After years of blogging, I have decided to branch out and try a few other things out there. I’ve been writing quality blog posts for various blogs I’ve run. This current iteration started with my fabled posts on SEO vs UX of Page Titles which garnered more attention than I could have imagined. I believe I got a whopping 100 views that day. And for me, that was a lot.
Maybe it was the right article at the right time, but the feedback I got inspired me to spend more time writing in-depth guides and tutorials that time and time again received the attention I sought.
But that attention hasn’t always been positive. Over the years, I found myself burning out and often either publishing or meaning to publish posts about taking a break, about quitting blogging and just leaving this blog to rot. The attention also meant that people wanted more individual attention to help them with the problems they faced regarding various topics. From Angular to React to Bootstrap, everyone had questions, and everyone wanted an answer.
When I published my controversial article: I’m a developer, but it’s not my passion, I got so much negative feedback that I spent nights wondering about what to do. Was I bad developer? Did I deserve that kind of feedback? Was I really the “cancer that’s killing web development”? (yes, i was called that).
On the other hand, my guide for Angular 2 received only positive feedback but then users started to email in with issues they had, with things that broke, and generally, needing help with Angular 2. It was no small task to help them. I have a full-time job, I have a baby at home, and I just don’t have the time to help everyone out. It bummed me out. Not just that I couldn’t help but that my article wasn’t good enough.
So I’m branching out.
But where to?
I’ve decided to branch out of blogging. It’s fun, it’s great, but I want to do something more. I probably won’t stop publishing opinion pieces like the aforementioned development passion article; however, I’m leaving tutorials for other places.
First, there is Twitch. One of the things that I hated about blogging was that I could either spend my time writing an article or a tutorial while developing the code to support either or I could actually spend my time learning and writing code. Writing code for tutorials isn’t fun. It’s a slow process that has to be documented, it has to be clear and it can’t be rushed. This means that I often include extra steps in a tutorial that aren’t necessary.
I decided to start using Twitch and stream almost every night for about an hour to showcase some kind of technology I’m learning. In fact, I’m learning it live. If you want to see a sample of my stream, check out my Learning Redux Live youtube export. I’ve been doing this for close two months now and it’s invigorating.
Not only do I get to work on new projects, learn new technology, but I’m able to interact with an audience that may ask questions which I can answer right away and in front of everyone else without having to repeat myself. In the past two months, I’ve been able to learn Redux, refresh my React knowledge, finish a WordPress theme for PUCL Podcast, and start on a Babel plugin. However, within that same time, I would have been able to publish maybe one or two articles.
I’m embedding the Twitch player below:
Other than streaming my code experience and learning, I’ve also started to build out presentations. Similar to creating tutorials, I find it easier to create a talk and live-code a demo. I already have a tutorial series on Learning Redux with React which has gotten some interest. Some of the videos were streamed live on Twitch and include some feedback from viewers while others were recorded without being streamed first. Check out my channel.
Again, it’s a format I enjoy a lot more than blogging. Live-coding includes my mistakes and allows me to quickly explain why I did things the way I did. I can also easily segment out long tutorials or talks into several videos over the course of weeks rather than taking months to release a comprehensive guide. My Redux videos:
I’ve been wanting to get in on Podcasting. And I did. In fact, I released several podcasts on a regular basis for the past few months; however, I did not find a good following and Podcasting is difficult to do on your own. It’s more of a conversation than a monologue so until I can either join a podcast or find a very flexible co-host to record it with me, I’m staying away from it. I really would like to do more of it since the few episodes I released (I think about 10 episodes between 3 podcasts, and recorded about 15 altogether), I enjoyed making. If you’re doing a tech podcast (or a writing or a pokemon podcast or star trek or whatever) and you stay up late at night to do it, hit me up. I’m totally game.
Besides Podcasts, I’ve been pretty busy on Twitter in terms of tech and other topics.
But all of that means that I have less time to blog, less time to post, and less time to interact with my blog. It’s okay because I’m pursuing new endeavors but I’ve been at this since before 2009 and that’s a long time.