Cheat Guide to Webmonkey'ing

Cheats Guide to Webmonkey'ing

I am the current club WebMonkey. I cheat a lot at my workplace as a general rule of thumb, but I am known to get much more done. This is a quick guide on how to get a website online and working for you, and how we currently do it for our America club website.

The Easy Bit - The Website First, get something online right now. Might sound the last thing to do, but if you have a reason to be online, why aren't you already there?

Start with a geocities website, and work your way up while you get your final domain ready (or final design or final layout or final text). You can always copy-paste what you do now into your new site - you have nothing unless it is available right now.

The easy part of webmonkey'ing is getting a website online. Shop around a little, seeing what is out there and what you can get to do most the work for you. TheAmericaClub uses a framework called "Drupal" that deals with usernames, typing things in, and the prettiness. Find a cheap and/ or reputable hosting firm that provides SQL + PHP, upload the Drupal package, and buy a domain name. Done!

Actual Work - Content

Online, content is king. You have three seconds to catch someone's attention. Punchy content is what people want, not hard to read essays. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. Avoid uploading mass text - give them three or four key points. If they want more, they will ask, or you can link to extensive histories. Keep their attention, and you have them.

Content is king - if the site isn't growing and being used, then it is a brochure. Get anyone and everyone able to type content. Find ways to involve people - some don't like writing, but are interested in editing someone else's lengthy review, others like voting an putting their opinion in. Grow conversation with the other committee members and get their content up too - there is a Pseudodragon section that is building on the website that this article will be part of! Find people that are passionate about the games that they play and get a review on their game or about their story. Find photos and make a gallery - we have an online gallery where party photos and convention photos are going into, and people can add their own photos and comments.

Advertise your content - if people don't know you exist, they will not find you. Currently, theamericaclub.net.nz gets many hits off the Internet; mostly from google, but also from other gaming websites and forums that have links to us and we have members on, and a TV3 article about a convention they attended. Put the short website name in everything you do, and remind people to use it as a central place to hold things, and point out how it is easier.

Content should be easy - if it isn't people will avoid it. Our website deals with many of the HTML coding issues people have - if you can 'underline' a heading with dashes then you know how to write into our website. Google your problems - other people have encountered them before. Make sure that important details are a click away - such as an up coming event - and hake sure giving links out is easy. theamericaclub.net.nz/clubnight is easy to remember for instance.

Websites are living - if you ignore then, then they will die. Sometimes this is a good thing - maybe its what the people didn't want. Listen to your members, and get what they want and put it at their fingertips. Remember that sometimes you might be pushing and idea they had not considered possible, or you could be pushing something uphill that is technical and not actually practical.

Final Thing - Cheat More

If your not enjoying webmonkey'ing, you are doing something wrong. You will always find resistance from somewhere, so cut through political crap and get things going - you sometimes have to show people a working example before they believe in it. Websites are easy, and if you cheat extensively then you can get back to doing things that are more important - like gaming.