I’m putting the finishing touches on a big online project (goes live this weekend), and while I’ve written a lot of websites in my life, I didn’t write this one.
That’s an oddly painful admission, because this is one website I probably should have written; a conservation group that’s right in my personal wheelhouse.
Instead, I was part developer, part online marketing consultant, project lead, and once it’s launched, I’ll become the content manager.
I’m tired and behind on other projects and sleep deprived, and there’s absolutely no way I could have written it too.
Being magisterial is right in keeping with the New Professional Consultant Me, but it’s also a recognition that you can’t move forward without leaving something behind.
In this case, I’m leaving behind the site’s static content, but I’ll write most of the enduring content streams, which means — over time — I’ll have a bigger impact on the site’s readership than if I’d written the thing.
It’s an illustration of the shifting nature of words and writing.
Books were objects unto themselves, but they’re fast becoming digital ghosts; collections of words where all that’s left may be the author’s intent (at least until publishers figure out how to market leather-bound digital editions).
Website copy was the foundation of an online presence, but it’s fast being relegated to an archive role by the media streams reaching out from today’s modern sites.
Movies? They’re not things you have as much as things you watch.
And revolutions now rely on cellphones as much as guns.
If there’s a lesson in all this, it’s that you want to put your words where they matter, and you definitely don’t want to be the guy who spent the last few years of his career – and many millions of his employer’s money — inventing the typewriter for which there was no longer a market.
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.