Creative Powers

January 11, 2012

I thought I would start my 2012 blogging activity with another look at how technology is changing the creative opportunities available to us all as individuals in our work and private lives.

In the 1970’s creating something as mundane as an office document involved dictation, either into a dictaphone or to a secretary who then typed the document out for approval by the author. Any corrections went back to the secretary who corrected them with Tipex, or retyped the whole thing. Agreements and letters were shorter then!

Now we are all able to type and create documents. Secretaries have become personal admin assistants and are shared by a number of “bosses”. Documents can as a result now be created anywhere you can access a laptop or smart phone. I have commenced this blog on a train somewhere near Surbiton.

Those regular readers of this blog will recall my Paperback Writer blog last year on the subject of online publishing – I have now just published my third book  online with Kindle. The technology has allowed me to release some creative energy and to publish books, which is of itself quite challenging these days. So we can all now create and publish literary works thanks to the Internet.

Which brings me to the real theme today – the creation of websites. In the nineties and well into the noughties it cost between £10k and £30K to design and create a website, and then you couldn’t really change it without going back to the designer or somebody who knew how to work in code. I had one built to advertise a flat we were letting. It went out of date really quickly and changing anything like the rental was a bit tricky. In my legal practice at the time I was forever reminding clients to secure a transfer of the intellectual property rights from the site developer.

Now anybody with a bit of knowledge can build their own website in English – and not using code. I’ve proved this by constructing one over Christmas, with some help from one of my sons who had done something similar at university. I also drew upon the experience I have had building a know how site on Microsoft’s SharePoint Software. My new site is  called Greywebwine and is an information site aimed at the baby boomer over 50’s generations.  

It uses a WordPress address and service which is free. In some ways it’s really a blog but, as you can see, it looks like a website. In effect it gives you a service that enables you to construct and initially host a site. You can post pages, add pictures and links and generally structure the site. There are a lot of templates with site styles to choose from and more if you pay for a premium service.

I will need to move the site off the address and have already secured a .com address and the hosting service I plan to use. I also need more content – which I am working on. I welcome any feedback on what I have done so far, but for me the thing here is the ease with which you can create a site which becomes an outlet on the Internet for an idea you have. There are similar services such as Buddypress, which allow the creation of a social networking site and I plan to experiment with that as well.

Of course if you go to a traditional designer and pay the money you can have a superb and tailored individual website built for you. However, if like me you are doing this on a much more constrained budget and want to see how something might work out, then you can easily have a go.

Good luck for 2012 – and build a website.