Thursday, April 27, 2006

My Cobbler's Child

Scott Ginsberg (the guy with the nametag), commented recently in one of his blog posts that it wasn't enough just to have a website anymore -- you must have a web presence. In that entry, he had a number of suggestions on how to attain that lofty goal. For many of us, though, even getting the website part right is a task of epic proportions in and of itself.

I am a web programmer and, up until a few years ago, I didn't even have a website. Yes, I know, I know. It was heartily embarrassing to hand people my business card and to have to tell them not to look at my website. Come to think of it, that would explain some of the odd looks I got back then.

Now this gaping hole in my web presence had many underlying causes. It was partly, of course, that my website was a true cobbler's child. I spent so much time working on other people's web projects, that I had little time for my own. A larger part of it, however, was just trying to answer the question of how I wanted to present myself. Tied in with that was my full awareness that, while I was a fairly competent programmer, designing a decent site, complete with original layout and graphics, was a task I wasn't quite ready to attack. Fortunately for me, my subcontractor and longtime friend, Kristin Mead, helped me come up with a nice, clean look for my site. "All" I had to do then was fill in the content.

Yeah, that's "all".

The problem with content on the web is that it has to change and evolve or no one will ever care to look at it twice. This is part of the process of turning that website into a web presence and something with which I continually struggle. One reason that I have started this blog is to create some changing content for my site -- and the other, with any luck, is to provide some interesting or useful information along the way.

I'm just starting to look at some of the other technologies which have been popping up over the last couple of years -- the so-called Web 2.0. How can I use these things? Do I even want to? Some of the pointers I've seen recently mention Squidoo, MySpace, Flickr, and I figure the best way to investigate is just to dive right in. I'm looking forward to the exploration. I'll report back with anything interesting that I find.

What sort of cool web technologies have you played with recently? Anything that you'd care to recommend?

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