the unwavering killer of side projects is the response of brutal indifference— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) January 9, 2017
My latest episode, Part 3 of Gems Missing from Bundle Outdated is done, and with that part, I’ve finally published all of the parts on that. Editing followed the same, newish pipeline established in Part 2, but still required a bit of time and I had a lot of material to edit down from. And I’m not practiced at that part of it yet, though there’s probably only so many shortcuts that familiarity will breed there. By necessity, I’m more involved in the editing process, making the decisions on the technical content. This may continue to slow the pace of new episodes, but – I have a much bigger elephant in the room right now: I have no audience :)
Somewhere since the last Behind the Scenes posting, the @realcodez twitter account reached 50 followers, which is a nice small milestone, but the first 20 are friends and the next 30 are mostly entrepreneurial connects brought about by the helpful prompts of the Twitter client. I happy to have them, and I’m following as many of them as they are back to accounts like mine. But this isn’t what we’d call a market audience.
I’m experimenting with using Hootsuite to queue up a bunch of redundant tweets throughout a single day to try and promote new content, re-tweeting a lot of that on my personal account which does have a larger, more quality following, but – it’s still rather limited. And who knows how many folks are just irritated at seeing me push my side project that frequently, and of course how many still don’t see any of them. I’ve had one or two folks ask me, “Hey, how’s that side project going?” “Oh, the one I’ve been busting my buns on for 2 months - it’s fine.” I’ve had the rare occasion to have a tweet of mine go on a mini-personal-scope viral adventure, so I know what that’s like and of course nothing is happening with the new tweets about realcodez.
I hope this isn’t coming off whiny by the way, like I’m in the Skywalker lineage, it’s not intended that way, I’m just calling out to myself again the simple fact that I have no audience.
And looking back over some of the free portions of Amy Hoy’s 30x500 stuff, I’ve done it again, I’m going about this backwards.
If you’re mentally (or verbally) asking “Again? What was the first thing?” A little side project called Cashew. I’m the only customer of Cashew, and it’s probably too niche to be a viable project for others, but it’s good for a resume if nothing else, esp. for a backend programmer like myself.
Reading back over my welcome article, it’s a good background of what inspired me to do this and what things I might be able to bring to the table. It still feels all viable and crap, but … I have to be frank here: currently, I have no audience.
If I want to help be a resource to software devs who struggle with Impostor’s Syndrome, who are even unawares of the larger backdrop brought by the shame that fuels the Impostor’s, I need to go about connecting with an audience. Granted some content to begin is necessary and there’s a chicken-and-egg thing afoot here (even though chicken don’t have feet), and maybe I got a little gung-ho with the screencast content … like, what if screencasts aren’t the thing people need or want?
So - since I found a stopping point with the screencasts for now (though I do have raw material for probably 2 more episodes all 3 and a half hours of it - sheesh) - I’ve been trying to be more intentional about my audience. Er, or at least thinking about ways to try to experiment with being more intentional about finding an audience.
The thing is, I believe very strongly there’s an audience out there for this stuff. And I also care a lot about it and I’m working in a world I’m very familiar with, items that are labeled “Good Things” by Amy. I’m trying to soak up a lot of her principled advice in articles like this, “How do you create a product people want to buy?”. The concepts are understandable, the “trick” (air quotes) is to be a bit disciplined about following them. If nothing else, following step 1 (audience) first before step 2 (product).
And the more I get into this mindset, the more I realize there are still a lot of options in front of me to try and pursue. It’s easy for me to get focused on the limitations I have in any given day with the small amount of personal time I have right now to put into this, and then have that morph unconsciously into “I’m stuck and I have no options and this isn’t going anywhere anyway.”
Which is classic shame, baby. Classic. Totes classic, even.
It IS true that I don’t have a ton of time to throw at this on any given day, but I’m not even 2 calendar months into this process and I’ve actually accomplished quite a lot so far, esp. considering the holiday season which I didn’t allow to be encroached upon by my new side project. A lot of the accomplishments are below the water-line, but … that’s like any other project I’ve ever worked on like ever.
But I need to make sure and not conclude from a daily experience with my limitations that I’m completely stuck and out of options.
Step 1 for myself when faced with shame: ask myself, what are my options? That’s not only good advice for myself, but good RealCodez advice for my audience, as yet to be introduced. (Except for you, of course. Obviously you’re right there right now. Probably.)