This post was originally published on April 25, 2018. I have made a vow to return to regular weekly writing, even if I have to use recycled posts. I have edited and updated the original post to coincide more with where I am right now. This feels like a good place to start.
The twins and I have been having a great argument about the school bus. When it’s cold out or raining, we often drive the two blocks to the bus stop. After we say goodbye to their big sister, we have a variation of the exact same conversation. They inform me that Sister is at school and we should go home and watch cartoons. Then, one or the other asks, “What color is the bus?” I reply, “Yellow.” They both yell, “No, orange!” I can’t win this argument. They are very convincing. The longer I look at the bus, the more orange it looks. From the beginning of my life, I have been programmed to respond that the school bus is yellow. Are school buses yellow or orange? Have buses always been the same color as now or did they change the paint? Is there a crayon in the box called school bus yellow and if so, has it also become more orange?
I have been working on updating my website. When I started this website, all I needed was a blog page. It was a way to hold myself accountable, a way to make sure I wasn’t just sitting on the couch. I haven’t accomplished everything that I set out to do this passed year but I am making progress. At this point, I need a central hub for all of the thoughts and ideas and projects on which I am working. Once again, it’s about accountability. If I proclaim my intentions to the World Wide Web, maybe I will be more inclined to follow through.
Back in the good old days, when I was first learning about website building, we walked 13 miles to school everyday, barefoot, and through the snow. Also, all aspects of design focused on how to keep someone on your site for as long as possible. The goal was an infinite loop where bleary-eyed surfers would follow bunny trails of information. Success meant they followed you around in circles forever. I am sure there was some element of marketing behind this approach but I think mostly it was about building “brand loyalty.” A person’s love for you was directly proportional to the amount of time they invested while lost on your site. However, just like everything else in this world, things changed.
I have been studying other websites to decide what I need to include and how to make it all work. If you want to see videos on a musician’s site, you click through to YouTube. If you want their photo gallery, the link takes you to Instagram. Tour dates are imported from somewhere else. Everything is external and connected back like a confusing spider web full of dead flies.
These changes have made building a website much easier in many ways. You can make a decent site without knowing how to code. This is good because I have forgotten more about coding than I can remember. A couple of clicks and what you see is what you get. It also means I don’t have to make everything perfect before it is up and running. At any point in time, I can make changes, even big changes, and my slice of the neighborhood is still there. Everything is immediate and there is no down time.
There are negatives, this old dog has a lot of new tricks to learn. I have to learn how to integrate Instagram onto my site and then I have to learn how to use Instagram and then somebody needs to teach me how to take a decent selfie.
I guess it’s all about perspective. If Facebook is your grandma’s social media preference and Snapchat is an integral part of your life, then all this new stuff is not new for you. Is the school bus yellow or orange? If this is the only color you have ever known, than it’s your normal. If something isn’t new, you don’t have to change the way you think about it. Changing is the hard part. Shifting perspective is tough. Learning new skills can be a challenge but it is easy compared to accepting the idea that the new skills need to be learned. I guess the bus could be orange.
Check out my website. I changed the whole thing again. I am trying to add a store. You know you want to buy all my fine Brother Jack merchandise.
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