Just wanted to keep you in the loop. I'm hard at work producing a brand new website for www.kirktuck.com. It's not up yet but it's coming along much quicker than I expected.

Candidate for first splash page shot on the new website. 

I know you are a very curious person and the fact that I am making a new website is probably a lot less interesting to you than a discussion of which software program I am using and how I am making the whole thing simpler and more compact. So I thought I would tell you right now. 

I put up my first website back in 1996. It was pretty good for 1996. I designed the look and a bright, young kid coded it for me and helped me figure out how to get it hosted. When flash sites were cool (for about six months) one of my advertising friends designed a site for me and his partner did the coding. It was also great---except for one thing; I couldn't change stuff on the site by myself. I couldn't update images, etc. without going back with my checkbook in hand and enduring the process. 

When Apple, Inc. launched iWeb I was ecstatic. Finally, a drop and draggable WYSIWYG web building application that didn't require me to learn how to code. I've been using it for years and I liked the way the basics of my site looked. It was also very easy to make changes to everything. Which I probably did too often...

Eventually Apple pulled the plug on iWeb and I've been living in anxiety trying to prepare for the moment when the OS would no longer support my favorite web design program. My anxiety was so complete that I more or less stopped changing the site because I feared I'd screw something up and not be able to go back and repair it. Irrational? Yeah. But that's just the way my brain works (or doesn't). 

But we all hit some sort of tipping point in our decision making processes and when my friend, James, launched a new website and recharged his marketing I started searching for my new web tools. 

I wanted a drop-and-drag, no code needed, simple to use application that would allow me to make dynamically resizable galleries. I didn't need templates or themes but would welcome help if it was included. I'm trying out a program called, Sparkle, that is engineered for easy use on the Apple OS. I first stuck my foot into the water with the free trial but after a couple of days of (non-crashing) fun and easy designing I went ahead and bought the program. 

A quick aside: I had a problem with the install and I e-mailed the software company's support people. I had an answer back, which fixed my problem, in less than fifteen minutes. I liked that.  

Now I am confronting the bigger issue which is: what to show?

I wish I could just put every image I've ever taken up on the web in some sort of art director portal and crowdsource the final selection. Maybe pare it all down from 7500 or so favorites to maybe 25 or 30. Occasionally, my award winning graphic designer wife looks over my shoulder and gently says, "You don't have to include everything...." Or, "Bigger type isn't necessarily better type..." But she's left me to make most of the rookie errors no doubt thinking that she'll drop in and help me clean it up before we launch.

I love the month after re-launching a website. You then have good reason to market the hell out of yourself and maybe even re-invent parts of your business. 

We'll see how it goes since I live my career so publicly. But do me one favor, if you really hate the new site maybe just send me an e-mail with suggestions. I actually have good reading comprehension skills---they are much better than my picture editing skills.


Richard said...

I hope your new site will be coded to have the text wrap-to-window.

Your blog does not wrap. The font is so tiny that I have to zoom, and before getting to a decent font size, the text extends past the sides.

For sites like yours, I have to switch to my Browser User Mode, which I normally don't mind, but it does mess up some formatting sometimes.

For an example of wrap-to-window, read here. I zoom to 150% to read Guardian articles.




Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Richard, What are you reading the blog on? The text wraps to window on all my Mac OS machines, laptop, desktop, and iPad. Blogger provides a mobile file for cell phone users with the type done correctly as well. Any limitations here on the blog have to do with Google's Blogger format but I haven't had the issues you seem to be having. Are you reading the blog directly from the site or is it on some RSS feed? If it is on a feed it may be the fault of the secondary feed.

Richard said...

Hello, Kirk,

I'm reading your blog directly from the VSL web site site using my Opera browser on Windows XP.

I have javascript enabled.

Some sites wrap, others do not.



Richard Parkin said...

I read your blog in Safari on an iPad Air. The text is tiny and grey so I always click on the Reader view which is fine. The text in this comment box is tiny too and I have had to magnify the vie to read what I am typing.

Paul said...

Looking forward to your new site Kirk - you've prompted me to do some work on mine, it's been neglected for the last few months due to other commitments.

I actually quite like the content on your current site - just needs to be refreshed a bit, techniques for showing images improved and make it mobile/tablet friendly (responsive)