Inksmith Explained Redux

Let me start off by saying that Inksmith is what I view as my biggest online failure, after a fashion and this is what this particular post is about. Whenever I announce a project or something I usually deliver, notice I said whenever I announce a project. I may be a blabber mouth an I do get excited about things and have the urge to talk about them, however I never announce until I’m 100% certain I’m going to follow through (seriously if I didn’t do that I’d be writing this sort of shit all the time).

I might take some time to bring it forward (usually I take a lot longer that I could possibly want) however the fact of the matter remains that I will see things through. It seems that ever since the ‘announcement’ of Habari a few moons ago, some have brought up Inksmith as a way to bring discredit to Habari (at least the negative connotations that Inksmith is presented in infers this). It’s as though the fact that nothing moving forward on Inksmith is telling of stuff that might not happen on Habari, which honestly is the single most preposterous idea I’ve ever heard. These are two very very different things and I find those that mention them as though they’re linked in the same way done so as an act of ignorance/stupidity/lack of understanding etc. Here’s why.

The first fact brought forward is to understand what the two things actually were. Inksmith simply was an idea to create a community for bloggers. No this wasn’t a rip off on 9rules. I wasn’t creating a blog network but rather an area for bloggers to get around and be themselves. Oh sure there wasn’t really a central theme for us to bandy around, but what I wanted was a nice buzzing community that helped each other out and was open for people to get to know each other re our love for blogging. It wasn’t ground breaking and it wasn’t anything crazy, but it would have been fun and loads of the guys where well up for it. The best part of it all was the pictures on the coming soon site. I really liked the fact that we were all pissed off in those photos. It delivered what Inksmith was all about, angry people on the internet venting :).


Habari on the other hand is blogging software.

So where does the similarities lie you ask? As far as I can tell it’s the fact that some of the names attached to one project are now attached to another. So does this mean I’ve tarnished the credibility of the others on that list (since it was my idea)? Maybe and I guess they are the only ones I owe an apology to, because I didn’t deliver on my part of the bargain, so to everyone that was attached to the Inksmith project I apologise profusely. Let’s get something clear here, if I ask someone to be part of something I take their commitment seriously. I generally don’t like to waste ANYONE’S time as time for me is the most important commodity. So I genuinely feel bad about wasting those people’s time. We had some great discussions and it did prompt a lot of people on the internet to discuss the deal with being anonymous on the internet and using handles.

Why didn’t Inksmith take off? Because I didn’t have the energy to kick it off. 2006 was one of the toughest years on me from many many respects. In fact from May onwards I can definitely consider 2006 as one of the darkest times in my life from many angles. Which is actually reflected in my blog. What, you think that the dark motif was because I was joining in with the trend for darker sites at the time? No, Broken Kode is an extension of me and it reflects my mood in many cases. When my mood changes so to does the colours on my site, and the design itself in many respects.

So why didn’t I get Inksmith started? Honestly it came down to the amount of energy and enthusiasm I had to provide for the project, which after completing FOFR and Shuttle and 2 websites for clients and my on website and a bunch of illustrations I just didn’t have any more to give, until I was in Greece in October/November. At that point I had charged my batteries and I had decided that it was time for me to pull my finger out and build Inksmith all over again. For all the negative assholes that don’t believe me here’s the logo I created on the plane back to the UK:


So why did I stop that momentum? Simply put because the day I got back from the UK Chris had emailed me about Habari. In Habari I basically found another way to solve the problem that I wanted Inksmith to solve in the first place; the difference of course is that we’d have a central idea to gather around and that would be the software.

The community coming together around Habari is one I’m very proud to be a part of in the first instance. Final word to those that decide to put Inksmith in my face one more time, seriously try and do something constructive with your time, I know I am.



  1. Swstos o menios!

    1 Fadi
    Quote | 3/2/2007
  2. If you happen to need some design skillz (not that you don’t have enough of that already with the individuals that are on board), let me know.

    Seeing as though I was once involved with Inksmith, I’d love to contribute something to Habari. Even if that means some grunt work, or whatever.

    I don’t really think you owe an apology to anyone that was originally attached to Inksmith. As you mentioned, some of those involved with Inksmith are now actively contributing to Habari. The rest are still breathing, blinking and plugging along. I don’t think there was an adverse effect from what you deem a failure.

