Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gui Tutorial, Market Analysis, and Experimentation

Okay, here's what's been happening over the past week or so.

Tutorial Updates
The week went well. Blender Python Tutorials got a new tutorial on panels and operators and how they can be used to "destory" a city.  A new property sampler script is complete which means I can start a tutorial on that.  Open GL research has also progresses nicely but, chances are, there won't be any new site material on that this week.

“Blender 2.49 Scripting" arrived in the mail recently.  This book is handy for a couple of reasons.  First, it's Blender 2.49 scripts inspire Blender 2.5 tutorials.  Second, it's a good resource for translating 2.49 scripts to run on 2.5.

Market Analysis
Market research for my work comes down to two resources, Google Analytics and the Blender Artists forums.  Spending time with these helps to know and connect with users.  Knowing user needs helps in serving them.  That's a good thing.  Making money matters too of course.  However, putting profit ahead of user needs is putting the cart before the horse.

Google Analytic bounce rates and search engine statistics show where the site falls short and what kind of tutorials to prioritize.  Right now, the stats say Blender 2.5 tutorials and Open GL need attention.  So that's where the work goes.  Besides that, stats are fun in a weird way.  There's something game-like about watching numbers go up and down as a result of what I do or not do.

Direct community involvement is a big deal and the Blender Artists forum is good for that.  It has a scripting forum containing useful stuff from smart people.  Lurking, asking questions, and answering questions creates value for all parties involved.

Experiment Plans
Content management systems deserves serious consideration.  Experiments with Joomla show great promise.  Joomla comes with tools that make it easier to potentially update and add new tutorials.  Once, the learning curve is climbed, it'll probably make design changes easier too.  That learning curve is the big factor here and climbing it must be balanced with other site priorities.

Uncle Squirrely is now a low priority experimental project due to it's lack of traffic.  This isn't a bad thing since it's still a handy target for technology research.  At the very least, it deserves a better light box.

All in all, it's been a good week and the next coming one should prove just as interesting.

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