This website started in 2009 as an old-school static page website where I had planned to create Autodesk Inventor tutorials and explore the program’s possibilities out in the ‘open’.
The site had pretty good traffic, but little interaction between the visitors and us –which was contrary to the “open” nature of the OpenDesignProject we were looking for. So we added a blog to try to help visitor interaction, but as is the case with every other static content website that added a blog, it didn’t work so well. Our blog and website, just as all of the others I’ve seen, had a unbridgeable disconnect. People came to one or the other, not both as we had hoped.
In December of 2011, a confluence of fresh thinking and new technology converged to form the blogtorial format. A blogtorial is created as free flowing series of posts that are shaped by the interaction of the visitors themselves.
Interspersed between blogtorial posts are normal blog type posts about current events, Tips & Tricks, etc., but those visitors joining a blogtorial at any time have full drop-down navigation to an ordered list of all of the posts for a given Blogtorial.
Every post within a blogtorial has a comments section to allow for very granular feedback, and there is a comment scroller to alert visitors to new comments posted elsewhere on the site.
New and Improved!
The first blogtorial, the Shaker Table wrapped up at the end of March 2012. Although it was a smashing success, the next blogtorial will go several steps further. Tentatively titled iLogic Automated Cabinetry, it will feature all of the above plus:
- Video Integration – We plan to embed videos from our YouTube site to better describe some of the more difficult to grasp in 2D stuff. Our goal is to embed at least one video per week.
- Forum – Although the comments on each page of the blogtorials is a fantastic way to get feedback on the minutiae, it sucks at ‘big picture’ stuff, and can lead to off topic conversation. The Forum is the place where anything can be discussed.
- Newsletter – The newsletter will be used to point out new additions to the site, and other things that are still developing as of this writing.
It will take a bit of time to get all of the new features up and running smoothly, but we are on to something here, and will plow ahead as is our norm.
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