๐Ÿ“… Monday 13/12 to Friday 31/12

It's the holidays! I hope everyone is safe (especially those in Australia with our rising COVID cases) and having an enjoyable break. As you can tell from this update, I'll be scaling back the frequency of these articles from fortnightly to monthly (the reasoning is explained in the 2022 Website Plans section). Otherwise, read on for a summary of both the website's performance in 2021, and my activities in the second half of December!

A quick note as well, if you haven't already subscribed but are interested in anything you read below, please consider hitting that blue subscribe button in the bottom-right! I'll be sending only one email a month, and I'm sure one of the upcoming niche articles that will be linked in this monthly update will fulfill your interest.

Jump to sections below:

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป 2021 Website Wrapped

Since starting the website, the numbers have astounded me. I have read that some visitors are actually just bots trawling the internet for various purposes, but it still amazes me that my content is actually being read and by people from different places around the world! Below are the statistics from the last 30 days.

Interestingly, there are also visitors from China and the United Kingdom

In terms of skill acquisition, here are the website tasks I have completed (some shameless copy and paste from my own writing on previous articles):

  • Registering a domain through DigitalOcean, adding security through Cloudflare. This involved cnames, card details and ssh-ing into my server.
  • Using the Ghost Ease theme template and opensource code as a frame. This makes for easier article publishing but allows for code changes.
  • Designing a logo, site header and branding using Canva and testing Hexcodes.
  • Learning, failing and relearning HTML, CSS and a bit of JavaScript to make various stylistic changes.
  • Integrating a successful Dark Mode feature! There were a lot of late nights I was testing looks haha, so appreciate that all the elements and site view are able to be toggled.
  • Added a mail feature! Hit the blue "Subscribe" button in the bottom-right for 1 article in your inbox every month ๐Ÿ˜„ The email will be a monthly article (the very same one you're reading now) which contains updates on my activities as well as links to any articles produced for that interest area.
  • There was a particularly stressful situation where I thought I had broken the entire website during a back-end update (some file paths were missing or out-of-place). Luckily I was able to recover everything, but lesson learnt - always make a back-up, and document everything!
  • Added comments on all articles! Share your thoughts below ๐Ÿ˜„

โœ๏ธ 2021 Articles Published

I managed to write 16 articles in the 3 months since I started this site! Below is a list of the articles published, with links in the titles:

Title โœ๏ธ Date ๐Ÿ“† Tags ๐Ÿท
The Wheel of Time part 1 20/9/21 Books ๐Ÿ“š, Fantasy โš”๏ธ, In-progress โœ๏ธ
2020 Oscar Best Picture Nominees Ranked 2/10/21 Films ๐ŸŽฅ, In-progress โœ๏ธ
The perfect introduction to modern fantasy: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson 4/10/21 Books ๐Ÿ“š, Fantasy โš”๏ธ
Dune part 1: Why the hype for Denis Villeneuve's adaptation? 4/10/21 Films ๐ŸŽฅ, Science-Fiction โœจ
Dune part 2: Should you read the books? 4/10/21 Books ๐Ÿ“š, Science-Fiction โœจ, In-progress โœ๏ธ
2021 September to October 4/10/21 Current โŒš
General Study Hacks 9/10/21 Self-improvement ๐Ÿง˜, In-progress โœ๏ธ, Books ๐Ÿ“š
Start With WHY Summary & Review 17/10/21 Business ๐Ÿ’ผ, Books ๐Ÿ“š
Sci-Fi Short Stories part 1: Ted Chiang's two collections 21/10/21 Science-Fiction โœจ, Books ๐Ÿ“š, In-progress โœ๏ธ
2021 October part 2 22/10/21 Current โŒš
2021 October part 3 2/11/21 Current โŒš
2021 November part 1 18/11/21 Current โŒš
2021 November part 2 1/12/21 Current โŒš
2021 December part 1 15/12/21 Current โŒš
10-Minute Toughness Summary & Review 26/12/21 Books ๐Ÿ“š, Self-improvement ๐Ÿง˜
Spider-Man Reviewed part 1: Tobey Maguire's trilogy vs Tom Holland's 27/12/21 Films ๐ŸŽฅ

๐Ÿค” 2022 Website Plans

So, what's next for the website? I've certainly learnt ย a lot over the last three months working on Life of Karrot. I think the largest realisation has been that although I want to maintain a sense of accountability by providing updates on my activities, my main enjoyment and value-output comes from writing articles focused on the various topics I'm exploring.

