Journals on Futureland are a new surface area that attempt to make it easier and more beneficial to share the process of realizing any project. This writing explores our recent developments in trying to create these Journals.
How we got here
Futureland started as a tool for people to learn new skills by creating something for 365 consecutive days. The idea came out of my own experiments in which I was trying to learn new skills by rapidly making things every day to see what would happen. I started with music and then progressed into writing code.
Since then almost 10,000 creations have been published to Futureland. People all over the world have been using Futureland to learn things like code, music, electronics, visual art, violin, game development, yoga, screenwriting, watercolor, 3d modelling, animation, poetry, architecture, sculpture and on.
At the same time making something for 365 consecutive days is a limited use case and only 1 type of project. All projects are realized in many different ways. They can have a single or multiple contributors, a wide variety of multidisciplinary inputs and random ocurrences that lead to unexpected insights.
We believe there should be a place on the Internet to document and share this process with others – from the beginning to the end of any project. Viewers should be able to interact, support and learn from the process of any project. Creators should be able to easily document their process in a way that is beneficial to them on multiple dimensions. Our recent improvements to Journals are a step in this direction.
A time machine
Each Journal has a timeline that you can use to explore the development of a project over any time period. By clicking on the timeline, you can teleport to any point in the project from its current state, to a few months ago, to when it first started.
When you are working on a project, it is so easy to lose sight of how much you have progressed or the things that happened in the past. You can become fixated on what's still lacking. This is something we've experienced while working on our own projects.
We have also experienced the benefits of documenting our process over time. Many users on Futureland have been sharing the things they are making for hundreds of consecutive days. Several are approaching 400. By navigating a project with the timeline, you can see how it is progressing or where an idea might have started or how a significant event shaped the project's momentum. For new collaborators or supporters, they can catch up with the development of a project and understand everything it took to get to its current state.
A feedback engine
Each Journal allows for collaborators and supporters to comment on any output in project. The comment will be displayed on the timeline. If you click on the comment, you will be teleported to that specific point in a project.
It's helpful to collect feedback from your collaborators and supporters as you are working on a project. By developing your project with your supporters, the creative process becomes a shared experience. The Journal provides a surface area for these kinds of experiences. Anyone can see how the discussions related to your project are developing and also how you're integrating feedback into the evolution of your project.
A source of funding
Funding is an important part of realizing any project. Our hypothesis is that a surface area like the Journal that is easy to publish to and displays the real time development of a project is also the ideal surface area to request financial support of any project. Supporters can naturally graduate from observing the project, to subscribing, to providing feedback and then to supporting it financially or join the team working on it.
We have been thinking about how to best handle this. First we thought a one-time tip might be interesting. Then we thought about some kind of monthly donation to the creators. None of these have felt exactly right. A concept that has peaked a bit more interest is enabling anyone to add a Store to their Journal. A place where they can control however they want to accept financial support. Obvious ideas include: products, donations, pre-orders.