Time was, and not so very long ago, that every writer wanted to have her or his own personal website. Those of us who could do our own web design, or who could persuade a cool grandchild or a neighbour’s geeky brat to design one, did it. And that was that. With content either archival or fairly static, updating didn’t have to be done all that often, and the personal websites just sat there saying, “Come to me, come and be awed.” Or something. I even wrote a course on Web Design for Writers.
Then dynamic blogs came along, and I’m wondering if the balance hasn’t shifted to them, at least in the personal arena? Of course, web-zines and professional sites continue to grow and develop. There are some seriously good mag-type sites, and some excellent publisher sites. However, most of the writers’ sites I’ve visited lately have a distinctly neglected look about them. Poor things, they’re languishing in 2004, or 2005, or whenever they were created. And yet the static content is still valuable.
I’m including my own site in this. It was last updated in August, whereas I’ve lost count of the number of blog posts I’ve written since August.
So I am resolved to spend some time this weekend with Dreamweaver, HTML, and Paint Shop Pro, working on Colin Will, Scottish Poet. I also need to spend some time on my publishing site, Calder Wood Press, particularly as the new chapbook from Jo Gibson, The Heart Is Always Full, is at the printers, and publication is imminent. (I must beef up the wording about not sending me unsolicited manuscripts too. I’ve already got five authors lined up for 2008, and that’s as much as I can handle in a year.)
Meanwhile, the pro site I manage – Poetry Scotland – goes from strength to strength, and is regularly updated. I’m jumping the gun slightly, but the site for StAnza: Scotland’s Poetry Festival, is being handed over to a professional web design and hosting company, so that will have a new look and a new Webmaster from next year. Then there’s the Amisfield Walled Garden website – that needs updating too. This is going to take longer than I thought. Can I fit in an appointment with my live-in hairdresser too?
The papers are starting to publish lists of the year’s favourite books, and I’m going to do the same next week. Any other bloggers care to join me?