So you just created a super-mega robot project that you want to share with the world Super! But now you face a whole new and different problem: documenting the process of seeing the world. That’s enough to get you back to the lab.
- What software should I use to create my project site?
- How deep will the rabbit hole go when the project is registered?
- What do I want topping on some of my food and drink while hacking pizza?
We’re not going into the old “not pineapple or pineapple” debate, but it’s important to note that there are as many choices and opinions as there are toppings on how to share a project with the world. The answer will always be simple: Doesn’t work well for you!
The purpose of this article is to give some options to someone considering sharing their projects online. There is not enough space for hackers to talk about every option available, so be sure to fill out the options you like in the comments below. Let’s dive into it!
Even before we start exploring all the options for hosting your projects, there are some basic questions we need to answer. Consider the following:
- Who are your audiences and how will they consume what you present?
- How deeply would you like to document your project and what kind of media would you present?
- How will people find your project?
Let’s talk about each of these for a moment.
Who is your audience?
This is probably the question that will influence your choices more than others. Who are you writing for? Are you sharing new ideas for experts on your chosen topic? Are you trying to showcase your skills to a new crowd who knows very little about it? Try to answer this question before you start. If you’re not sure, it’s okay. You have to understand it as you go.
If you are writing for people who are expected to know as much about your subject as you do, you will probably limit your audience a bit. Instead, try writing for a specific person who knows a little less. Choose a relative, friend or other person you know who you would like to be interested in your project and write it for them.
For example, if you are writing an article about a new bed leveling method for 3D printers, take a moment and explain why bed leveling is a problem and perhaps present common solutions and their flaws. This will help your audience understand what makes your project unique and add a lot to their enjoyment.
How deeply documented your project?
This question is closely related to your audience. If you want to dive deeper into a topic and explain its basics from scratch, you can choose a platform that is more suitable for long form content versus a quick sharing.
In-depth documentation can mean integrating videos, images and text, so you’ll want to choose a platform that lets you combine all of these media into one presentation.
How will people find your project?
This is where you will need some research. Software developers will find a completely different answer to this question than anyone who wants to take a deep dive into the debugging shift register on an obsolete 10-bit computer.
A great way to determine this is to go to your favorite search engine and do a search for what you do to find your own content and see where others are publishing their projects. You can also take a look at their approach to sharing their work and decide which elements you want to imitate, change or omit altogether.
Now that you have the opportunity to consider the method you want to adopt, it’s time to decide how you want to share your project with the world. It comes with a lot of questions of its own, but instead of running you through another laundry list of questions, we’re going to look at the various services as well as the self-hosted options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
In a previous article, we talked about ways you can host your own project website at home and it is easy to expand things to a very cheap VPS, a free cloud computing example, or to host things on a solar wind and rain powered Piduino 8266 . You get the idea. With the self-hosted option, you are responsible for server administration.
We’re going to fix this right now for two reasons: If you’ve never blogged before and want to run your own software, it’s hard to go wrong with WordPress.org. Originally designed as a blogging-only platform, it has become a complete website builder over the years. There are numerous themes that allow you to change the look and feel of a website with just one download and there are many plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress.
If you are wondering how useful this is, it is worth noting that Hackade and this post have all been done on WordPress and some of the largest sites on the Internet are also using WordPress. No coding skills are required. There are great advantages of WordPress. Because this is a Large The project that is widely used, it gets a lot of security attention on both the white cap and the black cap of the fence, so you need to keep your install up to date. It’s not difficult, but there are some necessary management overheads.
Ghost is a website builder and blogging platform based on NodeJS instead of PHP. It has been praised for being very quick and easy to operate and for a while it was used by all the great kids.
Ghost is great if you want to code in NodeJS and don’t want to create anything from scratch.
HTML5 and friends
Creating an HTML5 site from scratch or a template is a great way to share projects if you want to develop it.
Running your own server and website may be beyond what you want to do, but you still want to be somewhere to share your work and projects. You’re lucky – there are countless services waiting to host your content, and we’re going to talk about the ones you can use for free (like Beer).
WordPress.com is a hosted version of the WordPress.org software. Your site is hosted directly on the WordPress.com server and it comes with some limitations. But if you like WordPress, or want to use it without having to turn the server around, this is a great option.
This may seem like a strange choice, but creating a new repository on Github gives you an area to upload files, write HTML, and link to external sources. Each repository may have a Readme page that appears when the repository is loaded, and that page can embed images and other media that you upload to the repository. Github is a good choice if your projects are software only, but it also works well for others. And, Github has a free service. And, of course, this version.
Blogger.com has been around for ages, and is where many bloggers started. Some have moved away from it, others have used it for many years as a reliable place to host your content. Because it’s a blog-only platform, it lends itself not to creating a website about your project, but to sharing multiple projects over time.
Imgur.com is a photo sharing community that is often used to document projects that are mostly just photographs. Sharing other file formats is not allowed, but it can be used with Github for file sharing. If your project is video based, the same is true of YouTube. The weakness of YouTube is that it is not easily searchable, but it is a great way to showcase projects that are more thoroughly documented on a blog or other website, where the written word reigns king.
This may seem rather self-serving as suggested by Hackaday.io, since it is our own platform, but the truth is that if this post had been written elsewhere it would still be on the list. It is designed as a great way to embed files, pictures and YouTube videos Hackers with similar mindsets have the added power of being searchable on a platform full of them. Creating and running a simple page is incredibly easy, and there’s a “submit tip to hackade” button. What more could you want?
Is that it?
Whatever medium you choose – be it text, photograph, video or some combination of it – just go there and get started! A great way to get your feet wet is to go through the backlog of your completed projects and document using the methods you choose and see what it looks like.
Your first tasks will probably be a bit rough, but once you develop a style and a method, it will become much easier. Don’t worry about perfection, and Especially Don’t worry about internet popularity competition. You will never be able to please everyone, so focus on your chosen audience and let the cards read where they can. Every content creator has to do this to some extent.
Of course, there are countless other options we’ve left out because let’s face it, the platform options are like a pizza topping combination: there are so many to list! So this is your chance to shine – let us know about your favorite platform in the comments below.