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One Month Anniversary

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It has now been exactly one month since I launched this site (the first post is dated September 16th) so it's a good opportunity for a quick review of how it is progessing.

Tending the Garden

In terms of raw stats - I've put up 12 posts (not including this one) at an average of 3 per week which matches the goal I set myself when I launched the site. So far there have been 118 unique visitors who have looked at 392 pages (1 of those visitors and 41 of the page views can be attributed to me). From those numbers it seems most visitors are looking at more than one page per visit which is a good sign.

Obviously I'd like to see more readers come in but I realise that it does take time, once I have a solid body of content available I'll try and do a little more promotion of the site (if you read the site and like it please spread the word - I'd really appreciate it). One of the main things I'd like to see come active is the comments section (0 so far) - I'd like to see the posts and projects become collaborative rather than feeling like I'm talking to a void.

Nothing but Wood

I'm beginning to feel that I launched into a series of posts on a single topic a little too early, or at least my plan of running the posts contiguously was not such a great idea. It didn't help that I vastly underestimated the amount of content involved to cover all the topics I wanted to cover in the series (my original plan was for 3 or 4 articles - so far there are around 10 and a few of those may need to be broken up even further). The impression you get from the front page is that this is a PIC tutorial site when there are a lot of other topics I want to cover as well - standard woodworking and construction, 3D printing, general software development and complete projects utilising all of the previous techniques.

Complexity from Simple Parts

Speaking of 3D printing I'm at a bit of a disadvantage at the moment as my 3D printer has yet to arrive and I have no actual physical experience with the subject. From my research it seems that designing objects that print well (and more importantly fit together well) is a bit of a black art with a number of tricks and gotchas to navigate. I'm loathe to post up any of my own designs until I'm sure they will actually slice and print properly.

To teach is to learn. Japanese Proverb

Another benefit of documenting as I learn is that I'm less likely to make assumptions about what other new users will be experiencing (how often does it take ages to figure out how to do something that you then take for granted in future?). In the meantime I'll probably post up a few more libraries and routines for OpenSCAD to complement the ones I've already done.

There are also a number of more, shall we say philosophical, posts I'd like to do about the changes we might see in the future due to the rapid price decrease in computing power and the emergence (and associated price decrease) of new technologies such as 3D printing. The massive changes we have seen in the past two decades as a result of the internet are going to be replicated in other areas in the near future. This may turn out to be of major benefit to the world as a whole or as another increase in the ever concerning digital divide. How rapidly access to this technology spreads is going to be the defining factor.

The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed. William Gibson

The Road Ahead

From now on I'm going to intersperse these other posts amoungst posts for whatever series I happen to be running at the time (I'll still put up at least one series post per week though). Hopefully this will result in a more balanced site.

It certainly has been a fun learning experience. Writing about projects and techniques has helped clarify my goals and forced me to think through the details and process I'm using. Everything I do now I'm doing with the thought 'Now how am I going to describe this?' in the back of my mind - it's a wonderful way to streamline everything, every redundant or unnecessary step would result in an additional paragraph or two of description so they get eliminated fairly quickly. The process of writing up the details also forces you to rethink the approach you took and can lead to Aha! moments when you realise there is a much simpler way to do what you are describing.

All in all everything seems to be going smoothly. I'll take another look at the 3 month mark and see how things have progressed - it should be interesting.