I invested two days of the holiday season learning how to build / repair a website.
I’ve sort of done it before. This blog, for example, was inspired by reading Dave Winer’s blog, and then learning how to set up a site from scratch. I know enough to be dangerous – as in, I’ll probably take the site out – but not enough that it could be a side hustle.
So when the opportunity arose to resuscitate the community radio station’s rather unhealthy and slow website, I decided to jump in, do it and learn while at it. If something broke, I’d beg forgiveness and ask the professional who manages the website to restore it.
Watching a generous two hour video by Tyler Moore while waiting for my doctor’s appointment yesterday morning was how I started it. Learnt enough – or remembered enough – to deactivate all the plug-ins on the site that had made the exercise a painfully slow process the evening before.
I pretty quickly figured out how the various pages hung together in the theme that’s used as default, the menus and sub-menus, the widgets that brought things together, and some of the quirky pages that were hobbled together. I rearranged the pages, made them a little more consistent in appearance, brought together things that should be, and removed things that didn’t need to be. I learnt how to use Elementor and it’s various options as I was building or rearranging the site.
I learnt also how to set up and embed an online payment option on the site so membership and donations can start to flow in quicker than by post (not a joke!).
None of my volunteer colleagues on the Board have the skills, or the inclination to do what I did in two days. I’m by no means an expert – or want to be – and yet, in two days I’ve built enough skills to talk to the webmaster to communicate the intent of the radio station. I know enough about this now to know why it takes time, & where the bullshit starts with costs.
Taking the initiative means I get to do the work (or I have to do the work, as many would describe it). I get to walk the talk, not merely posture or wave hands in frustration or anger. The skills I’ve built are transferable, and they will certainly be. I have come to realise that I love being the generalist – jack of many trades and master of a very few – and it is where I play the strongest.