Icon
Futureland
A new kind of journal.
946 entries
First: Jan 22, 2020
morgenp
Great refinement guys
internetvin
This is already looking super clean man
internetvin
Awesome! Stoked to start playing with th...
adanxali
Thanks! 🙏🏾
ethan
So good!
justin
I remember in splotches late night posts...
internetvin
Thank you! :)
internetvin
nice who knows, maybe I'll switch to 'vi...
internetvin
Awesome!
internetvin
Ty!
internetvin
@lucas heads up
internetvin
Looks like it's moving in an improved di...
lucas
„right after i eat a juicy burger“
internetvin
Thanks @lucas! :) Also quick note for e...
internetvin
I’m stoked to play around with a new, fa...
internetvin
❤️❤️❤️❤️
internetvin
<3
internetvin
Yeah totally very true! :)
internetvin
Thanks for everything you're doing man
internetvin
Noting this before I forget. Important t...
ethan
That's a cool idea! Like different entry...
ethan
Maybe even in the context of Futureland ...
pugson
💖💖💖
internetvin
Cool I’m excited for a faster Futureland...
tmm
So dope
tania
This looks great!!!
internetvin
Nice thank you. It probably makes sense ...
internetvin
ty dude excited to play around with this...
internetvin
thank you!
internetvin
ty!!
internetvin
Thank you!
ethan
Love this at first. But this really just...
ethan
👀 💚
internetvin
Pretty cool, a lot to learn. I like show...
internetvin
Pretty neat and very inspiring in a bunc...
daemon
Looks great! Maybe + users could have th...
internetvin
Yeah thanks for adding that. I find that...
ethan
Interested if you were down to share mor...
ethan
This is such a good way to put it. Super...
internetvin
Definitely agree on the antithesis part....
internetvin
I also think and these words might not b...
justin
Commenting from the iOS 👏🏻
internetvin
@justin, yeah I can relate to this a bun...
internetvin
@tania super cool to see how you are usi...
lucas
It is really interesting to see how @eth...
internetvin
I'd love to see like quick explanation v...
internetvin
totally
jchangsta
💜
ethan
Just seeing this screen here, Futureland...
ethan
Love this! Thank you!
internetvin
@gorum as a room mate, damn lol
ethan
Yea, that would be sweet! Like less barr...
ethan
@lucas ah got it, makes sense!
rambii
Cool to hear that it’s coming together! ...
ethan
Such huge awesome upgrades! Thank you @l...
pugson
this feels fucking amazing 👏👏👏👏
ethan
Yes, been wanting this too! Any chance...
internetvin
Really cool!
lucas
🙌
christian
A "multimedia discussion" sounds pretty ...
markz
New marketing site?
ethan
😍
internetvin
Thanks @brentbaum, it's been an interest...
pugson
missed streak feature is lowkey the best
justin
I wonder if different jobs have trending...
pugson
going in the right direction
ethan
@kmikeym digging the idea of this being ...
ethan
Love the meta of the Futureland journal ...
internetvin
Nice! I really like how subtle yet exact...
ethan
Wonder if it’s like zoomed in vignettes ...
thedominica
hello there, fellow fruiteater
internetvin
@Ethan @christian, if this is first a to...
ethan
Woah!
internetvin
I might tighten up the spacing of the ex...
internetvin
It's interesting that there is an entry ...
marco
I’m in. Seems like great value to me. ht...
ethan
Sweet! The arrow keys stop working if y...
ethan
Structure your day for flow states → tha...
ethan
Love the idea of “storing” progress / pr...
kent
I wonder if you might want to exclude th...
internetvin
@joseph, thanks man! Doing the best I ca...
internetvin
@tmm, yeah good idea! It's definitely wo...
internetvin
Thanks man! Just trying to figure all of...
mengoluo
Tangent: I am wondering if, on the strea...
christian
I'd be curious how this might feel if yo...
ethan
Into that rotating word, nice!
lucas
Haha man. This is awesome 🖤
pugson
looking good!!
christian
I really like this idea of seasons. Fits...
lucas
@pugson good idea as always!
ethan
so good! wonder if this being a safe and...
ethan
That’s smooth too. Cool how all these li...
ethan
@lucas Thank you for all the energy you ...
internetvin
@ethan, yeah that's a really good point....
ethan
Digging the 1st sentence of 2nd paragrap...
ethan
Digging that Plantkind no longer has the...
internetvin
@ethan ↓ is what I thought could work I ...
ethan
so good! really nice to go thru the shad...
internetvin
Lol
internetvin
Nice. I think our session there was sync...
tmm
Feel better! Feeling fine here.
internetvin
I'll share more on this soon in some for...
tania
💛
internetvin
This is super neat! Immediate thought is...
internetvin
I shared this link with a few of you dir...
trixthekid
If this was a homepage for every individ...
lucas
Listened to it on repeat for my last dee...
wishloff
<3
internetvin
@marco, yeah it's probably the move for ...
tmm
Improving onboarding seems like a worthw...
tmm
"pay more attention to the sky" lol
ethan
"set of tools" that feels good 🧰
lucas
I wanted to make the app hybrid. So it w...
internetvin
@ethan yeah for sure that sounds great!
internetvin
<3
internetvin
@ethan All very interesting. It's cool h...
lucas
❤️
wishloff
💕
internetvin
Nice, thank you!
ethan
Almost could imagine the time as a littl...
ethan
This is looking so good. Been fun to see...
pugson
iconic
internetvin
This is developing in an interesting dir...
ethan
tania
🙏🏽🙏🏽 happy to be part of FL's growth...
ethan
So smooth, had to leave this comment jus...
internetvin
!! pretty understated entry here lol
internetvin
Let's see how things connect as I contin...
ethan
oh, this is very fun sketch to see, than...
internetvin
Yeah it might be an interesting thing to...
markfzhuk
this is cool, it brought me back
abu
FL is an operating system for your life....
internetvin
Just trying it again :)
internetvin
Great to see this coming together and we...
ethan
Also, this solves some of my confusion a...
tmm
Props
tmm
When I first saw this I thought of strea...
ethan
Huge week at Futureland HQ :)
ethan
Guess the question is how editorial vers...
lucas
justin
I'm running iOS 14 on a 6S Plus. Would l...
tarun
Big update. Nice work @lucas @internetvi...
internetvin
nice!
ethan
aw ✨ understanding happening quicker for...
justin
Like this! Agree with Ethan that there c...
justin
Changelogs/"State of" as a quick soundbi...
pugson
can't wait to see it
abu
oooh i like this
justin
Having a new verb besides the common one...
ozzdesigns
"Notes to self". Love this idea.
ivavay
so awesome! i love it
lucas
Shipped it. Unfortunately does not work ...
internetvin
!!!
ethan
Love this, great thinking!
alxndr
Love this man! Definitely will be rootin...
internetvin
ah man! That's so great and it's a lot o...
tmm
I like it! The sections are nice. Can't ...
justin
🦋
justin
🔳
tarun
This is dope
internetvin
Definitely will include!
tmm
Love the "move" feature. Used it yesterd...
pugson
cool
justin
Yessss ! I did that a few times accident...
tania
@lucas ty for doing this!! ✨
pugson
dope!
gndclouds
🙌🏻
tania
I like that sticky side bar!!
internetvin
Looking smooth!
internetvin
Will be cool when we can associate outpu...
stevet
oops - i just remembered FL calls them "...
lucas
Cool that you noticed. Obsessed over thi...
internetvin
Nice!
tmm
ditto! big thanks to kevin from apple to...
tania
The mobile nav is feeling really intuiti...
internetvin
!!!
internetvin
Feels really nice!
internetvin
yeah definitely feels a lot better! That...
internetvin
@abuqadar yeah I totally agree with this...
justin
@Internetvin cool~ @lucas Yeah, Maybe a...
lucas
Looks like I am an early bird except on ...
tmm
+1
internetvin
!!
internetvin
I’ll start working on this again today.
tmm
I haven't really used folders to organiz...
internetvin
yeah!
lucas
Currently I am using Chart.js which is c...
internetvin
lucas
Love this ❤️
alxndr
Would be sick if you add this functional...
internetvin
Nice!
lucas
🙌
justin
whoo ! won't miss a comment reply now
internetvin
!!!
lucas
Just pushed another bugfix for the activ...
internetvin
Nice streaks on writing and FL
internetvin
very cool.
internetvin
😍
stevet
I want this! I sometimes need a gentle...
internetvin
Nice!
lucas
Sounds like a cool idea. Will look into ...
internetvin
Obviously love keyboard shortcuts. As so...
internetvin
hey @justin, thanks for everything you'v...
internetvin
or start playing with it right now and s...
jchangsta
haha omg that is me
tmm
+1 on following- want to get updates abo...
pugson
this is a really cool idea i haven't see...
jchangsta
whoa i was just thinking about this toda...
tarun
!!!!
internetvin
✨🖤
internetvin
For anyone who was experiencing an ‘unex...
internetvin
Super cool. I can't believe I ever made ...
tmm
So cool
lucas
I created a new project on my profile to...
internetvin
This is great. Until we have a few more ...
internetvin
pugson
👌
stevet
I didnt even realize I could use markdow...
aud__
"dreaded" lol
internetvin
Nice
bierlingm
Yay!
internetvin
In this case, I would adjust the primary...
tmm
Neat, thanks!
internetvin
Not sure about the name or the exact bes...
gndclouds
Reefs are incredibly dynamic systems. It...
internetvin
@lucas yes, but perhaps it needs to incl...
internetvin
Yes a mobile app (eventually) but for no...
internetvin
Super interested in hearing perspectives...
josephazar
héhé :D
internetvin
🖤
internetvin
This is so great
josephazar
Great !
tania
Love this idea! Good way to express deve...
marco
marathons feels like it makes sense cons...
lucas
I would always show the whole text for n...
lucas
Lets integrate this! They deserve it.
internetvin
Will be making a vid about this tonight ...
marco
sheeeeeesh
pasquale
vibe check: damn, i'm feeling this
internetvin
wow
shawnhosea
What app is this? Is this done on an Ipa...
internetvin
This is incredible man. I love this mome...
internetvin
lol.. between faces
internetvin
really cool seeing this come together
internetvin
I haven't seen software presented like t...
internetvin
I really like how you keep zooming in an...
internetvin
@marvindraws a big realization for me. I...
internetvin
It's also cool how the bookmark shows up...
internetvin
@marvindraws yeah so happy with where th...
internetvin
😱
internetvin
This is really cool. Immediately makes y...
internetvin
yeah digging this direction a bunch
internetvin
Totally agree. We're excited to see how ...
lucas
thank you for your feedback. we are actu...
internetvin
@Lucas, at the top of Journals likely.
karlkai
good times
Updated: stuff to do
'Webs'
A very quick vid about Daily (lol)
Break through in explaining FL (maybe)
Vin deleted Twitter
Sustainability
@marvindraws starts working on Futurelan...
Early days of Vin and Lucas meeting each...
@lucas got to Toronto 7 days ago
1

Implemented @pugson's sketch for the new journal screen. Really like how he improved the whole experience and made it easier to understand what it means to create a 'collective' journal.

Thank you @pugson.

3

Pushed the archiving functionality straight to production. Journals can be archived from the journal settings. All users get a new URL ending with /archive where all their archived journals are accessible. Archived journals are hidden from the 'Journal' section in the user profile and will not appear in the journal search and daily.

Had a good conversation with @lucas tonight. Broadly there’s a lot of interesting things in the works but this call was exciting on a more ‘specific’ level. There’s a few things that come up often that we might be able to address very soon! Maybe templated entries, maybe archiving journals, etc.

Also hope everyone’s noticing a ‘faster’ Futureland experience right now. Thanks @lucas lol

:)

3

Crazy to see where Futureland was at this time last year. There were no journals or anything. It would be another week~ until we would 'invent' a very basic version of this whole timeline and journals thing in a house in Toronto. lol

1

The Render support team came through and fixed the problem we were experiencing since Saturday. Our API monitoring was able to validate their statement over the last couple hours.

This problem is now resolved. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone for being patient and understanding.

2

The Render.com team got back to me:

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your update.
We can reproduce this issue.
We will keep troubleshooting this issue tomorrow.

1

Still no luck getting help from the render.com support. Deployed a temporary solution that makes Futureland on the web slightly slower but more reliable. Some issues in the iOS app may consist. Will keep everyone updated.

1

As some users have already noticed, we have some technical issues with our upstream provider causing random 503 errors. I have investigated the issue and am in contact with the support team. I hope we can fix this issue as soon as possible. This is the highest priority right now. I will keep everyone updated.

2

Done. This took way longer than I thought because I lost the internet connection twice. But everything is up and running again now.

1

Prepared everything for the migration to render.com today and created a little checklist to help me along the way. All Backups are created and the scripts wait for execution. This should all go well. Listening to "Troupeau bleu" by Cortex right now.

Will turn Futureland into a read-only mode now. During this time it is not possible to publish a new entry or comment.

We should be fully operational in the next 5 minutes again.

Will publish the next entry when this is done.

LOLLLLL.

Took all day to make this because of weird tech issues of different varieties. This is the raw file that I'll edit when I can.

1

Still working on the new journal view. Trying to figure out how to provide scrolling up functionality without weird glitches on every browser. Seems impossible right now. Will keep working on it.

2

quick FL intro draft… can build on this over time but want to get proto version completed. Prob need to use one of my actual mics (recorded on iPhone) but just rolling w it for now.

Quick audio recording when users join FL. This can improve over time. Obviously would suggest for users to review 'Docs' but don't have that section yet. I think it will be done very soon though.

Other notes; are we can cut out video when we need to communicate FL conceptually and add video back in when we need to communicate specifically.

1

Need to write this somewhere before I forget. I'll expand later.

Priorities:

1
- Onboarding
- Intuitive interfaces and performance
- Mobile ('Daily')

2
- Comments
- Webs

Spent some hours on improving the timeline journal integration. All in all it seems to work really smoothly already but I still have some problems with transitions on Safari. Might have to leave them out for now. The page already loads significantly faster and needs less resources. Also looks like the solution is scalable for now. Can't wait to polish this more and push it to production.

Additionally I fixed some smaller bugs and CSS glitches and pushed them to production.

Spent the better part of the day reintegrating the timeline into the improved journals. The timeline works a little bit different now but is way more performant to use. Clicking on bookmarks, comments or the timeline itself still work like before.

so above the fold now looks like…

futureland logo

a place for collective creative experimentation

| add a journal | explore |

the alliteration is a bit hardcore right now. like the sentence doesn't feel smooth. but it's sentimentally correct for me. so going to let that bounce around in my head while I work out the rest of the page.

