What Next?

Ian Gilman
2 min readApr 2, 2023


Photo by Ashim D’Silva

When I started my Patreon seven years ago, I was pursuing a lot of different ideas, following my muse while hunting for things that might resonate with the wider world. In that time, I’ve made a number of interestingweb toys”. I’m proud of them all, but they haven’t all taken off. Two things have really risen above the pack, though, gathering momentum with enthusiasts across the world: the Living Worlds app and the OpenSeadragon technology. I’m feeling like it’s time to settle down a little and focus on these things.

In the case of OpenSeadragon, that’ll mostly be continuing to do what I have been doing… stewarding the community, facilitating contributions, helping people make the most of the technology. In some ways this is invisible work, but it adds up, making a big difference for the people who need it and the community as a whole.

There’s also the OpenSeadragon course I’m putting together. As with all of this stuff, I’m having to fit it around my “day job”, but it’s coming along!

One thing I’m contemplating is putting more energy into finding funding for the project. With funding, there are many ways we could make the project more robust and broadly accessible. I started an OpenCollective, and we’ve had some very generous donations, but it’s tapered off. Another avenue to explore is finding ways to make it easy for the many institutions across the world who use OpenSeadragon to make some sort of monthly payment in return for priority support, recognition, etc.

On the Living Worlds front, I’m taking a bit of a break. I just came off a year of creating ambient soundscapes for the app. It was very rewarding, and people seem to love them, but it was also a lot of work! It’s whet my appetite for sound design, so maybe I’ll seek out more of that in the future.

Once I’m ready to dive back in to the app, I’m thinking it would be fun to explore creating a new set of “living” scenes with contemporary pixel artists (perhaps one per scene).

There’s also promoting the app more. In the four years since it was released, it’s had fairly steady sales, so it’s got staying power, but it clearly hasn’t found its full audience. I wrote up a “State of the Union” about marketing efforts in an attempt to figure out what to do next.

So that’s what I’m thinking at the moment. The journey continues, but it’s going to be more ongoing maintenance than big announcements. As always, if you’d like to help in in any way, I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you all for being part of this adventure! ❤️