Sunday, January 16, 2022

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022!

It’s that time again, where we answer the question, “What the heck have I been up to this last year?” Step into my wayback machine all the way to last January and we’ll find out…

2020 was a challenging year for all of us, and part of that in my case was that at some point I just gave up on keeping up with OpenSeadragon stuff, and the issues and pull requests piled up. In January 2021 I finally started digging my way back out of that hole, and within a few months I was caught up again. Things are humming along there now, and we even released version 3.0.0 with a ton of features and fixes! We’ve also joined the modern world and moved our primary chat space over to Discord (Gitter still works, but Discord is where the party’s at). Somehow we ended up making some OpenSeadragon memes as well… That’s how you know that a project has truly arrived, right? That said, we need more, so if you have any meme ideas, get cracking!

We also finally set up an OpenCollective for OpenSeadragon funding. I think OpenCollective is a great service; I love their focus on transparency. Of course Patreon is cool too, but I feel it’s more appropriate for an individual creator like myself than a whole open source project like OpenSeadragon. Things are starting slowly with the OpenCollective… I think there’s a real possibility for the many institutions that rely on OpenSeadragon to each kick in some regular money to keep things rolling. Unfortunately, going to all these folks with the hat out isn’t really my forte, so for now we just wait for people to discover it.

Oh! And I’m also putting together an OpenSeadragon training course with Newline. It’ll take you through the basics and up through advanced techniques, all with real-world projects. I’m looking for beta readers, so if that’s of interest, hit me up!

It hasn’t all been OpenSeadragon… The Living Worlds app continues to find its audience, which is awesome! For my part, I’ve been moving up the learning curve on sound design, putting together sounds for the different scenes. I’ve used monthly social media posts as a way to focus the problem into bite-size chunks. You can see them all on Instagram, but you can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Oh yeah! I started the Facebook and TikTok for Living Worlds in 2021. I finally feel I’m ready to start rolling those soundscapes out in the app, and the January sounds are in! By continuing to do it one month at a time, I’m keeping it doable (and besides, it’s kind of fun to release things one piece at a time).

Let’s see, early in 2021 I also did a bunch of work improving Driftory in preparation for Stuart McMillen’s new comic project on universal basic income. That’s gone on hold while he finishes up The Town Without Television, but hopefully it will be appearing sometime in 2022.

I’ve also been pursuing 3D art, which has been a very rewarding journey. I’ve fallen in love with Blender and the wonderful community around it! My ArtStation is the best place to see my finished pieces.

Of course there’s client work. I’m blessed to be part of several great teams on exciting projects! The theme right now seems to be “fun telepresence” (if we can’t get together in person, we can get together online, and it might as well be enjoyable): I’m helping build a whimsical 3D/video gathering space with Nowhere and a lighthearted shared doodle space with Scribble Together. I’m also continuing to make pretty data visualizations with Schema Design and keeping things running at Traditions of the Ancestors. There are other things in the works, but they are top-secret still!

What does the future hold? Well, pretty much more of the same, I figure… I feel like I’m in a pretty good groove. I’ll be rolling out new versions of Living Worlds with new sounds for each new month. I’ll continue to facilitate progress on OpenSeadragon. Hopefully Driftory will see new content this year. All of my clients have big plans. I intend to keep doing 3D art and sharing it with the world. We’ll see what surprises the world has in store, but we’ve got to make the best of it as we can.

Thank you for reading this far, and for being part of my journey (in all the ways you are)… May our 2022 be a good one! ❤️



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