I remember my first piece of the internet – it was a review website called “Alley Catz Reviews” that I painstakingly built in Microsoft Word during my middle school years.
I carefully exported each page and uploaded them to my school’s server, beaming with pride at reviews of my favorite boy band CDs, chick flick movies and Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels (yes, novels). I’m pretty sure I actually placed for a ribbon for the website at a local student technology fair. I do know the website is what allowed my acceptance to the Belin Blank Summer Institute, solidifying - or so I thought - my forever interest in being a graphic designer.
That website pushed me into some big things in my young life, but at the same time, I distinctly remember not caring what anyone thought of it. I thought it was well-written, high-tech and pretty much the coolest thing I had ever done.
I didn’t care that I had definitely broken some copyright laws by stealing images off the internet for visuals, that there was almost certainly no sitemap structure or that black text on a highly texturized, repeating background was in no way catering to accessibility needs.
Flash forward nearly 15 years? I’ve gained numerous graphic design classes from a wacky high school art teacher, hours of online research on how to use Photoshop and finally, a B.F.A. in graphic design. I’ve found my forever love of working in marketing (although really, I thought I was “forever” a graphic designer, so who knows what could happen, right?), and now, I’m working at Webspec Design, a web design and development, search engine optimization, and digital marketing firm in Urbandale. My job is a perfect mix of the web development and graphic design that I fell in love with and the marketing that I enjoy waking up to do each day.
As a new blogger for the IowaBiz blog, I now have another corner of the internet to reach people online; one of my favorite things to do. As I write to you here, my goal is to teach you the ins and outs of websites and the strategy behind them. The internet is changing every day, and it can be hard to keep up. So, although I won’t be able to cover everything that you need to know, I hope you can take a few things away that give you food for thought.
Here’s where you come in: I want to know what YOU want to know. I love meeting new people, online and in real life, and I hope that through this blog, I can. Email me, tweet me or find me at a networking event next week. But just tell me …
What do you want to know about websites or web strategy?
P.S. In case you were wondering, “Alley Catz” was a nickname my grandpa gave me as a kid. Although, I do wish I could bowl.