Made a new web site for Why Make Clocks. The old site was hand-rolled HTML painstakingly maintained by Dan using a basic “file manager” web form in the hosting company’s admin panel (so his development environment was basically a <textarea> – ouch). He asked me to come up with something better, and while I don’t have the design chops to come up with something hugely better from a visual standpoint, I knew I could improve on it from a functional standpoint, and could probably do it without having to write too very much custom code.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years with respect to band/musician web sites is that they have no trouble getting a really visually striking design that really jives with their image and sound – musicians and artists tend to hang around the same circles after all – but all too often what they put up is a beautiful, but totally static brochureware thing that they end up not being able to keep up to date, and thus they miss out on a chance to engage with their fans, or potential fans, through it.
Obviously bands have got the idea that they can do more on the web than some static info pages that never update. Far too many bands are basically using their MySpace profile as their website, and it seems like you see more and more of them starting up blogs on things like Blogger or Wordpress these days, because these are the best options available to them if they don’t have a techie on board. But there are some pretty serious downfalls to them. You’ve got pretty limited control over the design, and on MySpace, your music and message has to fight with pop-up ads for weight loss products and various web-based scams for people’s attention. Your MySpace page isn’t really yours in any real sense. This is a state of affairs that I’ve often thought I could potentially carve out a little career for myself rectifying. In what form though, I’m not sure. Creating Yet Another Social Network Site For Bands seems like it’s already been done dozens of times and the results have been consistently underwhelming.
But anyway, back to the project at hand. I built the site on Geeklog. I’ve had rough luck with content management systems in the past; the ones with the really sweet features are usually so abstract that it’s hard for normal people to just jump in and start writing stuff, unless you pay some guy $10 to download a book he wrote that you won’t have time to read. Unless your enterprisey employer is forcing you to. Geeklog’s admin menu made sense right away, and what’s more, it’s got Iowa roots. My “design” leaves a bit to be desired yet; in fact, I could use suggestions. If you have any, or would like to offer your services as a web designer who’s good with hacking Geeklog themes, feel free to comment here.