I refer to this page as my "on-line résumé" because it features details about me as a webmistress, as well as some of the other places you'll find me on-line.
Anatomy of a Webmistress
First Website Started: April 18, 2001
Number of Current Sites: more than twenty, including several fan sites that were moderately popular when the TV shows they cover were on the air
Number of Current Sites Still Updated: all of them, at least every once in a while
Training: I've had one class in HTML and one class on using the software program Front Page, which I haven't used since.
Programs Used: I do most of my coding in Notepad, WordPad or
HomeSite the CoffeeCup HTML Editor. In early 2009, I finally started using W3C "standard" coding for stylesheets, etc. To avoid boring details, let's just say I've been doing things the older, more difficult way, when I could've been using the new, much easier and much better way. (To say the least: D'OH!)
Advice: Although I'm certainly no expert, I've listed a few tips about website design for fellow webmasters.
What I do as a webmistress:
- For the websites I run, I periodically (read "sporadically") review, revise, and update the content in an effort to stay current.
- This usually happens when I'm changing the layout.
- Changing the layout also involves taking a concept for how I want the site to look and then making the graphics and writing the HTML code to make it happen.
- More often than not, I discover that my original layout concept doesn't work, but I find something I like better in the creative process.
- Even when I'm not working on something, I'm always looking for inspiration and making notes of things I want to add to one of the sites.
Things being a webmiss has got me:
- A CD of music, to review for my Alias website
- Two books: one to review for my MacGyver website, and one to review for my Princess Bride page
- An interview, for possible inclusion in an article about MacGyver
- Invitations: one to a fan event and one to be considered for a proposed reality TV show about fans. (I was unable to attend either, since both were *far* away from where I live.)
Things I've found challenging about "running websites":
- Sometimes feeling my efforts are unappreciated when other sites don't link to mine, or hit counters show a low number of visitors.
- Hosts for various website services can be unreliable.
- Other sites steal my original content/graphics and pass it off as their own.
- Finding time to do all of the things I want to do: new features to add, information to correct/update, etc.
- Taking extra effort and time to learn new things - such as php or XHTML - to maintain my sites/features.
Things I've found rewarding:
- During its busiest time, my Alias website averaged a few thousand visitors per week, by far the most traffic of any of my sites.
- My Alias site also - finally! - was deemed worthy enough to be mentioned at the official ABC site. They even included a flattering description, calling it "comprehensive" with "insanely frequent updates."
- The Angel site that I took over (started by someone else) was listed as a must-visit site in a book about the fandom.
- A scene recap from my MacGyver site was used in a book - with credit!
- The quotes page from my Christmas site repeatedly shows up on the first page of Google search results for both "Christmas quotes" and "holiday quotes." This brings in much traffic, typically starting in November.
- Feedback from site visitors.
- I actually enjoy the time I spend working on the sites. Whether it's for a TV show or something personal, it's time spent thinking about things I like.
Besides my actual name (Anne), I often use chezanne and box47 as screen names. I consistently use the pseudonym Anne Bristow when a site wants me to supply my full name.
I also twitter.
I formerly joined a lot of fanlistings to show my support for my faves. However, trying to update the links for some ever-moving sites grew tiresome. Now I just list great sites for some of the things I like.
The message board that I visit most is my own forums.
I have a livejournal account that I started to use as an archive, but now I mostly neglect.
I have a myspace page that I hardly ever remember to visit.
I'm also at facebook, so if I know you, look me up! (Or send me an email, and I'll look you up.)
I've been an editor at dmoz.