With my new obsession and mild infatuation with Dreamweaver, I’ve become so engrossed with learning to format links and tinker with header styles, that I’m guilty of almost neglecting the reason I’m building the site in the first place: to fill it with rich and interesting content.
Ah, content…please forgive me, I didn’t neglect you completely. In the past few weeks I took a few minutes here and there to write up draft text (to better understanding the type of content I want on the site, but to be honest, mostly so I’d have something besides Latin filler to put into my first few pages). And I started writing out a list of the different sections of the site, not exactly a site map, more a seedling of a site map.
But, I have finally forced myself to stay off Dreamweaver for a few days to focus some quality time on content. And what a mess it has been! I guess the good news is that there’s no dearth of ideas, I have a zillion content ideas and they’re knocking about like marbles on a slick floor. I want articles, galleries, essays, slide shows, interviews, quotes, blogs, links, how-tos, light, heavy, serious, funny, practical, irreverent, a little this, a little that. If I want to get everything in my dream list onto the site it will probably launch in December of 2015.
So, there’s the challenge of narrowing and prioritizing the content, figuring out what is realistic for the first phase, so it’s robust enough to go live. Then there’s the challenge of how I’ll keep the content fresh, how often it will be updated. But one challenge at a time. To begin prioritizing the content it’s important to have a clear view of who the site is for. This is where it gets murky, I’m kind of creating the site for myself, or a visitor like myself.
This seems to make sense, except that somewhere in my mind, my target demographic is myself now, and myself when I was fifteen, twenty three, thirty five, and then there’s my future self. It’s also myself if I were male, and myself if I lived in San Francisco, Nebraska, Winnipeg, Finland, Taiwan, the Ivory Coast or on the moon. Heck, might as well make it myself as a cat. I’m going to need to work a bit more on this target audience thing.
I did manage to get some tactical things accomplished in the last few days though. I created a simple site map. I also put together a spreadsheet (something about those neat little grids that makes me feel so organized), and listed all the content sections with descriptions, source of the content (mostly me), target update schedules, and priority for the minimum content needed to launch. And I’ve started to noodle the concept of the target audience.
So, I had to wrench myself from Dreamweaver to reconnect with the pulse of the site, the content. It feels like my heart is torn in so many directions, content, design, functionality. How will I make room for content management, for marketing, for SEO??? Well, if it was easy, what fun would that be.