Something almost interesting to post today. I've probably told you in the past that I used to do a bit of webdesign, nothing professional, just sites for friends and acquaintances. I haven't done anything for a while now, except just do small updates to the sites, and one of the reasons is that it often rests on me soley to do these updates and to attract visitors to the sites.
One of the reasons it is left to me is because I am the only person who knows how to do it, knows how to use Dreamweaver, knows some html, and generally understands how the whole thing works. But now I feel like a slight fraud because I don't know as much as I should or could. Now for a bit of history.
Before I went to University in 1999, I had never used the internet, which must seem strange for those of you teenagers out there who have been suckled on a modem, but when I got there the world was my oyster, with computers I could use at all hours, all manner of software, and amazing connection speeds.
I signed up to yahoo mail and with this got access to geocities, their online website creator. I made quite a few sites which I liked, generally personal ones, which looking back at may seem quite simple and messy, but it got me started. Over the next two years I got to grips with the internet and how it all worked, mucked around with websites, and generally surfed around checking out other people's sites, and having fun.
It was at the end of my 2nd year that I was elected to the position of 'Communications Officer' of the Student's Union for the following academic year, and from then on nothing could stop me. The SU didn't have a website, and so I taught Dreamweaver and Photoshop, and was able to make a website and also design posters for events and promotional materials.
At this stage I was very happy to be the only person who knew how to do this, and was regarded as a bit of a technical wizard. It was at this time that I also started doing other websites, and they compared very well with anything else that was around, technically and also aesthetically [I hope I don't come across as big-headed.]
I devoted a lot of my free time and was contantly learning new things to keep ahead, and was a bit like Jonny 5 from Short Circuit "Need more input!!". Now I do not have as much free time, and I haven't kept on top of new advances. I really wanted to learn Macromedia Flash, but that has been a pipedream and now it is too late for me, and I dread to think of other things that I've missed out on too.
I am not very happy with the sites now and they new a major overhaul. They are okay for personal pages but not for professional pages, and I'm sure that professional webdesigners would look at them with pity.
I want to learn more, but it will be hard as I've fallen very far behind and have a lot of catching up to do.
One of the ways I can help myself is to make the sites I currently have manage themselves, and I can also learn a bit whilst I'm at it.
I've installed e107.org which is "a content management system written in php and using the popular open source mySQL database system for content storage", and I'm in the process of setting it up to run my football club's website. One of the main benefits is that it will be web-based and can be edited and updated from any PC, and I can also assign various priviledges to users so that they can keep it updated with news, results, fixtures, etc. I will of course keep my admin controls so that it can't be f**ked up, but in essence I won't have to do anything if the others are doing what they can.
It was fun last night working on it because I was learning at the same time too, which is something I've missed, as I haven't had to push myself much lately.
I'm going to try and learn more and make my websites more functional to other users. I'll have to lookaround for other content management systems as they seem tobe a good way to go, although I'll have to see how e107 goes.
Apologies to those who thought this might be an interesting post. ;)