Friday, September 13, 2013

Is compulsive website-making a disease, a disorder, good for business or merely fun?

Some people have strange compulsions.

Large-scale sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski had worked on Mount Rushmore and in 1948 started blasting a humongous sculpture of Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Ziolkowski worked on the project until his death in 1982. In 1998, the face of Crazy Horse was completed. Ziolkowski's wife Ruth and seven of their children still work at the memorial.

Gene Simmons was born as Chaim Weitz and perfoms as "the Demon" in Kiss. Gene was compelled to have sex with more than 4,600 women. (Allegedly)

Atilla the Hun looks almost as scary as Chaim Weitz. Atilla had a compulsion to conquer. In the 400s he pillaged his way from the Ural River in what is now Russia to Paris, destroying much of the Roman Empire. 

My compulsion is much more benign.

I ... must ... make ... websites.

Over the years I've made somewhere between 50 and 100 sites. Some are for business, some for fun, some for me, personally, some for my companies, some for other companies and people. I've also created about eight Facebook pages. For a few years I wrote five blog posts each morning. (That was definitely nuts.)

Some of my sites, like (above), have been on the web, making money, informing and entertaining since the 1990s. Some were "taken down" after a few weeks when it became apparent that they were bad ideas.

(above) Here's how looked in April, 1998, thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I think I have become a better designer.

(above) I had great hopes for (two "d"s) in 1997. I realized that there was a huge demand for accessories for portable computers. After a few weeks I realized that the project was doomed. The most exciting products had low prices and were available from many competitors -- so I shut down the site. The web makes it easy and inexpensive to experiment with business ideas. If the idea is wrong, you don't have to dispose of real estate, truck fleets, inventory and possibly employees. I've probably killed 20 sites over the years. (above) is about me. Authors are supposed to have websites, so I do. This site is mostly for fun, however, not just about my writing.

If I don't launch a new site or do a major revision every two months or so, I get itchy. I need a big dose of HTML to scratch my itch, to relieve the creative pressure.

This year I've launched four new sites aimed at authors and hosted by -- a company I've come to like a lot.

I built the sites with Wix's free-and-easy templates. They offer many more design choices than Yahoo and Network Solutions which I've used for other sites. You can get a free site from Wix with an amateur-sounding address ("URL") like or pay a few bucks per month for an adult URL like my sites have. I keep the cost down by allowing tiny ads for Wix to be on the sites.  

99 Buck Books is a parody of sites operated by self-publishing companies. Apparently it is, as Brits and American hipsters say, "spot-on," because it fooled an expert in the self-pub business. I won't embarrass him by naming him here. Take a look, smile, laugh, and be warned.

Books for Authors is a legitimate website, with reviews of more than 80 books with links to where the books can be bought. I wrote some of the books, but not most of them. Most of the reviewed books are fine, but the stinkers are identified. Spend your time and money wisely.

Create Better Books has information on books written by Yours Truly that will help authors create better books -- and maybe even make money from writing. There are over 20 books shown on the site with links to booksellers, and previews of books that are still 'in the oven.' The site doesn't include all of my books about publishing. I removed one my wife doesn't like, and one that's become obsolete. The others are all wonderful, and prices range from 99 cents to $19.95. Please take a look and buy some books, and post reviews if you like the books. 

Info For Authors, not surprisingly, has lots of info to help authors of all kinds. It covers writing, editing, designing, business and more. Look and learn.
We Love Clams is for people who loves clams. Some of its content will become a book.

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