Wednesday, 1st January 2014
Look back at 2013
This year, Khan Academy continued to dominate my time, becoming a full time (ish) project, while I gave up science and neglected my Chinese and this website.
This year, for the first time I had one of my exercises accepted and put on the Khan Academy website, which has been my goal for the last couple of years. In fact this year I had over 30 exercises accepted and several of my programs made official, because in March, they offered me a job as a content creator. This was after I went out to visit them in Mountain View, which was an amazing experience and made all the time I'd spent on the site seem quite well-spent. Working for Khan Academy has continued to be amazing, in particular, writing simulations for a set of NASA tutorial (to be launched soon).
To top it all, I finally got the Tesla Black Hole badge right at the end of the year as I got 10 million energy points. Maybe now I will spend less time doing exercises and more time making them, but it will be a hard habit to break.
This year my postdoc in Plymouth ended and started work full time working remotely as some sort of freelance programmer. I moved back to Oxford, in a sweet little village with Victoria and started my dream job in July, just missing her birthday.
Having quit science, I then had two papers published, doubling my output. My postdoc work was published in Current Biology, and some work I helped up with during my PhD was published in Protist.
As with all previous years, the number of visitors and page views to this blog have increased, but for the first time, the growth didn't exceed my expectations. Maybe my expectations have become too high or maybe I didn't update this blog as much, spending more time on other websites (see below) or Khan Academy. It still managed to get twice the visitors as last year, with my post on Black Hole badges accounting for 62,845.
It's surprising that there has been any increase in visitors to my site at all given that I have updated it so rarely this year. Hopefully I can write a few more blog posts this year, but I suspect it's unlikely. I think I will gradually move by projects to my appspot site (see below).
One of the reasons for my writing fewer blog posts this year is because I have been concentrating more on my other website, using appspot. This has my SVG optimiser as well as an SVG editor and 3D graphics tutorial I worked on this year (the latter replacing the 3D graphics tutorial on this site). I only add analytics in February of this year, but the site has slowly been gaining visitors. By contrast, visitors to my WhatBadgeNext site have been fairly steady.
With most of my focus on Khan Academy, I didn't have much time for StackOverflow this year. I still managed to rack up a few points though, mainly from old questions and broke the 3000 point mark. And I finally got the bronze SVG badge for having 100 SVG votes. I also noticed that I was the top-user in the obscure topic of coordinate-transformation. If I could get a badge for that, it would be quite amazing.
For the second time, I was offered paid work via StackOverflow, only this time it was for a lot more and maybe become a more permanent work arrangement.
Aims for 2014
I suspect this year will be a busy one with a lot of changes, but there's still a few projects I'd like to work on. Firstly, I'm hoping to do a 365 - take a photo every day and upload it to Flickr, maybe with a new camera. I did try to start one earlier this year but it ended shortly after I moved house. I also hope to finally finish a bioinformatics project I've been working on for nearly four years. I should probably try to resume my Chinese study. And finally, I would like to do lots more of the same - many simulations, explorations and games on Khan Academy, and maybe blog about a few if I get a chance.