So I think that I’ve broken over to the other side. Since the HOW conference back in May, I’ve been focused on transitioning my thinking over to web 2.0. What does that mean? Well, in baby step terms, it means rethinking my relationship to the design, building and managing of websites, and rethinking the function of those sites and the way they communicate. That may not be very 2.0 from the West coast perspective, but it is plenty so from where I sit.
I’ve been full tilt into wordpress for this period. I settled on it as it seemed the most flexible yet WYSIWIG of all the blog and CMS tools I looked at. I’m no programmer, but I’ve been creeping my way in to .CSS and flexing my meager HTML skills.
At the HOW conference, Amy Goto spoke about the “Aha!” moment that she thought everyone needed to have to make that transition into the new web space, that moment when your skills and comprehension come together with your vision and it all starts to work. My “Aha!” moments have been fast and furious the last two weeks. I’ve set up 4 or 5 blogs (check out the new Arcadian site) and really set them up, applied some styles, activated fun plugins, worked around sticky problems. I’ve initiated my second wiki on a project with success and that is really starting to tick. I got all my laptops and miscellaneous machines talking to each other and now I can post and FTP at will from anywhere.
So what? I’m not sure yet. But if feels liberating. It feels like there might be a new pathway opening up here. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I like it. Creativity for me is about creating the shortest possible path between idea and expression. The web used to be a dead-end for me as a creative space because of the gap between those two actions. Now the gap is closing. I’ve always told people that to me using Photoshop is my paintbrush, my creative tool of choice. For most people it’s an esoteric, slightly foreign language, but for me it’s like being a concert pianist and playing the piano: it’s just what I do best. I’m not fluent in this space yet, more like I’m playing “Für Elise” in my ninth grade recital than it is like playing improvisational jazz. But hey, you have to start into the good stuff sooner or later or choose another instrument. Thanks Amy, I’m fully in the “Aha!”
This image is here because it has a piano in it. Oh, and the lovely Natalie. It reinforces my point somehow…
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Welcome to 2004! Nice to have you!
yeah, yeah. You do what you can. While U we’re blogging in 2004 I was taking pictures of lovely women on pianos….
I have a Cultural Pittsfield blog on blogger.com but have not gotten into the groove of posting regularly. One problem is that my Main Street Mail newsletters do not crosspost properly to it, which is a real bummer (I need to tell them both). What are the benefits of Word Press?
What I have found more successful for my work is setting up a Facebook account. In five months I have over 700 ‘friends,’ many of them local high schoolers, college students, and under-30s, precisely those who don’t read the newspaper and the audience we want to reach with several messages: 1. that Pittsfield and the Berkshires has a lot going on and they are invited to be part of it, and 2. if they have left the area, they might want to come back as things are getting lively. The opportunity for communicating and staying in touch is exciting. We are finding more and more younger Pittsfielders coming back to their hometown because of the recent changes.
I am also using twitter, not specifically for work, but find there aren’t many people in the Berkshires active on it.
I like wordpress of all the blogging engines I tried as it seems both the most flexible and the best supported. I was looking for a blog engine that had the scope of building the site myself, without all the drudgery. The plugins and widgets can really expand what you do with it. It can get broken if you aren’t careful, and it does drop you into dealing with HTML and CSS at some point.
I always point people to your main st. postings. I think those have been really succesful. I’ll have to take a look at the facebook page. No doubt, we need to communicate with each other on these tools.