Hello there! Yes, BlenderNewbies is still alive!
I know things have been seemingly dead around here but there are many things going on in the background.
- I'm nearing completion on a Tutorial Compilation DVD-ROM that will contain most of the tutorials available on the website! I'll be offering the disc as a convenience to those that may have problems downloading/housing the large video files and also as a way for people to help support the on-going efforts at BlenderNewbies. Because the tutorials are freely available online, the price of the disc will be well below what you would expect for a comparable commercial product. I'm also taking the opportunity to reproduce the included tutorials at their greatest fidelity so they'll look and sound much better than the scaled-down, compressed versions found online. I'm also scraping through the materials to account for any major changes in Blender. The compilation disc will be printed in full-color along with a full-color case.
- I've been preparing to make the migration out of Blogger to my own existing domain. This will free me from the many constraints encountered with Blogger. I have great plans for the new site. It'll take some more time but I'll get there.
- I've been developing a new Blender Browser Toolbar, from the ground up, that won't have any third-party associations. All of the back-end code will be directly from me so, I'm hoping that will alleviate any concerns that some may have about spyware, etc. There aren't any issues with the existing toolbar but, toolbars tend to get a bad rap because of the abuses of some publishers. I'm hoping to eliminate any concerns by getting total control over every single aspect of its coding, contents, and functionality. Plus, I'll be able to add many features that would be virtually impossible when using a third-party tool. For example, I would like for people to be able to customize their toolbar with some of their own content (links, rss feeds, etc.) and be able to trim down some of the undesired "stock" content that I've added. I realize that some of the content that I think are important might not matter much to some. Also, it's pretty cumbersome to manage the content with the current setup. Using my own coding and tools, it's much easier and faster. So, the change in direction with the toolbar is simply about gaining total control on my end and offering more control for the users.
- I've been spending a lot of time in the active BlenderNewbies forums, offering assistance when I'm able, developing the forum's features, and just simply enjoying the developing community of Blender users. It's a very friendly environment where it's okay to ask what some might call a dumb question...and not get flamed for asking it! In short, it's a jerk-free environment of Blender users that are eager to learn and eager to help whenever they can. I have ambitious plans for the forums as well. Ultimately, the goal is to mesh everything together into an nice learning/social environment with Blender and CG as the common interests. I really hope that you'll pop in and look around!
- And, I've been spending more time improving my own skills as well. I had begun to let that lapse but, no more! It's too much fun!
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that even if things look pretty stagnant on the surface, there are plenty of things going on in preparation for future projects (yes, that includes more tutorials). Being just one person, I have to do a bit of a juggling act but, I'm getting better at it.