Christmas and the new year are approaching fast and I have to get ready for a long trip home. That’s a good time for a quick look on the very first month of Planet Dystopia and to deliver an outlook on the things to come in 2018.
The first month of Planet Dystopia has passed quickly and I can look back on an intense and interesting time. From a (totally clueless) noob in building this kind of web presence, to a (somewhat less clueless) noob, I have learned many great things. Not only in terms of web technologies, but also in creating detailed content and bilingual writing in general.
Working in a demanding full-time job during the day, writing in-depth articles for Planet Dystopia in the evenings (and sometimes nights), while wrestling with web hosting, CSS and other stuff… Things that I have never imagined to be possible in this way. This has worked amazingly well so far, especially thanks to the great people in my life who always support me and whom I love and who are very important to me… Great and sincere thanks, from the depths of my dark, dystopia-loving heart!
Due to my research for articles in the recent weeks, I was also able to get in contact with some very interesting and inspiring people. People like Greg Girard, about whom I reported in the article about the Kowloon Walled City. The launch of PD’s Twitter account also brought me into contact with many nice people, very useful feedback, and gave me a lot of input for future blog articles and media reviews. I hope that I can further intensify such activities and things in 2018.
If we are already on the topic of 2018, I’d like to go into more details on the plans for the New Year and possible development opportunities for Planet Dystopia as a page. I will not spoil any specific articles that I’m researching for, but a little insight into future directions is certainly not wrong – I’d be happy to receive your input as well.
Static Frontpage & Site Additions?
Having a static frontpage / landing page for Planet Dystopia will be among the first improvements to the page in 2018. This might sound like a small thing, however, my current site, with its multi-language approach, has given me some headaches in regards to the specific technical implementations. As soon as I have figured out how to switch to a working static frontpage setup without destroying my multi-language posts & page navigation, I will do so.
As soon as that goal is reached, there will be some room for further changes and modifications. I’m already considering to implement stuff like previews of the newest articles from multiple categories (kind of like a “best of”) but there will be still some space for things that you might want to see.
What kind of things would be interesting and useful to you? Any things that you would find appealing and fitting to the themes and content of PD? Maybe some random sci-fi quotes generator with a bigger database behind it? Or some kind of old-school chat interface on the main page, as in the early days of the 1990s internet? Whatever comes to mind, even borderline crazy stuff, just mention it and I’ll give it a thought (or two or three, depending on level of craziness). Afterwards, I’ll see if and how I can embed it on the page or if I can find some widgets that could provide these functions.
The range of topics and media works that contain dystopian themes is quite complex – too complex for the current, quite simplistic categories on this page. Having a blog and a review section seemed perfectly adequate in the beginning, but the deeper I drag people into dystopian topics, the less practicable this approach seems in terms of usability and overview in general.
The word tags work well, but their usefulness is still limited. So my current plan is to split up the main categories into sub-categories during the first weeks of 2018 like e.g.:
Dystopia Blog > General / Definitions / Technology > Articles
Dystopia Reviews > Literature / Movies / Series / Games > Articles
The benefit will be a better and easier overview of articles and categories, but the downside is that similar issues will arise in the future for more complex topics and genres.
I want you to feel like you’re in a gloomy home here on PD. This also includes switching to categorizations, which make navigation easier and the site more comfortable to use. Let me know what you think about this and if you have any other sparking ideas.
As you can see, there is a lot going on and I’d be very happy to be able to implement some of your ideas and inspirations as well. The commentary below is open, mails reach me via contact and you are also welcome to message me via the social media channels.
Besides all that, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance!
Looking forward to explore many other dystopian places together with you in 2018!