13

futureland is a place to create identity through creation and repetition

futureland is a place for creative people to do, track and measure more of what matters

futureland is a place for creative people to do and track experiments on a daily basis

futureland is a place for creative people to do anything everyday

futureland is a place build around the creative process

/futureland is a place for collective creative experimentation/

the point of this sentence is just to get people to want to learn more basically.
I do feel like a place for collective creative experimentation is a more compelling and more accurate description than "a new kind of journal" but have a feeling @internetvin won't like the idea lol. he's a really smart dude and often sees things that I don't.

3

kk so then we need to explain what you're adding a journal to.

@internetvin has mentioned that FL should feel more like a /place/ wherever possible so let's start there.

if futureland is a place, what kind of place is it?

futureland is a place…
- to create, keep, track, and measure more of what matters to you
- for creative people to…

helps to answer what it is, and who it is for.,

what - futureland is a place (a community, an online journal, it's a thing you visit, but also a place you exist)

what - futureland is a collection of tools
what - futureland is a new kind of journal

the issue that I have with /journal is that it relates too directly to an existing symbol and it sets up FL in opposition to "old" journals. As a human my question is why do I need a new kind of journal? The value of journaling with FL isn't inherent in the word journal itself.

who - artists* and creative people* or people who create*

there's also an element of ambition in FL, we start journals because we want to mindfully record, or track, or learn, or create a thing on an ongoing basis and see what happens. because we want to watch ourselves evolve.

we want to create and be things that don't exist yet. not in the sense that they don't exist tangibly (although this is also true) but in that we don't know what will exist if we keep doing the things that we're doing. in a way it's also a place for experiments. which has always felt like the vibe. many of us are people who are /trying/ to do something and /seeing/ what happens.

FL is unique in that it's the place that we both try and see or show what happens.

so is FL a place for running, measuring, and tracking creative experiments?

there's also an element of organization and motivation. daily, for example, empowers you to do the things that you want to be doing more often. it's an easy way to commit to an experiment. the thesis is that every day is the right cadence to run many or most experiments.

that to /be/ something (an identity statement) you simply have to do that thing everyday.

you are what you do. so do more of what you want to be.

* I also understand that this doesn't apply to ALL FL users. but it's definitely the most consistent thread amongst them.

in a way, FL is a place for people who want to become who they are by doing what they want every day.

it's a tool for experimental living.

kk so section 1:

CTA should be more clear.

Something like:
- add a journal

Feels low stakes. Sign up process is pretty quick (especially relative to other online tools) and so it's not really dishonest to funnel people to FL under a "add a journal" CTA. Also gives you more insight into what using FL is like.

Why "add" Because it alludes to the collective aspect of FL (you're adding or contributing to the community) but also because it mirrors the language used on the daily sidebar.

when I wake up going to bang through some variations for a structure that looks like this:

1. one liner [what is the website that I'm even on]
2. what FL is [value prop]
3. how it works [in action/videos]
4. join CTA

think we can maybe consolidate CTAs for joining and downloading ios app? giving you two ways to get started?

also need something aspirational for here.

structurally wonder if this is the right place for this but I guess depends on where we land for what this is. if any CTA is attempting to /convert// then it's this one. interesting to have something to loo at and to be thinking about the language. what would be the tipping point before hitting /join/?

or, in other words, what is the thing that people will happen /after/ they click the button.

Really like the value prop part here. Going to work on what the points should be here. This is definitely a case where having a design makes it way easier to know what to do.

CTA here is mobile based. So wonder if value prop should be mobile focused? or if value prop could be moved to another section maybe?

I think with FL it's more about finding the people who are already vibrating on a certain frequency vs 'converting' and so how CTAs are constructed and presented should be a reflection of that. 'conversion' isn't the right word here. which is why I think the value prop or /benefits/ of FL maybe belong somewhere else because the value of FL and the value of downloading FL to your phone are two different things (imo at least).

Phone might be things like adding posts and media from anywhere, faster tracking (for journals like water) wherever you are etc.

Second CTA area. This is the least traditional one. Wonder if having these just playing might be a more elegant solution. Or if they need more context? If I'm somebody arriving here for the first time I don't know who any of these people are so how do I choose which to click on? Are they all different videos? Do I have to watch all of them etc.

Maybe giving less choice here and not even making this a CTA might be more helpful. Feel like this would be the least acted on/most ignored part of the landing page just because it's not super clear what to do.

Maybe we can say something like see how tania uses futureland for… etc.

thinking about language on the FL landing page. for now just going to be thinking mostly about function.

the page is divided into 3 parts. for now I just want to make it clear what those 3 parts are and why.

right now it's divided basically into 3 CTAs:
1. join/explore
2. see how people use it
3. download ios app

this first CTA is pretty clear obviously. but want to try augment the top sentence because it's not clear what "join" means in this context.

two options: augment top sentence so you know what you're "joining" or change /join/ to something that makes more sense with the top sentence.

will mess around with both. going to be spamming this feed for the next little bit.

1

Wojtek 'Pugson'

You’ll see @pugson hanging around this journal every now and then. A few days ago he offered (much needed) help with improving the design of Futureland’s interfaces. His time is limited but he will spend time trying to improve various aspects of the tools we use every day when he can. It will be cool to see what happens. He’s already started playing around with our home page! (↓ below)

As I’ve mentioned in various formats, we’re experimenting with different forms of collaboration because it’s starting to become clear we likely can’t meet user demands over time just @lucas and I.

Also I gotta share and I’ve said this before but @pugson is one of the nicest dudes I’ve come across on the internet. He’s just always supporting everyone and he’s helped me out immensely over the past few years through a lot of ups and downs. Since I started making music and then trying to teach myself how to code and everything else, he’s been helping at every step and always made time for me. Thinking back it’s very surreal. Yeah my appreciation of him is endless.

Outside of what he shares on FL, you can check out his work here: https://wojtek.im

1

I am starting to make a plan on how we can make the planned database migration as smooth as possible.
I ran some tests and the migration itself will take less than 2 minutes.
Propagating the DNS for the new server instance is normally done really quickly and should take almost no time.
I anticipate that the whole process will be done in 5 minutes.

During this 5 minute period Futureland will be in a read-only state which means all of the journals and entries will still be publicly available, but writing operations like publishing entries and creating new comments will not work and result in errors.

The goal is to effect our users as little as possible, so I looked up in which hours and on which weekdays our users create the least amount of entries. The result is Saturday from 8 am till 9 am UTC. This gives me the perfect opportunity to migrate the database next Saturday between 3 pm and 4 pm in my current timezone.

2

Exploring a more balanced landing page for people who have not joined Futureland yet based on Vin's current design.

1

As more and more users rely on Futureland as a daily tool to repeat things and publish new entries every single day, I will work on making the platform more stable and reliable over the next week.

I started today by setting up an additional database backup that stores daily dumps of all data on an external S3.

Adjusted to "Resources for experimenting with Futureland". The interesting thing about the 'conceptual' components of Futureland is that a lot of it has stayed consistent over time. What I mean is that most of the questions we have as users have stayed the same. Our answers evolve and become more multi-dimensional over time but the questions seem to be staying consistent. It's interesting because it means that there's a frame work of questions we can contribute to in higher fidelity ways over time. 'What is a journal?' for example could start as a video explaining the core interface and over time evolve into a documentary or something. Same with something like, "How do you learn using Futureland?". I think this will make more sense over time.

Going to package this up and send it to @lucas. Just wanted to tighten it up a bit and quickly. I think we might launch to HN before New Years. The last time I shared Futureland on HN was a few years go when it was just this really crappy thing that I did my best to put together on my own. Still people saw potential in it and supported. They used such a terrible toolset (the first thing I ever coded) and have observed this thing develop very slowly. It's super crazy to me to think about lol

I have to say it. The title here oscillates between different observed functions. Obviously you can use these journals for more than learning skills and we are still learning what this journal format even is.

Beginning a very quick sketch of our home page on mobile. I don't want to spend more than like 20mins on this. Or I can't rather.

Updating this list of stuff to do.

- Finish the new home page and create all of the video assets for it
- Officially adjust Futureland+
- Make necessary improvements to the form a visitor sees when they click 'Join'
- Source content and finish the Examples page
- Add a link to 'Examples' into the bottom right menu, this should be highlighted in some way for new users
- add new audio clips when new people join FL or purchase Futureland+ and perhaps in other areas
- Complete redesign of new profiles and push to production
- Make a video that explains the functional components of Futureland (at least just Journals), things like the timeline, an entry, comments and bookmarks
– kind of did some of this but can do a lot more.
- Design a simple video library to house our 'video documentation', this can be mediocre at first and improve over time
- Add a link to the video library in the bottom right menu, this should also be highlighted in some way for new users
- Make a video that explains how to use Daily and the Journal as a unified system, put it in the video library. I might have to revisit this video after we sprint on Daily because I think there will be a lot of improvements.

1

Spent most part of my day figuring out why Futureland got so slow over the past few weeks. Analysed the DB with the help of @chris to find some slow queries and create new indices where they were missing.

Put the Futureland server stack on render.com as a test to see if it makes sense to move there. We are currently hosting our database and API-server on Heroku.

It looks like there are multiple reasons why the server got so slow. I am now able to pinpoint a lot of them and will run some more tests before I push the fixes to production.

Put more work into the new journal view today. Saving up a lot of memory now, because only the entries that the user actually wants to see are loaded into the DOM. Have to see if this is the final solution, but makes a good first impression. Will combine this with smarter API calls that will only load a small number of entries at a time.

Fixed some more bugs that surfaced since we introduced the loading screens for user and journal pages.

Reflecting a bunch. Me in Jan 2020. I think this is the first photo @lucas ever took of me. I thank the universe every day that he joined this little Futureland experiment. I am sure I would not have lasted another year on my own lol

What a great dude

Started to work on a new journal view today. Need to rebuild all the internals to make it more performant across devices. Especially for journals with a high number of entries. Still in the experimentation phase of my process.

Using the structure that exists on the current landing page, the most simplified articulation is that

futureland is a journal for making things better
futureland is a journal for making better things
futureland is a journal for making better
futureland is a journal for better making

/this kind of word exercise is always helpful for me from a semantic angle because we project meaning only words (because they're symbols) for example /better making/ could mean 1. making things in a better way 2. making things (the world) better

/better also allows you to project your own meaning onto that. is better more consistency? with a higher degree of quality? the answer is different depending on who you are.

it's something that's frustrating in a 1:1 communication context that's actually helpful in a 1:many context.

Added the "Ways to use Futureland" section to our homepage with all the amazing videos of our users. Thanks for everyone who is contributing.

Additionally unmuted the videos in the fullscreen entry view.

Added a new loading screen that shows when navigating to a users profile. Additionally I optimised the loading of user data while visiting a journal and other pages. This will result in slightly faster load times for journals and streams.

1

Fixed a critical bug that prevented open journals from being loaded correctly if a user is not signed in.

1

Added a new loading screen that shows when navigating to a journal. This is a temporary solution to make the navigation to journals with a lot of entries feel faster. Will have to do a lot of work behind the scenes to improve the journal view in the future. Can't wait to start working on this.

I think we only have 5 vids right now… so I'll just sketch things out based on that. I think we can make create some more later. I want to remake mine. Still not sure how I feel about that whole "How we use Futureland" thing

Maybe the grid of videos at the bottom are like this. They don't need to auto play or anything per se. Can just highlight on hover and then you can click it and it pops up or something to keep this page quick. Pop up part is kind of lame though.

We are very aware of some performance issues that are coming up on FL. I’m a super active user so I’m probably experiencing it the most. We are investigating and will iteratively sort it out.

At first our work on Futureland was really about defining/inventing the right surfaces for our kind of use cases. Now we know a little bit more about which surfaces make sense and why so we need to figure out how to make certain elements more performant. @lucas and I have been chatting about it daily and we’ll keep you updated. Keeping tools fast will be a forever on-going discussion.

1

Starting to refine this home page concept based on a bunch of notes @ethan sent me and interpreting them in my own way. We're lucky to be getting input from really smart people.

1

Slack's also always had interesting onboarding/product explanations. Here's a landing page with that famous sandwich explainer video that explains the product in context.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150514162713/https://slack.com/

Obviously Slack is a way more linear tool and the video feels sort of lame now but interesting to remember there was a time when slack was novel and wasn't obvious to explain.

@internetvin was doing some exploration with video (of a very different kind) that might be an interesting way forward.

Here's another slack example that is pretty similar to the existing FL landing page. Find it cool that they use the tool within the context of different projects like landing rovers on Mars etc.

Home page improvements for next week. Title will oscillate between sentences that show how people use FL. Changed 'Join' text to 'Create a Journal'.

1

Added a simple indicator that shows how many entries a user already published while still in the free tier of Futureland.

Thought about this in the shower and I think it makes a lot of sense so I'm just quickly jotting it down in Sketch. Our current home page defines Futureland as 'Tools to repeat things and store process', which is exact but hard to understand for most people new to Futureland. This kind clicked for me in that it simplifies the concept and also builds on the best part of the current one (Designed for artists, which oscillates to developers, musicians, filmmakers and so on).

I'll be making a bunch of improvements to the home page but perhaps a better way of describing FL in this context is, 'A new kind of journal for learning skills'. And the 'for learning skills' oscillates to things like 'for making music', 'for making software', 'for making art', 'for making gardens', 'for making films', 'for doing yoga', 'for making bread' and so on. Each one these sentences can link to actual journals that explore that specific thing.

I also want to include those videos of users sharing how they currently use FL. I think we can build on them over time. A big insight for me through that process was that, it probably makes more sense for our most trusted users to explain tools vs. even us.

Thanks for everything!

1

Futureland iOS and design

We're thinking about the potential of getting some help with work that needs to be done on iOS and with the general design of our interfaces. iOS being the priority right now. It seems like the best way to explore that would be to collaborate with some veteran talent on a contractual basis and see what happens. It might be obvious to you, but there's a bunch of reasons why this work needs to get done. If you're interested, I can share more. Making this all happen financially is going to be another part of this puzzle, but we're just rolling with everything one step at a time.

It seems that if users continue to demand and enjoy using the multi-dimensional tools we build around this 'Daily' context, our team will need to expand beyond just @Lucas and I to produce the kinds of experiences our users want to have.

If you know anyone that might be worth talking to please share! <3

Okay so here's basically how I usually do these things, just so you can see where my head is going.

There are a lot of things that are true about any project/company/whatever.

There are statements that are broadly true, and there are statements that are narrowly true.

The game that I'm always playing is "what is the most narrow truth that is also a broad truth?" or, in other words "how specific can you get while still being universal".

For example (these are really bad examples) a broad truth might be:
Futureland is a community where your output creates your identity.

I call this a broad truth because it's true about FL, but it's also true about many things. This statement is basically true about all visual platforms as well: DeviantArt, Instagram, etc.

A narrow truth would be:
FL is a creative community where there are no negative comments.

It's a narrow truth because, well, it doesn't apply to that many things. Maybe Behance is like this? At least from my experience. But YouTube certainly isn't. etc. etc.

