EVERYBODY WANTS A WEB PRESENCE!
Here’s Part I of the 7-part interview I promised you with web-savvy artist and web engineer, Thomas D. Hubbard.
Are you a budding writer who’s been told you need a web presence? Well, even if you’re not a writer…even if you draw, sing, act, quilt, engineer or whatever, this interview has something for you.
Just sit back, prop those reading glasses on your nose (you know you need them!), and enjoy this wonderful web lesson: Web For Writers – 101!
Let me begin this interview by introducing our instructor: Mr. Thomas Dewayne Hubbard. Thomas is a Visual and Information Technologist who owns his own company–Hubbard Digital, LLC–and has worked with such tech-savvy industries as IBM and AT&T. He has also completed contract work for Yahoo(tm) Sports, and other businesses in the public and private sector, and writes technical articles that helps small business owners. One of his articles is called: Artistic Guide for Small Business Owners.
He also just happens to be my firstborn son…but that’s another story.
And now…on to the interview!
WEB FOR WRITERS – 101, PART I
Rita: Okay, Thomas, we’ve already gotten your introduction out of the way, so let’s jump into the juicy stuff. Just how easy is it to have a web presence?
Thomas: Well, let’s start with “having a website.” Everyone knows how easy it is to get a WEB SITE. Just about anyone can put together a basic HTML page, fill it with the information they want to share…throw in a few photos or graphics for eye candy, then load it to a shared server for viewing. Unfortunately, this just isn’t enough to gain yourself a WEB PRESENCE. Usually, a successful web presence consists of keywords and key phrases, the proper usage of syntax and server-side technology, and a balance of color and graphics that compliment one’s brand.
Think of it like going to a party. You’re not guaranteed a good time, but you’d have a better chance of having one if you came to the party to really let loose!
Here’s what I mean by letting loose. Say one person walks in the door and goes unnoticed. But then the next person walks in and commands attention. Why? Because that second person has PRESENCE. He/she has all the right tools…a big smile, a loud or loosely clad outfit, the right amount of cologne and confidence, etc. They let loose…and they got noticed.
Rita: I get it. You have to have the right tools, period.
Thomas: Exactly. The same rules that apply to standing out at a party apply to having a web presence. You have to have the right tools in order to command attention.
Rita: Does that apply to choosing a domain name, too?
Thomas: That’s a good question. Whatever you do, you want to choose wisely. Keep your domain name short and sweet. “John Handcock’s Official Writing Blog” may sound cute and cool, but typing “johnhandcocksofficialwritingblog.com” is a bit much…don’t you think? A name of this length presents a greater chance of error, and may cause people to forget your URL, or block it out altogether. A better choice would be “johnhandcock.com” (if its available, of course).
Rita: There are so many extensions out there, like .tv, .info, etc. How do you know which one to choose?
Thomas: They’re all about the same. Dot COMs are the most common. Many people use dot NET if the name is already taken in dot COM. Dot ORGs are for organizations, so an individual wouldn’t need to use that one. There is also a dot ME extension.
Rita: Dot ME? I never heard of that one.
Thomas: It’s relatively new, but it’s gaining popularity. Just remember, whichever one you choose, keep your domain name short and sweet.
Rita: Okay. So what basic functions should appear on each website? And how many pages should a website have?
Thomas: There are no rules as to how many pages a writer’s website should have. However, the following three functions/pages are pretty much standard:
• An “About Me” page that provides a brief bio. Be sure to include your accomplishments and accolades.
• A bibliography page that contains your literary works, whether published or self-published.
• A contact page so people can reach you.
Well everybody, that’s probably just about all the information your brain can stand right now. Be sure to join us in two days for Part II of Web for Writers 101.
Remember, you can reach Thomas at: http://www.thomashubbard.net/home-thomas-hubbard.php
Best wishes and happy writing!
Next time: Why Blogging is Better than Just Setting up a Website