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The other side of developing a Web site July 10, 2007

Posted by Elizabeth in Elizabeth's files.

Since Newscoma graciously introduced me, I thought that now would be a good time to post.

EC Watts is my name and Web sites are my game. Actually, I try make everyone’s life easier and help develop a Web site with the least amount of tears. I guess I’m the jack of all trades and the master of none. I know enough to be dangerous.

As a recent college graduate thrown into the real world of rural newspapers, starting a Web site is a bit daunting at times. There have been moments where I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or how this was ever going to get off the ground. Other times, I wake up at 3:30 a.m. on the weekend with an awesome idea of a slogan running through my head. There isn’t an on/off switch when developing a Web site. You’re always on. You’re always thinking about the next step ahead.

I think there have been three main obstacle with developing our baby. One is that developing a Web site is a vicious cycle of hurry up and wait. There are times when the dynamic developers are on a roll, and then all of a sudden, they’re stuck waiting on someone. Sometimes there’s nothing that sounds as glorious as a symphony of keyboard keys clacking and mouse buttons clicking.

The second obstacle is finding the time to work. If we could devote every waking moment to developing a Web site, then I think we could get more accomplished faster, instead of trying to find two hours to work here and there. Freezertroll and Newscoma save the world outside of the Web site many times during the day. Sometimes developing a Web site while keeping up with your primary job is like trying to corral a herd of cats.

The third obstacle is getting people who live and die by the amount of ink on their hands to embrace new technology and realize that in order for the newspaper business to survive, it has to evolve. Newspapers can’t fight against change and be stubborn. If people don’t start embracing the change, the newspaper media outlet will be come stagnant. I just finished studying this concept for the past four years and applying what I’ve learned when I ran a college newspaper. Change and technology is like ripping off a band-aid: the slower you pull it off, the more painful it will be.

I won’t be able to post about technological terms and concepts, because I’m not as intelligent about things like that as Newscoma and Freezertroll. I won’t be able to post about creating artistic ads like Badger, because I can barely color inside the lines. The only thing I can give you is a look at the emotion that’s behind developing a Web site. It’s more than planning the color scheme and typing out the code. You begin to live, eat and breathe the Web site.

So that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ll be your fly on the wall.



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