New Website

It’s been a while…

It’s been at least three years since I last updated my website (2017). That’s been bugging me for a long while now. Part of the hiatus was due to a change of focus to posting on my DeviantArt account. However, I got tired of that as well. Part of it was I was busy with my studies at Drexel. But mostly I just found maintaining my site to be a chore. I figured it’s about time to re-think things. So I tore down my old website and I’m starting over.

What I’ve learned

Looking back over the past few years, I’ve realized the following:

  1. Maintaining a website can get tedious. And that can kill motivation to keep going.
  2. Don’t bother promising that “I’ll write about this later”. It probably won’t get done without further motivation.
  3. If a complete explanation is going to be too tedious to get done, writing something simple and self-contained is better than nothing.
  4. I have many, many GitHub repos. Many were experiments I probably won’t get back to. There’s no sense spending time writing about everything. Focus on the projects that actually came to fruition.
  5. My works are small and made purely for enjoyment and learning. Most of my projects will result in a proof-of-concept, then I’ll move on to something else. This used to bother me, but I think this is okay. My style is to make a variety of small works. As long as I can produce something that has something concrete I can show others, I can be satisfied with this.
  6. From my time sharing art on DeviantArt, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I’ve learned:
    1. A detailed comment with constructive feedback is worth much more to me than simpler likes/favorites.
    2. Likes/favorites seem like eating a donut. It might taste good at the beginning, but I’m not gaining much value there.
    3. A few followers that engage in discussion about your respective works is much more valuable to me than trying to win a large following.
    4. That said,
  7. I do like talking about my projects, but I don’t write about it as much as I want to. I need to find ways to make it less tedious.
  8. I’m very haphazard in my passion projects. My motivation comes from what’s interesting to me in the moment. If I take too long, I get bored and move on.
  9. Though my interests are broad, they’re tangentally related to each other. Math and science inspire my art, computer graphics is one of my artist’s tools. That said, I definitely want to find ways to coalesce these topics into more focused projects over time.
  10. I feel like I spend a ton of time exploring my passions and not enough time improving my skills. Particularly in programming and computer graphics, I feel like I should spend more time reading about the state-of-the-art and actually practicing things I learn.
  11. My projects have very technical UIs with way too many features for the average person. Spend more time focusing on how to make something presentable to someone without a technical background.

What to do about this

What I’ve already started to do

  • In the past year or two I’ve become less active on social media. The distraction-to-benefit ratio is just too high. I focus on showing things to friends and co-workers. If I want to engage others beyond that, I’ll be more strategic about it.
  • This new website, like any of my projects, is designed to be a learning experience. I’m building things from scratch to learn more about modern HTML/CSS/JS development.

Goals for this website

  • Above all else, design it in a way that makes adding content. Tedium is the motivation killer. Avoid where possible.
  • Build incrementally to reduce the burden. It’ll be easier to document projects if I focus on only one or two a week.
  • Treat this website as a work of art of in itself. I have some ideas to make it into an art gallery.
  • Embed material from my featured projects into my main website for a more immersive experience.
  • Focus on the website. If I want to share things on other sites, make it easy to link back to what I
  • If it’s helpful, leverage Web Components to reuse material across different projects.
  • Write more on the blog. That’s a good place to talk about my experiments.

Goals for my other programming projects

  • Make it easy to link to presets for projects with many parameters. Then it’s easier to share with others
  • The other half of this is make it easy to save presets.
  • I have some rough ideas on this topic involving JSON, URLs and possibly Local Storage

Ideas for the future

  • I’m haphazard in my passion projects. However, I should be more focused when learning if nothing else. I should spend time planning out specific learning goals including reading books and articles I’ve collected over the years.