A little over a year ago I let my book review website, NK Book Reviews, fall off the face of the earth. It wasn't for lack of reading. It was for lack of focus.

I was in the process of moving servers and had plans to upgrade the application to the latest Ruby and Ruby on Rails framework. I had several false starts and repositories that were thrown away. I couldn't stay focused or motivated. This past weekend I needed to make it happen. I have been reading more than ever before. I primarily use the Kindle these days and make my notes and highlights directly in there.

There was still something missing for me. I missed writing the reviews. The process of writing them helped me retain the subject matter and better formulate my thoughts. I would read books with opposing viewpoints and extract the pieces where they agreed and disagreed. Sometimes I would cross-reference that with my own experiences. This helps me to continually educate myself.

I completed my first step of upgrading Ruby, Rails, and getting the website back online. Much has happened in the past year in the world of web application development. It's time for me to get back to writing and working on the guts of the website. Here are some of the things I will be doing:

  1. First and foremost will be quality content. I am putting together a strategy for my reading plan and goals throughout the year, and getting on a publishing schedule.
  2. I will be collaborating with friends to make the site responsive and focused on a great mobile reading experience.
  3. I will be updating the code behind the scenes. Staying focused on the experience of discovering books and reading my reviews. I will be moving away from my own administrative section and connecting to the Goodreads website and Goodreads API.
  4. I will be working on clustering and grouping algorithms under the hood to make better recommendations between books and reviews. This will benefit both you (the visitor) and myself to get more rich information based on the content at the core.
  5. Practice what you preach. I am tinkering with open-sourcing the backend and sharing with others. I am admittedly a leech when it comes to open source, mostly because my work is for-profit and can't be shared publicly. I want to change that and start sharing more code.

Thanks to the support of many of my friends who are willing to keep me on task and help me get this thing back up and running. I look forward to getting back to my passion of writing book reviews.

1 Comment Add your comment

  1. Dana July 19th, 2012

    This is great! I'm so glad you're doing this. I've always valued your opinion on the vast amount of reading material that is available in our industry. I'm also excited to hear that you are considering opensourcing the work you've done for the site itself! All around great news -- I'll be watching!

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