Well, the new site DIYPlanner.com has launched, and this blog now seems to be inexplicably small and lonely. In a way, it reminds me of cleaning up after a party, and I’m vacuuming the ashes, wiping up the beer stains, and wondering what noxious substances found their way into the potted plants. Being left by myself, under normal circumstances, would normally be cause for rejoicing and watching a little TV in my underwear, but after a bash one always feels more alone than ever.
Of course, this could be just the mental equivalent of a hangover.
A few people have asked me why I actually took the time and effort to create that full-fledged community site when I had originally envisioned a simple wiki. The truth is, after a lot of thought, I realised that a wiki wouldn’t have been the best format. Organising such a creature to stay fresh and intuitive is quite a lot of ongoing (and potentially boring) work, especially if it all falls back on one or two people. And I get lost in wikis, I admit it. Even on the 43 Folders Wiki, I often forget where things are located, and my incessant brow-furrowing leads to forehead cramps when I try to retrace my path to something I glimpsed earlier. This is not to say I don’t think wikis are the greatest thing since Cheez Whiz. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised I wanted to achive something different.
First, there needed to be a constant feed of new “stuff,” essentially a recharged page each and every day, a stream of new material that might carry a ship to a thousand ports –not just the same old links regurgitated from 43 Folders, LifeHack.org, Slacker Manager or one of the other excellent dedicated sites. I realised that producing this original material was not something I had to do alone… there are a lot of talented folks out there swimming in the Sargasso who deserve to call out and be heard, and whose perspective is entirely unlike my own. Why not work with some of these people?
It also had to be about more than just productivity (which, honestly, can get boring at times), and so I devised to place an emphasis on the more creative approaches to planning, living and recording one’s life. While the focus would be placed upon using paper, its usage is not a foregone conclusion, and there should be plenty of ways to apply many of the same ideas to digital tools and methods. (However, that is a post for another time, another place.)
In the end, the new site was a heck of a lot of work, and a lot of coordination with other writers, programmers, template designers and friends. It finally all came together in one three-day sleep-deprived bug-stomping juggernaut launch with tonnes of content (well over a hundred pages, I seem to recall) to greet people wandering in through the door on the very first day. We got some good linkage, a constant stream of visitors and registered users, and quite a number of people volunteering contributions for the future. Which, by my reckoning, is the sign of a successful party.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to hoist my feet, relax a little, and watch a little bit of my Belgian friend Poirot and his (tap forehead) leeetle grey zells. My pants, however, will remain on, since I shudder to think of what might appear in the Google ad if I removed them.