When I first fell of the edge of the world with illness it was a long time ago, but it was within the first stirrings of the internet. I’d done a couple of courses for artists, and made some digital art (probably all lost forever, there’s an animation that still exists on video, but not in digital form, so – *waves goobye*) and I’d taught multimedia to adults and teens, so when the crash came one of the things that floated up with me on my life raft was a computer and an internet connection.
I started my social media life just with emails and found a site called Citynoise where I could contribute photographs and a few words. Most of what was then the beginnings of social media was a thing called message boards, which I wasn’t attracted to, being of an Alice in Wonderland turn of mind (Before the rabbit hole, her sister was reading a book with no conversations or pictures, and Alice found it boring) anyway I’d found a community, one which was so small that I could just be called elaine – yep, I’m still there! Buried in the ‘authors’ list.
At some point early on a friend pointed me to Livejournal where I made myself at home, and in fact, I still have friends IRL and on Facebook from that time.
Pretty soon I realised I could create what I was calling to myself a ‘virtual website’. I didn’t want to make an actual website, it wasn’t so easy to do at the time, and I wasn’t well for a major project, but I did know two pieces of html that would allow me to connect my Livejournal, my Citynoise and my Myspace – I could make links and pull pictures from other places. I was all set for my life online.
Over 10 years later, and I find that the world has caught up with me somewhat. It’s becoming more important to have social media presence than to have a website. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if you don’t drive traffic there it’ll just be a Mrs Haversham of a site, sitting there in it’s wedding dress with mice eating the cake.
Nowadays, of course, I blog here and I use Facebook and I have twitter and whatnot. Does Myspace still exist? I think it does, but I think it’s become a niche thing for music.
I talk a lot with Ken who is launching himself as an expert in social media professionally, as we speak, and at one point in our conversations he sent me his about.me page. We’d been talking about landing pages and how I was helping my friend Angie create an integrated social media presence for her party business, and how I’d decided to use WordPress for a landing page because flavors.me looks so awful on a smartphone – here’s mine so you can see, if you have a smartphone handy; elaine4queen.flavors.me. Looks fine on a laptop, so it’s fine if all you want is something to put as an email signature which will point people to your Facebook or twitter or whatever, but when you look on a phone it’s nasty.
So! I liked the look of Ken’s about.me page anyway, and I thought I’d rather have one as a landing page than flavors.me. It’s not a lot of work doing a landing page, and I hooched one up in about half an hour – here it is about.me/elaineaxten.
If you’re reading this on 3G and you don’t want to click through, here’s a screen shot;
I liked it fine just for that one purpose – it looks great and it handles better than flavors.me, and so I thought, since it was taking a while to make the WordPress landing page I was helping Angie make look nice, that we’d quickly put together one of these for her. But wait! It has a USP! (Unique Selling Point – marketing speak) about.me has an app, and this app works as a sort of e-business card. What you do, when you set one up, is to install the app on your own phone, and when you meet someone you would otherwise give a business card to you type in their phone number or email and it sends them your landing page – with all your blurb and contact details. (By the way, if you ask me to refer you I get featured on their blog, for whatever that is worth, and then if someone else shows interest in having one you can refer them and get featured – again, for what it’s worth, I have no idea if this is valuable since I don’t have a business and I haven’t been featured, but it nevertheless exists.)
As a pleasant extra, you get a choice of graphic signatures, so your emails look a bit fancier than just your name with your website.
Angie’s about.me looks lovely already, but because I sat and taught her how to do it instead of doing it for her, she can go in and tinker with it herself. One of the advantages of having control over your own web presence.
Here it is about.me/nuttypartyproductions