For this problem, Antares Programming is not intended to replace all of the existing resources; it just augments them. It is intended to support existing educational resources by curating learning materials from around the Web and creating resources that explains what other sources have missed.
Antares Programming provides this service in three ways, all provided in Filipino:
- Infographics. Using its Facebook page, Antares Programming will provide information in the form of infographics. These require the lowest cost and energy as these are bite-sized. It also has more mileage as it can be shared and re-shared infinite times by Facebook users on their personal timeline or in developer Facebook groups. This also serves as a marketing strategy as people are more likely to engage with graphic content as opposed to written articles and videos that take up more of their time.
- Written articles. Concepts and topics that need to be discussed in more depth are served in the form of written articles. This type of content targets learners who prefer reading more than watching videos. These articles have to be well-researched while also leading the learner to more resources. This is the most important goal of Antares Programming when it comes to written articles. Learners have to learn something new after reading it and search for more resources on the topic discussed.
- Videos. Of these three, videos are the most difficult and costly to produce. Videos act as a complement to written articles in that videos simplify what written articles discuss. This opens up the target audience wider and reaches more people.
For these solutions, a prominent online presence is essential. For this, I created a Facebook page for Antares Programming to reach the highest demographic possible. I also created a website to host the written articles for people interested in getting into the details. And finally, I have created a Youtube channel to host the videos.
Design for this project is an ongoing process. At the time of writing, this project is in a process of rebuilding its brand after I have taken a hiatus from working on it in 2019.
The whole project is separated into three phases to make it easier for me to manage over the longer course of time.
Phase 1: Facebook Page
The Facebook page was started early on in the project. It serves as a marketing tool in building the audience and getting a wider reach. It also serves as an information hub for loyal fans of this project. It hosts all of the information about new articles and videos.
The Facebook page also serves as a channel of communication between Antares Programming and its fans. People send messages to the Facebook page to inquire of details about certain topics or just generally ask about a concept they don't really get. This is also the main business model, if you will, as people get informed that Antares Programming accepts financial donations from its fans.
Phase 2: Website
The development of the website started a few weeks after the Facebook page was published. Initially it was just a simple blog where I write articles about web development, particularly about Intrinsic Web Design, which I felt really needed to be announced to Filipino developers.
The first iteration of the website was built with Hexo, a blogging engine. It was hosted on Github Pages. It has gone through different iterations in terms of its aesthetics and user experience, which also reflected my growth as a web designer during the time.
I built the second iteration of the website when I came back to working on it after taking a hiatus in 2019. I decided to rebuild it from scratch. This time I used Jekyll, a blogging engine built with Ruby, and again, hosted on Github Pages. I chose Jekyll because Github Pages supports it natively, and it allowed me to use Sass for CSS. It also didn't need a database or CMS since all articles can be written in Markdown, just like in Hexo.
Phase 3: Youtube
The third phase of this project started just recently. I opened the Antares Programming Youtube channel. It barely has anything, as video production is very tedious and costly. But I intend to post videos in the future.
At the time of writing, Antares Programming has more than 2,000 fans on its Facebook page, and it is still increasing. I have disabled analytics on the website since I have reservations on using Google Analytics (data privacy) and the alternatives are quite costly for my needs. However, quite a few people sent their messages of thanks regarding the website.