Clarifying Website Focus (GHD028)

Happy Monday! Today I unexpectedly worked on my website’s front page, changing the font and refocus the text to describe what this site is all about: sharing process.

A Content Editing Rabbit Hole

Font ChangesThe whole editing task began earlier today I was staring at The Guardian’s website, admiring their web typeface Guardian Egyptian. I went to Adobe TypeKit to update my own font (switching from Rooney to FF More Pro), and then spent some time staring at the body copy to determine which I liked better. I decided that I preferred FF More Pro for its slightly larger x-height and compactness. You can have a look at the difference by clicking on the picture to the right.

Being forced to read the text for the first time in months, I found it didn’t resonate with me anymore. My work on the Groundhog Day Goals has made it clear to me exactly what I am doing now, and the original body copy was written in at a time when I was not sure how to handle the two audiences of davidseah.com:

  • The most popular offerings I have on this website are the productivity tools and related writing, and I feel the pressure to continue to provide that.

  • However, the reason I have a blog in the first place is because I like writing about my experiences. It didn’t start with that intention, but the meaningful part of the blog has come about from sharing my thoughts. I get lovely emails from readers every once in a while that makes it clear that this is the most important work. It’s also a smaller audience compared to the first one, perhaps 1 person in 20 I would guess.

The previous version of the front page copy tried to strike a balance between both audiences:

Hi! This website is where I obsessively document my nerdy passions, often in the context of being more productive and finding meaning in the work I do. Professionally, I apply video game technology to learning software and installations. I also design paper-based productivity tools that you can print at home or buy at Amazon.

To get a sense of who I am, check out the massive blog archives page, or have a listen to the podcast I do with my friend Sid about being an “independent creative” making a go of it. I’m also Taiwanese-American, which means I am genetically predisposed to seek-out delicious food!

I have since rewritten it as follows to emphasize the mission of “sharing the experience” up front:

I’m Dave Seah, a freelance designer/developer based in Southern New Hampshire about 45 miles north of Boston.

On this website, I obsessively document my nerdy passions and experiments, largely for people like me who are also developing their creative strengths and pursue meaningful work. I write at length about the challenge of making a viable living while targeting my own interests, covering subjects such as “battling procrastination” and “handling other people’s expectations”. I strive to show my process accurately as it happens, imperfections and all, so the writing can be a bit rough around the edges. However, if you are looking for someone “talking shop” as they try to make cool stuff, stop by to see what’s going on in my virtual lab!

Then after the “here’s the stuff that I wrote most recently” section, I expanded my particulars:

Professionally, I apply video game technology to learning software and installations. I am best known, however, for designing paper-based productivity tools that you can download to print at home or buy at Amazon.

For a more detailed picture of me, skim the categories of the massive blog archives page, or listen to the podcast I do with photographer Sid Ceaser about being working creatives and nerd culture. Interviewers, please contact me directly for access to the press kit.

After that is the Goals stuff, which I might revisit at some point, but for now I am not going to worry about it (limiting scope for another day…that’s worth a few GHDR points!)

Stuff Learned and GHDR Points Earned

Monday was kind of a dreary day. I woke up fairly late after going to sleep way too late. I had thought I’d be doing something else today, but it ended up not happening. However, focusing on myself for a bit helped restore my sense of independence, which is critical for maintaining my motivation! RAWR!

As for GHDR points, today’s work wasn’t exactly on any of the lists.

PTS DESCRIPTION
10 Fulfills a current wish or need! A stronger creative business!
2 Posted here on the blog.

That’s 12 points. At first I awarded myself just 2 points until I realized that the decision made today simplifies a lot of things for me because it is HUGE. I still plan to serve both the productivity tools and creative process audiences, but I now feel my priorities have been righted! The blog identity now is firmly settled in creative process and personal development. It has actually always been that way, but now at least it is clear to me and I don’t have to feel guilty about it. There are ways to serve the productivity tool seekers in a far more targeted way. For example, I just posted a link to the Productivity-Only Feed on the Tools page and have enabled the Newsletter option. There are only two subscribers to this feed as of this writing, and I suspect that for the vast majority of readers this is the feed they really want.

Ah…clarity!


About this Article Series

For my 2016 Groundhog Day Resolutions, I'm challenging myself to make something goal-related every day from February 2nd through December 12. All the related posts (and more!) are gathered on the Challenge Page.

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A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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