Friday, June 5, 2015

the Bare Page - or How 2015 Caught me by Surprise

It is not that I am lazy - or that I have not been writing.  I am not lazy and I have been writing.

I suspect that it is more a case of out of sight equals out of mind... But the end result of this is that my website - and specifically the page ON my website in which I provide links to the things I write - was basically empty.

The thing is it was not really empty. No, well, it was empty, but it did not get that way by accident or circumstances - it got that way because I was in the process of updating the website (back in January) and I was doing the annual update in which I move the current portfolio page from its location to a new page for the past year.

If you look at my site you will see that when you click on Portfolios from the main page of my site what you are supposed to get is the current year's writing output and at the top a menu of the portfolios for previous years.

Here is a picture of a cat.  People like pictures of cats - it is why they surf the Interwebs.  This cat is holding our dachshund's tail and asking you to please forgive me for failing to update my website or she will BITE the tail she is holding on to!  Please don't make her bite Calvin's tail - he really doesn't deserve that!  Seriously!
So each January I move the past year to its own page, and begin documenting the current year.

The only items that are ever added to these pages are the items that I got paid to write. With the exception of the Mused and Blog Sections of the page (those include content I was not necessarily paid to write) but the other sections you can count on it that someone somewhere paid me to write them.

So yeah, back in January I was in the process of completing the annual update and I got as far as creating the page for 2014 and getting the contents moved but then something happened - I don't know what exactly that was - in life -- and I had to pause.

Well I don't need to tell you that when you are working on a website and you have to pause for any reason - any reason at all - it almost always works out to be a bad thing. And so it was.

Because whatever the distraction was, I ended up closing the web page editing suite I use and then I never went back to finish the job. Of course that totally does not excuse the fact that since then I have not been doing updates - that truly is down to my being lazy.

But because out of sight really IS out of mind it mostly stayed that way... Well that and because I don't as a general rule visit my own website as a consumer.  So months go by - literally half a year goes by - and I have not been updating the site because why? Because I forgot.

It is actually worse than that mates...  Whatever it was that caused me to pause the work and then close it also left me confused about how far into the updating I had actually gotten.  I thought, for example, that I had actually completed updating the information on the 2014 page.  But I had not.  NONE of the content for December was added.
This is Charley.  Charley firmly believes that any food that is put out is intended to be eaten by pretty much him...  So if you don't want him eating the food, don't put it in bowls or on plates or other places.  He is very clear on this...

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

I started getting email from regular readers asking me if something was wrong?

 My reaction to that was “Whhaa?”

I inquired as to what specifically they were talking about and THAT was when I learned that I had not been updating my website and, specifically I learned for the first time that people actually visit AND read the pages on it!

Here is the thing mates... In the back of my mind one of the common excuses that I used with myself was that it really did not matter.  Because nobody actually READ those pages.  Right?  Except no, not right.  It turned out that there are people - you - who actually read the stuff I write.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

It just never really occurred to me that anyone actually did more than hit the main page of the site and used it for anything OTHER than the Navigation Section, which provides links to my current writing at this blog, at my gaming blog, and the publications that I write for.

People were actually READING the Portfolios Section!

Not only that, but it turned out that they were actually reading my old stuff!

With a feather I am telling you...

This is Sir Calvin.  He is a knight in the Order of the Teckel.  Calvin is a dachshund - that translates to "Badger Hound."   Being as Calvin has never actually SEEN a Badger, he is not sure what they look - or smell - like....  The expression you see on his face is Calvin thinking - THIS could be a Badger!  The humans claim it is a cat, but what do THEY know?!  That large blue thing with the round black feet outside?  It could be a Badger!

It was at this point - in mid-May of 2015 - that I vowed I would get right on this, the first chance I had - the first free time I had. Yes sir I would remedy that situation....

Then I looked at the calendar and whoa!  It was the 4th of June already!  How did THAT happen?!

Well, it happened because I kept getting new assignments, and new guides to write, and games to play, and nobody pays me to update that website. I am just saying...

And so May turned into June. We have established that.

How come when there are things you want to do there is never enough time but when there are things you need to do time goes warp on you?

So now it is June and I have run out of excuses.  Bottom line?  I could not live with the shame.  So I said June 4th is The Day.  Color it red.  Mark it on the calendar.  By yimminy June 4 was the day when I would Get Stuff Done!

So I am happy and proud to be able to say "Hey! I have updated the Portfolio Page!"

This I knew I needed to do, but partly I was goaded into it, I freely admit.

The other day I received an email from a reader -- a very nasty email --  from a woman who rightfully pointed out that I owed her an updated page.   Owed her.  Because she was a reader.  And a fan.


This is another picture of a badger - err - Cat.  Just in case you wanted to see more cat pictures.  I am told that you DO want to see more cat pictures....  This cat picture contains a dachshund.  He is NOT a cat.  But he envies cats.  Especially their ability to fly through the air and reach high places.  Calvin would like to be able to do that.  But he can't.  He is a dachshund not a kelpie - actually he would be a really funny-looking kelpie if he WERE a kelpie.  Which he is not.
Her point was this: she is a regular reader, a fan, and respects my talents as a writer.

So how dare I fail to update the Portfolio Page on my website?!

What if she wanted to hire me to write an article at the magazine she was an editor for but could not see my recent work because I had failed to update that page?

Well of course I immediately emailed her back asking what magazine, and what the subject was she wanted me to write about?

And she replied that she did not edit a magazine, she worked in a pet store, but WHAT IF SHE DID?!

The caps in that are hers. Well, actually what she wrote was: “WHAT IF I DID? HUH SUGAR? YOU WOULDA MISSED AN ASSIGNMENT!”

Yup, she had me. No way out of that situation. Nailed.

So just to let you all know I have updated the main Portfolio Page and I really will try hard to keep it updated from here on, okay then?

So yeah, please stop with the angry email now, right?

 I love you all too.

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