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Tiny House Talk Behinds the Scenes Recap: 2-28-2013

I put together this post so you can take a look behind the scenes at what we’re doing and what’s going on with Tiny House Talk.

Basically, the “behind the scenes” series will be where I publicly discuss improvements we’re making for our site.

This is also a chance for you to share your ideas for improvements in the comments. And I’m excited to consider every idea that comes our way.

Tiny House Talk Writers: Here’s What Happened

The first thing I want to touch on is our new writers and those of you who applied but haven’t heard back from me because I feel really bad about this. I’m very sorry if you haven’t heard back from me.

When I decided to let people apply for writing positions I didn’t know how many responses I was going to get and got completely overwhelmed by it. The whole thing was basically mismanaged by me but I’ve learned a lot from it so far.

Tiny House Talk Office

Tiny House Talk Office

AND we ended up with a some really awesome writers: thank you so much to Vincent Baudoin, Laura LaVoie, Jane Dwinell, Hari Berzins, Laura Norcross, Sherry Willis, and Mariah Pastell for their contributions so far.

For now, aside from a few others who may still start contributing, I’m not accepting anymore writers until I get used to handling what we have and can gain enough time aside to write more myself while managing everything else.

Last thing- thank you so much for applying if you did so. And if you’re a reader, thank you so much for reading. You are all so important to me and I promise I’ll get better at handling my email.

On a side note, above is a photo of my new office for THT which is in my little apartment’s living room. 🙂

Tiny House Talk Forums and Listings

Some of our readers suggested that we put together our own forums and listings area to enhance our community. I decided to listen and try out the idea.

After trying it out I’ve decided to shut both of them down. I want us to continue communicating ideas in the comments of blog posts instead of creating an entire separate community as a forum or classifieds. And if you want to sell your own small space or find a tiny house to buy, I recommend using Steven Harrell’s Tiny House Listings website or my friend Dan Louche’s Tiny House Marketplace.

Thank you so much to those of you who signed up and have so far participated in the forums. If you’re a forum member and contribute there, I’m inviting you to come back over here to the blog instead and share your ideas here (in the comments) from now on because the forums will soon be gone.

Tiny House with a Garage

Photo by Alex Pino

Announcements for 2013

I have many new and old ideas that are coming into reality this year. Some of which I’ll announce later. Many are just minor improvements to Tiny House Talk which I’ve had in mind for a while.

Here is some of what I’ve changed recently:

  • Removed the forums and for sale features from the menu
  • Reorganized the categories on the navigation menu (still in the works and I’m open to suggestions below)
  • New category template for the website (lists post titles in large text)
  • New theme/design that’s more lightweight and clean which helps load time
  • We finally got our own high end dedicated server so that the site doesn’t slow down or crash anymore when we send out our newsletter

And here’s what’s in the works right now (coming soon):

  • New exclusive audio interviews with tiny house people that I’ll be giving away to current and new email subscribers
  • A better looking Top Posts & Pages links on the sidebar (going to make it look way better using CSS)
  • Bigger Next / Previous buttons at the bottom and possibly even the top of posts, categories and archives
  • Updates to our Tiny House Plans eBook to include all of the latest plans that are available to the market
  • Update to our Tiny House Workshop Catalog to include the unbelievable amount of workshops for 2013

Any ideas you think I should hear about? I’d love to read them. Feel free to share any ideas that you think would make Tiny House Talk better below. Even if it’s something little. Thanks.

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With my nephew 🙂

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There’s much more in the works too! Thanks for reading and if you have any ideas that you think will make Tiny House Talk better, please share them in the comments below and I’ll always consider testing it out. Thank you!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Deek February 28, 2013, 10:06 am

    busy guy……
    also, one of these days we need to build/design you some funky office “hut within a house” for your hq operations….it’d be awesome/fun! Something that disassembles too…..
    hope you’re well!
    Deek

    • Alex February 28, 2013, 10:16 am

      Hey Deek thanks for swingin’ by! Probably not as busy as you.. 😀 A funky office within a house would be so cool. Looking forward to seeing ya later this year. Hope you’re doing well too. Thanks!

  • Kelley Chambers February 28, 2013, 10:24 am

    Boy, I’m so disappointed that you’re shutting down the forums before I even knew they existed. However, reading the entire post, I suppose moderating a forum would add a LOT to you’re already hectic schedule. That said, maybe it will inspire someone to Crete another community for those of us who wish to discuss more then one-topic blog posts.

  • Jan Dregalla February 28, 2013, 10:50 am

    Sounds like a good plan to stay focused. So much exciting info and things- going-make it easy to get side tracked. I especially like the new categories template so it is easier to go back and find things. I save some things on Pinterest but sometimes remember seeing things not saved and this will make it easier to search. You’ve compiled a nice amount of info here:)

  • bobhenry February 28, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Kelley Chambers February 28, 2013 at 10:24 am edit
    Boy, I’m so disappointed that you’re shutting down the forums before I even knew they existed. However, reading the entire post, I suppose moderating a forum would add a LOT to you’re already hectic schedule. That said, maybe it will inspire someone to Crete another community for those of us who wish to discuss more then one-topic blog posts.

