It’s Time To Take This Blog In A Different Direction

I thought I’d try something a little different today and record an audio post instead of writing everything out. Please let me know what you think in the comments below, though be kind, since it’s my first attempt at this. Thanks.

Below is a summary of the main ideas you’ll find in the audio above.

Reasons for Change

I think it’s time to tweak the direction of this blog for a few reasons.

The first reason is because of the time it takes me to publish written posts. I don’t write quickly and easily spend 15 hours each week producing two written posts. That’s too much time and I’d like to get some of that time back in order to work on projects I never seem to get to.

The second reason is to make things fresh again. I have a process for blogging that helps me address the time issue. It helps, though not enough. However as with any process it can get repetitive. Lately it’s felt a little too repetitive and when I feel that way I want to shake things up a bit.

The third reason is to be able to provide more value to you. The written word is great, but it’s all about telling you how to do something. Other formats would allow me to show you how as well.

For all of the above I’d like to add 3 new types of posts to the mix.

  • Demos
  • Screencasts
  • Audio Posts

Demos

I’ve been adding more demos to posts this past year. Unfortunately they aren’t integrated into the site well. I link to them in posts, but otherwise they’re just sitting in a subfolder outside of WordPress. I’d prefer to bring them into WordPress to allow you to search for them and to provide you with downloadable code.

Additionally working on a demo gives me more practical experience with a subject. The theory I get researching and writing is great, but it can’t offer the same level of understanding as experience. Better understanding on my part should lead to more informative posts.

While I can get some of this experience through client work, it doesn’t always allow me to experiment with all the things I want to discuss here. Creating demos would.

Screencasts

In the name of showing instead of telling, a screencast goes above and beyond a demo. Instead of just providing the end result, I can let you watch me create it. You can watch how I code something, see the mistakes I make (and hopefully how I fix them), and listen as I share thoughts about why I’m writing a line of code or using a certain pattern or technique.

I’ve tried recording a few screencasts, but none came out well and I never got very far with them. Too much of it is new for me. Screencasts require different preparation and I need to learn more about audio, video, and most importantly how to work with both at the same time.

Audio

To help I thought I could remove the video and work solely with audio for a time, like I’m doing today. This way there will be less for me to learn and practice and get comfortable with. In time I’ll feel more comfortable with the audio and I can add in the video at that time.

While practicing both i”ll figure out how to better incorporate demos on the site.

A New Direction

None of the above means I want to stop writing. I enjoy writing and still think it offers a lot of value. However I do think some change is needed if I’m going to accomplish some of the things I keep putting off.

At first I’ll simply mix in an audio post for a written post each week, but in time I thought I could try something where each week of posts here is on a single topic.

Monday might be the same written posts you’ve seen for awhile. Tuesday could be an audio post where I add some additional thoughts. Wednesday or Thursday could be a screencast where I work through a demo and the end of the week could be a presentation of that demo.

One week. One topic. Several angles and formats.

I’m a creature of habit so bear with me while I make this transition. I do hope you like the idea and please let me know what you think. Also if you notice any technical issues with the audio here, please share. Any feedback is appreciated.

Again I’m new to this and I’m sure I’ll make many mistakes on the way to getting this right. Thanks and wish me luck

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12 comments

  1. I don’t think podcast and audio is a good way. For example, I’m from Italy, I have a good knowledge of written English, but I’m not so good at listening. And i think I’m not the only one here…

    • Good point Davide. I hadn’t really thought how the change would affect people who speak something other than English as a native language.

      I do plan on continuing to add a written post below the audio. It probably won’t be a transcription of what was said, but I will make sure the main points in the audio are also in the written post below.

      Would that work?

  2. I love the idea. There are many posts from many blogs that I save with the intention of reading later, but never do get around to reading them all.
    With this audio format, I can carry on working with the post playing in the background. I wouldn’t miss a thing.

    Also, it seems more personal.

    • Thanks Paul. Funny I do the same thing sometimes. My feedreader is filled with posts I’ve starred and marked as unread. I also listen audio posts and let them play while I keep working (usually reading some of the other posts I saved for later :) )

      I was thinking about audio being more personal too. I know when I listen to other people doing audio, I feel like I know them better. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more of my personality across in these.

  3. I think this sounds pretty good, and I love your plan for expanding the blog and examining the same topic for an entire week. I definitely applaud you for trying something new. That’s always a good thing.

    • Thanks Kristine. It’ll take some time for me to get comfortable with the new format, but I think I’ll get there. I’ll need some practice to sound more natural and it’ll probably take some time to figure out what topic works best in audio. The only way to get there is to keep recording and trying.

      I like the idea of examining the same topic from different angles. I’m guessing not every topic will lend itself to that treatment, but for those that do I think this would be a nice way to present it.

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