Hello and Happy New Year!
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love how people seem to be a bit kinder to each other, a bit slower and more patient. I enjoy soaking in the spirit each house puts on display in the form of lights and decorations. But this holiday season, the snowflakes weren’t aligned quite the way I’d hoped. I found myself in the emergency room the week before Christmas and didn’t get out until the day after Christmas. Seven days in a hospital bed put a damper on my attendance at the annual family Christmas gathering but it did give me time to think. And that’s why I’m writing you now.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. To be frank, I’ve been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up and how I may contribute something of value instead of marketing pitches. Doubled up in pain while awaiting relief, I was reminded of the many times I had an urgent need for an answer. For some odd reason I thought about the time I first heard about how to get top ranking in search results.
A client wanted to know how his competitor had the #1 position in the Google search results while he wasn’t even on the top 3 pages. This was 1990s and Google was only a few years old. So I spent several hours researching and discovered a few resources that talked about search engine optimization (SEO for short): the intentional manipulation of on-page elements for the express purpose of trying to earn a higher ranking in the search results. And like that, my professional life changed.
But it was my need to know something I hadn’t heard of before that struck me. I realized that over my career I’ve spent a several hundred hours searching for answers and was often schooled by making mistakes that cost me a lot of time and money. I also realized that many of you are now in the position I found myself in 20 years ago – with a need to know something but not sure where to go to learn it. Or maybe you have a need to do something but not sure where to begin or how to learn what you need. And this lead to my revelation and my new year’s resolution, that I have 20+ years experience in the online world that might be useful to someone else.
So here’s my 2018 New Year’s Resolution: that I will help you, the webmasters – accidental and intentional – that support your organization as it works to do good in the world. I started from scratch at LCMM (one look at the current website and you’ll see why) and it reminds me everyday of the many facets of being a webmaster that I take for granted. My aim is to help you shorten your learning/frustration curves. In fact, I’d love to learn what you’re struggling with now. If you have a moment, tell me here.
I’m also currently working on a course called The Professional Webmaster which can be consumed ala-cart or as one large course. It’s a work in progress and I hope to have all the modules available this summer. I will also attempt to write more regularly to share insight, strategy, information and tools. My day job at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is demanding but it also dovetails nicely into my personal mission of making your lives easier. I look forward to working with you.