HTML – An Unauthorised Biography

What is HTML?
Where did HTML come from?
what HTML variants are there?

In this post I will answer all these questions and more.

What is HTML?

HTML is one of the languages (in fact the main one) used to build modern day web pages but it’s been around for over 20 years in a number of different forms. Continue reading “HTML – An Unauthorised Biography”

Why “I see web people”?

Me: I see web people.
Online shrink: In your dreams?
Me: Sad emoticon
Online shrink: While you’re awake?
Me: Happy emoticon
Online shrink: web people like, in cyber cafes? In work places?
Me: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re not online.
Online shrink: How often do you see them?
Me: All the time. They’re everywhere.

We all know people like that though right? always tweeting on their phone and keeping people updated as to how their constipation is this morning. Mock them I may but they are the staple of future web business and the people most likely to tell their friends about you, be it good or bad!! Keep these people happy and entertained and you are well on your way to increasing your customer base.

So how to do it? Well, there’s no easy answer despite what some people would like to tell you. Each business is different and has its own unique target audience. Women for instance shop differently to men (but we knew that anyway right), they are much more likely to use functionality such as “things you viewed recently” just for an example. Gender, age, location, tech savvy even dare I say it religion can all play a role in deciding whether a visitor will or won’t visit your site or buy your products.

You have to tailor your site to fit your targets. Selling to the over 50’s? Avoid animation and over complicated design, try to keep it clear and accurate. Not being disparaging to older people in any way incidentally, I just know that as I get older I have less and less time and the simpler and quicker I can do something the better. Targeting the teens and early twenties? Make it big and bold, keep it fresh and exciting and make sure you have all the latest ways of letting them tell everyone how great you are. I see so many people get swept along with the tide when it comes to their web sites and what they think their customers need. To paraphrase Dr Ian Malcolm in Jurrasic Park…

“Yeah, but your developers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Yes I know, I watch a lot of films. However this rings true with a lot of websites and the people behind them often get caught up in the pretty aspects and think less about what the content and functionality of the site is meant to be achieving. Splash pages for instance are a pet hate of mine, “yes lets put an extra click between your visitors and your content”, people still creating them in 2011 should really be hung up by their dreamweavers and left there. Animation is useful for bringing attention to your site, be it flash or javascript based, but over do it and your visiters will be overwhelmed and miss the point. The ultimate rule though no matter who your audience is has to be: Content is King!!

People come to your site so find something whether it’s details of your product, information about your business, details of their friends bowel movements and so on. Give them what they want or watch them get it from someone else, that’s your choice.

confused visitorHaving banged on about how important it is to keep your content at the forefront, it’s also now more and more important for the look of your site to be spot on as well. Advancements in web technology and broadband mean the days of poor quality images and slow loading flash should be a thing of the past. Now you can update part of a site without having to reload entire pages, manipulate look and feel with Javascript and CSS on the fly and bring things to life in ways that just weren’t really possible even 5 years ago. What you have to remember is that your website is now, more than ever, your public face and first impressions really do count. Make that first impression in the right way and you have a foot up in a world which is becomeing more and more competitive all the time. Don’t and you’ll be wondering why all your competitors are leaving you behind.

This is the reasoning behind the name – When I created this site I was predominantly building websites for a living and I was seeing more people like this everyday (maybe a little in myself dare I say). Plus the name is cool 🙂

So feel free to browse about. There will be the odd web design entry, lots of music and a good dose of randomness.

Enjoy.