    Rather, it evolved into something different and from what I’ve gathered, something that could potentially rock the boat.

    Again, let me know, either by email or here if you’d like another contributor. As for what I’d contribute, it could be anything from illustration, design, copy editing, xhtml/css coding.

    My skills in design pretty much run the gamet.

    2 kartooner
    Quote | 3/2/2007
  3. Dude,

    Anyone who’s actually tried to get any kind of project off the ground will know where you’re coming from - it’s very easy for really good ideas to get sidelined or even trashed. That’s the harsh reality of life, and when you’re not even getting paid to do it then doubly so.

    Apparent failure in one project doesn’t translate into automatic failure in another. From what I’ve seen of Habiri, the team working on it has done some fantastic stuff â�� so far. Sure a lot of people may well have been annoyed by Inksmith’s failure to materialise, but that should be more reason to support something like Habiri (albeit an entirely different entity). Kartooner’s post above is a good example of how people should support Habiri and not pass too early a judgement.

    On another post I asked what Inksmith was, mainly because I saw the link and that small taster was enough to hook my interest… from what remains I can understand your feeling of failure - when you want something to succeed because you know how good it might be, then having to stop really must have pissed you off. But as I said that’s life - just make sure the next big project fully realises it’s potential (good luck with Habiri).

    3 Meoq
    Quote | 3/2/2007
  4. Tariq, thanks dude much appreciated it just that I was reading comments from several people re:inksmith and it’s association with Habari and I just got angry actually. Angry with them for not seeing all the other stuff and I guess angry with myself for not finishing off what I started. Ah well, live and learn I guess.

    4 Khaled
    Quote | 4/2/2007
  5. Erik, you wanna have a stab at some icons? We could use some cool little illustrations and I’m sure you can draw up some pretty cool things for the front website. Here’s a list of things we’re looking for:

    For the website:
    Download icon
    News icon
    Planet Habari icon
    Contribute/community icon

    The main admin panel:
    Home icon
    Media Icon
    Plugins Icon
    Update available icons (for plugins, themes and the main habari stuff as well)

    That’s it for now but I’m sure we’ll need some more down the line. We had a cool german designer put his hand up when the project was first announced, but alas I’ve not heard anything new. Tell you what come onto the actual mailing list and start that discussion.

    5 Khaled
    Quote | 4/2/2007
  6. The logo you came up with for Inksmith is fantastic.

    6 Blake
    Quote | 4/2/2007
  7. No one thinks less of you or any of the folk involved. You stepped up to the plate and started. That is a lot more than a lot of people do. You have all moved on. Enjoy. And Spread the News. Habari is coming :)

    7 Root
    Quote | 5/2/2007
  8. I read your post and it reminds me a lot of my work and projects I do right now. I was right on fire when I heard about Habari and my wish to do something for Habari is still present. Icon design or anything close to graphic design. You know my work — I’m the german designer you talked about. For me it’s much easier to do some stuff if I know exactly what is needed and which direction or better: design style is to go. The last weeks I read every day the habari-devs feed but couldn’t join and contribute some designs. It’s a little difficult for me to follow every discussion fork(?), so I gonna try it again now.

    Are there deadlines or dates I have to keep in mind?

    Btw.: I’m very curious about inksmith — I have a project (privat one) that has a little similar name ;)

    8 Yoram
    Quote | 5/2/2007
  9. Hey Yoram, I’m glad you’re still around I was wondering about you :). Was going to drop you a line. Listen the list I’ve put above still stands. Ahh fekk it I’m emailing you directly.

    9 Khaled
    Quote | 5/2/2007
  10. Khaled, I may not be able to speak for others, but to me your affiliation only strengthens the image of Habari. Even without your contributions to open source projects, your site’s design and tone of writing gives you a ton of credibility. While Inksmith’s lack of progress is somewhat irksome, it is mainly due to us not knowing what it is or was going to be. For anyone to question your credibility because of it is ridiculous though.

    I too would like to help with Habari, but, just like you Khaled, I only like to offer help to and be affiliated with projects I actually have time to help with. As such I’m too busy to do any real (grunt) work, but if the project ever needs their css looked at (to ensure elegance, proper physics and efficiency), don’t hesitate to call.

    10 James John Malcolm (AkaXakA)
    Quote | 6/2/2007

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