This summer I have been working on writing two books. One of these books is all about making changes and eliminating the excess items in life that do not create positive change.
One of the areas that I am focusing on as of late is my online presence and in particular my website.
Over the last 10 months since moving to WordPress from Blogger I have made several attempts at various options, experiments, pages, etc.
This past week I have taken time to declutter options from my site as well as eliminate some things that despite being what I enjoyed became more work and stress than actual fun for me. These decisions were not as easy as I thought and I am still in process to find that perfect touch to my site.
Here is a rundown of the current changes as well as areas that I am still seeking an adequate adjustment to on the site.
1. Color Scheme – The first obvious change is the color scheme. I moved more towards the hues of coffee and more zen like feel(at least an attempt). I changed the header to a piece of art I created this summer and I hope that is looks more simple and less cluttered than the previous darker tones.
2. Deleted Teachers Save Lives Tab at the top – This is a project I am passionate about, but never really took off like I hoped. I thought it would be one that would inspire others to share their favorite teachers, but some things don’t pan out. I decided to take the tab off to keep everything at top key pages about who I am. Maybe one day the project will take off, but until then it will remain in the history of posts on the site.
3. Deleted Speedgeeking Resource Page – I had this on top when I was presenting at a few conferences, but have since realized I don’t need to do this. I have the page and will reference it while presenting, but not make it part of the menu.
4. Deleted BrushArtBot – This whole project page will eventually be added to one of the menu options as it does not need to be separate. I just don’t know how to organize it quite yet.
5. Newsletter Modification – I was using and creating a weekly newsletter where I was sharing the books I was reading each week along with articles. This became more work than I imagined with the heavy load I already carry. This summer I added new features, but it never quite took off. I have adjusted the newsletter after eliminating the past issues on the menu bar. I have moved it to a bi monthly newsletter where I share productivity tips and such. I am hoping that this will drive up the number and be more helpful. I have already seen an increase in subscribers since making this change and adding a pop up menu to the site in three days. I will be eliminating sharing the newsletter on social media sites so the only way to get the newsletter is to subscribe so I quit blasting it all over the channels. It is not really helping the numbers and network that I am trying to create. I have bigger plans with the newsletter especially when I move to sharing out my books that I am writing. I am excited to continue to push down this path.
6. BookTable – I added a Book Table option to my site. This is where I will share the best books I have read. I am hoping people will use the links to buy the books so I can take that money from Amazon to fund sending school supplies to Africa and other locations. I have a big project announcement coming soon called Bridges and this option will allow me to still share my favorite books I am reading with hopes of bringing in money for this new campaign.
7. Live Book Notes – I am experimenting with a new idea where I will be reading books and sharing my notes and ideas online while I read. This will be a living breathing document where I am hoping that people will contribute to the ideas I am sharing while I am reading. This will provide a glimpse into my work process and how blog posts form for me. Not sure how long this will last, but I am excited to test it out.
Things Still In Development
1. Podcast – I have kept the podcast. My episodes are all over the place so I am going to work this school year to gain a clearer focus and find ways to create content that is worth the time for people to listen. I have started to test adding the podcast on YouTube to see how that works out. I have future plans to make these more engaging by recording the actual recording process, but I have not figured out how to best do all of this on a small budget.
2. Pages/Tabs on Main Menu – I have many things that I want exposed on the main page, but don’t feel like the options I have stand out. I need to new labels and better organization. I have a lot I want shared, so need to clean all of these pages up. Working on static pages versus pages with tags that update regularly and so forth. A few of these are going to go, but I just have not figured out how to best do things yet.
3. I am passionate about PBL and Deeper Learning so I need to figure out how to best share my posts and ideas and resources on this site. I don’t have an answer, but I am sketching out some ideas. I will keep what I have for now, but I don’t like it and don’t think those tabs are helpful.
4. Google Glass Menu – I need to take this down as I don’t think Google Glass is worth the effort(post coming), but I have built many connections because of this device. But, I find it to be a fad without a lasting impact. I need to delete and move to a project page of some sort, but this is yet one more item to this whole project page I am envisioning and at what point is too much, too much?
5. I need to add Auto Responder to my subscribers who sign up, but don’t have the money to do so. I need to add this, but I need to organize some content to share
-top PBL posts
These are a few ideas I have lingering
6. Last, this is not site related completely, but I thinking of digging through the archives and creating little ebooks based on posts from the past. I have plenty on PBL, gifted education, and skills. This is something I want to explore, but I have no idea how to publish or organize writing to a published format.
7. Bridge all online resources to a helpful location. I have wikis, resource pages, project pages all over the web. I need to condense to one location to help others. This will have to be another page and I need to figure out a framework that works for people.
This is a lot. I have a long ways to go to have a website that delivers on what I want. I need to find that niche and be able to clean things up to be more accessible and helpful for people. That is my goal. I want to help others. I want this site to be a tool to drive education conversation, find resources, and be helpful to educators around the world.
I will keep you posted on updates as they occur. In the meantime if you have suggestions I would love to hear them!