John McCrory

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There is no web site

From 1996 to last year, I had a personal web site. I published an e-zine in the mid-90s. I published an online newsletter at the end of the 90s. I blogged from 2002 to 2006. When my blog was hacked early on, I switched from an open source blog publishing system (dot-net-nuke?) to my own, custom-built CMS that I hand coded in ASP and VBScript to work with a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database.

I still own the domain but there’s nothing there anymore. It became too cumbersome to maintain. And meanwhile my bits have been scattered over the Earth like ashes, dispersed to Flickr, Facebook, Delicious, Posterous, WordPress, Twitter, and for private intranet-style stuff, Google and Yammer. I hardly ever look at or write HTML anymore, thank goodness.

I’m in charge of the web site for a law school, among other things. We re-launched at the beginning of 2008. We’ll probably redesign in another year. But the truth is, there is no web site. Or at least, your web site is not where your web presence is. You are scattered among dozens, if not hundreds of web media, and your brand is being managed by thousands of people with their own two cents, their own blogs, Twitter accounts, and Facebook statuses.

So let’s get past thinking about your web site and think instead about your presence. You’re everywhere, or you’re nowhere.


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