Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why I Change Things Around

If you go to Right-Writing.com and take a look you will notice the overall design for the website has changed—again.  Since it began, I’ve been making a conscious effort to change it about every three or four months. Why?

I’ve been online enough to understand the importance. If the site doesn’t change, then it indicates it is static and not updated or used.  If this lack of change goes on too long, then you lose your audience. When you lose your audience some of those people will never return.

It’s one of the reasons, magazines redesign from time to time. Publisher’s Weekly launched a fresh new look last week. They moved their bestseller list from the back of the magazine to the front—along with hundreds of other changes.  Overall I like the changes that PW made to their publication. Yes, I’m as resistant as the next person to these changes—but they are a reality of our life in publishing and life in general.

I loved the cover story of the May Fast Company called Change or Die. It’s worth reading and some tome for thoughtful reflection.  The opening to this piece is dramatic and says in part, “What if you were given a choice? For real…You wouldn’t change. Don’t believe it? You want odds? Here are the odds, the scientifically studied odds: none to one. That’s nine to one against you. Do you like those odds?”

I took a small amount of time and reworked the look of my website.  I wrote a friend about the change and she commented that looking around the site, she noticed a number of new articles which she had not read.  It was exactly the reaction that I wanted—and expect that others will have as well. I’m constantly adding material to the novel section or the children’s book section or the nonfiction section or the magazine area or the freelance writing section of other parts of the site. The new design helps the reader see new areas to explore.

To change some websites, it involves a massive amount of time and energy. I’ve worked on those types of sites before—and because of the time factor, it’s the path of least resistance to leave them alone. I’ve been using SitebuildIt for Right-Writing.com. I can change the design of my site in about 30 minutes to an hour. My biggest problem was selecting the right typeface for the navigation buttons. I wanted the words to be clear and not too tiny so I had to change them several times to get the right combination.

While we resist change, what are we doing to change? Admittedly change takes effort, energy and plain old work.  Change might open a new window in your own writing life today. I hope so. 

1 Comment:

At 4:07 PM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

I don't how much work it would entail, or if it's something you'd want, but have you considered posting a "new" or "just added" type of icon (or similar verbage) beside a new article on the right-writing website? That way folks who've explored the site thoroughly can know in an instant whether they've seen a particular article or not.


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