The issue with words, of course, is that they're just symbols. And so even these placeholders are probably raising semantic red flags for people.

/

An issue that a lot of companies have when trying to come up with explainations, positioning, taglines, or whatever, is that their narrow truths aren't narrow enough.

In most cases, you'll know that you're narrow enough when superlatives like "the most" or "the only" is /implied/. If somebody hears that statement and automatically associates it with your company/project/whatever.

/

Basically the beginning of the process is to rack up every possible thing that Futureland /is/ and start narrowing it until we land at something that /only/ futureland is.

As an example, the existing landing page says "Tools to help you repeat and store process". Firstly, it's hard to tell what that even means (your statement should be incredibly simple and feel self evident) but also, there are other tools that do those things. Without the implied "best" or "only", that sentence is basically "Undifferentiated tools to help you repeat and store process".

[also I think all inputs are helpful. and so I'm harping on the extisting text because it's much easier to /improve/ something than it is to invent something. by identifying what's wrong, it'll likely guide me towards the right answer much faster]

/

But that also just solves the first part. The question, actually, is broader than just how to describe FL to people. It's a more complicated question: How should people be introduced to FL?

Implied in that question are the extants of "…in a way that makes the tools most useful for them"

1

FL removes the noise between wanting to do something and actually doing it.

It's not really learning by doing (although it sometimes is) it's doing by doing.

It's a place that has respect for creation, and respect process, and respect for people who are trying to do things.

Again, I've never seen a negative comment on FL.

1

Also, thinking about this from first principals, it's interesting that the question we always start at is "what is Futureland". A more interesting question is "who are you?" and "who are you becoming?"

I wonder how we start asking questions in that direction as a way of answering the other thing.

I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I've never seen a negative comment on a FL journal before. Which I actually think is an insane feat to accomplish when you think about it.

There's an understanding here that you're /going to be/ trash. That's the first journal entry. We know that because we've been there. It's not interesting how good you are. It's that you're doing it at all.

In every other aspect of my life (and probably in your life) people, especially those who care about you, want to stop you from doing the wrong thing. And so they often give you advice that steers you away from doing the things that you want to do.

FL feels like the antithesis to that. FL wants you to be who you're going to be. And it's a super safe space to explore that.

2

A conversation @internetvin always reminds me of is one that we had at House 1 back in the day. Futureland, at that point, at least in my mind, hardly existed. And we were talking about what the profiles were going to be like. Or at least that's how I remember it.

That day, we were talking about social media profiles, and how social media, in general, forces you to be one thing to one group of people. You build an audience (it's so weird to me that this is how we think about "social" media) around a single vision of yourself. It forces you to /choose/ who to be. And when you deviate from that choice, the audience is dissapointed, disinterested, or disengaged.

Which is to say that on social media you can't contain multitudes.

@internetvin talked about FL in a way that I still think about it today - a group built on output rather than identity. Or maybe where identity is a result of output. It's a place where actions speak louder than words.

It's a place that focuses not on who you were (your resume) but who you are, and who you're becoming (as evidenced by your output).

This seems like an important thing for onboarding.

2

Pushed a new iOS version 0.1 (28) to TestFlight that should be way more stable than the last two versions.
This version includes an improved activity view that allows to comment on entries right from the app.
The list of journals on the profile view was removed in favour of stability.
I strongly recommend to update as soon as possible.

3

We know that the iOS app has been 'buggy' lately. It's a very experimental app but obviously this is something that really bothers us. Your experience using these tools is ultimately the most important thing in the world to us. @lucas and I have been talking about it at length each night and we'll be working on some changes to make things more 'stable' and 'better', now that we have a little more understanding of how people want to use Futureland and 'Daily'. The integration between Futureland and Apple's technologies is an on-going theme of discussion.

Stability and performance is something I think we will be sharing more notes on in the coming months. More specifically (and I'll write more on this later), it's becoming clear that we really can't mess with anything that affects those who use 'Daily' on Futureland. In that context, any hiccup is a major disruption of flow and that's against all of our core values. Those who use Daily have the deepest integration of our tools into their creative process. So it's something we need to be very respectful of now.

Overall, there's some interesting shifts happening right now and we're just processing and thinking about all of it as the insights comes in. Thank you so much for everything <3

2

I think an interesting element of time stamping these 'How {{ person }} uses Futureland' things is that it also shows the state of the tool that they are using. As Futureland develops over time, there could be a kind of archive of how the tool looked when earliest users were experimenting with it.

It's also cool to just see how a person's overall process develops over time in this sense. Like I'd be curious to see these types of videos from the same people at the end of 2021.

Right now the FL landing page is all steak no sizzle. Yes it /is/ those things. But is that what Futureland /is/?

I'd argue not.

Is Futureland a set of tools to help you repeat things and store process? Sure. I guess. But like I noted, the core /technical/ functionality isn't the same thing as the core /applied/ functionality.

Which is to say that I don't think that this is how most people who use FL would describe what it's for.

What do ya'll use Futureland for?

1

Yeah so to summarize all that…

Futureland is a lot of things to a lot of people. If somebody has no context, how do you /construct/ context in a way that leads them to a complete understanding of how FL could benefit them.

It's interesting to think about all the ways that benefits people once they use FL regularly, and how those aren't necessarily the things that you initially /join/ FL for. Which is to say that, like a journal, the benefits of FL accrue with consistent use and with context.

So what are the things that are essential to understand what FL is in a way that helps people decide whether this tool is or is not for them? It's obviously an issue of stripping away - of removing words until you arrive at a singular truth. Because FL is a lot of things. But it's also /one/ thing.

And while those two truths exist at the same time, they don't exist at the same time for all users.

Weird to hear myself thinking out loud because I do so much thinking with a keyboard. Had some thoughts that I wanted to capture before I had time to sit down.

news.futureland.tv

There's been a bunch of valuable links shared in the journal, working on the black hole. Some of them generated interesting discussions and sometimes people replied with their own links. When @marco shared the first few I immediately had this feeling of 'needing' and 'wanting' more. This could be nothing, but we decided to run a little experiment with this. There's no official name for it yet outside of news.futureland.tv. It's a place to discover and vote on links, journals and entries. This entire concept could be nothing or it could be something - we'll see.

I chatted with @lucas about it last night and he quickly put something very experimental together. There's basic things that don't work yet, like it is not optimized for mobile and stuff but it can accept links and votes right now. Seems like there's interesting things there already.

so yeah, news.futureland.tv <3

1

It's 5:49AM in Toronto and I'm just finishing up this week's newsletter. There's a lot of cool things happening right now, it's interesting to observe! The newsletter will hit your inboxes tomorrow and I just wanted to say thanks for everything. <3

1

Today I worked on some preparations for the weekly summary we want to send out every Sunday. Users will be able to disable this feature in their settings.

Additionally I experimented with the following in our internal version of Futureland:
- Show the inline publishing component on all open journals.
- Add an option to add/remove a journal from daily in the journal menu.
- Add option to download a journal in the journal menu.

1

The Weekly Summary

This Sunday we are launching 'The Weekly Summary'. It's a way for you to stay updated on the journals you shadow, once a week.

Every Sunday at 1PM EST, you'll receive one simple email with an organized list of new entries from all of the journals you shadow.

To add a new journal to 'The Weekly Summary', just shadow it.

We hope 'The Weekly Summary' lets you stay focused on your own experiments and connect with the work of others, whenever it makes sense.

The format and design of these emails will require experimentation and collective input. But conceptually this direction seems to be correct.

<3

This morning I worked on improving the iOS App page. Was able to hook up the App Store Connect API, so users will receive TestFlight invites right after they request them.

Additionally I pushed the new examples page and several bug fixes to production.

3

Marco

Over the past weeks, I have been asking some friends for advice on Futureland and @marco was one of them. The premise of these discussions is that there seems to be very very early signs of some kind of sustainable model forming within this project. Now how do we build from where we are today and towards something that makes it easier to work on planetary problems? I chatted with @marco, talked about potential experiments to move in this direction and he shared his feedback. That was it. So I was surprised to see a string of iMessages from him a few days later, sharing how he was resonating with the vision and open to offering his support at a daily cadence for 3 months with no compensation and no expectations. Just 'to see what happens'. On many dimensions, it's hard to say 'no' to something like that.

@marco is one of my best friends, a producer, director, writer and artist. Ultimately, he is one of my closest creative collaborators. If not the closest. For those that don't know, I spent the last 10 years working in film production. I go to him for advice on pretty much everything in my life.

When @lucas came to Toronto and I met him for the first time, we lived together in a place we called 'House 1'. One night @marco came by to hang and he took us to a place called 'Extra Burger'. It ended up being @lucas' fav joint. That night @marco told us about his plans to leave for Portugal to surf and explore. And that's where he's living right now.

We started storing process in a journal titled, 'marco' yesterday. Initially privately, but now publicly in case it is useful to anyone else. The journal's title and description may change very quickly. The journal might also end up being merged with this one.

Ty for everything <3

Spent some time yesterday to add a link to examples in the navigation and highlight it for new users.
Additionally I made some improvements behind the scenes for the upcoming email to comment feature.

Tried to integrate server-side support for Apple's new HEIC format. The libraries we are using do not support HEIC yet, so this has to wait a little bit. This should not be that important as iOS converts HEIC to JPG on the fly when using our app or any other browser to upload files to Futureland.

I finished up this week's newsletter. We're making some 'steady' and 'incremental' progress. It should hit your inboxes tomorrow.

Updating this list of stuff to do.

- Finish the new home page and create all of the video assets for it
- Officially adjust Futureland+
- Make necessary improvements to the form a visitor sees when they click 'Join'
- Source content and finish the Examples page
- Add a link to 'Examples' into the bottom right menu, this should be highlighted in some way for new users
- add new audio clips when new people join FL or purchase Futureland+ and perhaps in other areas
- Complete redesign of new profiles and push to production
- Make a video that explains the functional components of Futureland (at least just Journals), things like the timeline, an entry, comments and bookmarks
- Design a simple video library to house our 'video documentation', this can be mediocre at first and improve over time
- Add a link to the video library in the bottom right menu, this should also be highlighted in some way for new users
- Make a video that explains how to use Daily and the Journal as a unified system, put it in the video library. I might have to revisit this video after we sprint on Daily because I think there will be a lot of improvements.

9

Journal downloads

One of the things that @lucas has been experimenting with lately is 'Journal Downloads'. The hope is that we can create a quick and easy way for you to download the contents of any of your journals in an elegant structure and whenever you want.

In designing this, there's a question that we need help thinking through:

When you download a journal with multiple contributors (these can be things like community experiments or team projects), should you be receiving only your entries, or all entries or something else?

Maybe the answer here is obvious to you, maybe it is not. But in general we want to move forward in the way that is most respectful to our community.

Please share your perspectives! (ty for everything)

2

Spent this afternoon implementing some kind of "reply email to comment" functionality. This means it will be possible to reply to Futureland comments by replying to the comment notification email.

During development I ran into the following problems:
- How to receive emails from our users in a way Futureland can process them?
- How do we parse emails in a way where only the actual comment of the user gets posted and not the whole email?
- How do we know which email reply refers to which Futureland entry?

@rambii was significantly helping to answer those questions. Thank you.

The feature is not ready for public use yet, but @internetvin and I will be able to test it over the weekend.

↓ Yeah, we just launched futureland.tv/examples, and we'll continue adding to it on every dimension each day. If there's any journal that you think should be highlighted, please just let us know! There's many more that needed to be added still. <3

Oh yeah the other thing is that the way you click into these examples is through the new home page (also a major work in process), which you can only see if ya aren't logged in!

We might experiment with adding a little 'Examples' link in the bottom right menu that disappears after you click it one. Maybe it's a cool thing for new users, maybe it isn't.

Switching to user names instead of first and last. Wondering how this feels if I take out the 'fills' and then add them back in on hover. I'll keep it this way 'for now'.

Adjusted layout for the Examples page. Stripped out the profile pictures to see how it feels. Definitely feels cleaner. I'll build this out a bit more to see how it feels and then source out the information. I wanted to include profile pictures but I'm not sure how to best include that yet. Maybe it's kind of cool without them.

Video assets are not working the way I want them to right now so trying a simplified approach for now. Perhaps as we continue to develop this, the text in the second vertical section can sequentially highlight changing the visual as that happens while also giving the user the ability to click and trigger the transition themselves. I'll talk to @lucas about it but this might be the move for now and I'm going to move on to other elements.

Increasing the vertical spacing of everything here and integrating another visual for the section, 'Store process with your friends or by yourself". I'm not feeling the visuals here right now but just rolling with it until I figure out how to do this in a way that is more satisfying.

Worked on a bunch of different stuff this morning:

- Fixed a bug that would prevent audio covers from getting uploaded correctly.
- Fixed a bug that would create some weird flashing effects on journal pages on initial load.
- Fixed a bug that would break entry URLs
- Reimplemented the emoji picker to add some transition, close the picker when clicking outside of it and change the orientation dependent on the picker position in the window.

I am still trying to improve the publishing view. Making some tiny improvements here and there. Fixed a bug that @gorum reported and fixed some spacing that seemed just wrong. Slowly getting better every day.

1

You’ll notice new modes of publishing today as you’re using Futureland. And it’s really exciting. I think it represents a much stronger conceptual understanding of this project. I’ll share more soon but for now know that

- there’s a new ‘quick entry’ component that you might trigger. It’s faster and less interruptive than the previous mode of publishing.
- and perhaps more importantly you can now type and add media directly on the surface of your journals. There’s so many reasons this is a great thing. :)

2

Way happier with the spacing now. Especially the image without padding to the component feels way better. Not there yet.

2

Had the idea that a user would be able to publish to Futureland without touching the mouse. This will be possible with the new publishing component.

The composer can be triggered by pressing N. After it is shows a user can press CMD + J to open the journal picker. Journals can then be searched through by typing and using the arrow keys. After pressing enter the new journal is selected and the input field gets highlighted again. Publishing can then be done by pressing CMD + ENTER.

I'm learning a ton while working on this project about myself about life, design, entrepreneurship, relationships, community, and so many other subjects (lol). What a crazy thing so far lol

I wonder if I can just crop this like this for this component since showing the whole journal here is not an option. So the video is a tight cut in on the timeline. I know ya mentioned this @ethan. Looks kind of cool with a bit of the safari window exposed.

1

I have to keep working on it to improve the spacing of the component but I am already pretty happy with the functionality.

2

The new global publish component includes a new journal picker I built this morning. It allows to quickly search through your journals and shows their current streak status.

Spent the morning hours to work an a global publish component that quickly can be summoned by pressing the letter n on the keyboard.

