My friend Michael Satran died almost two weeks and ago.
I did some cleaning today after my doctor’s appointment. (I messed up my knee a bit a week and a half ago, went to see a doctor about it.) In the cleaning there were some flowers that Emma gave me for our demianniversary, which had gone dry and fallen apart. I took the dead flowers, threw them out, and washed the vase. As I did, I thought a bit about why we hadn’t done that before.
I took a photo today, and I’m going to put the picture under the cut, and then talk about what it means to me. Which is pretty much the definition of ‘blogging’, I guess.
I’ve been thinking about various online presences, and what it means. Almost every big company, and even some very small ones, has some way of showing themselves online. Even the largest of banks and most powerful of retail outlets has one.
Early in the initial growth of the web, back when people were just starting to hear about it, there was the start of the plague known as ‘domain squatting’. People would quickly snap up domain names of companies that hadn’t gotten theirs yet and then sell it for a lot of money to that company. (One of the best known was the reporter who registered mcdonalds.com and then tried to convince McDonald’s that they should look into this before someone else did. Like Burger King. Or the fact that for a week and a half, Sprint owned mci.com – the domain name for one of their largest competitors. And then there’s the sex.com situation, which took more than ten years to resolve the outright theft of the domain name from the original owner, and which recently sold for $13 million.)
The first thing that needs to be considered is, of course, how complex you want it to be. I’m sure there’s people who register the domain for their business then redirect to their page on Yelp.com, or their Google Places page, or things like that. But that’s problematic, because if the page goes out of date, or a lot of bad reviews come in (whether there’s a problem there, or if it’s a competitor trying to torpedo them), there’s little that can be done other than filing complaints.
There’s simple sites, with some pages, the directions, and some information about the business. You can link to your Yelp or Google Places pages, or your own Facebook page, or your Twitter page, but you want something you can control. And then there’s the big online sales sites.
In my opinion, the important thing to do with an online presence is have some control over it, before someone else takes control of it for you. To hold onto your spot, because otherwise someone else might be the one to do it for you. I know a company in this town who needed their yelp.com page fixed because someone had reported them closed. They weren’t closed permanently, they’d just moved, but the Yelp page had never been updated.
Once you have some control over your online presence, those sorts of things start to go away. You need to monitor them – the Yelp pages, the people who run local directories – and keep track of what people are saying about you online. But none of that matters unless you work out, and control, your message.
I redid the background image for the page.
I think I need to redo the header image. For starters, I want to change the font. For another, the background, and for a third the image. So, basically, start from scratch all over again.
Also thinking about a new logo, or maybe just keep it background and text. Not sure. The logo I’ve used for years is for my relaxed, informal online identity; this is my ‘professional’ site and I think I need something a bit more professional me. It’s really difficult to come up with something like that, which I suppose is why people pay a lot for it.
Earlier this week, I registered for a business license in the state of Washington, as it generally required, so that I can start, well, a business. Jobhunting isn’t quite happening, so the idea of trying to see what I can do by myself may turn out to be my best option right now.
Next step is going to be getting the rest of the business startup stuff in order: incorporation paperwork, the rest of it. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
I wrote a business presentation on my iPad, which is over on the “what do I do” page if you want to see it.
(I am, I note, watching spam. So be careful.)
One of the things I’m trying to work out is my niche in the greater world. What do I do? What do I have to offer?
I really like working with WordPress, but when i think about theme design, or writing a plugin, there are so many good ones that I have no idea where to start, what I can bring to the table to stand out. What is my place, where can I get my thing?
That’s the next level, and it’s a level i need to find my niche and get into it. I want to find ways to be more than just this guy poking at things.
I’m realizing that I may not know enough about that level to know how to get there. so that’s my next step: learning enough to get there. otherwise there’s no way to get there.
I’m from the East Coast – the New York City area – originally, now living in Seattle. And there’s differences – not as many as you’d think, but more than a few.
And right now I’m seeing a big one: the weather. It’s horrible back on the East Coast right now, crazy snow, ice, slush… all good reasons to just stay inside for a week.
In Seattle, it’s 35 degrees – cold, but clear. It’ll get into the 40s, and that’s good enough to go for a walk.
I think I like this a bit better.
Last night my roommates and I sat down and watched the first three episodes of the DVD release of the show Max Headroom. It was short-lived (its second season going up against a little show known as Miami Vice…) but brilliant and in its way subversive.
I’m trying to decide whether or not to install the Wordbooker plugin for WordPress. It connects a WordPress blog to a Facebook account. The problem is, of course, Facebook. Do I want to have what I write here automatically post to Facebook?
I already have Twitter Tools set up to automatically post things to a Twitter feed, and things set up to post to another blog I have (don’t worry about it for now). But Facebook has this combination of terrible ubiquity and exposure that I find myself wondering about.
Honestly, if I do it, it may just be to test it so that I can set things up for the possible presentation at the Seattle WordPress group, so I can properly and correctly discuss it in an informed manner. I think it’s important I do so, in order to insure I have the correct information to give to people.