2021 in review: blog and projects
I thought it would be fun to review what has happened this past year on my blog, what I had set out to do, and what I’ve accomplished. I’m hoping that by writing this post it will give me some clarity on what I may want to try to do in 2022.
In very early January, I published My typical day and tagged other bloggers to do the same. If I had stats on this blog I’m guessing it would show that this post was my most popular for the year. Bloggers from around the world chimed in. I don’t even know if I managed to capture them all. It was really great to read everyone’s daily routines.
Also in January I published my Best of 2020 post. I really hope I get 2021’s best of post finished in the same time frame this year.
And as the month ended I put a stake in the ground stating that I wanted to start getting some of my code out in the world.
A very quick overview of what I did in this regard in 2021:
I formalized some code I had written for a client a few years ago, launched StripeTransfer.com and have helped many companies in 2021 transfer subscriptions from one Stripe account to another. It has also generated tens of thousands of dollars of extra income for us. I’m super happy with this result.
I released two WordPress themes; Cypress and Red Oak that both are available for free via Micro.blog as well. And I’ve managed to get several releases of these out over the year. They’ve sold fairly well but not as well as I would have hoped. However, since Cypress also runs my personal site it was worth the effort.
I did not release any major updates to Unmark in 2021. Kyle and I are deciding the hosted version’s future. But it will always be available as open source.
I’ve written a lot of code in 2021 and I’m super happy about that. I’d like to write a lot more in 2022. But I’d like to focus my efforts a bit. More on this in the near future as I revisit this topic.
This was the month with the greatest number of individual posts to the blog at 71. The vast majority of these posts were status updates. I wish I published this many posts more often. I’ve said this many times, but if posting to my own blog were much easier from my phone I would probably post at least twice as many posts. Perhaps if you’re reading this you’re happy I don’t!
I made a lot of progress on Cypress in late-February and early March and it launched on March 4.
It was also in March that I decided to share my thoughts on NFTs and energy use.
I published an episode of my podcast. I haven’t managed to publish any more this year for the podcast. Switching instead to posting YouTube videos. I don’t know what the future holds for my podcast. We will see.
I finally published my photo library management solution near the end of March. Something I had been wanting to do for months.
In April I put out a wee bit of code in the HTML Family tree. I had built something for my family and so I decided to release it. I feel like this is something that should be iterated on. I don’t particularly have the passion for it – but I believe it could be useful. Someone should take what I’ve started and run with it.
In April I released Red Oak on Micro.blog first and then on WordPress.
In mid-April I mentioned that I missed posting on The Watercolor Gallery so I started putting more effort into it. As a result, for the first year ever (11 years running) The Watercolor Gallery was profitable and I’m really enjoying what I’ve done over there.
In May I released the Micro.blog bookmarklet. I do not know for sure, but it seems like a lot of people use this. I hope they do!
I also started painting more regularly in May. I find it very relaxing and should do more of it.
May is also when the garden exploded into life.
In May I created my Links page. I’ve found this to be super helpful page to have. I recommend making one yourself.
The Watercolor Gallery opened up for sponsorships in May. I started by asking a few online friends (like Micro.blog, Acorn, Exposure) to help out to get the ball rolling. I’ve managed to sell most months through 2020.
I published a fair number of my “What I saw” series of posts. I’m now up to #89 (as of this writing). They are my least popular posts (at least, as far as comments go) but they are a great resource to look back on.
Jeremy Brown drew me the avatar I’ve been using throughout 2021. It has served me well this year but I’m thinking of switching it up in 2022.
I published My current opinion of crypto.
I built three garden beds using reclaimed wood from my mother-in-laws.
I published my portraits of William Chickillo. It is still my goal to do a lot more environmental portraiture – which means, photos of people in their environment – and I’ve been thinking about it every day since. I’ve managed to get a lot of photos out the door in 2021 but I wish I had done an awful lot more. I get turned down a lot when I ask people I’m interested in photographing to take their photo. I know all photographers deal with rejection. But it discourages me just enough not to push. I need to just get over and push harder.
In July the garden beds started to take off. I published an interview with Shari Blaukopf. I also met someone via Flickr in my hometown that used to live in my house in the 1960s.
Oh, we made our first pizzas in our Roccbox. After a few tries we started to make some really great ones.
I did my first 50% off sale in July which generated some sales. I am also doing one now in December.
At the end of August we went on a trip through New York State and Vermont and I took a little social media break.
I asked if anyone else was going to switch away from Google for email. It took a few months, but I have now fully switched away from Google and am using iCloud+ for email and I am so happy that I did it. See November.
I wrote about photographing 40-foot falls after the remnants of a hurricane breezed through the area.
I also iterated on the copy on Stripe Transfer and managed to land the largest customer I’ve had to date – which I ended up doing while in the car using my mobile device for a connection. Definitely made me sweat a little.
I finished reading Project Hail Mary – probably my favorite book of 2021.
iCloud+ allows a few more junk emails through than Google did, however I’m far happier to not be using Google anymore.
This meant that I also deleted about 100,000 photos from Google Photos. This must be done individually because, well, Google is user hostile. So I sorted my files by size and deleted them that way to reduce the amount of space I used as quickly as I could. I’m now on Google’s free plan and I hope to remove the rest of my photos soon.
I published the Sandbridge Beach Houses series. I’ve seen made several postcard prints in the darkroom with these and have sent them to friends. I also uploaded a video to YouTube going through the entire set.
I uploaded a video to YouTube covering my quarantine project where I built a camera obscura out of our bedroom.
I published an update to Cypress and put my themes on sale for the remainder of the month.
I deleted my social media follows, subscriptions for RSS, podcasts, YouTube, newsletters, etc. Everything I could possibly find I deleted to start fresh. I’ve only followed a few accounts since. Trying to hold off until 2022 before I begin rebuilding my echo chamber – hopefully with all new sounds.
This is an incomplete overview of my year – but a fair overview of what I published to this blog. It doesn’t include many personal things and nothing about my day job – which was incredibly busy during 2021. Now that I’ve gotten all of this out of my brain I can move onto the task of deciding what my goals for 2022 will be. I’m very excited about what I might be able to spend my time on.