Monday, July 26, 2010

Progress Report 3 - Attention to Detail

The forum is set up. Not completely customized yet, but my attention is spread too thin to get too far into the weeds on learning the fine points of phpBB. But you can read and register and post, and if anybody does, then I'll worry about learning the finer points of the bulletin board software and board moderation.

I've got the sidebar set up with the Donate button, the RSS feed, and the ads for Daikaiju! 3 and the Cafepress shop. I need to come up with some more shirt designs. I have one based on "Double-Secret Weapon" that's about 90% done, and I have some vague ideas for some Hero Go Home ones.

One thing that happens every time I go through a relaunch or a redesign is I learn more about putting together websites. Often it's more a matter of catching up to technology that has passed me by. My first Geocities sites, I coded completely by hand, typing up HTML in Notepad. I used the cheap giveaway software that came with our camera to edit photos.

For Hero Go Home, I'm using Wordpress for the basic site, phpBB for the forum, FileZilla for uploading, GIMP and Inkscape to do graphics and photo editing, Open Office Writer to write the novel itself. I've got Google Analytics set up for traffic monitoring, Amazon Affiliate Program and Cafepress accounts, and a Paypal business account for the Donate button.

And the crazy thing is, this is a relatively simple, DIY site. I think it looks pretty good, but I could not go to a company tomorrow and say, "Hire me to be your webmaster. Look at my site to see what I can do." Fifteen years ago, I probably could have. The standards hadn't been set, and companies first getting into the web had very little understanding of what they wanted to get out of it, beyond "more business."

Not today. The bar is high, and I don't know a fraction of what I would need to know to be a corporate web admin today. It's yet one more skill set that I know just well enough to be a talented amateur.

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