What that means for 2022 is that I hope to get more content out, and will be scaling back my "Current โŒš" updates back to being a monthly affair. Instead of writing reviews on films, books and TV within the formerly fortnightly updates, I will link to articles for content that justifies an article being written up - this will be highly similar to the format below for my December update.

As a heads up, here are the articles I've got in the pipeline for the first half of 2022!

  • Movies
    • Home Alone 1, 2 and 5 compared
    • Imtiaz Ali's Bollywood movies
  • Non-Fiction Book Summaries/ Business / Self-development
    • Content Strategy for the Web
    • The First 90 Days
    • Sports icons biographies
  • Fantasy Books
    • Wheel of Time books 2-3
    • Horror graphic novels - Sandman and Monstress
  • Fiction Movies and Books
    • Dune film, book 3
    • Marvel's Eternals comics v film adaptation
    • The American Dream in books and movies
  • Music
    • Kanye West
    • Coldplay
  • TV
    • Romance in You and Modern Love
    • India's IIT issue in Kota Factory and Alma Matters
    • 2021 MCU Disney+ Ranking

๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ December Volunteering

  • Unfortunately, after helping with the marketing for Sikh Youth Australia's 2022 Summer Camp over the past few months the team had to make the difficult choice to cancel the camp. It's a tough one for the community but the health risks were too high, with Sydney recording record numbers of COVID daily. It's just a sign that even now moving into 2022, the virus and its variants are still impacting activity organisation.
  • Before the cancellation, I was able to run a paid Facebook post reaching 1800 unique users. The team was meeting every few days to create a COVID-safe plan, including attempting to acquire Rapid Antigen Tests from chemists and deciding the physical logistics. I assisted in crafting the email tone and content for both the initial COVID-safe plan announcement, and then later the official event cancellation.

๐Ÿคต December Work

The view from my office in Barangaroo ๐Ÿคฉ
  • Went into the office for the first time ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Was given an ID card and I finally got to meet some of my co-workers! The lunch area was crazy but also made me reflect on how similar the day's structure and movements were to a high-end school... not sure how I felt upon that realisation.
  • The work itself has been fantastic with some pre-approvals being gained and interacting with representatives from legal, brand and compliance. When I return in the New Year, I will be writing copy and working with a designer to push the page through to being live!
  • There was a lovely Christmas lunch just as Sydney's COVID case numbers were exploding, luckily for most of us it was a safe experience (most). I got to try some pizza from Fratelli's Fresh in Darling Harbour which was nice, and just chat with my co-workers about work experiences as well as more mundane things like the James Bond film franchise and Parks and Recreation TV show.

๐Ÿ“š December Books

๐ŸŽฅ December Movies

Title ๐ŸŽฌ Director ๐ŸŽฅ Date ๐Ÿ“† Rewatch๐Ÿ” Ratingโญ Article๐Ÿ“
Dune Denis Villeneuve 15/12/21 Y 4.5/5 Dune part 1
Spider-Man: No Way Home Jon Watts 16/12/21 5/5 Spider-Man part 1
Spider-Man: Far From Home Jon Watts 17/12/21 Y 3.5/5 Spider-Man part 1
Home Sweet Home Alone Dan Mazer 17/12/21 1.5/5 WIP
Home Alone Chris Columbus 20/12/21 Y 4.5/5 WIP
Ip Man 4: The Finale Wilson Yip 23/12/21 3.5/5
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Rodney Rothman, Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti 24/12/21 Y 5/5 TBC early 2022
The Matrix Resurrections Lana Wachowski 26/12/21 3.5/5
Rise of the Guardians Peter Ramsey 30/12/21 Y 3.5/5
Spider-Man: No Way Home Jon Watts 31/12/21 Y 5/5 Spider-Man part 1

๐ŸŽต 2021 Music

Spotify dropped their 2021 Wrapped for all their users. Flicking through this personalised slideshow was a blast; I loved how the company managed to comb through all my music-playing data from this year and present it in such a fun way. I was surprised at being in the top 0.5% of Daft Punk listeners, but honestly their break-up all the way back in February was heartbreaking and may have lent itself to me appreciating their music a lot more. Additionally, I'm glad the artists were able to close out their unique musical platform on their terms. Have a listen to their best album below.

Let's see what 2022's music brings for me, and my Spotify Wrapped in 12 months time! As for my other top artists, well I'm hoping to put out an article on at least Coldplay and Kanye West - the verdict is still out on The Jungle Giants and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but never say never.

๐Ÿ˜… Phew! You've reached the end of this month, thank you for reading.

If you're interested in more content like this, hit up the homepage and have a browse. If you want to get in touch, my details are in the "Contact" link below!

๐Ÿ‘ Hope you have a fantastic month ahead.