having said all that, hopefully you still want to check it out! Please do, and let me know what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/@zeroproofhomebar

I started a digital garden…

Hey, so I haven’t been posting here all that often. Sorry about that… But guess what! I found a solution: I created a “digital garden”. What the heck is that you say? I wrote (er, started to write) a thing about that!

Basically it’s a different “frame” for content and creative output in general. It changes the dynamic for both author and reader away from a focus on presumably polished, “finished” piece of content, and toward works-in-progress, change, and improvement over time (one might call that “growth” ????). The metaphor recalls the idea of cultivation, of “growing” one’s ideas, writing, and other creative output.

As a result it has a much lower barrier to “publishing”. A piece of content does not have to be “finished” to be made “public”. This has advantages for creators and consumers (or perhaps more like “interactors”) alike. Again I’ve written more about that in the “garden” itself.

You probably don’t know it, but I have numerous half-finished blog posts in the back-end of my blog. Maybe there are some interesting ideas in there, but you’d never know until and unless I have the time and energy to finish writing, polish them up, and publish. ???? Yes, for some of us, publishing feels like kind of a big deal, even on one’s own website. So… the digital gardens concept is a way around my own sense of perfectionism, and thus far it has been really freeing.

I now expect a majority of my new creative work to show up there first, and I hope you’ll head on over and check it out. And comment! I’m not sure what I’ll do with my blog and main site in general, and I still intend to produce “final” or “polished” pieces from time to time. But for now the gardens should be your first stop if you’re interested in what I’m thinking and writing about lately.

The “personal card”

Over the past few years I’ve found myself meeting a lot more people at random out in the world than I was used to for much of my life. Some have given me their numbers, or friended me on Facebook, and some have given me their cards, both business and personal. It became clear that leaving the onus on the other person to reach out and provide contact info was needlessly limiting, so I decided to put together some kind of personal identity item I could hand out. I found myself potentially a little in-between business and personal, wanting to be open to and potentially showcase my skills and experience, or at least interests, but also to keep it casual and open-ended, as functional for a new potential work contact as for a possible date. And I didn’t want to carry two cards. So…

Continue reading “The “personal card””

A small update – some projects start rolling

More than 2 months since my last post, but I’ll try not to make that the norm. Right now I’ve got some big posts waiting in the wings that I just can’t seem to polish up and post, but once I get those out of the way I hope to be in a more regular posting habit. I’m trying to build up a decent body of posts before I start publishing this URL anywhere and actually get anyone reading.

In the meantime I’m pleased to say a couple of my projects have either gotten started, or taken an interesting turn recently. One of them I can’t really say much about just yet, but it’s going to be pretty cool for software publishers, and open source projects in particular. The other I haven’t mentioned yet, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, a software benchmarking website currently found at http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/

I started working on 3D Speed Machine with a partner nearly a year ago now, and it was his foundational work that got the site most of the way to where it is now. He started it before I was involved, and he had the gumption to actually do it, while I’ve had the idea for years now and hadn’t even started. But, as often happens, he got busy with other projects, so he has passed it on to me to work on solo, and as it’s been a passionate subject for me for years, I was only too happy to accept. I’ve got some big improvements in mind, and I’m looking forward to dedicating a good amount of time to this project in 2010, along with a bunch of others percolating in my mind.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention a tool I’ve started using to help me manage my projects (and, in some ways, my life). I think everyone who has any kind of “projects” they’re working on probably needs a project management system of some type. If you’re working on software and/or website projects, I’d say all the more so. A place to put down your ideas, to organize information, store files, maybe chat with collaborators, and perhaps even ultimately track features, issues, etc.

To handle all of this I’ve started using an awesome web-based tool called Redmine, a complete project management suite with a slick, fast, intuitive interface, a wide variety of useful tools (including wiki, issue tracking, forums, file repository, and more), plus a good range of plugins to add even more functionality. For software developers I highly recommend it as it has a nice issue tracking system built-in, and the wiki functionality can really be helpful to jot down ideas quickly. Forums can be used to discuss with collaborators, with resulting information transferred easily and quickly into the wiki, or the issue tracker. Multiple projects can be managed with sophisticated permissions and workflows. And did I mention how fast and intuitive it is?

I’ve tried a lot of other project management and issue tracking apps, from Trac, to GLPI, to Mantis, to ZenDesk, to Basecamp, and more. Redmine stands above all of them in the interface and usability department IMO. It also seems incredibly easy to modify and expand it. For example, just modifying the CSS of the default template allows you to add the ability to color-code your issue statuses.

So, if you’re a software developer – or just have some complex projects to work on – and you haven’t yet started using a project management system, I think Redmine is a great place to start. You’ll probably find you don’t need to look beyond it as it either has the tool you need, or probably has a plugin for it.

I didn’t really start out this post expecting to do much more than a quick update, but I’m glad to be able to get a useful software recommendation out there. Hopefully I can wrap up my longer in-progress articles and get them out there soon. Wish me luck!