As I've mentioned before, I have been working on a side project. Last year, I realized that my kids have gotten old enough to free up a little space in my weeks. I decided that I needed to invest some time in building up my "career capital." It took a little bit of soul searching to figure out what, exactly, I should do- there were so many options! In the end, though, I decided that I wanted to refresh some of my technical skills. I will eventually refresh my programming skills, but I wanted something a little smaller for this project, since it is the first one I've tackled in quite awhile.
So I decided to refresh my web skills. The last time I created a web site from scratch was in the late 90s. CSS didn't exist. Content management systems didn't exist. I'd flirted with learning Drupal the last time I was laid off, but I got a job, and I didn't really have a compelling use case to explore with it... so that effort fizzled out. I decided that I should try again.
Around the same time, I started to get frustrated with how hard it was to find short eBooks to read, particularly if I wanted to go outside of what Amazon's algorithms picked. I think short eBooks have the potential to provide a way for a wider range of people to share their ideas and get paid for it... but only if there is a better way for people like me to find their work.
From these two things, Tungsten Hippo was born. You can read more about my motivations for creating a site dedicated to short eBooks in my first post there. I have no idea whether Tungsten Hippo will gain any attention or actually help make it easier for authors of short eBooks to get the word out about what they have written. However, it will have been worth the time I put into it even if it falls flat on its face,since I have now set up a Drupal-backed website and learned enough CSS to change details of the layout.
There is a blog component to Tungsten Hippo, but Wandering Scientist isn't going anywhere. My plan is to write a post related to short eBooks once per week, and post it on Tungsten Hippo. I will reference that post here, too. I'll also post a new entry about a short eBook most Wednesdays and a new quote from a short eBook most Fridays. You'll have to follow Tungsten Hippo to get notified of those, though. I'll still write about other topics here, at Wandering Scientist.
The links to eBooks over at Tungsten Hippo are affiliate links. I'll keep any money they generate, with the hope of making the site pay for itself (I've had to pay to set up hosting and the like). I've set up a separate account for those, so the affiliate links here at Wandering Scientist will still fund diapers (I just bought another box today).
I've set up Twitter and Pinterest accounts for Tungsten Hippo: you can follow me at @TungstenHippo on Twitter and Tungsten Hippo on Pinterest. I may set up a Facebook page, too- I'm on the fence about that.
So go on over and take a look at Tungsten Hippo. Come back here and tell me what you think, if you'd like, and definitely share the link with anyone you think might find it useful.