WebWeaver's World

WebWeaver's World

Website: webweaversworld.blogspot.co.nz

Size: 380 pages (so far...)

My professional status: independent web designer/developer

Website client: me

Dates: May 2006 - present

Categories: Project manager, IA & UX, Website designer, Front-end developer, Writing for the web, Content-loader, Webmaster, CSS-based layout, Blogger, Large sites

Brief: inspired by the first Webstock, I decided it was high time to get myself a blog. From a professional standpoint I felt it would be useful to know how to actually set one up, and it would enable me to develop an understanding of the blogosphere by actually participating in it.

From a personal point of view I wanted to write about all the things that interest me, all the things I'm passionate about. Having spent years on various message boards writing (and ranting!) about all kinds of stuff, I felt it would be nice to have my thoughts collected together in one place, rather than scattered across the internet. I also wanted to use my blog as a place to practice and hone my writing skills.

If someone actually visited my blog and read what I had to say, that would be a bonus, but it wasn't the reason why I was doing it.

I can only hope your articulate essay gets picked up around the blogosphere - not just in NZ, but globally. Sadly, you could replace "Paul Henry" with any number of prominent media names who somehow think bigotry is acceptable.

Beth - MD, USA (comment on my blog post "The demise of Paul Henry and the rise of racism in New Zealand")

My responsibilities included:

  • Selection of a suitable blogging tool and appropriate template - I chose Blogger because it was the most popular, and also because it was so simple to set up
  • Some restyling of the original template (Rounders4 by Doug Bowman) - including the integration of a new header and various new text styles
  • Research into and integration & adaption of a wide range of blog widgets, including label cloud, archive calendar, followers, Technorati ranking, switch menu, blogroll, automatic Technorati tag creator, year and month breadcrumbs, Site Meter, HitTail, expandable post summaries and a number of most popular posts widgets
  • Writing "how to" posts for other bloggers, with clear instructions on how to add and personalise all the widgets found on my blog
  • Undertaking a large amount of online research for many of my posts - particularly the political opinion pieces. I believe that the art of persuasion includes the need for factual background information with links to as wide a variety of sources as possible
  • Writing and editing all the other content - because of course that's the point, isn't it?
  • Everything else.

I love my blog. It's great to have a place to write where I can say whatever I like, and where I have no limitations on the subject matter or how I approach it. It's always been a blog about my passions, so I get quite passionate at times. I've even been known to swear. It can be radically political one moment, and sweetly musing the next. I write about whatever I feel like writing about - and as I have many interests the subject matter found at WebWeaver's World is pretty broad.

Although I write my blog for myself rather than aiming at a specific audience, I do have quite a decent readership. When I'm writing regularly it's somewhere between 100 and 150 visitors a day, dropping to around 50 a day when I'm not writing much. I've found that some subjects are more popular than others - a post about Clay Aiken can get 2,000 visitors in one day, whereas a post about US politics might only receive a handful. Go figure. There are some posts - First they came for the Jews... variations on a theme and Wanted: 1950s wife for example, that just keep on getting hits - months and even years after I wrote them. Google is definitely my friend when it comes to directing visitors to my blog.

The research aspect of my writing is very important to me. I think it's vital to back up what you're saying (especially when writing about politics) with a whole lot of good research and trustworthy links from a wide range of sources. If I'm to change anyone's mind, or open anyone's eyes, my arguments have to be clear, coherent, and verifiable.

You can read more about my WebWeaver's World writing style on my Writing for the web page.

Addendum, 2015 ...you may notice, if you do visit my blog, that I haven't written in it for a considerable period of time. Which makes me a bit sad. But then I remember that I could easily spend a whole day writing a single blog post, especially if it was a political one requiring heaps of thinking and research.

And I know that the reason that I don't write in it any more is because I choose to do a heap of other things instead (particularly being in a band and being the webmaster for their website), which is fine. There are only so many hours in the day. And I know that if I feel like it one day, I may just go back and start writing in it again...