Friday, May 12, 2006

this old website...

...taking over a long-evolved website is not unlike buying an old house... it's beautiful - that's why you bought it - it's got "good bones" or is in a good location - or, in the case of the website, it serves a great patron base, has wonderful content, and so on... but, sometimes you find things that make you just wonder - why did they do it that way? Still, you just have to accept that decisions made were made - just like the decisions that you'll make along the way - some of them will be wrong turns and dead ends. Technological evolution means that even after you've put your work "live" the best way possible given your time, skills, and available tools, newer, better ways will turn up.

And then there will be the things that you put up online just to get them up quickly, knowing - all the while - that you'll have to revisit them in the future. So it goes. That's probably biggest difference between the print world and the online world - the more crucial factor in print is getting as close to perfection as can reasonably done - the more crucial factor in the online world (in general, anyway) is getting things as accurate as possible, as user-friendly as possible, but overrridingly, getting them up online as quickly as possible. Things online can be true "works in process". They can be edited in an ongoing way.

For example, I'm building something that I just know I'm going to have to revisit. And the perfectionist part of me is torn - should I even bother putting it up as is or should I do it the best possible way at the get-go? But it will take at least 3x as long and I really need this content up. So - given that the whole site is going to undergo a full redesign soon anyway - I'm going to put this page live and see what happens. The biggest problem with the older version was that it lacked convenient navigation through a lengthy index. There were also oddities with spacing, be it related to indents or double vs. single spacing between lines. Most importantly, I wanted to allow our indexer to edit this web content as expediently as possible. The moment she was ready to make a change, I wanted her to be able to it herself. This required a change in the back-end of things.

Anyhow, I'm throwing my new version of this webpage against the wall to see what sticks. What do you think? The page is at and is being put together to replace the old Email the webmaster to provide feedback.



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