My Bloggy Schizophrenia

My Bloggy Schizophrenia January 19, 2009

Some of you were wondering why for a bit there I changed the name of this blog from “Suddenly Christian” to “” The more attentive among you may have caught the moment or two when the blog was named “Jerry Lewis’s Head Wax.” Did anyone catch when it was “Dented Gopher”? “Range Free Mutants”? “Fireballs Galore”? “Attitudinal Ricochet”? “Suddenly Contagious”? “Suddenly Counterproductive”? “Suddenly Claustrophobic”? “Suddenly Catastrophic”?

“Ferns With Attitude”?

Okay, I’m kidding. I only ever switched it to Last week I finished working on a book, and so was finally free to begin thinking about my General Web Presence, which definitely needs enhancing. So I’m now exploring that realm of considerations. Should I learn how to build myself a real website? Hire someone to build one for me? Keep this blog? Start a new blog? Start printing my own books in my basement and just give up on regular publishers? Sell our house and buy one with a basement?

Anyway, all that’s what I’m very much thinking about these days.

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  • Des

    Unless you're a super famous person, having a website is like opening a lemonade stand and hiding it behind a hedge in your front yard. You need to be where the readers are.

  • I've got enough online readers to need a real website, for sure. I mean …. well, there it is.

  • No wonder you didn't tell anybody at first. That might be the least exciting reason ever for changing the name! I was hoping for some sort of mutiny, or anarchy, or something.

  • Well. One revelation at a time.

  • The Internet in my life is a solution in search of a problem. It's great for ordering ink for the printer, but lousy for getting any sort of fame.

    It fills my head with crazy dreams of people admiring my wit and my pencil sketching and delivers none such. It will continue to evolve faster than I can figure out what it's good for, probably until the day I part this mortal coil.

    Enjoy it for what it is.

  • Donna Buice

    Went to a seminar yesterday on that very subject….."Should I build my own website?" It really depends on what the purpose of your website is going to be and if you have the tools from the ground floor to structure in all the language needed to make it a website that will not just sit stagnant. My understanding is the basics of google or yahoo design (self-service)have many limitations in design, functionality and support. So you have a website, great; the biggest question should be…. "Once I have a website will I get traffic to my site?" Also, what is the purpose of the site (?) …. informative OR ecommerce?

    The seminar was on: Should I invest in a website? What should I know about technology? Where do I start? Where to go for help? How to Build a website. How much will it cost? What are my risks? It was very informative and the seminar instructor was a business man as well as a web brainiac. One of the biggest obstacles is that once you get someone who knows how to build and design a website, will that person be able to cross the line and understand the business side of getting traffic to your site? This seminar layed out the limitations/risks/advantages of doing a website yourself, using an independent (college student or someone who knows the trade well enough to get your site to a quality level) or using a consulting firm that can be very expensive. I thought it was pretty balanced information.

    I have a company and my website was fairly decent BUT not compared to what it's going to look like in the next month after the professionals get through with it. I'm not using a consulting firm; I went middle of the road. I'm going to email you some information and the name of the web group that did the seminar, just so you can browse their clients websites, if for no reason other than that. And, just so you know, I didn't know of this group before I did my website.

    The biggest consideration for me is "How can I get traffic to my website and how do I keep it there?" If you can do that on your own than you shouldn't hire anyone; your cost can be more in getting people to your website than it is in design and development. Where you can save money you should …. my feeling is try to minimize cost in design and put more of your money in getting the traffic to your site. If you think about it; if you have a well designed website and no traffic….what does that get you? However, if you have a lot of traffic and therefore ability to convert that traffic to users on your site then you are in business. I have a feeling your 'design' won't be compromised in the least bit by saving some of your money there.

    Anyway…….just something to chew on, take a bite of, ponder, disregard, debate, mull over, investigate or ignore! :-)))

    Truly wish you the best on your search.

  • Melinda

    A website is good, but whatever you do, you should definitely keep the blog! I love reading it and I'm sure lots of other people do to.

  • Wow, Donna! Mucho information! Thank you! And I see where you emailed me some stuff on Facebook to look at. Thank you! Very kind of you!

    Melinda: What a sweet thing to say. Thank you!

  • John, one thing to consider in whether to build it yourself or pay someone to build it is SEO – search engine optimization. If you want your web site to get decent traffic, you need to rank well in the search engines. So, if you DO build your site yourself, you need to have someone come along behind you and optimize it for search engine placement. And that's a lot easier said than done. There are all kinds of shady SEO firms out there (ones that use strategies that might get you high rankings today but banned next week when they [the search engines] figure out you're using some scheme to get higher rankings that they consider dishonest). Then there's the folks who say they know what they're doing but only know a little bit about what they're doing and get you mediocre results at best. Ideally, from a traffic standpoint, you're going to be better off having someone design a site for you, and having that someone have some good basic knowledge of what the search engines like. That way your site gets both the design and the search engine stuff right from the start. Of course, then you have the task of trying to find someone who can do both, and do both well…

  • Lisa: You know, it's interesting. I made a point, when I started blogging two years ago this April, to ignore the whole SEO thing. I hated the thought of in any way altering what I wrote so it would be more "searchable." But I'm not actually sure what the SEO thing is. I know if you typie in "John Shore" to google, the first thing you get is my blog. That seems … good. I guess. I dunno.

    But you've helped me learn! Thank you!!!

    Clark: I was hoping someone noticed that joke. Thanks!

  • “Start printing my own books in my basement and just give up on regular publishers? Sell our house and buy one with a basement?”

    You funny, funny man John Shore. (imagine Chinese accent)

  • I don’t think it’s wise to “write for the search engines” all the time – you could end up with copy that reads something like “These blue widgets are the best blue widgets on the blue widget market. If you’re looking for blue widgets, then is your one-stop site for widgets that are blue. ” But if you know you want to come up high for certain phrases, then you do want to try to include those phrases in your page’s title tag and anywhere else on the page that you can put it without being obnoxious about it.