When I started publishing and writing books, it made me fall in love with writing after 15 years of block building journalism. But creating and maintaining websites, certainly comes a close second.
In fact creating websites was actually my first step away from writing for the papers, mainly because it ticked all the emotional boxes for me. There was never a day when I would face a new challenge. And when it worked, it was fantastic.
When I looked at the content I have produced over the years, there are a lot of things on there that have given me so much pride, but I cannot take the credit for all of it.
With our first main website, Hot Iron, Scottish American Football Webzine, myself and my friend and associate Gordon Newlands, plugged a gap in the market covering Gridiron in Scotland, which was lucky to get a few paragraphs in the papers.
We created full blown features, match reports etc. I did the words, Gordon done the pictures, where we went from 250 visits a month to a regular 9,000. We made into the “UK Good Web Guide”, catching the attention of NFL Fans and when the pro games returned to London, we were pulling in 25,000 a month.
Not bad for a site with next to no budgets. It was a brilliant ride that lasted 15 years.
We have had other sites since then, with varying success and we have no desire in stopping.
Then there was my own personal project, backed by Gordon’s great pics, my blog site, “View to a Quill” which produced a number of special posts for me; straight away I am thinking of my “Thyroid Diaries”, my life challenge in 2013 dealing with Thyroid Cancer and how I came out smiling the other end.
The posts meant a lot to me as it was my own experiences where the idea was that apart from being therapeutic, it would hopefully help those who were starting their own journey.
The fact that I was told that it was being used for medical research by an organisation in Europe, I think it was Norway (I am sure someone will tell me if I am wrong) meant so much. It is currently available as a free download as an e book.
Then there was my personal tributes to deceased family members along with those members of my Butlins Family. I wrote from the heart on those occasions about what were special people.
But there is another side to creating websites that can be frustrating, to put in midly but it exposes an area that I am very weak in, where I can sometime be caught off guard with devastating effects.
Along with the endless amount of comments posted with “Easter European” writing there were other technical issues that can cause a web master’s worst nightmare, where the whole thing collapses and you lose everything. Only then you realise that you did not do a backup.
Some people may view that as a failure, but it that is a word that I do not believe in. Yes I have messed up, losing special work that I will never get back. In then end there is nothing I can do with it. So now what
But as this my own personal site, I am starting with an electronic blank canvas. This means learning from my mistakes, relaunching my own online person brand, bigger and better than ever before.
No technical Faux Pas this time.
In the meantime, thanks for visiting. Keep checking back for the latest posts, latest news and more.
I am turning 60 in June, so 2023 is going to be a huge year.
Hopefully I can deliver a site that compliments it.