I’ve been thinking about site building for a while now. Site building isn’t like development to me, in that development you are really just working with PHP code, creating modules, sites, scripts, and things of that nature. You are going from the ground up in code to a finished product. Then you have building, which to me at least implies you are mostly if not exclusively finding modules and using scripts someone else maintains. This isn’t about the benefits or drawbacks of either, just defining our terms for this discussion.
When the internet first started becoming a thing for the general public we had sites like geocities. You could go and build a simple html website there for free, and not really have any issues. It was ok. I had a simple page there with gifs and the like. I used Mozilla Composer to build it first. Then I started learning some simple html code. Things have sort of spiraled out of control since and now I have to basically use a project to do anything. That is frankly not too big an issue as an open project allows for updating to code to be handled more easily if others are doing the backend work for you. I get to focus on the content and presentation.
But that’s really interesting in a way. We’ve seen it become much easier over time to create your own space on the internet. You can do something simple like just use a Facebook profile as your personal page, or create a group, send out short tweets with links to Youtube videos. You can even just get easy to setup blogs from wordpress.org. Structurally at least creating a personal presence on the web has become extremely simple.
So while I could probably save cash I still do things with an eye towards this idea. I like not focusing on the code and focusing more on the layout and the content. It’s what I do mostly so the question becomes what is best for what you are trying to do?
For an archive like Fanbards.net you can either just do a straight archive using something like eFiction.org’s archive software. You can use Drupal as well to construct things the way you want. I’m hopefully done with structure for a while until Drupal 8 comes out. Or you can create a WordPress Blog, generate pages and things of that nature to build things up slowly. It works, and works greate for a personal setup.
But that’s structure, in the end it’s what you put out there that defines your precense. I run five web addresses. Four of which are all part of the same website. It’s basically a separation of interests. I’m not sure if I will eventually be able to make anything of all these interests but I try. And that is something a lot of people do. Try to provide an interesting precense on the web. We have Video Blogs, and Kindle Books, and all sort of things that make it easier for the common person to do what needed an entire company of people to do only twenty years ago. And it’s only going to get easier.
I think over time we will see more of a simplification and consolidation of things. Maybe having more interlinks between profiles on different sites, posting things we post on fictionpress.net to our Facebook Pages, things of that nature.
I like the idea, but we’ll see over time.