5

FL Guided - introverts (perhaps)

One of the challenges I have been having in navigating FL Guided is that I am personally not a user of 'workshops' or most forms of live learning. I prefer to study books and documentation. To meditate on the things I read and then run my own experiments 'to see what happens'. I learn by observing the results of my own experimentation and the experimentation of others. Not by listening to what someone says, but by observing what they do. These experimental values are at the root of what Futureland is. It is designed for people who value experimentation and celebrate it.

FL Guided needs to retain space for experimentation and deep thinking. It should not be about showing someone how to do something, but rather about taking a moment to enter a new state of collaborative deep thinking. FL Guided is something you should be able to control the pace of and control the ways in which way it goes deeper, or doesn't.

Perhaps instead of 'workshop', FL Guided is a month long multimedia discussion, which includes text audio and video. This could happen entirely through email or it could happen within a journal. Perhaps each day there is rich video audio or text shared that unpacks insights from extended experimentation in repeating things and storing process across various functional purposes. Process and discussion can be shared and developed using the journal for the entire month, 'to see what happens'.

Implemented the new homepage component @internetvin sent to me this morning.
Then I worked on some behind the scenes Futureland+ stuff.

I had the idea to offer our users a complete download of their journals so they would be able to access all the files they uploaded to a journal comfortably. This would happen through the download of a ZIP file. I wrote a small script to test how it feels.

Building this out vertically. The home page will be something I continually play with. Replace assets, change spacing and sentences as I learn more about how to design and about what Futureland is or is not. I wish we had better visuals to play with here but I think that's something we will figure out over time.

Quick little video for the new home page. These are all of the journals I publish to each day. I continually play with the order of them to see which order triggers more flow. I slowly have been designing my environment for the purpose of moving through these dailies as well. Where things are positioned in my house and how I move through the space is informed by my Daily. Where water is placed and stored, where my phone is charged. There's a lot of improvements that can be made from an environmental perspective but it's the next 'frontier' (lol) of this kind of experimentation. I want an isolated physical space where I can continue to alter the design of it based on how I am moving through Daily.

Adjusting the order and position of elements on this home page. The wide window here is not my ideal because of its width, it could perhaps be more narrow to balance things more visually but at the same time I think perhaps it looks more interesting this way. Each day I'm stripping down my work into packages and then sending them off to @lucas so he can implement and push to production (even if it is still in development).

2

Weekly newsletter is out! Something I forgot to mention was that last week was our best week ever in terms of new entries on Futureland. Thank you so much for everything <3

1

Added error handling to the inline publishing component. Entries and their metadata get saved locally so users can easily retry the uploads after internet connectivity issues occur.

Setting the Journals to black, setting the other spaces (user info and navigation) to grey. This seems like it feels better. I still don't like this text. Gonna ask some friends for ideas!

1

Futureland Unguided/Guided

I've been talking to friends and thinking about this. What it could be developing into is: when a new user signs up for Futureland perhaps they are presented with two ways of exploring the tools, unguided and guided. In unguided we show users examples and suggest things to play with through highlighting Futureland's interfaces in specific ways. In guided (which costs money), a user gets a direct connection with our team for 1 month during which we have daily discussions, form an understanding of their process, share insights, reflect on usage together and advise on how to integrate our tools in ways that are specific to their process.

The hope is that something like Futureland Guided helps users get into flow states faster and helps us understand our users more + make some cash.

1

Not feeling it yet but what if Journals that are expanded to take up larger space on the profile have increased text size.

on a TIGHT timeline tonight :)

Just making slight adjustments to these profile information components and the little navigation component. Something I was thinking about was what if like we let users drag and resize their journals, their profile pic, the information and navigation any way they would like on a screen (while adhering to our grid system)?

6

Program 01

An idea that has been bouncing around is constructing some kind of experimental work shop or program designed specifically for artists. I have no idea how to handle something like this or if there would be any interest from you.

I'll share a few notes and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

This thing:

- would be an accelerated way to (1) increase your ability to repeat things and (2) redesign your daily life for continual flow states. Futureland helps with both of those things already but whatever this program is would be much more comprehensive in its approach.

- could include a direct and daily connection with our team for 1 month as we study your process, make recommendations and work through problem sets together

- could include group sessions where everyone discusses and shares process (not sure how I feel about this but probably worth running an experiment)

- could be experienced through a new piece of software that we incrementally create

- could deliver a lot of its media through audio so that you can move around and see your own environment as you are listening to insights and discussions

- and on…

Just experimenting with in-line entries right now on a developer version of Futureland. This is such a huge improvement in the experience and the conceptual thinking around this wow.

2

One of the challenges with this home page is that the Journal requires a larger visual to really communicate what it is and can do. In other words it requires larger dimensions to communicate meaning. I'm playing with the positioning here to allow for a larger wide screen display of the Journal. perhaps it can be pushed up vertically a bit. In general, for Futureland I find myself resonating when things feel 'unexpected yet balanced'.

Had another productive work session. Tried to improve the transitions and animations when users create new entries through the new inline push component.

2

Made the upload process a little bit more minimalistic. An upload now looks exactly like an entry except that instead of the date it displays the upload progression.

1

Creating the video assets for this page has been a good little learning lesson… (lol). Always design stuff while actually using something that resembles the video assets as closely as possible. The problem set here is that for the kind of Interface selection I want to display at the top, a box of 360px just never feels sufficient on a larger screen. I think Futureland's journal interface is really hard to articulate in small dimensions like this. There's a lot of elements so I'm going to have to create another variant of this home page that supports larger media dimensions and then scales down. But to show the journal in a meaningful way I think we need to use larger dimensions.

Making some progress with the dimension and quality of these videos, but the video is still not clear enough. Not sure what to do yet.

Had some time to keep working on inline publishing component today. I wanted to focus on the upload process today. This video shows that users will be able to navigate freely through Futureland once they hit the "Publish" button. The entry will automatically get uploaded in the background. I will make this more clear later and display the global upload progress somewhere on the screen, maybe as a hint.
This also unlocks the ability to publish entries while other entries are still uploading.
Additionally the video shows an effect I played around with. The entries will start blurred and get clearer as more of the file gets uploaded. Thought this looks kind of cool. Maybe I exaggerated a little. Not happy how the percentage gets displayed right now. Just threw it in there without care.

There is still a lot of stuff to do. I think I will work on error handling and a global upload progress component next. Will refine the design at the end.

1

- Added new shortcuts to show/hide bookmarks/comments on the journal.
- Added a globally displayed shortcut to show/hide the search.

I was supposed to stop awhile ago, but I can't stop moving stuff around in this little sketch file ah man lol, I'm gonna try and wrap now :)

Just trying stuff, I don't like how much vertical space this is taking up in the top part of the interface, I'll try something where I'll try to tuck everything in super tight.

Still very experimental, but imagining a world where you can resize the Journals on your profiles. Perhaps this makes a lot of sense if people are using their profiles as tools. It's kind of the like home screen on an iPhone. I'm starting to understand what @ethan and @christian were saying now. The thing I'm still torn on is, I do not personally use my profile to navigate to any journal. But perhaps if I could arrange them in a specific way I would care more about their groupings. Giving certain Journals a lot of real estate on my profile and other journals for smaller experiments get less real estate on the screen. From an identity projection perspective, it gives the user a way to highlight something specific or demonstrate what their current focus is. I always worry about the unexpected effects of any experiment related to projection. I'm hoping we can keep this place authentic and I think that means keeping the focus on storing process and not much else.

11

Very experimental and perhaps over kill for now but I'm not sure yet. Longer descriptions could take up two vertical slots to show the full description and keep the interface more dynamic. Just sketching. With something like this, perhaps the total number of entries needs to be displayed differently, like at the top of one of these journal units so you never have to scroll down to get that info.

Just getting a bit more experimental with this stuff. If you have been following my interface design work lately, you know that I have been trying to understand grid systems and spacing more. I am essentially thinking about various mathematical patterns in visual things. One of the things I am curious about right now is if we can exaggerate certain aspects of the interface, giving it a surreal feeling, while still making everything follow design principles and feel elegant through exact and consistent mathematical spacing.

Perhaps description based info can go on the triangle on the top right and some interesting 'process stats' based info can go on the top left in an interesting visual format that changes in real time.

Just making my way through this set of things to do. Opening up this file on profiles again :) It'll be interesting to review this with a slightly heightened understanding of grids and systems

Tweaked the sign-up view again. Really like what @internetvin did here. Feels really good. I added a soft blur and made the background video a little darker to improve readability.

Adjusting the vertical spacing and positioning of elements here. I like the effect created by putting the logo on the top left and the credit on the borrow right. I wonder how it might look on smaller vertical dimensions so that's something we'll need to play with. :)

Making some adjustments to this interface to create a new identity on Futureland. This will be part of the new home page and the background will oscillate between video entries made on Futureland. The entries will be linked to at the bottom of the interface, if you click the link it will take you to the entry in a new tab. It probably makes sense to center this content vertically. Once I'm done that, I'll probably package this for @lucas and move on to the next thing.

Changed this text from "Store your process in public or private" to "Store your process in public or private over multiple years". On a conceptual level it always seemed interesting to have a place where you could store the process of any kind of project or experiment over multiple years. I thought perhaps if I saw something like that it would be really inspiring. To see something I really love developing in real time but then to also be able to jump back to the process 5 years ago and see how it all started and why. Seeing this happen on our Futureland journal is a bit surreal. Over time I have become someone who loves projects that exist on long time scales the most. I just find it really fascinating to see how things develop over time, it's just so cool to see how much a person or thing can blossom.

Just adding the price into this simple upgrade page. Some feedback I got was that some people prefer to pay yearly so they don't have to worry about a recurring monthly fee. That's something we can work out. Another thing that has come up a few times is users offering to pay more than $5 / month. This is super neat, I'm thinking that it makes sense to just stick to $5 and perhaps we increase the price over time only for new users as the value and quality of the tool expands over time.

We've already had a few people ask us how they can start paying for Futureland+ under the new price of $5 / month, which is pretty neat! :)

I'm starting to design a very quick little page that allows anyone to easily upgrade / support this project by purchasing Futureland+. Once you upgrade you will have access to unlimited public and private use of this tool. An aside, I use Futureland a lot in public but even more in private.

This week's newsletter (weird name for it) is out!

An idea that was suggested to me by @pugson was perhaps including a way to consume the email in an audio format. In a lot of ways, the first part of the email "Updates from the week" are my real time thoughts while reflecting on the previous week. It's when I take a moment to think about where we are at and what that may or may not mean. This type of reflection might be richer in fidelity through audio so I'll try and include something like that in the next one. I wonder what'll happen.

2

Started to work again on an inline publishing component so users can browse through the journal they are publishing to.
Will strip away colors and simplify later.

Experimenting with an adjusted layout for the Examples page that matches the spacing and grid system of the new home page we are working on. I'm hoping for a very clean transition between these two pages. I have a lot to learn but it's cool to have that aspiration and then see what works and what doesn't work through trial and error. I'm lucky @lucas is patient with me lol :)

Spending a bit of time applying the same spacing and grid system that we are using on this new home page concept to 'Examples'.

2

Implemented the new homepage so @internetvin can start playing around with it. Additionally created the new examples page to see how it feels and test some interactions. Not done yet.

2

Just synthesizing some stuff here before I wrap for the day on FL. I'm trying to make it through this onboarding sprint, which has been going for a bit. Once I'm through a bunch of things I'll be able to revisit Daily on mobile which I'm pretty stoked about! :)

Before I can do that there's some stuff we need to do:

- Finish the new home page and create all of the video assets for it
- Officially adjust Futureland+
- Make necessary improvements to the form a visitor sees when they click 'Join'
- Source content and finish the Examples page
- Add a link to 'Examples' into the bottom right menu, this should be highlighted in some way for new users
- Complete redesign of new profiles and push to production
- Make a video that explains the functional components of Futureland (at least just Journals), things like the timeline, an entry, comments and bookmarks
- Design a simple video library to house our 'video documentation', this can be mediocre at first and improve over time
- Add a link to the video library in the bottom right menu, this should also be highlighted in some way for new users
- Make a video that explains how to use Daily and the Journal as a unified system, put it in the video library. I might have to revisit this video after we sprint on Daily because I think there will be a lot of improvements.

yeah, I think that's it lol

There's a bunch of things that need to be reworked here but just getting a sense of video stuff right now. I think I know how to handle it now and we should be able to build out all of the sections.

2

Adjusting Futureland+

We are planning on adjusting Futureland+ pricing (a continual experiment) and I wanted to share why. Transparency and feedback are obvious reasons for sharing, but we also like sharing in case the information is useful to other individuals and teams potentially working through similar problem sets.

The first price point that we set for Futureland was $240 / year for unlimited use. We would only ask users with over 50 private entries to pay. This is a high price, especially for a tool that is still developing. Some of you told us the price was too high and others supported the price. My thinking here was that in the same way @lucas and I are sacrificing to realize this project, early visionary users should do the same. By setting a higher price it would allows us to reach sustainability with a smaller set of users and sustainability would mean we could continue working on this through to ultimate realization. I was wrong in my thinking here.

Early visionary users should not pay more, but pay less for seeing the potential early. Many of you provide tons of value in your guidance and have become great friends! The way you support Futureland is something later users will never understand.

We are thinking about switching Futureland+ to $5 / month for unlimited public and private use and asking users who have surpassed 100 entries to support us.

Let us know what you think! And thanks for hanging in there with us. :)

Need your help with something. Once a user signs up for Futureland, what is the first thing we should show them or take them through?

Decreased the font size of the secondary sections from 24px to 20px. I could probably reduce the line height as well but I won't worry about that yet.

Just working on a temporary page if the media that we need to create takes longer than anticipated. This obviously does not look as good but might be a version that we can build on as we continue working on stuff. It seems like the font of the little sections is too big right now so I will tighten that up. Perhaps this is something we can ship while working on the other elements.

I'm working through some new video assets for this new homepage concept. The square that the media is supposed to be placed in will be 360 x 360 pixels. I have no idea how to handle this yet in terms of what to show and how to best export the video. I sent a little package over to @lucas to start implementing some stuff so I can see how the design and various videos feel in the browser.

1

- It is now possible to use the arrow keys to navigate through a journal while viewing an entry in the fullscreen view.
- The link to an entry in a comment notification email now automatically opens the entry in the fullscreen view.

It seems like it makes more sense to say, "Store your process" than "Document your process". Little break throughs like this seem trivial but I find they are actually difficult and powerful units of progression. Words are tools and speaking about something in a specific way is design.

Changing little things like this means our understanding of the thing we are making is growing. Changing little things like this also means we are refining the "concept" so that it is easier to understand and throw around to other creative minds.

"Store process with your friends or by yourself" instead of "Document process with your friends or by yourself".

"Hey man, where are we storing process for this project?" instead of "Where are we documenting process for this project?".

"yeah, I use Futureland to store process."

