Focusing is difficult

If you are starting out, focusing in a single product is a great idea. Actually, if you can focus in a single product all the time, it will be much better for your productivity. I’ve been overwhelmed just by the sheer amount of stuff I have to do, in almost completely unrelated areas, that I’ve been pretty much blocked from advancing significantly in the past week.

Over the weekend, I have finally formalized my roadmap for the next few weeks:

First, I have to finish the Codekana release process. I know, I know, it’s already been released for one month, there is a 1.1 version already out there, there are a lot of users, etc… but there are some things I haven’t done, and which I like to consider part of the release effort. One, notifying some people explicitly about it, and possibly contacting both dead-trees and online magazines. Apart from this, I’d like to write one or two articles with the potential to become popular on reddit and other social sites, which can bring certain awareness. One has to walk very carefully the fine line between promotion and interesting content to get there, but I think I can pull that off. And it will help a lot with growing traffic to the Codekana web site. There is one additional note here: since I want to publish this article in the Codekana web site for SEO purposes, and since the current web design would make it pretty hard to read it, I will have to revamp the web design before publishing it. All this is priority #1, as I’m doing Codekana a disservice until I provide some exposure.

Second, I want to address some outstanding issues with the ViEmus and prepare new builds. Continuously improving a product over a long period helps a lot with customer satisfaction and the success of the product. I have only done very minor things to the ViEmus in the past few months, and I want to do this before I embark in a major development burst again.

And finally, only in the third place, I will be working in new Codekana features, my Kodumi text editor project, and more ambitious marketing/exposure projects, which include setting up new blog(s) and writing several articles I have the theme for, and for which I just can’t find the time. But it just doesn’t make sense to engage in these activities until the current issues above are properly addressed.

There are two extra tweaks to this “grand plan” which are worth mentioning: first, I am kind of impatient, so I should just wrap my mind around the fact that each of these will easily take weeks. I tend to grow impatient seeing the list of pending things, and trying to finish the current one quickly. It just doesn’t help. And second: while I’m working on each of of the items, I should just erase the others from my mind. Important and interesting as the other things may be, they’re just a distraction until their moment arrives.

Oh well, I had to get that out of my chest. I’ve felt pretty stressed lately.

As a closing note, I’ve been trying to move this blog over to using Feedburner. There are a couple of reasons, the main one being that I’d like to get a more precise count of how many people are reading the blog and show it on the sidebar. Since I browse the http logs every once in a while, and since rss aggregators send the subscriber count in the referer string, I know there are about 200 people subscribing through these services, plus probably at least 100 more subscribing directly. Not bad for a blog I don’t update all that often, and which has often taken second place to actual product and development work. Anyway, I already set up the Feedburner feed, and I also installed a wordpress plug-in that should automatically redirect all subscribers over there, but it seems it’s only working partially. The feedburner subscriber count is showing only 120 readers now, and http logs show that many requests (notably those from bloglines and newsgator, which many people use) are getting a 304 code (“Not modified”), instead of a 307 (“Temporary Redirect”) which is what the Feedburner plugin uses. There are two potential reasons, one being that the transition won’t be complete until I post a new article (which I’m doing right now, so I should find out quickly), and the second being that I should really upgrade my wordpress installation, which is using and older version (I’ll probably do this in a couple of days). I’ll update this and let you know which one it was as soon as I find out, in case you ever have to do the same thing.

[UPDATE: A new post seemed to do the trick. The subscriber count is now added to the sidebar.]

7 Responses to “Focusing is difficult”

  1. ent Says:

    Give time to feedburner. In my blog, it took about 3 days to stabilize (around 100) with the 2.2 version of the plugin. My wordpress is a 2.0, upgrading from 1.5 was painful (plugins, skins…) so i am delaying the jump to 2.2 as fas as possible.

    By the way, relating to the roadmap, are you using the program “Watership Planner” for day-to-day personal scheduling? I see that you are linking in from your web.

  2. J Says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’m also using 1.x, so I’m scared to death of attempting the upgrade to 2.x.

    I’m not using Watership Planner, mainly because I don’t do any personal scheduling at all – scheduling just doesn’t work for me. But it’s a program by a good friend of mine and I think it must be nice. I gave it a try, but I got stuck in the fact that I just don’t like to do planning at all 🙂

  3. J Says:

    In any case, after posting the new article, wordpress seems to be already returning the correct 307 for all the feeds, so this should be completely fixed by tomorrow (I’ve seen feedcount is updated every 24h or so).

  4. /A Says:

    Sometimes i’m doing so many things at once that i don’t know with which one should i start. As one wisely said: just start from the beginning.

  5. J Says:

    I do plan to write a full length article about this at some point…. you are right. I am now concentrating in the new web design for codekana. I think I’m reaching a better compromise between “looking cool” and “being readable” 🙂

  6. AB Says:

    I happened to stumble across this article and read about the whole VI gang sign.
    Well im not sure if you know this but that sign is actually used as the sign for the Virgin Islands ..which is a US territory.
    Just thought i would let you know that the sign also stands for something else.

  7. J Says:

    Hey AB,

    Thanks for the info!! I did know about the Virgin Islands, but not about their using the sign. Do they do it with a single hand or with both hands?

    BTW, it’s a bit weird that you commented about it here, rather than on the Vi Gang Sing posting (, but I receive and read all comments by email.


    – Jon

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