Monday, January 5, 2009

Caught in My Own Web

I am a techno-phobe.

I'd be a card-carrying one, if I knew how to make a card on my computer.

My inability to cope with technology is now officially hurting my career. A columnist needs readers, and in this era readers find columns on the Internet.

But my Web site has fallen and can't get up.

It's amazing that I even have a Web site, but I do. All I know is I annually fork over some money to pay for domain names. I don't ask any questions. That would seem like prying.

In the past after I had finished a column and dispatched it to the gay publications, I would then religiously send it to a friend of mine who slapped the column up on my Web site. Marjorie, a musician, empathized with having a career that generated little money, so she kindly used her computer skills to do whatever it is people do to stick something on a site.

Once in a cobalt moon I could pay her; usually I couldn't. Sometimes she wasn't able to get to the task for months. But the columns arrived on my Web site eventually, and my mother would finally stop asking when she could read me.

But all good—meaning free--things must end, and Marjorie became too busy to tend to my site. Recognizing how precious her time had become, I, with a hand to my brow, nobly freed her from helping me. Martyr-wise, Joan of Arc would've been impressed.

I can do this, I told myself. I should learn how to maintain a Web site. It would be a great skill to possess. Besides, there's no way I can pay anybody to do it, so I have to learn. Yes, I'll get the hang of it! I'll overcome my fears and lack of skill and do it myself!

And dachshunds will fly.

I walked around in this fog of wild optimism for a long time. The fog lifted when I realized I hadn't done a thing to learn about Web sites, probably wouldn't, and the columns on my site were older than Monticello.

For the record, I want to state that I come by ineptitude honestly: I inherited it from my father. During World War II the army assigned him to carry a tripod upon which a machine gun was supposed to go. He couldn't set up the tripod, let alone the machine gun. My family believes, had he not been re-assigned to create programming for a radio network, the wrong side would've won the war.

Later, as a novelist, he couldn't negotiate the jump from manual to electric typewriters. Obviously from Dad I inherited both the writing gene and the technical incompetence gene. It seems to me the two go together with notable frequency.

So here I am now, still regularly producing columns for an LGBT audience. Columns that are all dressed up with nowhere to go. Yes, they land in publications and on some Web sites other than my own, but they don't grace the space specifically devoted to them. I picture my Web site as a lost astronaut floating around in cyberspace, no longer tethered to anything. Space junk. Jet-packed flotsam.

This can't go on. I need a homeport so readers can find me. So when people ask where they can read my stuff I don't mumble something about space debris.

I need a person with more technological ability than I—say, your average 7-year-old—who has the time and desire to help bring my Web site up-to-date. And who will do it for free. And then I'd like world peace and a pony.

No comments:

Post a Comment