Added 'Examples' and 'Join' to the top of this page. I'm not a fan of words like 'Join' or 'Sign up' or 'Register' for the purpose of trying something out. I hope as we continue on we can break away from some of that stuff and use a different kind of analogy. I've always preferred words like download and upload but of course that is obviously not what is happening in this instance. It's hard to describe. But when you register for something it feels like you are filling out a form at some store or place and when you download something it's like someone is handing you something and saying, "hey try this thing out". It would be cool if getting started with Futureland felt like you were handed something to experiment with instead of just filling out a form. But yeah it will be something we have to continually think about and experiment with.

Slight adjustment to the text size of the heading (4px) and also adjusted what it says a bit. Edited "Tools that" to "Tools to".

Just getting more of a sense of vertical spacing here. I think maybe the second part needs to move up a bit but I'm not sure yet.

Building vertically to see how that feels. There's an increased vertical space that separates the top of the page from the rest in a way. I'm not sure if that makes sense but it's something to play with and it seems little breaks in patterns like this can make everything feel less flat.

Working on a page entirely focused on communicating what 'Daily' is. For now I'm experimenting with just calling it 'Futureland' as well to see how that feels. Ideally we can send people to this page every time they ask us about Daily and it gives them a high level understanding of the tool and how they might be able to use it in their own process.

@internetvin sent me a new sketch file with a new improved homepage design. The changes he made makes it easier to implement and in my opinion looks even better than the ones from before.

Likely need to bring down the size of this font in the heading. Logo placement is still not entirely worked out yet, especially because it is different on the Examples page but it's something I will work through as I continue figuring out this grid, layout and spacing stuff.

Sending this over to @lucas to review. I removed the part of the interface that allows you to switch between 'Journals' and 'People' because I want to redesign the journal units before working on the Journal section of this page. If this is all good for implementation, we'll start selecting users to highlight and then hopefully have this live soon. I'll switch over to working on the home page now and the rest of the onboarding experience. Hopefully the time I spent studying grids, layouts and spacing helps out!

Driving to understand how this placement stuff works. Driving me nuts still lol. I'm going to start keeping my notebook open beside so I can write down every fundamental question I have as I am working. I just want to go through the process off making something exactly mathematically spaced to figure out how to do that lol

Let's see what happens if I incorporate this into the mix. I'm still lacking knowledge so I have no idea if what I am doing is correct or not yet but it's fun to try and take your understanding of something and apply it and then see if you can notice where it breaks and then use those breaks to fill in the gaps in your understanding… and on and on…

I have been spending a bunch of time studying grids, reading about some older more fundamental insights to form my own understanding of what all of this stuff means. The mathematical proportions of visuals and how spacing and placement of things has an effect on the user's perception and mind. I'm still a major amateur and it's going to take me awhile to really understand some of these things but I'm trying. Here I'm just trying to understand some layout mechanics in general and within Sketch specifically. I'm going to revisit the Examples page I was working on with some of my new knowledge and see how it improves the end result.

Made it possible to hide/show bookmarks and comments in the timeline component. This is especially useful for journals with a lot of comments. Not super happy with my icon selection here. Maybe someone has an idea. Open for feedback.

Seeing how this feels with Journal units, spacing is still off but I'm working through it… also hitting some limitations in my knowledge as a designer here. There's a lot I need to study still to understand what spacing and placement is in my own way.

Adjusting the size and position of the faded logo and the height of the content in the middle. Starting to feel a bit better. If I stick with this new logo size and position I'll need to adjust it in other areas.

The spacing here is an absolute mess, but it's a start. I'll probably need to scrap this layout and start again. That first sentence will need to be something else too.

Just experimenting with placing a slightly modified version of the Journal unit from our Profiles on this page. This unit gives me a lot of trouble and it's one of the things that I would love to collaborate with another designer on. Working through different variants and discussing it. This is probably a naive thing to say but these units feel like one of the most difficult things for me to work on.

It's 8:58AM here in Toronto. I spent a lot of my morning so far reviewing community feedback on onboarding and and writing about how this page should be designed and why in my notebook. I think something that might make sense is to give the user the option to explore this Examples area through Journals or People. I'm paraphrasing but @christian made some interesting points on an earlier entry that there's many things on the Internet that focus on the 'development and maintenance of individual identities' and not as many things that focus on the 'development and maintenance of a particular project or effort'. The latter is one of the main reasons why the whole experiment of Futureland started in the first place. So focusing on Journals as a means of exploring and navigating through Futureland is probably an important thing to remember to do. At the very least because no one else is doing it right now and it could be fun to 'see what happens'.

Another thing that's kind of important though is that on a lot of other platforms we define our identities in kind of fixed ways. I have always found this difficult to fit myself into. Nothing I do is fixed. I don't even really know who I am. I am kind of learning more about myself each day. If anything I am just a set of questions and experiments. In that sense I have always thought that it's more interesting to learn about who someone is and what they are 'all about' by seeing what they are working on and experimenting with in real time. An individual can be streaming process across multiple divergent disciplines and does not need to be fixed by any one thing or preconceived structure of identities and perception. I think all of that is an important part of Futureland too. Perhaps on Futureland an individual is a kind of hub of creative streams. And perhaps toggling between the two is part of how you jump around this place.

2

Seeing if I can get by with two across here, still very much just sketching. It's funny, there's no way for me to nail anything on the first go lol. Everything takes continual work and tweaking and thinking. It never ends. You just have to keep coming back to it for thousands of days in a row

Taking the profile pic outside of the journal title and description to see how that feels but the whole thing might feel less uniform with this approach.

I added in links to view Examples and to Join (sign up). The former is a common user suggestion and it seems like users best like to form their own understanding of how to use Futureland. Perhaps clicking into Examples takes you to a full screen page of different journals to check out. Activity and Login links are still on the bottom right, which I find is a great place to put links of secondary importance.

Adding a line under the individual type here so that perhaps when it oscillates to words like artists or musicians or designers which are shorter, it still feels natural. Have to play with it. I removed the arrow for something I'm about to experiment with next.

I don't particularly like the idea of not naming the kinds of people we hope will share process especially in the early stages of a project like this when we are all figuring out what this thing is, but here's a cleaner and broader articulation in case there's some weird quirks with the other approach that I can't think of right now. :)

1

I'm working on adjustments to this new home page concept I was working on based on community feedback. You'll notice the word 'researchers' here, this word will oscillate. It will say things like artists, musicians, designers, developers, etc. I feel it might be worth noting the specific kinds of early users might need to build a high integrity community. The spacing here will probably need some editing and I might need to adjust the little mechanics of this design depending on how this thing feels as we oscillate through those words.

- Fixed a bug that would calculate wrong image dimensions for some JPGs while publishing new entries.
- Fixed a bug that would break the sharing context menu on the home view.

I'm just transitioning back into my routine and life after some crazy shit happened and I needed to help a friend. Also @lucas left Germany for Indonesia and he'll be there for at least 6 months so he's transitioning into his new life too. I am based out of Toronto and when he was in Germany the time difference was 6 hours, now the time difference will be 12 hours (I think). We usually get on the phone with each other once a day and have a bunch of other techniques for collaborating on Futureland remotely. We'll work through and sink into a new process as he gets settle in his new home. :)

16

Invite-only

One of the things we have been thinking about a lot is shifting Futureland into an invite-only state and growing our user base through our most trusted early users. We think the quality and integrity of this community needs to be one of its defining characteristics. It's something worth trying to be the best at. Early users will be integral in defining the identity of this place, both now and well into the future.

This is something we need to work on together so it would be cool to hear your perspectives! :)

Thinking a lot about community right now, been studying various things and I'll share some thoughts soon to get your perspectives.

Finished implementing the welcome email that gets sent out after a new users signs up for Futureland. Used this opportunity to refactor some code and improve our worker.
Additionally I used the morning to fix some bugs.

I do this thing sometimes where when I want to understand stuff, I transcribe its Wikipedia page and ponder on each line. I like doing this with words that are thrown around a lot because I think it's easy to get into the habit of thinking you understand something because you hear about it a lot but when I really look into it I find out I know basically nothing about it. I'm currently transcribing this page on Community (lol). So yeah I'm thinking a lot about that right now.

I made a slight adjustment to the journals, outside of continually building on this list I'm not sure what else could be included yet. This might be good enough for a first experiment with a Welcome email (we currently do not send anything). I think over time we should include other materials here like some documentation and interesting writing on FL. Like if there was some writing on 'Using Futureland to learn' that could be done in a very interesting and open way, things like that might be interesting to include after links to journals. Hard to stay right now.

2

Formatting this in an email compose window to see how it feels. Instead of using categories, I put the journals in groups of 4 and mixed up the disciplines in each group. One of the reasons we started FL is because of how categorical everything else is (thanks for the reminder @ethan). I think this will be super difficult to achieve and even more difficult to maintain but we wanted to create a place where it's easier (and safer) to be multiple things instead of just any one thing. It's easy to lose sight of that. Sometimes I feel that blending all of these disciplines together will be the reason FL ultimately fails or succeeds. But I personally don't want to be any one thing. That's just not what I am.

2

Feeling really grateful this morning to be able to work on this project every day. Thanks to everyone who is supporting us.

Made the author name and journal title in the header section clickable. This one was bothering me for some time now.

- Fixed a bug that would prevent users from entering the fullscreen view on a user's stream
- Stripping markdown syntax from notes previews in the weekly summary
- Added some new internal analytics from @internetvin and me.

2

Defining categories is tough! I might need to adjust the 'Animation' one to 'Visual Art' it's hard to say because all of these mediums are kind of blending together since a computer can create all of them. It's becoming more and more difficult to define separations between these things. And in a lot of ways that's why we started working on Futureland. To create spaces where you did not fit yourself into an identity defined by a single creative output.

Starting to break various journals into categories. It's really neat to see the range of experimentation happening on Futureland and I'd say it's my favourite part of this project :)

Making some progress, trying to be less prescriptive in the text. I think you guys are right. I do not think we ever really need to say what Futureland is (because the truth is we don't know). We just need to show people how it's being used. Understanding what Futureland is, is something we are doing together.

1

I have been writing a welcome email that you receive from Futureland when you sign up. I keep writing each paragraph over and over again to try and get it right. Once I have a draft I'll publish it here as a text entry and hopefully I can get some feedback, if you have any thoughts now please share. I'm just taking a short break to let my mind loosen and then I'll start again.

Implemented the new worker that will send out weekly summaries in the future. Still a lot of work to do.

2

Maybe there's some personal stats included as well although I don't think everyone will be into it! Need to find the right simple insights here to make it actually useful instead of just noise.

4

Working on a little concept for a plain text weekly summary email you can get from FL about journals you shadow and more. Perhaps you'll be able to select between a daily or weekly cadence. This allows you to take a focused moment to quickly glance over all of the journals you're interested in and see how they are developing. :)

- Fixed a bug that would crash the browser when trying to play an audio entry in the fullscreen view.
- Pushed the global sidebar component to production. It can be toggled by pressing the S key.

2

Woke up this morning really well rested and had the idea to make the sidebar from home available globally in Futureland. This way it is easier to find journals and navigate through the list of shadowed ones.

1

- Fixed the markdown style of block quotes.
- Fixed visual glitches in the full screen entry view.
- Automatically closing the full screen entry view after navigation now.
- Fixed some validation bugs in the user settings.

4

I caught a cold so I've been laying low this weekend. Drinking lots of water lol. We'll send out Futureland's weekly newsletter tomorrow. I still need to finish writing it! Hope everyone's doing well :)

We created a little open journal experiment called, Futureland Meta. It's a place where anyone can share their insights, experiences and bugs while using Futureland.

A few of you have already joined. Others feel free. I'm curious how and if this journal will catch on!

1

ty so much for feedback yesterday! I spent some time processing all of it again today. It's cool to see some of the patterns in all of your great insights. Seems like there's some things we can integrate into the work we're doing right now:

- focus onboarding on how journals work and not on how to use them
- make it easier for someone new to explore existing journals so they can form their own understandings and meanings of them
- send out a thoughtful welcome email when someone new joins Futureland and include any finer details of onboarding in that email

As always, you'll see the process developing here. <3

29

While working through onboarding (and from chatting a lot with everyone here), it's becoming pretty clear that it might be useful to work through some 'documentation' about how to use Futureland. The idea is that we could distill insights from everyone's experiences using Futureland into interesting and detailed writing that can help new guests get started.

Some examples:

- How to use Futureland to learn new skills
- How to use Futureland to create new habits
- How to use Futureland to see through projects

What do you think about this? What subjects do you think need to be explored?

- Fixed a bug that would prevent users from dragging and dropping .mov files into chrome based browsers.
- Included @internetvin's new more obvious "Join" button for open journals.
- Minor bug fixes.

2

Experimenting with using some filmmaking techniques in how we first interact with new users. This would be an interpretation of the establishing shot. It establishes the location of the scene. A new guest might see something like this after first signing up for FL. Imagine the visual in the background moving (a video).

2

Also these days, I find the ideal thing to listen to while working on FL is the album Tropeau Bleu by Cortex (1975). I was constantly playing it at the house by Lake Huron. Still going now.

1

I'm not sure what it is, but often when I start working on FL in a focused state like this I get pretty emotional (lol) or at least much more sensitive to my feelings. I care about this project a lot and I feel a way about it that I have not felt about other things I've worked on. Been an interesting experience just seeing what happens with this.

Once you click 'Next' on the previous screen, this then would be the subsequent one. The point of this screen is to frame up what is about to be shown. I don't want to show one 'card' after another. I hate doing this in films too (even though I've done it often), but I'm not sure how to handle this yet because before diving into specific components of the journal I want to show it at first in its entirety. And I don't think I can have any text on the screen while I do that.

I just realized that the background here doesn't have to be in black. You can kind of treat this as an establishing shot like in a film. Hm.

I find using these Journals as you are working is a useful way of staying focused but also as a way of documenting your trail of thinking. I'm just starting to pick up some of the design work I left off while in deep week 1. I can use this journal as a way of remembering what I was thinking and what I was trying to solve. So let's try and pick this back up.

I'm sketching out a concept for an interactive tour. This is could be the first visual that a new guest sees if they decide to take it. I was working on this before but here I replaced the word "Welcome" with "OK." which I think is a better connection between the action the guest took on the previous screen (deciding to begin the tour).

In terms of obtaining useful context before using FL, I think there's two things worth knowing. (1) How the interface works (which will probably be the focus of this interactive tour) and (2) How working through something at a daily cadence can be a useful way of seeing through creative projects, learning new skills and just transforming any part of your life.

It's 1:01pm on Wednesday. Beautiful day. When I stepped outside to grab some lunch, it rain briefly but it was entirely sunny. It's always kind of cool when that happens.

I'm just preparing and sending this little package for @lucas to start playing with. I'm probably missing a bunch of things (and he'll tell me if I am lol). I'm just curious to see how some of this stuff might feel in a browser. This package includes a new home page and a registration experience. There's many events that we need to build on here and chain together and we will make those improvements as well in time.

