Thursday, January 11, 2007

why do a web page, and what to put on it.

an edit for the blog

Sheryl just redesigned the page for Mama Love Products as a stand alone site and it looks pretty good. She’s going to redo her page as “Sheryl Karas, author” as well. Actually, she’s already well into that one. At some point the home page for a our practice will be redone too. As it stands that website is all hand written in old HTML by Sheryl, and it’s wonderful how fast all the pages load, even on a modem account like my mother has. But it bothers Sheryl that it’s hard to change or edit it, and bothers her too that the code isn’t up to date with the times. What can I say, she’s a designer and has high standards. We both just dove into Mac’s iWeb, and love the program, but I feel pretty sure that Sheryl will upgrade to Dreamweaver by Adobe, in order to have more controlover the final product. Oh yeah, Sheryl's web site is and I'm on that too. My own web page isn't quite ready for public consumption, but it's "around." Oh, all right, if you must know, the web address is but don't all crowd onto it at once now.

I did a rudimentary version of a home page for myself, by myself, and it looks pretty good because it’s a template. I’m not very web-page savvy, it lacks things like “buy now” buttons. And while I got very excited about making my own web-page; in only a couple hours including uploading it, I soon realized that it only does some good if somebody reads it, and it only does me some good if I know people are reading it ( a hit counter would be nice). I also need to have some clue that it will all result in me making a living in a way that I enjoy, ultimately. Otherwise, to be blunt, “I’m too old for this shit.” My ego doesn’t need the satisfaction of having a web page just so that I can say I have a web page.

I’m figuring that the key to a ‘successful’ web page is: content. As I check out those web pages that I’ve visited over the years, they’ve all got content that I’m interested in, so I go there, and go back, and back again sometimes. In some cases (in many cases) web research has influenced me to purchase a particular thing. In fact, almost everything I buy is first meticulously researched via google, and lately I generally buy directly over the internet. So... I’m a customer, and I know what I like. If I Make my web pages attractive/interesting to me, then likely they’ll be attractive and interesting to others.
Further, the concept of having an online resume which demonstrates one’s talents, knowledge, skills and abilities is a good thing, even if it’s just an indirect outcome.

But like I just told Sheryl, I haven’t bridged the gap between “old-school” where one didn’t just give content away (articles, fiction, poetry, photos) and this new thing where people simply self publish web pages with whatever content they want to put out there. Furthermore as a writer there is a huge stigma over self publishing. it can even be a career ender. They call it “Vanity Publishing” if you pay to have your own book published, and yet that doesn’t seem to count if you’re writing a blog or self publishing web pages. I wonder why that isn’t a stigma? Not all publishing conventions have kept up with the times. look at print journalism: it’s dying, devouring it’s own carcass. And photojournalists just keep getting beaten down by the big newspaper publishers. In 2005 the photo pulitzers in journalism were won by a bunch of Iraqi citizens whom the big newspapers had gifted with digital cameras-- that was no accident, that was a message. No slight to the Iraqi citizens who had the guts and grit to shoot those photos, but that's like firing the pro wedding photographer and giving a camera to your uncle jimmy-bob and calling it good.
Here’s something interesting: If a person wants to look at photos on the web of naked women: there’s more out there than can be imagined. Large digital stills of naked women, and I do mean high quality photography in every respect: that content is given away for free. But there is so much of it out there that who would bother to download (steal) it? Just access the internet, see all the naked women you want for free. Or men, whatever rings your chimes. What’s ironic to me about that, is that all those sites are commercial sites-- there to make money, with big sharp photos, easy to steal-- and they don’t seem to care. But visit a fine art photographer's website and all these niggling little photos pop up: you can barely see the “fine art” photos because they’re so petrified that somebody will grab it right from the web page and they’ll never get paid. I hate that. I hate that artists have to be that way. I’ve hear that the big internet money makers are porn and gambling. Like they make so much money that it falls from their websites like gold coins they’re too busy to bend over and pick up.

PS: I can’t find my own web page on Google right now, and I don’t know how to make it appear there. Ah, just went looking for again, and didn’t find it, again. Sheryl is too busy with her own web stuff to stop and help me, and I wouldn’t really want her to drop what she’s doing to help me anyway. Getting your page found on google is only one topic, I have other issues to work through besides that one.

Um, the general idea has been for Paul to work up a web page as a resume, as an online representation of a business interest (or more than one business) But... what happened when I started to publish a web-site? It got really interesting really fast, because I can’t seem to hold back my creativity once I get started. That means I want to write in a blog every day, uncensored, that’s a biggy, self censoring. Same goes for my photos, I’d rather display them nice and big but am afraid they’ll get stolen. (Yes, I’m one of those petrified artists, but I have an excuse*) And I’d prefer to work exclusively in iweb, with my own dot.mac account because at least i know how to use it, it’s so dang simple!

Some things change and some compromises have to be made- like I do indeed prefer my web address to be ( and pretty soon it will be) because sheryl purchased me a domain name for a year. Otherwise my web address would be that silly dot.mac thing which is hard to remember and embarrasing to tell people.

What else got complicated: I didn’t like the fact that the dotmac blog page had nothing on the template about user comments--- means I’ll never know if anybody reads it and wants to comment. So today i signed up for blogger also known as blogspot on google. I’ve got an acct and one post so far, there is a space for user comments and I even like the domain address (whatever it is, forgot it at the moment) but guess what, it looks awkward to post photos on there. Ugh. And this (posting photos) was exceedingly easy with iweb-- plus, the whole web page is integrated in that program, isn’t it? one button publishing. . . or as close to it as I can get. Not sure Sheryl understood the importance of that, and of her not having to be involved in the process of my web page.

But when it comes to “blogging” I can’t really put my stuff out there uncensored-- just read back over what i just wrote. It’s like opening up your journal for everyone to see, could ruin a professional image, can hurt friendships and relationships, and I definitely would have to be careful about talking about inappropriate things, can’t talk about clients, even abstractly, it’s dangerous to the privacy of the client. So by way of closing out this post, I reveal 2 things:
1. I edited the hell out of this post, for personal reasons.
2. my little asterisk about why I’m a paranoid artist when it comes to sharing my work, ready? Here it is. . . * I’ve had my creative work ripped off multiple times already: photos, a song I wrote, and a work of fiction was rather badly plagiarized.

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