Apologies for the lack of posts. I did want to have “The Pivot” entry be the main story on the blog for a while–and I know pinning it to the top will keep it there–but I had not intended for such a long gap between posts. So, I wanted to at least give a quick update on what has been happening.
The main cause for neglecting the blog is the magazine site itself. As detailed in “The Pivot” my original plans for the site changed once I decided to make it a magazine site instead of a storefront site for promoting a magazine app, I had to rethink both the design as well as its functionality. Doing so was not so difficult thanks to the WordPress theme I had chosen, but backend work on a blog site revolves quite a bit of trial and error. There are plug-ins, widgets, categories, etc. to create and set. You view your site and fix whatever isn’t working, both figuratively and literally; then, repeat as necessary. Most importantly, however, I had to finalize the articles which had been languishing in limbo for over 3 years. Though they were in a “second draft” condition, more editorial work was required to take them to a final draft. Photographs and stills needed to be requested from filmmakers and if the interviewee is somewhat capable of speaking English, I am giving them an opportunity to preview their interview and request changes or point out errors. An unexpected result of switching to a magazine site was realizing I needed just a bit more content on the site to keep it from looking too anemic, especially in the early days after the launch when there will be only a few articles. So, I had to create a new section and write several entries for it as well. I was well on my way to launching in 2016, but requesting photographs and feedback during the New Year holiday season in Japan was not the best time to do so. However, the site is nearly ready; once I receive one more, very important, photograph I can go public. In the interim, I am working on converting an interview into an article so there will be more content by launch.
Working on the site has also affected the frequency of posts to the Indievisual Facebook and Instagram. I’ve posted a couple of times just to spread the word on a few indepedent works which have gained some attention, but overall, I haven’t had the time to really create content for either. But as I am nearing the launch of the site, I will start doing more marketing for the featured interviews so there should be more activity soon. The Indievisual Facebook is nearing 50 followers which makes me happy considering I haven’t truly been making a push for “Likes” but once the magazine site launches, perhaps I’ll do more in that regard. I’m also somewhat annoyed by the fact Instagram does not allow you to post on their site via browser. As I primarily work on my desktop and find great visuals while online, it’s frustrating and inconvenient to forward some images I’d like to post on Instagram to my mobile just so I can post through the app. Seems rather counterintuitive to me, but since Instagram was built first as a mobile platform, there seems to be no alternative and that is a shame.
I am currently studying up on the technical details and the types of services which will make purchasing eBooks through the site possible. There are quite a few choices out there and as I also want to make purchasing eBooks through new methods such as Apple Pay possible, the attempt to narrow down possibilities has resulted in more options rather than less. Platforms which integrate well with WordPress is also key. Yes, I know about WooCommerce. It’s the obvious choice, but does not necessarily make it the best. I may also need to sign-up for additional services with my hosting provider (hosting the actual files and allow for them to be downloaded once transactions are initiated) so I have to confirm which services integrate with their technology.
Then there’s creating the eBooks themselves. I’ve discovered the software I use to write my articles is quite good at outputting to ePub and PDF which is a relief. However, as I have a particular reading experience in mind, formatting the articles and filling the layout with photographs and videos are a few points on the learning curve I still need to become familiar.
I’ve already outlined a new entry which means the interval between this post and the next should be much shorter. I’ll be talking about how I came up with the Indievisual moniker as names and titles often require a lot of good and bad ideas (mostly bad) and some humorous entries born out of too many brainstorming sessions. I’m looking forward to posting it.