Work in Progress

I’ve decided to clean up Alexandersmap a bit. Improve navigation, add meaningful content, optimize for SEO, and make it generally more user-friendly. After writing more than 300,000 words over the last few years, I’m feeling the need to change things up a bit. Step one was to watch a few videos of how others have built their sites. Then I signed up for a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” to Zoom with me for 30 minutes to show me a few tips. All that’s fine and well, but ultimately I’ve just got to mess about with the site and learn it from trial and error. And so what you see now is different from what you saw yesterday, and will likely be very different from what you see a week from now. I could just save this all as templates behind the scenes, but I think it’s more interesting to have it change with me as I modify the site. For those who are interested it might be fascinating or frustrating as a relative novice takes on web site creation. For those who are less interested, thanks for your patience: I’ll continue to write and post every day. Hopefully the writing will hold your interest even as the structure around it changes.
One thing I’ve learned about my learning process is that watching others do something generally works better for me than reading about it. When I want to know how to install a new bathtub there’s a video for it. When I want to figure out the best way to fix my pool deck, there’s a video for it. And so it is with web site design. YouTube videos of subject matter experts navigating around in Elementor or Gutenberg or Yoast SEO are more instructive for me than other such learning paths. I’m not proficient enough to just figure it all out myself, and don’t want to spend hours of my short lifetime reinventing the wheel. So trial and error with video guidance from SME’s seems to be the right mix for me.
It seems simplicity is key in whatever it is that makes a great web site. Look at the blogs of Seth Godin, Pico Iyer, Tim Ferriss or Rolf Potts – all of them simple, intuitive and elegant. The best form of flattery is imitation, so these four will be quite flattered should they stumble upon sometime in the near future. For now the future remains cloudy, but I know it’ll clear up eventually. You’ve gotta have faith in such things. So as we enter a long weekend in America, I’m dipping into the deep end of web site editing, and we’ll see what comes out the other side.

Originally posted 2 July 2020

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