My Life As A Web Designer

Stef took a look at my work today and said it looked awful. She was right.

I’ve been working on-and-off on a website showcasing Roxie. In case you didn’t notice she photographs well.

Stef took a look at my work today and said it looked awful. She was right. She was brutally honest. Maybe just plain honest would have been enough.

I started fooling around again with the ‘skinning’ of the site. Most websites separate content from layout. As you redesign you keep the words and just change how they’re displayed.

This time I showed Helaine.

“Too sterile.” Not her exact words, but close.

More playing will follow. Designing websites is fun for me, but not without obvious artistic challenges. How do you find the right mix of open space/images/text? How do you make a static webpage look like fun at first sight? How do you hide the fact that the web demands rectangular layouts?

Stef also asked why I was doing this in the first place? I think money can be made on blogs—though surely not this one you’re reading which grossed $1.04 so far today (an exceptionally good day judging by recent history).

Maybe a sharply focused, dog oriented blog is worth something if it can attract a crowd? And, of course, you don’t have to strike it rich with one blog when you can easily run many.

From The New York Times: Lisa Sugar began blogging about celebrity gossip in her spare time four years ago. Now she and her husband, Brian, have a little media empire called, sensibly enough, Sugar Inc., with 12 blogs, 11 million readers a month and advertisers like Chanel and Sony.

The dream of quitting the day job and making a living from blog revenue has proved to be far-fetched for most bloggers. But a few entrepreneurs, like the Sugars, have found success in blog networks.

For every success story like the Sugar’s there are thousands of sites with limited reach and earnings potential. How can you know which you are if you don’t try?

Look Ma – I’m on Slashdot

I love Slashdot. How could I stay away from a site whose slogan is “News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.”

I am there at least 4-5 times a day, following their links to see the latest in high tech. It is Linux biased in much the way The Catholic Church is Christian biased. But, it’s geek and nerd populated and I share a certain sensibility with many of its habitues (though, unfortunately I no longer share the same generation with them)

Its readers, rapidly responding to the story postings, add insight, insult and everything in between.

What makes Slashdot so effective is its self moderating system which starts limiting what you easily read (you can always get to everything, but probably don’t want to) as users come on and rate the postings. Judging by what I see, there are a lot of people moderating at any given time, though Slashdot only gives you the opportunity to moderate every once in a while. Then, later, the moderations get moderated!

In many ways it is analogous to Google, where your association with others decides your relative importance and where your links appear.

Anyway, I’m writing all this because I finally got a posting of mine on to start a thread. It started this morning, early, when I saw an article in the New York Times about speeding up media (listening at double speed, for instance) and how that is a burgeoning field.

I have used that same technique in my studies at Mississippi State, watching DVD’s at double speed. For me, it’s been very effective. Now, it’s shared with others.

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