    As one of the more active contributors I second your thoughts. I liked the ability to scroll thru and pick and choose topics to discuss. I do understand that it can create undue demands on Alex’s time and would cause the talk side to suffer. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members who offered advice and opinions on some of my more hairbrained tiny house ideas.
    Bob Henry

  • Debra February 28, 2013, 5:22 pm

    The blog looks great, Alex. Less clutter and more simple is the best way every time. Thanks for your work!

  • Gloria February 28, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Hi, Alex! It’s your website, so you do what you want. I must say I’ve always enjoyed it. If I can give one idea: show the inside of more little houses. I know you show a lot of the tiny houses on wheels, pics and videos, and I DO enjoy them, don’t get me wrong! I love seeing them! But if you can get others to contribute some of their inside shots of small homes, I’d love it. I have a small house and I know I said I’d get photos to you myself, and I never have! So sorry! I’ll try to do it sometimes this year, ha-ha! Take care and thanks for all the info you give us on small homes/tiny homes. Love your website.
    Best,
    Gloria
    p.s. Your nephew is adorable! Now it’s time for you and your girlfriend to get started on a family, no? 😉

  • David Seaberg February 28, 2013, 9:36 pm

    Hi Alex. I appreciate the work you do. It has kept me moving forward to the day when I will have my own tiny house. I have one comment about the forum. A forum allows your readers to communicate directly among themselves. If you are removing it, is there some other way for that to happen?

  • sunshineandrain February 28, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Great website/blog, Alex! I look forward to the changes and I admire you for your choice to go for quality over quantity concerning the addition of the forums/listings to the website. Your willingness to experiment with new aspects of the website is also appreciated.

    There are other sites that are set up to offer Tiny House forums and, for sure, listings. I keep finding more and more sites dedicated to Tiny Houses and related topics. I bookmark them, because I can not hope to read every one of them every day.

    Again, congrats upon the improvements and the dedicated server. Yea!

  • Teri March 1, 2013, 12:53 am

    Alex, I’m looking forward to your new changes and I love your guest writers… I’ve learned so much from them! Please: a suggestion for a new topic…. I’d love an article on composting and incinerating toilets. A review, of sorts, on all the available types and brands and an opportunity for tiny-housers to chime in on what they use and if they are happy or dissatisfied with their choices. Thanks!

  • Hari March 1, 2013, 9:53 am

    Great work, Alex. I love seeing your office. It’s nicely organized 🙂

    I’m honored to be one of your writers and have a few posts up my sleeve. It’s been busy over here, too. Building our big house, jumping through hoops to make our tiny house legal, and getting ready to release my ebook: Coming Home, Letters From a Tiny House have had me wrapped up, but I’m coming up for air and have much to share.

    Thanks for your passion and dedication to the tiny house community. I’m glad to be a part of what you are doing!
    Be well!
    Hari

  • Kelley Chambers March 2, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Hey Alex,

    I’m a firm believer in “doing” rather then “complaining”. I mentioned earlier in this post that I was disappointed that the forum, that I never knew about, was being twilighted. So, instead of hoping someone would do create another forum, I am doing it myself.
    I’ve named my upcoming tiny house the “Byte Size Bungalow” and being the anal web designer & developer, I registered my byte size baby’s domain. 🙂 How this relates to you and everyone else interested is in 10 days (or less, depending on my project load), I will launch ByteSizeBungalow.com and offer a forum to the tiny house community to discuss any and all things “tiny” related. I’m also toying with the idea of premium features such a classifieds section for selling one’s tiny endeavors but need to do more research before offering that piece.

    Anyway, just thought I’d through that out there for y’all. 🙂

    Cheers!
    – Kelley

  • V. Alex March 8, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Hey Alex P. !!!
    I have a suggestion ! With everything mobile these days , have you thought of making a mobile friendly site?
    Please don’t get me wrong, the work you’ve done so far is Super Awesome Sauce !!!!!!!
    I’m just aware of the mobile media/data shift as I work in IT Services.
    Also don’t feel bad for reducing some services and perfecting the core of your ideas!
    This site has helped my inspirations for my own project & is allowing me to inspire my small island community into creating tiny house options.
    Alex Vallee
    Bowen Island ,
    British Columbia ,
    Canada

  • Carolyn B March 12, 2013, 11:26 am

    Alex Pino, If I had the ability to stand, I’d love your home office area. Looks great. What info can you share on the blue house with attached carport you photographed? It’s gorgeous.
    You know my interests lie in on-grid, single story, and wheelchair accessible tiny/small units. I love seeing your community of writers and have bugged most of the women for Facebook friend requests when able. (Thanks, ladies!)

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