It's been nearly two weeks, and you have been diligently making your way through the various tutorials, on line content and examples listed in my previous two articles. And you've written a bunch of code and you're pretty excited and you have absolutely NO idea what to do next.
Just about everything about us is on line. It is shared between platforms controlled by Facebook, twitter, tumblr, and instagram. The thing that these things don't give you is control. You are not their customer, you are their product, whose eyes and meta data they sell to advertisers, business and governments (no, this isn't a piece on data security, but it COULD be...). The thing that you aren't doing if you are only using these platforms is creating for yourself a brand. Be it personal or a business, a brand is a way of aggregating all of these platforms into a single message that represents you, and then using these platforms to disperse your brand in a controlled way.
The skills that you are learning by following all of these tutorials and what not are the skills that allow you to not only create a baseline brand, but to also interface with all of these platforms to present yourself the way you want to be presented; to say nothing of giving you the ability to now help others to do the same.
There are hundreds of websites with the basic building blocks out there (some free, some at minimal cost) to give you the jump start that you need. These html, css or platform templates will plug right into your engine du jour and propel you along the path of web design and development with the goal of learning how to create a brand.
|CSS Zen Garden|
|Open Source Web Designs|
You might also want to head off into the world of self managed hosting. For easy hosting solutions check out:
Most of these solutions will have one click installation of several popular blogging platforms that you can then dig in and modify, or you can go off on your own and create websites from scratch.
And again, if you have other template sites or hosting services that you like, or you have any questions about any of these ideas, pipe up in the comments or reach out to me directly.
In this Series:
|Part 1 - On Software, Getting Started and Staying Relevant|
|Part 2 - On Software, Stacks and Technologies|
|Part 3 - On Software, .NET|
|Part 4 - On Software - Owning your brand|