Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Web Madness

My inner geek seems to be coming out since I started blogging. My new project is constructing a family website. El Jefe has actually encouraged this, suggesting that it would be great to share news and photos among our extended family with a website. Being the historian and amateur geneologist that he is, he wants a section devoted to family history that I am counting on him writing.

I actually got the urge to learn how to be a "web mistress" when the church got a new volunteer to overhaul and keep our website updated. As a former high school newspaper editor, I have always enjoyed designing pages for publication so this was a natural extension of interest for me.

First I checked out online sites that provide a template you can just insert photo and some text into. But I found the templates too constraining. So then I got the really bad idea to try my hand at html. Bah! After two days of wresting with HFML for dummies, I had produced a pale blue blank page. Phooey. So much for that.

Persistence does pay off. I think I have found the answer in a software program that combines templates with the ability to tweek them some and add more text. So I downloaded a trial version and spent a couple of days learning how to use it. Success, I think! Now the next challenge will be (after purchasing and installing the permanent version) to upload it somewhere.

There's still a nagging question--is this worth the time and effort spent on it? Is it really any better than emailing photos to interested family members? Will anyone else in the family really find it useful? In other words, have I become more interested in the medium than the message? I had this experience when I was more first got a new sewing machine that did lots of fancy stitches and embroidery. It was great fun to try them all out at once--but it made for a pretty ugly piece of work.

So I'm going to put the website file aside for a few days and then try to look at it with a more objective eye. And while I'm at it, try to restrain the impulse to overdo other things as well. A lot of the time simpler is a better and more effective stewardship of time and resources. But not as much fun!

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