The picture on the right shows me in Kiev with a microphone in my hand. Someone had paid to fly me to do some teaching in the city.
That then made the audience think I knew something worth knowing, so they indulged me and let me stumble along.
But the situation is very different when you’re doing it rather than teaching it. For a start, you don’t have a microphone to help you get your own way.
Yesterday was instructive.
I went with the owner of a communications agency and her PA to visit two web design agencies. The first person we saw was a cheerful managing director who had bought into a web design franchise. He really knew his stuff and was excellent. His sites are built using Dot Net Nuke, which means they are stable, secure and have an open content management system, or CMS.
The second agency was less forthright but just as reassuring, except that they weren’t very keen on Dot Net Nuke or any open source systems such as WordPress, Joomla or Ruby on Rails. They had their equally convincing reasons, too.
Later, in the car-park, I asked my clients if they had enough resource to build and write a website? Considering they make their money from writing, it seemed a reasonable proposition. They are now thinking about this.
I subsequently sent them examples of blogs which act as websites, Serious Eats and Helen Coupland’s Exclusive F1 Experiences being the best of my selection. These two sites are also better than many conventional websites.
Small web design agencies are aware of the threat of online blogware.
Some therefore write their own proprietory code. SAV in London does this, and is worth the money. It’s a great agency. Others use open source software, but then have to make their money out of selling add-ons and services, which usually seriously irritates their clients over a fairly short period of time.
WordPress is not yet a serious option for large businesses. For example, security is undeniably an issue, especially with regard to databases.
But, for SMEs, using blogware to write your own website is now a really serious option.
If you’re running an SME, and feel it’s time to look at your website, open source blogware is worth considering.
Should you need help, you’re welcome to ask me to teach you how, but you’d be wise not to ask me build the site myself.
I’d feel lost without my microphone.