As web publishing possibilities grow, I become more and more overwhelmed. It seems impossible to keep up, and I admit — I sometimes I use that as an excuse not to. The rest of the time, I just muddle through the best I can to keep our web sites up to date, functioning, and performing to their best ability, which is directly limited to my abilities.
Several years ago, I used to obsess over my web sites and blogs, learning and experimenting and playing with what’s out there. That’s how we ended up with our Cafe Press store at www.twolaneshoppin.com, and sites like the one I created after the 2003 flood.
But while I worked as a newspaper reporter, my knowledge of web publishing stagnated while I focused on writing. When we launched Two-Lane Livin’, I realized my web design knowledge (and web design program) were severely out-of-date.
When we became involved with WV Uncovered, I decided to use WordPress as our publishing platform, and began to learn and play with it. That was a year and a half ago, and I just now am feeling somewhat comfortable with it. I don’t try to push my boundaries too much, and I admit — I’ve spent time I used to spend on web work and play now on learning to garden, can, make rugs, relax.
However, our continued involvement with WV Uncovered, and the appearance of a new “web savvy” friend in my life, I realize that I have been neglecting the web sites of our lives. When you have multiple web sites in multiple levels of completion, with multiple purposes, it seems that everyone of them has loose ends. On top of that, I don’t even know off the top of my head how many different domain names we own. I’d have to look them up. Some are parked, some are forwards, some are hosted — I have a hard time keeping track.
The two main domains I work with are twolanelivin.com and wvcottages.com. The first, of course, hosts the magazine online. The second is a domain name I’ve had since 1997, and I just have never let it go. It hosts this blog, even though the blog’s “domain” is twolanebloggin.com. Then, there’s our youtube page (twolanevideo.info), our scribed page, our payloadz page (twolanepubs.com), our etsy page (fralimi.com), and others long forgotten or yet to come.
Our web sites are full of “we could possiblies” and “yet to comes”.
Web design work is a time sponge, much like the internet that hosts it. I start tweaking one of our sites at 4 pm, and with a break for dinner, could still be tweaking at 2 am. That’s what happened the other night, and my sleep schedule is still out of whack.
The main page at wvcottages.com was completely outdated and served no purpose, so I created a new entry for that. I found a new Worpress PlugIn for twolanelivin.com that provided better meta tags and descriptions. This blog’s version of WordPress was outdated, so I thought I’d upgrade that too — and that’s where it all went down hill. The upgrade crashed the site, and at 2 a.m. I sent a frantic e-mail to the server technician. He replied within minutes.
See? Web work seems to draw (or create) night owls.
I think about our hopes to create audio and video features for our web sites, our dreams of having our own internet tv channel, of the interactive possibilities of the future.
And I think, “then I’ll never get any sleep.”