Sending this little package of interfaces over to @lucas. A little update that adds a 'Join' button to all open journals. Currently you can find the Join button in each journal's expanded menu. I imagine taking the Join button out of that menu and putting it on the side bar will make open journals a bit easier to understand. :)

Looks like @lucas is making a bunch of progress on iOS and watchOS experiments. I haven't had a chance to try everything yet but if you want to start playing around with these tools, message me or him for links!

5

Futureland meta

We need a place on Futureland where we can talk about Futureland. Things like feedback, ideas, insights, complaints or whatever. Many of you share stuff with me via iMessage or email or dm on FL. There's tons of really high quality perspectives coming through.

Ideally for me, I want everything to be in the same place. Like say, Futureland's journal. I want to see discussions about FL on the same surface that I see the actual work happening.

What do you think? How do we handle this?

More sketches of this interactive tour. This could go nowhere, but I'll just keep sketching to see what I learn.

Just a quick additional note, we can probably show movement in the background (the journal) to make this more dynamic and to better communicate what this is. In this case, perhaps while you are reading this new entries are being added to the journal in the background.

I'm starting to sketch out an interactive tour of Futureland. Here's how you might be greeted when it begins. In the background you see one of Futureland's journals with 5% opacity. As the interactive tour begins, various parts of journal will light up. Perhaps we will also jump to other parts of Futureland and explain those too. Probably need to add some kind of progress indicator here and also some kind of next button.

Once a new guest is welcomed to Futureland, perhaps a prompt like this is better instead of creating more pronounced suggestions in how FL should be use (ie; I want to learn a new skill, I want to see through a creative project). Perhaps detailed material on specific use cases can be explored after the guest is already bouncing around Futureland.

Once a new guest fills out the form to enter Futureland, I'm experimenting with a two part greeting. The software acknowledges the user through something like, 'Hello internetvin' and then welcomes them to Futureland through something like, 'Welcome to Futureland'. This might be redundant. But something we can feel out later.

It's 8:31pm on Sunday night, I'm picking up just a bit of work on new onboarding sketches. This is a simple hover state for a screen where a new guest selects how they might want to use Futureland. After sleeping on this, I'm skeptical that this guided of an approach is the right thing to do but I'll just keep sketching this out to see if any interesting ideas or patterns come out of it.

I added another option, 'I just want to explore for now'. Perhaps this allows the guest to move through the experience in a loose way. In that type of experience, we can put helpful hints and suggestions in key points of the interface for just the right amount of early guidance.

2

Perhaps after you are greeted, the screen transitions into a kind of guided experience that shows you how you can use Futureland. This is going to take a lot of work and experimentation. I think we also need to let people explore the tool in an unguided way. Perhaps this is guided experience is something they can come back to later if they want. For now I'll just have to keep sketching and thinking to see where all of this is going. Or could go.

Sketching a confirmation state after you create your identity on FL. The screen returns back to black and greets you. It's likely that that perhaps we should transition from this to some kind of interactive documentation. I think at this point people will be wondering, what can I do with Futureland? How can it fit within my life? What are other people doing with Futureland? Where do I start? and so on. I think there's a lot of materials and experiences we will need to create to answer these questions. I think to do this well it's something that will take a bunch of time and something that we will never really stop working on. I'll keep sketching. Let's see how this goes.

2

With the form entirely filled out, the 'Create Identity' button brightens white and an arrow appears beside it. Similar motif to what the guest saw on the home page. Perhaps this arrow can move just a bit, pushing to the right to call just a bit of attention to itself. If all of the interactions here feel really tight and the transitions between the home page to this are done well, I think this could be super cool.

Alright. The idea here is that when you begin filling out the form by clicking on one of the fields, the background will transform from a flat black to videos from real entries on Futureland presented in a soothing way. The visual here is from @marco's journal, 'swimming'. There's a bunch of reasons why I think this is cool.

- The text on the left is describing the 'space' or the 'spaces'. For people who have not used Futureland, they might wonder what these spaces are like. By clicking the email field, it's a step towards those spaces. As those spaces are taken it should feel like the spaces are getting closer. Transforming the background is a way of doing. And by only doing it when you click the field, it makes the experience more dynamic, unexpected and fun.

- This interface on its own is flat. Filling out a form is usually a boring thing to do. You can improve the interactions and stuff and those are fun to look at it, but at the end of the day you're filling out a form. Presenting cool visuals from our friends as you fill out the form - if done right - could be like handing someone a glass of water with a slice of cucumber at a Spa while everything is getting set up.

A quick sketch of the form field in focus. The borders brighten and increase in width and so does the label text. We do stuff like this all over Futureland. The thing that's missing here right now (for me) is something more visually immersive. When you're entering a new space, it should feel like you're entering a space. I have an experimental idea of how we can handle this. I'll come back to that though. Time to grill some lunch :)

A few more quick positioning adjustments. I think this might feel better.

The other thing worth noting here is that I'm using the language 'Create Identity'. The idea here is that if someone shows up to use Futureland, they should be open to exploring something new with their identity. I think that's always been one of the cool things about the Internet. How it can be used as a way to evolve through experimentations with identity. Often in our existing interpersonal relationships we are limited in what we can be. This can cause you to narrow the the things that you think you can do or learn. I'm hoping we can create a space where identity is a more flexible thing. Where people are working through some things they are great at and many things they suck at. The focus is on being in process instead of trying to package and maintain some perfect identity for others to see. The focus here is on the continually changing process learning and experimentation at any stage.

Just trying to figure out the right spacing here. I'll need to finesse that through implementation and with guidance from @lucas. For now I think this is good enough to move on as a reference point. I don't particularly like the width here and some other positioning elements but I'm hitting the limit of my knowledge for now. When it comes to interface design, there's so much I do not know. I'm surprised you guys put up with me here lol (ty)

2

Working on the second step of onboarding. As I mentioned yesterday, the idea is that the home page is a single sentence and when you click it begins the first conversation with a new guest. Perhaps this is the first thing they see when they enter the space. We will need to continually work on this over time (maybe years). One of the big limitations I see with this is that it is not visual enough but we can fix that with some help. I would love to see some kind of immerse visual work here, illustrations or animations or something. I think I might have a cool idea of something unexpected we can do here. I'll share in a moment.

I have obviously split this layout into two components. If you look at entries from yesterday, I was progressing towards a longer vertical layout but after sleeping on it I started to wonder if there was too much text. It's a matter of deciding whether a new guest needs to know what Futureland is already being used for. I think that might matter. It's a way of saying, "when you walk through that door, you're not alone." So I thought maybe a way to make the text feel shorter is to split the layout in have horizontally. It also separates your attention in a functional way. On the left is the context on the right is the next step.

I wonder if it makes sense to add some kind of progress bar to this experience. I'm not sure yet that is definitely something I will need to revisit as this work progresses. I won't know the answer to that question right now.

Spent the morning hours to
- fix a couple of minor bugs
- slightly improve editing of entry notes
- updated a buggy dependency that would crash the server when an error occurred.

5

Sometimes I wish there was a way to use FL in offline mode. Where I could go through all of my dailies and each time I’m publishing them they are getting cued until the next time I connect my computer to the Internet. I’m just not sure if I need (or want) to work in a way where the computers I’m using are always connected to the internet.

5

In these current sketches, the first thing you see when you visit futureland.tv (if you aren't signed in) is a simple sentence that says, "A space to see through your visions." There's no sign up button or register button, just an arrow that suggests clicking something will progress the experience. You enter by clicking. So then what should happen next and why? In this moment, I imagine a person might be asking, "What kind of visions can I use this space to see through?" or perhaps "how do you realize a vision at all?" or "how do I know that this tool will actually help me realize a vision?" I think we need to answer these question in these first interactions with our new guests.

Once you click from the homepage, I imagine we can share some more context with our users about what Futureland is and then allow them to define their identity here. Although I'm worried this might not be visual enough. Hm.

Changing the position of the arrow to see how that feels. I'll leave this as is for now and come back to it as I build out more of this. So, if someone clicks that sentence what should they see next and why?

I've always felt words like 'Sign Up' or 'Register' feel so weird. They immediately make you feel like you are just being added to a list. I wonder why we started using them. I'm sure there is an interesting metaphor. I think another drawback of using words like that is it makes you feel like you need permission before doing something…

I wonder if a simple arrow is enough.

1

Thanks again for your notes on the entry here titled, FL is __________. I transcribed your replies and I'm writing notes on them to better understand them. I think understanding patterns between everyone's use of FL might help give new people better experiences when they first arrive here. I wonder as I read through if everyone is describing it in the same way or differently. For example, when Futureland is describe as a way "to document what I'm working on", is that the same as "Futureland is a great tool to stay on track with projects"?

A big part of what we'll be doing over the next few days is trying to improve FL's onboarding. Here I've mapped out the existing onboarding flow. It helps me understand how the conversation with everyone is currently structured and it's clear that there's a lot to be done (lol). This is a cool thing to work on because it is the first experience that someone has with Futureland. Working on this also kind of reminds of working on film. If you look at the visual here, one could say these are a bunch of frames and you're progressing through them in a kind of narrative. You visit the url and in a sense you enter a world. A party perhaps. You're making immediate judgements about this place. What's the vibe? Is this my vibe?

Something I was thinking about recently is that with projects like this, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every person who joins Futureland is a 'user'. You start thinking about things like conversion rates and other numbers like that which are useful but they can make it easy to lose sight of why you started the project in the first place. I think what feels more right is,
'everyone who joins Futureland is family'. I wonder how that might influence the way we do things.

1

Deep Week 1 Notes

Just getting set into my routine here for the next few days. At home my desk is always in the standing position. I do not have a chair. It felt weird sitting at a desk here so I had to adjust that to a standing set up. Feels much better now. I can walk around to think, if I need to sit down there's a couch behind me facing the water. I can unplug my MacBook Pro from this monitor and just type on the couch. I'll see how this develops but a thought I'm having is that when I isolate myself like this, the kinds of thoughts I can have are more divergent. It's been very emotional already. In my usual environment, I practice repetition a lot. There's so many benefits to that and it has made me so happy. It has made me think that anything is possible. But here by isolating myself from usual attachments, it creates open space in my routine. I still move through my routine but there's so much more space to think. In those moments, you remember why you are doing things. Why it's important to do things your way. You remember that your time here is finite. And it's OK to make mistakes. It's difficult to describe. When I get stuck in my thinking, I turn to see the water rolling on through the windows. The trees groove slightly as well. Each time I do that, I feel the energy inside me growing. I'm part of all of this. Futureland is too. :)

Used my first pomodoros of the day to
- fix a bug that would not show the streak modal when publishing entries to quickly
- improve the interaction when removing journals from daily
- improve the accuracy of the daily graph in stats

I spent most of today packing and travelling. I'll be staying at a house by the water as part of an experiment I'm calling a 'deep week'. The idea is to isolate myself from any distractions for multiple days and try to focus entirely on deep work. While I'm here, I'll be trying to improve Futureland's onboarding which needs a lot of work. I'll start on that tomorrow morning.

Decreasing the profile icon size. I might need to increase it by another 8px. The smaller profile pic allowed me to play with the position of the journals and the header a bit. I'll need to refine that tomorrow. I got some feedback from @lucas and there's a bunch of other things I need to fix and I'll get to those soon. I also added a message icon here in the form of an envelope on the top right of the profile.

3

Two things I would love to have on FL

- Live streaming in Journals while dropping specific artifacts from the process into the Journal. When I start a design session, there's times when I would love to go live and talk to others. But at the same time I still want to be able to drop various screenshots and thoughts for reference into the journal.

- Deep work mode. It would be cool if that was built into FL in some way. I could click an icon and it would start a 25min timer and also adjust the interfaces on FL for deep work.

Added 8px of vertical spacing between the heading '8 Entries' and the grid. 6:57am now. It's interesting once there is a bit of light in the sky, it rapidly brightens up. It's a really neat visual effect. The kind of weird thing is that, the reason the sky is starting to change is because our planet is spinning at an absurd speed and at this current point in time this massive thing we call Earth is turning to face the sun again. And of course it gets weirder the more you extrapolate. For example, the Sun is so large that you could fit 1 million Earths within it. And if you extrapolate out our solar system relative to other things like galaxies, eventually our Sun is as small as we are to the size of the Earth.

I'll take a few mins to watch the sun rise now :)

I'm just pulling in these text labels a bit on the left (Mon, Wed, Fri) to match the width of the rest of the profile. I think it feels better. I need to increase the spacing between the heading '8 Entries' and the grid. I want this to feel really well spaced out and easy to absorb on desktop.

Just adding in the days and the months in this grid. I'm not sure how I feel about it right now. The months on the top of the grid is off in terms of spacing. I'll have to play with that later. I'm also not sure about how the labels on the left side of the grid (Mon, Wed, Fri) fall outside of the width of the rest of the profile. I'll try and pull that in to see how it feels. I'm still a MAJOR amateur with Sketch, so doing some grid stuff and measurement stuff like this can be frustrating for me lol :)

I'm starting to work on this stats view again now that the journals element is a little bit more sorted. I might send @lucas a package with a bunch of new profile interfaces for the new journal components today.

I've changed 'Daily Average' here to Lifetime Daily Average which is more accurate to what it actually is. My Daily Average on FL is 8 Entries. This is calculated based on over 2 years of working like this on a daily cadence. But it's not accurate to my more recent experimentation. Over the past few months I average about 25 entries per day. And that's reflected in my 14 day average. So there needs to be some kind of separation there. A distinction between your recent usage and life time usage.

1

Giving the highlighted journals here a bit of positional separation. It's 48px above the rest of the journals which are vertically spaced at 16px. When I looked at this, I wondered if in this view there wasn't enough separation in visual elements. If everything kind of felt jumbled together. In this view it might be tough to get a quick understanding through the visual information.

Highlighting journals in the list view. Perhaps when you are viewing highlighted journals in the list view like this, there's an increased separation between the ones that are highlighted and the ones that are not highlighted. I've worked out something similar to this in the grid view.

3

Built a first prototype that enables users to upload multiple entries at once. I tried to focus on functionality over UI today. The prototype works but still needs a lot of work design wise. Will improve this soon.

The video shows that the files were last modified in May and July this year. Futureland automatically derives the order of entries by their last modification date. I want to make this optional and include a setting that toggles this behavior later.

I also thought about giving the user an option to create entry notes before the files get uploaded. Don't know if this is useful as every entry can be edited after it was uploaded.

Added a little grid icon before the Journals label. It's at 40% opacity. I applied this same opacity to the list icon that is displayed on the grid view.

Sketching how long descriptions could work with this longer rectangles in the list view. I add '…' at a specific point in the description. So in this version of the list view of journals, it's a way of seeing a lot of journals at any given time and not necessarily for expanded information about a specific journal which the grid view provides. The journals in the list view can be displayed in the way that they are ordered by the user. With highlighted ones at the top. It might work.

