I posted the last Go in 5 Minutes screencast on November 6, 2016, and haven’t posted any casts or blog posts since then.
After more than a year, I’m excited to say that I’m bringing the series back!
I’d like to take some time here to explain why I took the time off, why I’m bringing the series back, and what my plans are for the future.
When I started the series, I wanted to do one screencast a week. Realistically, I probably averaged close to every two weeks. Life happens, amirite?
Initially, each screencast took me about 6 hours to prepare, record, upload, and “market” (posting to Twitter, the Golang subreddit, etc…). I eventually got down to 4 hours per screencast. Pretty good!
Over the first few months, quite a few folks started watching the screencasts and GIFM got a good following. I heard from at least 20 folks who depended on GIFM to advance their skills and even achieve their career goals with the content I was creating.
I was helping folks, I loved Go (still do), and more people than I could imagine were watching my content. What an awesome feeling!
Why I Took Time Off
But, like folks in other open source projects, I was starting to get burned out…
Four hours a week doesn’t sound like a ton of work, but I had a full time job (and I still do), so realistically it meant at least a half day every weekend that I was spending on GIFM.
I loved what I was doing but I had a lot going on in my life at the time. I was starting a new job and looking for a house (a big feat in the Bay Area). Then I got engaged and my then-fiancee started planning our wedding. I was also doing a lot of speaking at conferences all through 2017.
I had so much going on in my life but I thought I could keep going. In early January 2017, I knew I could find the time to keep going.
What was a half day every weekend?
By early February 2017, I had started on a few screencasts but never finished. Later that month, I admitted to myself that GIFM was gonna be really hard to keep up in 2017. By that point, a half day every weekend was hard to keep up.
I owed it to myself to give my attention to these life-changing things going on in my life.
And that’s it. I didn’t want to take the year off but I had to.
And now I’m back, ready to go again.
Why I’m Bringing GIFM Back
2017 was a huge year for me, as you can imagine. My now-wife and I got married and bought our first house. Professionally, I started to do a lot more technical talks at big conferences and the little company I was working for got acquired by a big one.
Lots has changed, but I never forgot about GIFM. I always had this idea in the back of my head that I’d start it back up again.
I still write Go in my day job, and now I lead a team of engineers who do as well. One engineer on my team even told me recently that he feels like he’s become a great Go programmer because I helped him get there.
Sooooo, that was an awesome feeling.
I feel crazy lucky to have helped everyone who I helped with GIFM. I feel like I’ve made this community a little bit more special than it was before I came along.
And now I can keep it going. I have the time and energy to start GIFM again, so here we go!
I’m going to do some things differently this time, though, and here they are:
I started a GIFM blog near around the end of August 2016, but I only posted twice to it. I’ve also recently started a personal blog on Medium.com as well. I want to keep both blogs, so here’s how I’m gonna balance them:
- I’m going to write personal things on my personal blog :) Everything on the blog is about tech so far. Lots of it is about Kubernetes, Cloud Native technologies and Go
- I’m going to cross-post relevant content between my personal blog and the GIFM blog. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to look yet, so expect to see some experimentation here
- I’m going to use the GIFM blog to keep folks updated on when to expect the next episode of GIFM. I hope those posts will help people in some way, but they’re important to me because they’ll keep me accountable :)
- I’ve been lucky enough to do some talks on Go or related topics in 2017, and I plan to keep speaking! I’m going to post videos of my talks on the blog too
I’m also going to be experimenting with some more ways to get the word out about both my screencasts and blog posts. If you have ideas, please post them here!
Finally, I’m proud to have given a lot of talks at conferences in 2017, and I’ve gotten good reviews on them. I’m going to experiment with posting these talks – and my talks going forward – to the screencasts page as well.
I love GIFM and the community, but I can’t justify starting this thing up unless I can make some money for my time and content.
I get that your first instinct may be to hate/unsubscribe/ragequit/flame-me-on-reddit for putting ads on the site.
I only ask that you read what’s below before you make your decision.
What I Tried in 2016
I also tried getting sponsorships for the screencasts. I succeeded, but the overhead of acquiring and managing clients was too much for me to manage then.
What I’m Trying Now
Fast forward to now. The discussion on how to make money from open source projects is starting up (again). Open collective looks to be getting adoption across some projects. Patreon has too, despite the recent pricing drama.
Open collective is a tool to organize and budget OSS projects. That doesn’t fit the model that GIFM is. Maybe if others get involved one day, I’ll start a collective.
Patreon seems like a good choice for GIFM, and I looked into it a bit. I want to try it out, but I am still a little bit uncomfortable with the pricing changes that the company made-and-then-unmade (see link above). I want to research a bit more to see what I’m getting myself into, and then try it out.
Until I can prove it works and I can make some money with it, I’ve put Google ads on the site. You probably noticed one at the top of this post. I’ve put them on at the top of the blog post pages and the bottom of the screencast pages.
What To Do If You Hate Ads
Practically speaking, adding Google Ads was the fastest, easiest way – that I was comfortable with – to get started with trying to make money on this project. Had Patreon not recently had the bad press recently, I probably would have gone with them.
So if you hate ads on principle and can’t be talked out of it, I get it if you want to use AdBlock. I hope that you’ll still recommend GIFM to other folks so this thing can still grow (and maybe some of them will click on ads ;)
If you hate me for putting ads on my site, that’s ok. I’m sorry I disappointed you and I hope you can hate me and also understand me at the same time.
If not, maybe your Reddit trash talk will help spread the word about GIFM :)