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This morning I started on some long overdue updates to John Glover's official website. I started out planning on just getting the latest up about his current appearance in a major revival of Death of a Salesman in New York. But as I started working on that, I realized just how out-of-date the whole design of the site is, and how I want to work on fixing that in the future. And a lot of that realization is thanks to my work on creating Squidoo lenses in the past year.

I admit, Squidoo has seriously spoiled me in some ways. It's so easy to add modules to a page that update daily with things like RSS feeds, Google news, ebay listings, Amazon products, etc. And that's what people want from the web today, and truly expect: frequent updates, the latest news, the shopping links they're looking for, at their fingertips. I was truly frustrated I couldn't easily add some of the features I have on my Squidoo lens for John to his very own official website!

Well, I'm dedicated to working on it now. I have a lot of plans for changes to the website which I'm slowly going to begin implementing, even though my web knowledge is seriously stuck back in the html days and css generally makes me go cross-eyed. But I know now thanks to Squidoo a lot of features I CAN add, and I've already majorly revised the site's main page today. What did I do? Pushed more info "above the fold"--lots of empty space and long scrolling is SO 90's web design! I double-columned the news so I could add the Facebook FanPage widget (as the FB page has been great for promoting John's work), at least one active news feed from a celebrity-related site, and a navigation bar at the bottom as well as the top of the page. Although I'm not looking to add advertising to the site, I will be adding Amazon product links or perhaps build a "shopping gallery" page for those searching for John's movies on DVD, audiobooks and other memorabilia.

Anyway, it was an interesting realization for me today. While a lot of people talk about Squidoo like it's a place for "dummies" to build webpages without having to know much of any html or css, it can teach you a lot about what makes for GOOD webdesign in today's environment. And it's time I start taking some of those lessons to heart in how I put together my non-Squidoo sites.

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Nicole ("sockii") Pellegrini

January 2013

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