Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A funny thing happened .....

Not long ago I bought myself a new printer, changing my loyalty of many years from Epson to HP. A different way of operating, and some all singing all dancing features I haven't mastered yet. It wasn't long before I had to get to grips with a paper jam, however. I read the instructions carefully, and found that I had to turn the printer round and open up the back, then proceed to remove the trapped sheet gently but firmly. Careful as I was I lost a corner which tore off and remained in the machine.

Now, I peered into that machine from all directions. I picked it up and shook it. I shone my Anglepoise lamp right into its innards. I looked all round the floor of my workroom; the missing corner failed to reveal itself. With considerable trepidation I tried printing again, fully expecting it to jam up again. It didn't - what luck! But the mystery remains: where did that corner of paper hide itself, and will it pop up again to counfound me on some future occasion?

A month or two later I had a second jam, and without bothering to read the instructions this time, I opened the front of the printer, as I do for changing the ink cartridges. And there, nestling harmlessly in the back of the changing bay for the cartridges, was the missing corner.


Managing a website

I wrote here a while ago about setting up a new website for my women's network Growing Old Disgracefully. When I set out on that journey, I thought that once the website was live I would be able to withdraw and leave it to the team of colleagues who had expressed an interest in looking after it. That was before we opted for a content management system (CMS).

One of the two design companies we asked for an estimate was offering us a contract which included maintaing and updating the website; the others offered us a website which we could run ourselves, with a manual of instructions for making the sort of day to day changes and updates that we should require. This last was going to be a cheaper option for us on an ongoing basis, so we decided to go for it, not without misgivings. Only about half our members are currently on line, and I have the impression that many of those do not use their computers for much beyond emailing. It is time, we thought, to nudge them forward a little into the age of cyberspace.

What I didn't realise was that managing a website goes on all the time - that is if you are going to keep it lively and up-to-date. And that although the manual we were given was very good, and despite my blogging experience, there is still a lot to do and to be learned about editing text, adding pictures, updating the events calendar and responding to enquiries about membership.

Added to which I have invested so much of myself in this project, and it has been so interesting and satisfying to work on, that I now find myself deeply embedded in the fabric (or the wire frame, or whatever), and unable to tear myself away. But a deal will have to be struck somehow, between growing old disgracefully and Not Dead Yet! I am determined to get back to regular blogging here.