During a recent chat with a friend, the focus of our conversation ended up on this site. He was a little confused about the mission of Static Made and it quickly dawned on me that, over the course of nearly 6 months posting here, I have yet to completely outline what it is I’m doing with this site. Shame on me.
The following is a bit of history, a description of the present and a vision for the future of Static Made.
An Experiment in Mindfulness
Those who have been following my work for a while know that Static Made looked quite different when it launched in January of 2011. My initial vision for the project was for Static Made to be a new kind of boutique creative studio that capitalized on my background in art and technology, through which I could work with cash-strapped artists and non-profits to make innovative and exciting tech projects. This was great, some people took notice and I had the opportunity to work with some wonderful clients.
As the months progressed however, the client work became more demanding and, in addition to my full-time day job, left me with literally no time to enjoy my family or leisure activities. Mornings to evenings were spent at the day job and evenings to 1AM were spent on SM client work. This was the typical daily routine through summer and fall of 2011. I was burning out fast and knew I needed to make a change.
In January of 2012, as a response to years spent working closely with technology and maintaining an unhealthy work-life balance, I all but ceased the consulting arm and re-launched StaticMade.com in its current form. I now consider this site to be an ongoing experiment in mindfulness that touches upon the common threads of technology, creativity and balance.
Static Made is a proud member of the Slow Web Movement, where meaning trumps frequency and thoughtfulness is a pillar of the mission.
An Exercise in Balance
There is a little bit of everything here. That is my intention. In addition to writing on the topics of technology, mindfulness and culture, you will find creative essays that draw from my own life experiences, audio such as the ZenGeek Podcast and original songwriting, as well as photography and a limited edition artist series. Static Made has become my true creative outlet – a workspace without limits.
While it is time-consuming to produce, the benefits for me are great. It’s cathartic. Creating work for the site allows me to think clearly about my relationship with technology, but also nearly every touchstone in my surrounding environment. I want this site to be about more than technology; I want it to be flexible enough to provide a home for all of my creative outputs.
Sharing is the Currency of the Web
Somebody once said, “Hyperlinks are the currency of the web.” It is very important to me that there be an element of discovery to this site. I’ve incorporated a “linked list” style of post (indicated by the link icon next to the post title) that directly references something I found online that I think would be of interest to readers of Static Made. There are many brilliant people writing on these topics, and I feel it is my duty to help share their work in addition to mine.
An Open Ethos
I don’t believe in the traditional concept of copyright. All original content posted here (indicated with the lightning bolt icon next to the header) is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. This means you are free to share or distribute the work as long as you credit Static Made with a back-link. You are also permitted to modify or remix the work under the stipulation that you make your derivative work available under a similar license. This license extends to all content indicated with the SM lightning bolt, including writing, audio, photography and video.
I believe open frameworks make the web a stronger and more vibrant. This is my small attempt to help fortify the open web.
Adapt or Die
I mentioned earlier this site is an experiment. It’s evolving. As with anything in life, it must adapt or it will die. Over time some elements of the site will likely fall away, to be replaced by others that more accurately reflect the current climate of the web and, more importantly, our collective interests.
I’m working tirelessly to find Static Made’s just-right place, the site’s sweet spot if you will. I think we’re close, but there will be modifications along the way.
Reading this site shouldn’t be a chore. That’s why I’ve set up three different methods that send posts directly to you, depending on your personal preferences. If Twitter is your thing, the site automatically publishes a tweet to @StaticMade whenever a new post appears. Twitter, however, isn’t for everyone.
If you prefer to receive the full content of posts in your reader of choice, the Static Made RSS feed is your best bet.
Lastly, I’ve set up a weekly digest email that wrangles all posts from the week and puts them together into one beautiful, easy-on-the-eyes email message. I distribute the weekly digest on Saturday mornings for your weekend reading pleasure. It goes great with a hot cup of coffee and the rising sun. You can subscribe here and all new subscribers get an unreleased goodie as a special thank you from me.
A Sincere Thank You
I publish this site primarily for me and write as if my audience were clones of myself. It amazes me that, after only a few short months in existence, people find my work interesting enough to subscribe or write in with comments or buy a t-shirt. Your support means the world to me and encourages me to continue moving Static Made forward. Thank you.