CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Website Grader

I realize that even the best Website Grader isn't perfect. But Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I do employ one of these now and then as a tool to explore the power of the festival website.

Note that though I'm officially the webmaster of the site, Marilyn is Director of Events and Communications (along with her other title), so she's actually in charge of the website (and my direct boss). We pretty much make website decisions together, in other words.

But it's my job to know things like DMOZ and Alexa. And how to write Metadata tags. (And on and on.) I personally set up the site's entry at DMOZ, for example. (We hadn't been included there prior to that.)

I also set up our key for website maps with Google maps (I embed these in pages, which is really cool). In fact, I can't begin to list the things that I've done for the site that aren't obvious, by which I mean to say you don't necessarily SEE these things as a site visitor, but they certainly impact how the website works.

Last year we had an additional website tied to the festival -- and the individuals responsible for that site were always trying to tell me how to do things at the main site. They used buzz words and explained that some of my standard practices were wrong. Excuse me? Just because I'm not part of a web creating company doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing! I understand standards very well (I could tell them a thing or two about links, which is one of the things they corrected me about at one point -- they were wrong, just to be clear). Of course, I was pretty nicely validated when I got Silver at IFEA and they didn't get anything. I didn't even know their site at been entered, so I can honestly say I wasn't pulling against them (nor would I). And as I've admitted before, I didn't know the website would actually win an award, so it was a huge surprise -- and very exciting.

But I think I have every right to be PROUD of my work for the festival website. My re-design has been complimented countless times (this was another year where I seemed to constantly be hearing nice things about the site -- even when people had no idea I was the webmaster). I've done visible things -- and 'behind the scenes' things -- that have made a big impact on the site.

Check out this part of the REPORT on the festival website:

Your website has an Alexa rank of 241,103 which is in the top 0.86 % of all websites.

I just blinked several times when I saw that! Out of the millions of websites in the world, our site ranks in the top 1% (well, BETTER than 1%, but there's no need to quibble).

Naturally there were 'suggestions' of ways to improve -- because the site doing the ranking is out to sell services (which I totally get). So being me, I immediately start tweaking.

Actually, this is the time of year when I have TIME to tweak the site, which I enjoy doing. I'm going to do more graphics changes, bring back the blog and some other things.

We're entering the website at IFEA again this year. There's no way to know if we can win anything (I don't really even know the criteria they use for judging), but it never hurts to try, after all. Even if we don't win an award, I'm still proud of the site and my work as webmaster. It's an honor to work on a site that reaches so many visitors worldwide.

And, yeah, it's great fun when I see my own photos and art pop up places (at other websites, on TV, in YouTube videos, etc.). I can't deny that it's an ego booster!

Anyway, this grading and ranking (etc.) can be exciting and rewarding -- and it's both for me right now.

(Good timing, considering there's always some amount of letdown right after the festival ends.)

Tags: 2009, art, award, blogging, festival, festival-website, ifea, june-2009, marilyn, webmaster, work

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