I’ve been contemplating a major redesign of this site for the past two years. That’s about the same length of time that I’ve been remiss in updating the content, here.
I mean, I haven’t really been uploading and formating reviews of my books or interviews with me since, well, since Nothing Sacred back in 1999. And I’ve probably done more interviews since 1999 than I did before 1999.
Sometimes it feels like I’ve got a choice between doing my work and recording my work. And as the realities of fatherhood and public activity (if we can use this term for the kinds of stuff I do at schools or conferences or online forums) make evermore pressing demands on my time, I find I can’t write books and maintain a site, a blog, a mailing list, and a family at the same time.
So, I took a look at the websites of the people I consider my peers (or, to use market terminology, ‘competitors’) and I see they don’t bother with any of the stuff I’ve been archiving here for the past twelve years. They just have a blog, a list of books, and maybe some contact info or a calendar. And that sure looks easy.
One of my students has offered to let me hire her to create an Expression Engine version of my site – which would be easier to update, of course, than the manual html I’ve been doing since the beginning. (Actually, this site began as a file area on the Well, accessed by ftp.) But what I’m wondering now is just how useful all this stuff is to anyone but a High School student required to do a book report.
Why not use this space simply to upload and archive the stuff that I actually write myself. And then use the blog to mention (and link) to particularly relevant reviews or interviews. If I could tag each post appropriately, it should make those reviews easy to search out later by anyone looking for reviews of, say, Playing the Future. Something about the hierarchical menu system on this site feels hopelessly pre-tag, anyway.
Or maybe just drag all the reviews into folders and let people who are interested in doing “research” just wade their way through it.
What say you? I’ll go ahead and pay for whatever it is people really want this place to be.