Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Teacher is a Maker Now

The week's theme was on setbacks and moving forward in spite of them. Let's review what happened.

Broken Microphone
My microphone no longer records intelligible audio.  This killed the voice part of recording for the GUI and Panel Basics video tutorial.  Lack of money for new equipment forced a change of strategy.  Annotations acted as a substitute for audio.  Well-timed notes and speech bubbles made the video shorter. While these got the job done, I'm not sure more video tutorials with this limitation are worth it.  Because of the limited value of making new tutorials at all, I think I should call this latest one my last.  It's time to focus my efforts where they'll do the most good.

Losing Amazon Ads
There are no more Amazon ads on my site because I live in Connecticut.  My governor passed an affiliate sales tax law.  Amazon is now supposed to levy my state's sales tax if users arrive there via my site.  They didn't like it so they closed my account along with every other Amazon associate living in Connecticut.

This makes for an interesting problem.  To find a replacement affiliate program, I'd need something that dealt in books and computer hardware.  Also, they would have to be widely known and trusted.  Thirdly, they'd have to tolerate my state's affiliate tax.  That's a pretty tall order.  It's likely easier to figure out a business plan that doesn't need affiliate programs.

Moving Forward on Python Developments
The setbacks got me thinking more about writing code.  A better version of my animated mesh mangler now sits in the script section of my site.  I submitted my pyramid generator script to the Blender tracker for consideration in the next Blender release.  I've also started playing around with curves in the Blender API.  It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out.

What This Week Drives Home
The good thing about losing Amazon and my microphone is how it pushed me change priorities.  The transition from tutorial writing to development is complete.  For better or for worse, the teacher is a maker now.  Maybe the change was overdue.

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