Experimenting with showing private journals with this same kind of visual treatment. Dotted border with opacity. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet as a way of indicating private journals. It might be too subtle. It feels like one those things you need to keep playing with until something feels right.

Starting to sketch out a list view of journals for profiles. The size of these profile pictures still seem off. I think I notice it more now without my eyes drawn towards the grid of rectangles.

1

Started to work on a new way for users to publish multiple entries at once. The goal is that a user can drag and drop multiples files into Futureland and upload them in the correct order of their creation. The browser file API unfortunately does not provide the creation time of a file. Instead it offers a timestamp of the last modification of a file. As the time of last modification and creation is mostly the same for images, videos and audio files I will use this data to provide a simple way to quickly import existing files to Futureland.

One use-case for this could be importing @internetvin's 365 days of music project to Futureland by dropping all of his mp3s into our UI.

I'm experimenting with putting the 'list icon' besides the Journals label. I felt like the previous location cluttered the interface and demanded too much attention. This seems like a better location. It will only appear when you are viewing Journals. If you click over to Stats, you will not see it.

I'm experimenting with adding opacity to private journals to differentiate them from the other ones. Private journals are only viewable when you are viewing your own profile.

Making this list icon to the left of the grid a little bigger to see how that feels. Maybe it should be on the right side.

We sent an email out to all of our subscribers last Monday. It was an interesting experience. There were a bunch of replies and for some it lead to renewed interest in Futureland. The plan is to send another one this Monday. Hopefully we can figure out a day and time that makes sense to repeat every week. We're torn between Sunday and Monday right now. And we definitely don't want to waste your time and attention. So these will take focus, hard work and of course mistakes.

This early experimentation with email is essentially the potential birth of a periodical publication (a newsletter?). It's interesting to think about how we should communicate periodically and why. I'm enjoying studying email right now as a mechanism of distribution. Over the past decade, I have been so hyped on tools like Twitter that I've kind of forgotten how many great things existing tools already do (lol). Email seems like such a great form of distributing messages to a lot of people while retaining the ability to have a direct and private conversation with any single recipient. I think I really like this format. We're all very busy, but maybe email allows for a 'bit' of slower more focused consumption. Email clients are not as focused as social networks on diverting your attention to different things.

I also did not realize that newsletters were the origin of newspapers.

2

I have a lot of thoughts swirling right now. I'll share more soon.

- Futureland needs a meta, a place on Futureland for all of us to talk about Futureland

- If you build an audience on Futureland, you should be able to take it with you if you ever leave here. This probably means 'Shadows' should also mean 'emails'. Building an audience somewhere and then being locked in is trash.

- I think we need to support the creation of periodicals (newsletters). There should be a respectful and cool way that you can package together selected entries of all media types and share them with those who shadow you (in a way that makes everyone happy).

- Thank you so much for using Futureland. For real, all of you. Just talking to everyone and learning from you. I can't put into words how lucky we are. Thank you thank you thank you!

Adding a quick list button on this profile view. This likely needs to be a lot bigger. The idea here is that anyone can click that button and it will show you all of a user's public journals in a list instead of a grid like this. In that list view you'll be able to more quickly scan through the journals and get some more information on them as well. Let's see how that feels as I start working on it.

Optimized the mobile navigation for really tiny screens (iPhone SE).
Started to show the current streak at all times.

Thanks to everyone who wrote us emails this week. I've been making my way through them and setting up times to hang with everyone. It's really neat hearing perspectives on Futureland and also directly sharing how I am using it. I really enjoy the insights that come out of that too. :)

Experimenting with a dotted border to note private journals when a user is viewing her own profile. Not sure how I feel about this yet.

Like this. Any time a Journal is highlighted, it remains at the top and takes up the entire row. So if only a single Journal is highlighted, it will isolate itself on the top row. Perhaps then we set a limit on the number of journals that can be highlighted at any given time to 4.

If a user highlights a Journal, perhaps they can always be displayed in the first row. If there are multiple journals highlighted, perhaps the user can drag them around to order them in a specific way. If a journal is highlighted it will always take up the first row. Even if only a single Journal is highlighted. I'll show you what I mean.

I moved the entire profile up by 16px to match the vertical position of the menu in the top right to see how that feels. Not sure yet. It seems like one of those things we will have to feel out while implementing things. It makes sense to do it, something seems just a bit off. Perhaps the size of the profile pic or something.

I'm just starting to add more real information into this sketch. I've also started to adjust the position of the title, description and entries. Moving the title up by 8px balances the rectangle more I find. Moving the entries to 16px from the bottom border opens a lot more space for Journals with longer descriptions.

Added a Journals and Stats toggle to the Profiles here. A simple way of toggling between viewing all of a user's public journals and their stats on FL.

Just starting to get a sense of how this feels. I also need to figure out a way for users to highlight specific journals. Hm. And I wonder if a list view could be useful. When a user is viewing their own profile they would need to be able to clearly see which of their journals is private and so on. A lot more to think about. But taking some steps forward.

Just laying out these Journals in their normal state to see how it feels. To see if it feels too flat. I'll populate this with more dynamic information soon.

2

Trying another approach that builds on the variants from yesterday and considers @ethan's suggestion. This seems like it might make sense. In its normal state the Journal displays its title, description and the number of entries. When you hover over it, the entire rectangle will slowly cycle through recent contents. A way of peaking inside.

Now the worry is whether the Journals look too flat or not in the normal state. I'll lay them out on the profile to see how that feels. We might be able to incorporate Journal icons on the normal state as well when the user has selected one.

Working on an option to unsubscribe from our newsletter. Not really happy with the interaction. But currently not worth it to spend more time on it.

I need to think a bit more about those journal units on the profiles. Sometimes I find things make more sense if I walk away from my MacBook or work on something else for a bit. Started sketching a bit of 'stats' on these user profiles. I'm super excited about this. I think it will be fun to see someone's work and then poke around their stats. :)

I think the squares on the grid here might be a bit too small for a profile like this. Not sure, I'll need to check this out on a bigger display. I find my sense of dimensions are a mess when I'm designing on my MBP.

1

Processing @ethan's feedback on these profile sketches I'm doing. Here I'm sketching out more variants of how journals could be displayed on FL profiles. In this concept journals are displayed as simple rectangles with a title, description and the number of entries. When you hover over the journal, it displays various media in the background. I'll need to figure out how to handle text here. Hm. Or maybe that's something we do not include in the effect, not sure yet.

Office hours (?)

We sent out an email yesterday to everyone asking if they would be interested in having an audio or video chat about Futureland. I mentioned that I could share how I am using FL in my own life and I thought it would be cool to hear perspectives on that and FL generally.

The feedback on this email has been really positive with a lot of interest. I'm slowly replying to everyone who wrote back to me. It's got me thinking that it might be interesting to do some kind of regular office hours here. Perhaps a weekly time for us to come together and chat about our experiments and FL as a tool.

What do you think?

Pushed a new Futureland app version to TestFlight. It includes support for iPad and the stats view.

2

Perhaps users can highlight specific journals on their profiles and drag them around in a specific order to kind of suggest how their profiles are explored by visitors.

2

Futureland has developed and expanded a lot in 2020. It's not always the easiest thing to understand and I think making that easier is a community effort. I'm planning on emailing everyone who's signed up for FL to see who's open to give us another shot and who's open to just chat about stuff in general. I've also been getting interested in this concept of office hours. I wonder about it a bunch and how something like that might work here.

14

FL is __________

We're trying to learn more about what Futureland is and we're curious about what you think about it. So here's a prompt for you. Fill in the blank in the title above and share with us in the comments!

Credit goes to @tmm for this idea. He's becoming a good friend of mine. Just like others here, he's always sending me ways to improve FL and new things to think about.

When you've joined an open journal, the button adjusts to its active state and says 'Joined'. I wonder if that word sounds off - might be another thing that just works for now.

Adjusted the 'Join In' button to 'Join' feels more simple. This is the hover state at 100% opacity. I wonder about stacking two buttons on top of each other like this, but maybe it just works for now.

1

Almost finished with the weekly review email. This would have been mine if I got this email today. I am not satisfied with this yet so I will take it slow to not rush things.

5

Experimenting with adding a 'Join in' button on open journals. There's an opacity on this button. It will brighten on hover. I'm wondering whether we title the button 'Join' or 'Join in'.

Working on active state. When you start typing the text area becomes white instead of grey and the send button is highlighted in white as well. This might need some more work still but it's a good start I think.

Adjusted the comment text to a grey instead of white in this full screen entry interface. I still need to fix the arrows to be an overlay to allow for full screen width.

5

Deleting Twitter

I deleted Twitter last night. It's a funny thing to write about and even think about really. It's just an account on a social network. I used it for 11 years though (lol). I think what happens with these social networks is we project parts of our identity on to them. So deleting the account becomes a killing of that identity. Deleting Twitter was not a quick decision. I ran lots of different experiments over multiple years. Tweeting about different subjects and at different frequencies. I followed people, curated my list of followers and then eventually I stopped following everyone. That last thing - unfollowing everyone - was a useful way of focusing my Twiter only on publishing. But there's always some content that shows up in explore or trending that ends up distracting me. My Twitter use wasn't super high. I was able to slowly use it less and less over time. I did not have the app on my phone and I would only use it on my Mac. The one thing I could not get rid of though, was the need for recognition. Whenever I would tweet something, I would often check to see if it had any likes. I needed to know. Is this something people liked or not? Am I a winner or am I a loser? Twitter became a way for my brain to turn thoughts into dopamine. On a subconscious level, I feel I would automatically imagine ideas that would do well within the format of Twitter. After 11 years of use, my brain had the circuitry to make that type of ideation happen whether I liked it or not. I've become very curious about how my brain might work without something like Twitter as an outlet. Deleting this account also means I am no longer on any social network except Futureland.

I've always imagined Futureland as a place where anyone feels comfortable sharing things in process, where it's easier to stick to things, and ultimately sustain ourselves. Maybe the best way to create that place for others is to try to create it for ourselves.

2

Today on Futureland #11

- Getting a bunch done on full screen entries. Should be ready for you soon but still things to work out.

- Some of you are using the early iOS app now which is great. If you want a link let me know. We’re slowly adding more components to it.

- Making good progress on a weekly email experiment that shares some insights about individual and community wide activity. We’ll try and send the first one on Sunday morning!

- Our onboarding is not good yet, mostly because it’s hard to tell people what FL is when we are figuring it out for ourselves! But this is something we are working on now and will build on each day :)

Good night!

Weekly emails from FL

We're going to start experimenting with a weekly email that you can opt-in or opt-out of. It will include both individual and community wide stats. It will take practice and experimentation to find the right mix of useful information, but here's some things we can start with:

Individual
- Total entries this week
- Your most active journal this week
- Your average publish time this week
- The day with your highest entries this week

Futureland
- Total entries this week
- The most active journal on Futureland this week
- The most active entry on Futureland this week
- Some recent users who have joined

We can definitely expand on this over time. What do you think?

Today on Futureland #10

(1) New use case developing where groups use FL for real time public discussion

(2) Opt-in weekly individual & community wide stats

(3) In addition to the stats every user can access on any journal which can be very powerful

5

Idea: weekly insights

We’re thinking about putting together a simple email for you (that you can opt-out) that includes interesting insights on your individual activity on FL. It can also include general platform statistics so you can see how things are developing. I share more thoughts in this audio clip.

What do you think?

Thought it would be cool if the URL and window position changes while navigating through a journal when using the detail view.

4

Today on Futureland #9

(1) We're trying to improve how conversations happen on FL through new full screen entries

(2) We made a little iOS app that improves publishing to FL from your phone. It supports text, photos, video and audio

9

Help us test our early iOS apps

We have a little test iOS app that we can share with a few friends. Its focus is entirely on publishing for now, so functionality is limited to 'Daily' and adding Futureland to your share sheet. You can use the app to quickly publish to journals from your phone - photos, videos, text, audio. This is interesting experimentation because @lucas has been using FL to teach himself iOS development to build this app. He uses a journal titled, Native Software to document his process.

If you have iOS 14 and you are interested in testing out the app, drop a comment!

1

Today on Futureland #8

(1) You can now Shadow Journals on Futureland :)
(2) We added the ability to download original media on public journal entries.

Today on Futureland #7 - A daily video update on our work with Futureland.

Topics:

(1) There's new interface improvements to 'Daily' on desktop, a tool to help you revisit things that are important to you ever day. New skills, side projects and anything else you find interesting.

(2) Shadowing is almost ready for public testing. A way to opt-in to updates on a creator's work without notifying the creator.

1

Thoughts on audio in general and on Futureland

Replying to @ethan’s comment which shares some thoughts on audio vs video as a means of quick communication about things.

3

Today on Futureland #6 - A daily video update on our work with Futureland.

Topics:

(1) Making some good progress on Shadowing, a way to opt-in to updates on a creators work without notifying the creator.

(2) Early challenges, questions, and wondering about how people will end up using Shadowing

Pushed a tiny update that makes shortcuts in the hints section clickable. Additionally added a new global shortcut J to create new Journals.

Another version of that clip ↓, I added a zoom so it's easier for the viewer to connect with the components being highlighted. A useful suggestion from @pugson.

Here's another clip from a video I am working on about Futureland. In this one I describe how comments work on every Journal's timeline.

A clip from a video I am working on about Futureland. In this clip, I am beginning to describe the 'timeline' that's on every Journal on Futureland.

This is current state of a video I am working on that describes recent improvements to Futureland. I'm letting myself be open while I think and work through this - so as you will see the video is long right now. It might end up becoming something that we break into components. I'll continue on it today :)

Improved the new Daily view with more information about entries and an enhanced Journal picker.

3

I spent a bunch of time today thinking and writing about different components of Futureland. Thanks to everyone who is always messaging me and sharing feedback on using this thing. I'm starting to sketch out an improved version of the Activity view, in this concept there's something called 'Shadowing'. Users would be able to Shadow journals, which means they can opt-in to updates on them but the creators will not be notified of it. This would be a careful step in understanding how concepts like 'Following' or 'Subscribing' should or should not work on Futureland.

We have a working version of 'Hints' in the developer version of Futureland. It will likely be in production very soon. While I am hovering over objects on this Interface, you will see 'Hints' displaying more context about everything I am hovering over on the bottom right of the screen. I am very proud of the work we are doing here because it's been a fun collaboration between @lucas and I and also because I believe this is rooted in good design principles.

Today I worked on some internal optimizations, refactoring and several bug fixes concerning the Journal Sidebar.

Pushed a small update that caches the state of Daily on the client. This makes the most important journals instantly available without loading times.

