Sunday, April 09, 2006

A languishing languorous website

Languishing, languorous (love those words so thought I'd use them) are words to describe my poor personal website - not this blog, mind you, but the site I have on Geocities.

For those of you who've joined this show in progress, I'll re-cap:

Over the years, I kept track of books I read in notebooks, spreadsheets, loose-leaf duo-tangs – anything that was handy. One day, I got the brilliant idea that I could start a little website dedicated to my reading. I'd keep track of books I'd read, maybe add comments and reviews.

In May 2000, I started my personal website, unoriginally named, Ell's Book Page - a built-from-scratch site dedicated to books and my reading. Simple enough concept. But, as it turns out, not simple at all.

First, I tried using Geocities' ready-made templates with their 'wizard'. But it kept doing weird things with the formatting. So I thought, "Aha! I need to learn some html" (so I could see what was wrong and fix the formatting). So after I learned the basics of html, I realized their wizard was really a piece of **** and proceeded to make my own template using a background from a design site.

All proceeded nicely. Then I got another brilliant idea.

Instead of just listing books and my reviews, I'd add a proper index and links to different pages. Then I decided to comment on every single book I read. Then I decided to add more commentary about, not only books, but whatever else I had rattling around in my head. Then I listed my reviews by both title and author and cross-linked them. Then, because people started emailing me and discussing books with me, I added a books links page. Then I added links to favourite authors. Then I indexed the whole shebang with tabs. I did all of this without CSS.

It's also undergone a couple of redesigns. The current one is V.3.0 (courtesy of son No. 2).

I last updated it about a year ago. (I added something to my "Ramblings" section in February this year, but only because a relative who doesn't know about my blog wanted to see my piece on bookaholics). I could have (would have) kept it up to date, but it was such an onerous job and other aspects of real life kept getting in the way.

And then, I discovered blogging. It's so much easier to just write, open up Blogger, copy, paste and publish. No worrying about updating all the pages and making sure the links work. No checking the indexes and making sure they're updated. It's been a real pleasure and relief to find a way to publish my blatherings without the technical work.

But now, my original website is gathering even more dust bunnies and I'm feeling a bit guilty for not keeping house better. It would be okay if it weren't for the fact that my stats counter still shows a good number of daily visitors.

So what am I to do? I'm torn. Should I shut it down completely, let it languish (there's that word again) and slowly fade away, or revitalize it with monthly reviews or something. I'm not keen on redesigning the thing again and I rather like the look of it – it does reflect my personality rather well.

Any and all suggestions and comments, welcome.

4 comments:

Joy said...

I'd like to visit that site, so I guess my vote would be to revitalize it if you feel inspired to do it. Maybe if you just posted something once a month, it wouldn't be too taxing. How about a link to it on this blog?

ell said...

I had the link in my blog (buried too well, I guess).

But, here it is again:

Ell's Book Page

Joy said...

Thanks! I added you to my favorites and like the site. I'm looking forward to reading it often.

chuck said...

I have visited your book site and I liked it, it would be a regular site for me if you started updating it, as you have some of the same book taste as me it seems. That being said though if you don't enjoy keeping it up, I don't think you should push yourself to do it. There's to many enjoyable things to be doing :)