‘Tis the Season…
Ah yes, the season of… my weird need to rethink and reconfigure CTMQ. I’ve mentioned a few times in recent months that I’ve been messing about “under the hood” of the site. The vast majority of what I’ve been doing won’t ever be noticed by anyone, as most changes are simply for my own ease of administration, so to speak.
CTMQ has always been a collection of lists. Dozens and dozens of lists covering an absurdly wide range of places, things, and experiences in our little state. I love lists.
And I love completing lists even more. In 2016, after a full decade of writing CTMQ, I came up with the idea that I would begin “completing” towns – always trying to remember to put scare quotes around “completing,” since such a goal is a flexible goal. New museums open, new trails are cleared, new “things” become known to me, and so forth.
I came up with the idea of creating and doing “town completion projects.” I have completed one and am currently in the midst of two more. But here’s the thing – no one cares about the structure of those projects. I personally love the idea of them, but in reality, it doesn’t really make sense to lump, say, Cromwell, Danbury, Derby, and Windsor Locks together under a unifying project called “Hat/Hair.”
The idea certainly helps me “complete” towns, but beyond that, it’s pretty nonsensical. So for 2018 and beyond, no more “town completion projects.” BUT, “town completions?” Absolutely!
Note: This slight change bums me out for only one reason: I had come up with some pretty fun groupings of towns. Some of my favorites:
Project Seasons: Windsor, Sprague, Somers, and Beacon Falls.
Project Nerds: Morris, Preston, Sherman, and Winchester
Project Cigarettes: Kent, Marlborough, and Salem
Project Presidents: Clinton, Madison, Monroe, and Washington
Project Crayola: Greenwich, Lyme, Orange, and Redding
There were more. So many more… RIP.
This slight shift was also influenced by a longtime reader and friend. This person knows me pretty well and was honest with me regarding the “projects” strategy – in that they thought it was pretty dumb. Respect.
Moving on… I created a new tab for “169 Towns.” This type of “ultimate list” was always sort of my unspoken goal for this site. After 11 years, I’m close to “completing” a bunch of towns and waiting another decade for a particular “project” that no one cares about to pop-up was stupid. Why focus on Danbury right now when I darn well know I can’t “complete” it for a year? Especially when I can knock off other towns fairly quickly?
After 11 years, the framework is in place. My lists are robust and I can draw from them. Ultimately, readers will be able to simply go to the 169 Towns page, find the town they want, and everything will be right there, all in one spot. Clean and simple. With each new town focus, old posts will be edited and updated as needed. This calms me.
I have/will also move(d) some stuff around in the hierarchy that just makes sense to me. (Why was peakbagging under Miscellaneous and not under Hikes? Things like that. And why does Miscellaneous even exist? No one’s clicking on that!)
When all is said and done, everything will be cleaner, clearer, and more concise (relatively speaking). My Hikes table of contents main page will be the ultimate source of every trail in Connecticut. Just as the Museums page is for museums. Crazy! I know!
This site is obviously a lot of work, but just as obviously, I love it. I’m at the point at which I can admit that at least a few others kind of love it too. So I plan on setting up a little “store” so people can show their CTMQ pride! I haven’t really thought it through, but I think I’ll start off with little oval car magnets. T-shirts? We’ll see.
And while I’m at it, I’ve also been asked if I’m ever going to:
Set up a Patreon page: That sounds like a good idea. If I get around to it, I’ll likely tie in a charitable component with it.
Get a kayak: Ok. My wonderful wife got me one for my birthday so now I can explore the previously impossible to explore islands and water trails around the state.
Do a podcast: That’s not going to happen though. Sorry. I went pretty far down the path exploring the idea, but decided against it. I did get some cool logos for it though:
That’s that. From my family to yours, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Imagine how much more wonderful it will be if YOUR town is the subject of my focus in 2018?!
Thanks for reading –