Bug Fixes
- Fixed a bug that would prevent audio covers from being stored correctly. No data was lost. If you notice that one of your entries is missing a cover, please contact me.
- Fixed tiny UI glitches that appeared after the big update from Thursday.
- Our worker service that processes/converts all incoming media like images and videos and sends out email notifications was offline for several hours. The problem is now resolved.

1

Pushed a bigger update with the following changes:

UI
- Added a global Toolbar at the bottom that displays useful keyboard shortcuts
- Added a global search component that can be toggled with CMD + /
- Improved Journal Sidebar design
- Improved Timeline design
- Improved text editors across Futureland.

Permission Changes
- Only the creator of a Journal is allowed to change its settings or delete it.
- Only the creator of an Entry is allowed to edit it or delete it.

7

Having a lot of fun while playing around with the new quick search. Added a simple solution to search users and navigate to their profiles. Can't wait to ship this feature.

Starting to add hints to our new Journals Interface. As I hover over buttons in the menu here, you can see hints are being displayed in the bottom bar. Here the bottom bar is displaying the purpose of each button in the menu. We will add these kinds of hints across all of our Interfaces over time. I'm really excited this! :)

1

Started to work on a quick search/commander/spotlight component. For now it is possible to quickly navigate to journals and all other Futureland areas. In this session I focused on the functionality rather than the design. Feels really great. Will improve the design later.

Spent this morning tweaking the design of the upcoming journal changes. Played around with only showing a few comments on the timeline because it starts to look cluttered on journals with a lot of comments.

Playing around with hints that we want to show in the toolbar when hovering over various UI-elements.

1

Added a toolbar to the bottom of the web version of Futureland. It shows all available keyboard shortcuts on a page. Later we want to display little hints on the left side of the toolbar to make it easier to use Futureland.

Pushed several bug fixes and small style tweaks to our dev version. I think we can push this to production soon.

- Pushed an update that optimizes loading times for journals with a high number of entries.
- Fixed a bug that displayed wrong colors in the stats view and changed the order of the charts.

Used this morning to make some changes to the journal according to @internetvin's latest package. Overall everything feels way cleaner and more balanced on the screen. I am not sure about the new menu position though.

Spent the last two days optimizing loading times for journals with a high number of entries. Experimented with removing useless CSS transitions and executing JavaScript code only when needed. Additionally I removed tons of anonymous JavaScript functions that were slowing down the main thread.

I am not 100% happy with the result yet but the improvements are already noticeable. Will probably ship a new optimized version to production tomorrow.

Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Futureland+ is now available.
- Made the sidebar state persistent when browsing Futureland.
- Unified look and functionality of several view components.
- Moved the buttons for shop, grid and video chat into the sidebar.
- "Collaborators" are now called "Contributors".
- Several smaller design tweaks and bug fixes.

Chinenual

Chinenual is Steve Tynor. He's a software engineer who dabbles in composition and sound synthesis, but can't quite figure out what genres he works in. In fact he's not really sure what many of the genre titles mean -- ambient? post-ambient? retro-electronica? chilly-tribal? acid-ambient? space music? Doing his best to fuse the right and left sides of his brain and make music.

I hopped on a video chat with @stevet today, who I find to be a very interesting fella. He has a diverse set of interests and has been using Futureland since it was just this little I was trying to code. It's still a little thing but I like to think it has improved a bunch since then :). He's always been super supportive and he has over 365 music entries on Futureland. You can listen to snippets from his process here: https://futureland.tv/stevet/music

@stevet also has two albums on Bandcamp. 'Feed Forward' and 'Laminar Flow'. I just picked up 'Feed Forward' and it's great!

Put the Grid and other buttons into the journal sidebar yesterday. Today I tried to improve the spacing and transition.

Working through the purchasing components of Futureland+ today with @lucas. Just sent this package over to him and he's implementing so we can get a sense of how stuff feels.

- Fixed a bug that would prevent users on mobile to create new journals.
- Fixed a bug that would render the notes input in the push view way too small in some cases.

Spent a lot of time playing around with the Stripe API this morning. Found out how customers can give themselves full refunds and how to set up subscription based payments.
The basic implementation is almost done.

1

On Sustainability

Futureland is a tiny team. There's just two of us and we really care about this project. Here are a few of our developing thoughts on the Sustainability of Futureland.

Grow at a Natural Rate

Futureland should only ever grow at a natural rate. We do not want to create the biggest company in the world, we just want to be the best for our activities and our users (artists). Even if that means we are always small! We believe that if we make things people love, those people will support us. And if we don't, they won't! It is our challenge and responsibility to put in the work to figure out how to make the kinds of tools that artists love.

Free for Public Use

Futureland can be used publicly or privately. The public use of Futureland will be free. When you use Futureland publicly, anyone can learn from and interact with your process. So sharing publicly becomes a way of contributing to the lives and the work of everyone else using Futureland. You will be able to create unlimited public Entries and unlimited public Journals on Futureland.

Annual Pricing

The tools we make are for people who understand that some things can only ever be finished on longer time scales. That's what makes those things special! Learning a new skill requires practice. Tending to a garden is a slow and joyous process. Writing a book or making a film requires continuous attention for months and years. Our tools are designed for exploring and sharing these types of experiences.

Active Refunds and Pure Revenue

We want all of our revenue to come from users who actually use Futureland. We call this 'Pure Revenue'. There's a pattern in subscription based businesses where a lot of revenue comes from users who forget to cancel their subscriptions or from users who do not use the tool. We do not want any of this revenue. We will actively seek out users who are not using Futureland and ask them if they want their money back. If you purchase a paid version of Futureland and do not see value in the tool, you can get a full refund. We see it as our responsibility to create tools that our users love. If people try our tools and do not love them, they will always be able to get their money back.

Priced for Sustainability

We do not want to create the biggest tools, we want to create the best ones for our users. The best tools are ones that can last over many years of use. This means we need a sustainable way to continually put time and money into the research, experiments, design and development of these tools.

Futureland will not create the cheapest tools, but we hope that our users feel the higher quality and deeper thinking warrants the higher price. A higher price also means we can achieve a sustainable project with fewer users. This allows us to spend less time trying to chase new users and spend more time focusing on improving tools for the users we already have.

Here's a few early thoughts on pricing:

- Free: Unlimited Public Entries, 50 Private Entries
- Plus(+) $240/year: Unlimited Public and Private Entries, API access (coming)

Spent some time this morning to work more on the new detail component. In this session I tried to focus on improving the display and composing of comments. I can say that it already feels way better than the old comment component I built in one morning when we were still together in house one.

2

Projects and Outputs to Journals and Entries

If you have been using Futureland, you know that two important terms are Projects and Outputs. Today we are changing those terms to Journals and Entries. These terms better reflect the expanding use cases of Futureland and the work we have been putting in to improve the tool.

A Project was a skill you were learning. An Output was a daily unit of progress towards the completion of your Project. The hope was getting to 365 Outputs in a Project. This would mean you had worked on learning a new skill by creating something for 365 consecutive days. Quite a few users have completed these Projects in a range of disciplines like computer programming, visual art, 3d modeling, yoga. It is a life changing experience to go through.

As we continue working on Futureland and improving its functionality, it is becoming clear that this tool is expanding beyond just learning skills through a daily Output. Futureland is becoming a way to continually bring your attention back to anything that is important or interesting to you. This still includes learning new skills, but it has expanded to include other things like your observations, relationships, research, experiments and more. Projects on Futureland are starting to feel more like unique digital Journals.

I created an open Journal where anyone can share photos of the Sky. By adding it to my Daily, it encourages me to look up and appreciate the sky each day. Since it is an open Journal, anyone can add an Entry and it currently has 146 Entries. I have Journals for research themes I am working through like, 'Sustainability' and 'Self-reliance'. I have a private Journal titled, 'Kaito' that I use to cultivate a healthy relationship with my son. I have one for Meditation, Yoga and the various books I am reading. Whenever a Journal is important I add it to my Daily until it is time to remove it. Others use Futureland in similarly expanding ways, Disconnecting by @tmm, Native Garden by @ethan and @sloane, making art by @marco, organization by @justin, etc.

This might seem like a simple change of terms, but it's an important step for us. It took a lot of work and experimentation to get to this point. It's really cool to be a part of Futureland and to observe how this little experiment continues to develop.

Started to work on a simple detail view for all kinds of entries. This does not look like much yet and needs a lot of work. I want to use this as an opportunity to improve the comment experience as well.

Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Added descriptions to the "New Journal" and "New Entry" buttons on hover
- Show the "New Journal" tile as first one in the profile view
- Replaced all occurrences of "Project" with "Journal" and "Output" with "Entry"
- Fix position of the comment component when it would partially be displayed outside of the window
- Updated the homepage
- Removed the video banner

1

I am experimenting with adding new sections to this home page concept. So you can explore various components of what Futureland is and believes in a focused way. In this little Sketch, the current sections are 'A Network of Digital Journals', 'How to Learn with Futureland' and 'On Sustainability'. I am not sure what the final sections will be. They will be added as they are completed.

Pushed a new update with the following changes:
- Tweaked the overall design of the current push view
- Added a word count on the push view
- Added a simple "Focus Mode" that helps to focus on the notes of an output
- Moved the collaborator settings to project settings
- Included the new sidebar in the grid view

I am working on a new modular home page concept for Futureland. As I have mentioned in earlier writing in this Journal, I see a 'home page' as kind of a table of contents for an interactive experience. It is a way of holding the entire concept of something in your head. There's a bunch of stuff we need to work on for Futureland to have a great home page (table of contents), but we're slowly starting to work on components of it. As each component starts to make a bit of sense we will update the home page with it.

Futureland allows you to create a network of public or private digital journals for anything important or interesting to you. These digital journals have very unique abilities. You can instantly jump to any point in time. Seeing a Journal's progression from a day ago, a month ago or even years ago. You can use a feature called 'Daily' to stick to Journals that need your attention every day. Maybe ones that you are using to learn a new skill or ones that you are using to get healthy. You can share Journals with your friends or share just a single entry. When you're working with others, you can add them to a Journal as collaborators so they can share progress and insights as well.

Using Futureland is a different experience. We find it is difficult to overstate the power of continually bringing your attention back to the things you care about most.

Added a "Collaborators" section to the project settings to invite other users to collaborate on projects. Additionally this lets users invite people to projects that are not on Futureland yet.

Learning a new skill is the inevitable byproduct of repeating the right behaviours. If you write some kind of code every day, you will learn how to code. If you make some kind of music every day you will learn how to make music. This pattern applies to every skill that you want to learn. Animation, filmmaking, meditation, yoga, gardening, writing, Jiu Jitsu, anything. In a world where we have access to unlimited information, the only thing standing in the way of continuous learning is practice. Futureland helps you repeat the activities that lead to the acquisition of new skills and it visually documents your progress through public or private digital journals.

2

Futureland is designed for you to transform anything. To transform something is to change its nature, function or condition. You might want to transform one of your abilities like becoming someone who can make music or write software. Perhaps you want to transform the state of an idea into something tangible. Maybe you want to transform the environment around you. Or maybe you want to transform your relationship with someone or something. Futureland is designed for these kinds of transformations.

To transform something, you need to repeat specific behaviours, widen your identity, take in high quality inputs and reflect often. Futureland integrates all of these activities into a single, simple and powerful experience. There is no other tool like this and it is the product of our own research and experiments.

To help users focus more on writing I added a button to the push view that makes the media preview smaller.

I am starting to make some small improvement to the settings Interface for our Journals. No major changes, just widening it, including a space to add collaborators and improving the usability a bit if I can.

I'm moving around our navigation menu to see if it feels better in any other position. It's funny we have tried so many different things with this. Last week I spent a bunch of time designing an icon based menu and @lucas put a bunch of time in trying to get it to feel sharp from an interaction perspective. At the end of that work, it still never felt as good and simple as just having a text based menu at the top right of the screen. It requires the least thinking and allows for an immediate and direction understanding of what everything does. It's funny how that works. Kind of cool. I hope as we move through designing more of this tool we can stay focused on letting function and simplicity drive the decisions we make.

Pushed a new update to production including:
- New project sidebar
- Project icons that get displayed in the project sidebar. Users can upload them in the project settings
- Added /stats to the desktop menu
- Several small bugfixes

Sending @lucas another package of Interfaces that attempts to improve the publishing interface on Futureland. These interfaces accommodate every type of media (except audio) which I will dive into soon. It would be super tight if our experimentations in native software eventually take us to a point where we can quickly drop audio into any Journal.

I have been making some design improvements to publishing on Futureland. There's A LOT of continual work that needs to be done on this but these are small steps in a positive direction. This is a little package of interfaces I am sending over to @lucas for some early feedback.

Also it's likely that we will be pushing a new side bar to all Journals soon. And a new menu too. There's ways we can refine both of those things and I'm sure you will tell us how once you start playing with those things.

2

There have been a bunch of us here recently who have completed experiments in continuous creative output for 365 consecutive days. This output ranges from disciplines like violin, software, water color, pixel art and 3d modelling (soon). This is straight up incredible and I am still processing all of it. I cannot believe it. I'll be writing more about these users and these projects very soon. I have been quiet about this because I am just at a loss for words observing all of this.

A massive congratulations to everyone who some how managed to see through these experiments. Life brings so many ups and downs. To see this is just crazy inspiring.

1

Started to implement @internetvin's new navigation idea. Liking it so far. I am on limited time today and not happy with any of this yet. Will play with this more tomorrow morning.

If you are viewing one of your own Journals or a Journal that you are a collaborator on and you click the New entry button, Futureland will infer that you want to add a new entry to that Journal. In the Where field, the Journals name will already be displayed in a dimmer text and a blinking cursor beside it suggesting that it is editable. This allows you to quickly backspace if you want to publish somewhere else.

In this updated publishing view as the user is typing the name of a Journal, Futureland will infer and show you various Journals you might be trying to select. This mechanic assumes that users always start with a blank 'Where' field. We need to figure out how to infer where you want to publish sometimes so you do not have to go through this step every time. I just had an idea while writing this.

I'm working on a little update to our publish view on Futureland. This could be the empty state. There's a field titled 'Where:' that is where you input the name of the Journal you are publishing to. I also added text at the top of the interfaces that says 'Esc to exit' The 'exit' text is underlined because it is a clickable link that will close the publishing view. This text also shows the user how to exit out of this view with their keyboard. Push the esc key. Other subtle details are that the 'New entry' button on the top right is faded. This is to indicate that you have already triggered this activity and cannot trigger it again. I'll share a couple of other little developments in a moment.

I am starting to experiment with a little design update to Futureland's existing publishing interface. I think we need a more prominent display of the Journal you are publishing to. Quick Journal switching would be useful and an immersive feeling when writing. I would also be cool if you could publish to multiple Journals at the same time. :)

I am starting to experiment with an icon based menu on the right side of Futureland. The labels will be triggered on a hover state. The hope is that an adjustment like this opens up more space on the interfaces and takes Futureland towards more desktop tool patterns.