Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Division of Labor

Right now I'm supposedly working on my latest project, building myself a new website!  I'll be moving my blog over there, plus adding some new sections for book reviews and other stuff.  Eventually my goal is to take my favorite blog entries, revise the crap out of them (literally), and assemble them into a book, which will, of course, be available to purchase on my website.  It's all in an effort to build a "platform" - an online presence that will magically make publishers etc take me seriously as a writer.  It's all the rage nowadays; I don't know if you're even allowed to publish a book without an accompanying blog/newsletter/message board/Twitter feed.  And you know me - any bandwagon that passes too close, I've just got to jump on.

So, if I'm thisclose to having the perfect website that will not only propel me to fame and stardom but quite possibly also usher in Web 3.0, whatever that is, why I am over here, blogging?  It's simple, actually - as it turns out, I absolutely stink at building websites.

Yes, it's true.  Jane-of-all-trades I am not.  The logistical part of website creation isn't so bad - I bought a domain name, set everything up with a webhost, installed Wordpress - and that's as far as I got.  Because everything after that is all the pretty stuff.  What should the header look like?  What color scheme do I use?  How about matching fonts?  Not to mention layout, background images, widgets, templates, and on and on and on.  Wordpress tries to make this easier by allowing developers to create "themes" - they do all the color picking and laying out and all that stuff, you just pop it in and add content.  The problem is, there are about 7 gazillion different themes out there, and I swear I have looked at every single one.  I started with an idea in mind of how I wanted my website to look, but after staring at theme after theme after theme, I stopped actually caring what it looked like.  I grabbed the next one I came across, slapped it up there, and started writing stuff. 

The problem is, I now have what is arguably the most boring website on the planet.  Seriously.  It is gray and blue and has absolutely zero personality.  I'd show you, but one of the (many) articles I read about website design told me that the design of the website determines if people are willing to stick around and read the content.  Frankly, I'm not willing to risk driving you all away, sending you running into the arms of a blogger with a better eye for color.

Fortunately, there is someone out there with a better eye for color, and I happened to be married to him.  This is where "opposites attract" plays out quite nicely - the only thing that interests Ryan in putting together a website is the way it looks - I only care about what it says.  We did the same thing with the kitchen remodel - he picked the asthetics, I did the functionality.  I created a "favicon" this morning - the 16x16 pixel image that represents the website in your browser - and it took me two hours.  TWO HOURS!!  The thing is so small it requires basically no detail.  I could have slapped a single letter in a plain white box and called it good, but noooo... I had to fiddle and play and scrap things and start over for two whole hours.  And that is what drove me here, to my blog, to spend a few minutes doing something that I'm good at.

So, yes, I'd rather write about building a website rather than actually building the website.  That's probably how it should be.  I'll be drawing a picture of what I want my website to look like and handing over to the master later today.  And as soon as I know the site won't put you in a boredom-induced coma, I'll let you see it. 


Kim said...

Is it ready now?

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emilayohead said...

Finally, in hour three, I got the favicon uploaded and working! Except, only in Safari - I think firefox just needs to update or something. And I keep calling it a "flavicon" - like there's flavor involved. (If there was, I'd pick grape.)

Drake Steel said...

Hi Emily,
I could hardly imagine a better way of saying what I think about this stuff. Mom is all about the appearance and I'm curious about how this stuff works. BTW Drew and I were talking about this website stuff, and there was a browser that was made in the beginning that was only CLI or command line interpreter, called LYNX. Imagine what that looks like? Only words!

Susanne said...

You know, Emily, I read a book that made me think of you. I actually thought you would have done a much better, funnier job of it. It contained the thoughts of an LDS mom. Your writing is much, much better. I love that you're moving in that direction. You go girl!