It’s not done, but I nagged Jason enough so we’ve launched it anyway!! I present to you, my dear readers… Ficly. There’s a long story to tell about how any why Ficly came to be and why we couldn’t leave well enough alone. I might as well tell it.
Building ficlets, for both Jason and me, was the best experience of our professional lives (he told me that, anyway, and I believe him). We had total freedom to do the right thing, which is rare, especially at AOL. We, along with Ari, Cindy and Jenna, built something beautiful. And then, it all sort of went weird. Everyone eventually left AOL, and I was left alone to keep the site kind of up and running even though I’d been told I wasn’t allowed to work on it anymore. Then, I left AOL last summer to go work at Music Intelligence Solutions on stuff I’d never done before.
In December, AOL announced that ficlets would be shut down. I went and created the ficlets memorial, because it would be criminal to let all those stories just disappear. A bunch of valiant souls still inside AOL battled hard to get the company to either give me ficlets outright or donate it to a non-profit – it obviously didn’t happen. Jason and I e-mailed back and forth a few times about how sad it was to see ficlets die and that we really should do something about it. But, who’s got the time?
It was Jason who pushed until I agreed. Jason got Tom Osborne and Owen Shifflett from Viget Labs to jump in and save the day (because you really don’t want me designing anything). They designed what you see on the site, and it’s more than I could have hoped. Our pal Joe helped out when he could, and I worked a couple hours at night during the week and a few hours on weekends when I wasn’t working late at the office. Five months later, and several helping hands later, here we are.
I’m extremely happy with how it’s turned out, and with the reaction from the community so far. We wouldn’t have built Ficly if the ficlets community wasn’t so great. We did it for them, and because we have a lot of fun working together – even when it’s over e-mail.
I don’t think of Ficly as a “side” project and we’re certainly not a startup. Ficly is an art project. We built it out of love – and a passion for fostering creativity. I think Jason put it best in an e-mail, “My job isn’t building web pages. It’s delivering happiness by the kilobyte.”
I don’t know where Ficly goes from here. I know I have a laundry list of stuff I wanted to do on ficlets that we’ll probably get around to eventually. For now, it feels good to have done what we’ve done so far. It was hard making time for it, but I’m glad we did.
Before I went to the grocery store today, I had eight different types of fresh fruit in the house (and I didn’t count faux-fruit like tomatoes or cucumbers). YAY Spring!
Tuesday Night Happenings for Chez Lawver:
Art show at SCAD (featuring work from elem schools. Max wants to go and submit something), 5-7
Pick up Kevin from work, 5:15
Retrieve van from auto shop, 5:30
Brian soccer, 5:30-6:30
International Night at Max’s school, 6-7:30
Max karate, 6:45-7:30
Jen’s head explodes, 8:05
Kevin cleans up mess, 9:15
From an article at CNN.com about Brown University, “For this year’s graduates, tuition and expenses came to a four-year total of about $180,000 each.”
Saturday was Brian’s birthday. There is a growing set of photos from his party
. I could use another weekend to recover from this one.
They’re now training Explorer scouts to ‘combat terrorism’. That’s crazy. As a wee bit of backstory, I’m an Eagle Scout. I was a Cub Scout and in scouting from age 8 to about 17 when I was a junior assistant scoutmaster. I got my Eagle when I was fourteen and was an Explorer.
I can’t imagine what the point of this is other that a bunch of macho jackasses being, well, macho jackasses – and passing it on to kids. It’s just sad that Scouting has come to this; I’m not sure what else to say about it other than I’m disappointed and that my kids won’t follow me into Scouting.
We have sprouts! Brian and I transplanted Max and his science fair project plants and planted a bunch of other stuff (cucumbers, tomatoes and wildflowers) last Saturday and this week, we have sprouts! We’re trying the little patio garden this year to see if we can keep it watered and actually get something out of it. I’m trying to go in with no expectations, but so far, it looks like we’ll at least get some cucumbers out of it!
Today’s been busy. Here’s what Brian and I have done this weekend:
# Went to Target and got some patio furniture.
# Assembled that furniture (a table, umbrella and stand and set of four chairs)
# Cleaned out my car
# Swept the back patio
# Went to ACE Hardware and got potting soil, peat moss and seeds.
# Cleaned out all the old pots in the backyard and filled them with peat moss and potting soil
# Transplanted Brian’s bean plants and Max’s radishes from their science projects.
# Planted cucumbers, tomatoes and wildflowers
# Cleaned up (well, mostly) our mess and then watered everything, at least once.
# Finished setting up the server ficly will eventually live on so I can take it over the Seimitsu this week (if you’re in Savannah and need pretty much anything IT or hosting-related, you’d be stupid not to call them – I love love love them).
And now, I’m going to take some Aleve and sit down.
(cuz it was on boingboing tv, silly me). I absolutely love everything about this short, the music, the animation, the story… all of it. It reminds me a little bit of Mirrormask
In other news, if you’re looking for totally painless online backup, I highly
(yes, I get some free space if you sign up, but really, it’s fantastic). I have it installed on both my laptop and my home machines and it painlessly syncs everything in my dropbox on all three machines. If I get new music I want to make sure gets added to iTunes at home, I throw it in the dropbox. Purchase new apps or a book on PDF
? It goes in the dropbox. It’s awesome