I’ve been working on updating this blog’s design for at least 3 years now. The work tends to go in spurts. I’ll get in the zone for a few weeks and get a lot of progress made. Then, I get busy with [other things] and get away from it for a while – sometimes months.
There’s still [much to do], but I pretty much got sick and tired of the old site design, and just decided to pull the trigger on this (imperfect) design right now, and let the cards fall where they may. A few notes about the update:
- I’m recommitted to making this site better this year for [a very big reason]
- Over the next few months, you may notice things being changed and moved a lot
- I apologize in advance for any difficulties you may experience as I get the wheels of this behemoth rolling again
First and foremost, you will notice the new design. These days I really enjoy viewing minimalistic site designs – with clean white backgrounds, beautiful typography, large images, clean and smooth transitions, animations, and micro-interactions, and minimal interference with the content.
You will notice there are still Google ads running. This site is primarily funded and kept alive by the ad revenue it generates, so ads will continue to be a part of the user experience. However, I’m hoping to minimize the distraction they currently pose to the content.
- I’ve completely removed the Disqus commenting plugin because the ads they ran were not related to the content on this blog, and the revenue they generated was paid to Disqus and not to keeping this blog afloat. So, goodbye distracting, overpowering, innumerable Disqus ads.
- I’m currently looking into the best placements and ad sizes. My intention is to keep the ads OUT of the content as much as possible, by making them sandwich the content (before and after). I’m working on that now.
- I hope to add a membership feature that will allow paid members (for a small fee) to completely disable the ads when they are logged in. After all, I don’t need ad revenue from logged in, paying members. (This feature will hopefully be enabled by the summer if not sooner.)
Not only do I want to minimize the site clutter, but I also want to reduce the number of plugins this site relies on. Therefore, expect various changes in the upcoming months in the site’s functionality as I evaluate which plugins are essential, and remove those that are not.
Much to do
Besides the above three tasks:
- Perfect the minimalistic design
- Perfect ad placement
- Perfect plugin reliance
I am also hoping to get back to writing on a semi-regular basis. At this time in life, I’ll be unable to go back to daily posting, but I’m hoping for at least once or twice per week posting. And I’m hoping to keep some drafts ready in the backend to finalize and publish if I’m pressed for time.
Vision for the site
Due to my [new opportunity], I’m once again strongly motivated to increase my Korean fluency, and this blog is the vehicle through which I will do that.
(In fact, that’s a big reason why this blog exists in the first place. It has always been primarily my own personal study space that I’ve opened up to the rest of the world to follow along as I pursue Korean fluency.)
Personally, I’m sick and tired of wasting all my free time on YouTube (previously it was Facebook). Rather than chasing my goals, I’ve spent countless hours per day (yes, I’ve tracked it) on comedy and news programs – and comedy news programs. I’d prefer to open up THIS homepage and learn or review something.
- Rotating content on the homepage (rotating monthly like TheArtofManliness.com?)
- Daily grammar highlight (with 3-5 grammar points to study and USE)
- Daily phrasebook (like Papago’s Android widget)
- Daily motivation (the biggest “Key” to Korean)
I will also continue to work on new Vocabulary pages as this is one of my own weaknesses right now in the language.
Additionally, I need to take the TOPIK II test this year, so I hope to add more help for studying TOPIK.
Doing ALL of that will take significant time, so we’ll start with the things that I think will help me the most. And first and foremost, this means fixing the site design and making it more functional.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten quite busy with a number of “other things” that have kept me from consistently posting on this site.
- Magazine designer / copyeditor / writer for the Jeollabuk-do Center for International Affairs (JBCIA) since 2018. We publish the magazine quarterly, but each issue requires almost one month of work from me.
- Part- (and then full-) time technology instructor at Global Prodigy Academy (from 2013 to 2019). I also completely rebuilt their website, and redesigned the entire technology curriculum while I was there, adding an additional 8 classes to the original roster.
Incorporating “other things”
Hopefully, I’ll be able to incorporate some of these other things into THIS site to make it better.
- Starting with articles on Jeollabuk-do that I’ve already published in the JB Life magazine.
- And continuing with further coding and development on this site, hopefully I’ll eventually be able to release an app that pulls data directly from this website.