Two Years A Webmaster

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A few years ago a concept entered my mind, and to this date I still can’t figure out what is was. It was the New World Otter, we all know that… or, at least to those reading this article.

I remember when and why it hit my head. The humor section for the Pauw Wow I was planning was kyboshed by the then editor, and I promised the writer (who’s work was just dismissed) a place for him to write… someday. Since this took place after a very liberal poli-sci course, “New World Otter” (instead of Order, incase you’ve still not gotten the pun) was the first thing on my lips.

As with most people from college, I lost touch with that writer… he dropped out a week after my brainstorm. But, I did have a comic strip that could use publishing (I learned about the concept of Webcomics around that point); so began my learning process. I gathered up a smattering of basics in html and an account at Angelfire (as do all budding webmasters sometime in their lives), and posted a website.

It had frames, an animated logo, my comic strips and a page with the word “cheese” in bold block letters, but it was a start. A start that sat around for 2 years then deleted itself (yay!).

Then, I graduated college and became bored. So, I gathered and even bigger smattering of html, paid for hosting, and ripped off many a website. That was 2 years ago and an official website was born.

Since that time, I’ve learned many do’s and don’ts of the web world. There are more don’ts than do’s apparently. I’ve moved on to learn a smattering of JavaScript, Perl and PHP… enough to install other people’s scripts. I’ve pimped, plotted and Photoshop-ed. And here’s what I have learned:

Maybe I should clarify at this point. I’m not talking about commercial sites like booksellers or them discounted drug stores. They’re all soulless. I’m talking about personal sites, portfolios, e/n whats-its, etc. You know, the Indie scene on the web.

Don’t get into the whole web world on the notion it’s glamorous. There’s a lot to be learned and a lot of time to be wasted. And you’ll only get something average looking with that effort. Overnight successes are a rare occurrence, more so in the Webcomic world.

You’ve got to for yourself, and yourself alone. That’s what I did. I had a comic and a message, plus tons of other randomness that there’s really no place for other than self-publishing on the web. But with that came the fringe benefits of learning all sorts of new things, and increasing my patience index. It takes a great deal of patience because nothing goes right the first time (no matter how detailed the instructions are). If you’re not willing to spend a lot to get squadoo, then it’s time to find a new hobby.

Oh, of course I would love to have a huge readership base, but the odd of that happening are not good. I’m happy with the few loyal readers the site does get, because they get it. They get what the NWOt is about, or at the very least are squinting very hard trying to get what we’re about. Hell, some days I’m still trying to figure out what we’re really about.

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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