Justin Tadlock

Changes: Some things to expect in the coming year

I recently came down with some sort of sickness, which is why I haven’t continued my regular posting schedule after the holidays. This is around the fourth time I’ve been sick since I’ve moved to Korea. It probably has something to do with the air pollution, cooler climate, spending a few hours a day in a classroom with kids that don’t know how to cover their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze, and lack of antibacterial soap in any public restroom in this country.

I won’t go into too many details about how sick I was, except for I slept well over 20 hours this past Saturday and Sunday.

This post is about change though. A new direction.

When I say “new,” I don’t mean a complete 180 or anything near that, but I will implement a few changes around here. I mentioned some of these changes in my last post, but didn’t go into much detail. Plus, those of you that got caught up in reading all those links to old posts (because I know you read all of them) might not have made it to the section at the end where I wrote about my plans for 2008.

Project M

For those of you that did notice the quick mention of Project M, I’m sure you’re wondering what it’s all about. Well, I can’t tell you. I just want to reiterate that I have a new project I’m working on for WordPress. I’m excited about its potential and what it could do for the WordPress community.

Project Amy

Even though she doesn’t know it yet, my sister and I are going to work on a Web project together. Her current blog, Amy N. Russell, which is momumentously underposted, is something that I badly need to update the design on. However, we’ll take this new project beyond a simple blog.

I’ve long thought that Amy has a lot of potential with her music, but she doesn’t do enough about it. So, I want to set up a site where she can showcase her talent. Much of what I’ve learned about embedding videos in my last two themes will come in handy there.

I’m at a point now where I enough online contacts and Net knowledge that I can help her at least get a small audience, which is much more than I could do a year ago. I won’t start this project for some time, and it will take a long time to put together because we’re half a world apart. I have a lot of great ideas I want to implement.

Amy, if you’re reading this, surprise! You might have to be a star whether you want to be or not. I guess I’m not giving you much choice.

WordPress Themes

I’ve got three WordPress themes nearly ready to go. You’ll get to see the first within the next week.

One of the themes is a custom theme for a client that has backed out of his deal. I’m sure I might rant a little about this in a later post. Since I shouldn’t waste all that hard work, I figured I’d give it back to the WordPress community for free.

I wanted to wait for the release of WordPress 2.4 for another theme that’s near completion, but the date on that seems to have been pushed back. I can’t wait until March to get rid of this theme, so I’ll release it sometime soon.

The last of themes is just a reworking of my current theme on this blog. Yes, I’m redesigning this blog, which means some of you will get some of the more advanced functionality included in my magazine-type themes in a regular blog theme.

I also have an idea for my next magazine or news theme. It’s still in the early concept stages, but I hope it will become as big as the previous themes have.

One other thing I’ve started doing is translating the Structure theme into other languages. Currently, there’s a German version, but there are plans for quite a few other translations soon. At the moment, it’s entirely experimental, but future theme releases may be translated too.

Redesign

The current theme was basically a Christmas theme for my blog and something fresh, different from my previous look. My new theme will center on the changes around the site.

The most important new idea is my “custom design service.” I’ve already been working on several paid jobs, but this is something I want to pursue more seriously this year. The blog will be geared a little more toward making money, but not so much that it will take away from the usual free content I offer.

The new design will put more emphasis on WordPress also. I don’t feel I’m pointing enough new readers to the tutorials I’ve started and other themes. I want to center the design a little more on that.

“The ABCs of Writing” and upcoming e-book

Some of you have been following my writing tutorial series, and I hope you keep reading it. This series will continue in the next few months, and I want to only keep making it more helpful and entertaining.

After I finish writing this series, I will release a polished version with lots of extras. The finished version will be in an e-book format. I’ve always wanted to write a book, and this will give me something to start from, a way to see how the process works.

What to expect in the next week

I’ve already started drawing out a road map for the next year with details for the coming months and weeks. Here are a few of the things you can expect within the next seven days:

  • Site redesign As I mentioned earlier, I will completely redesign this site. I’m looking forward to moving through this year’s journey with a fresh look.
  • New WordPress theme I haven’t decided which of the themes I will release, but look for this early next week.
  • Part D in the ABCs for Writing series This article is long overdue, and I’m ready to release the next article in the most enjoyable series I’ve done.

Now that I’ve set a course and made my plans publicly known, I must work as hard as I can to achieve these goals. I’ve said enough about what I’m going to do in these last two posts. Now, it’s time to start doing.