My cub reporter days gave me a marked distaste for mother and baby contests, where you were expected to goo-goo over gurgling infants that mostly looked like gremlins. (“So how old is little Jenny? Oops, sorry, little Jimmy?”)
But I’ll have to swallow my heartless words because my own baby recently made a small news item in the local press.
Yes, you do hear the sound of one proud mother gushing!
It won a Costa Press Club Communicator Award last month – pretty miraculous since it’s only 18 months old and I’ve only just figured out how to change the slider.
Those of you have shared my bloody tale Giving Birth to a Website will know I don’t mean the kind of ‘baby’ that wears Pampers (and, with a spam filter, who needs them!) But with apologies to traditional Mums and Dads, looking after belindabeckett.com is as close to parenting as I’m ever likely to come.
As my offspring approaches the ‘Terrible Twos’ it’s been wonderfully supportive to network with other cyber parents who’ve been through it all before and are happy to pass on their own website tips: Chris and Michelle Chaplow, for example, whose giant of a website (andalucia.com) recently turned 18, or Peter Leonard with his funny, sport-obsessed, tearaway teenager (ozinspain.com). Not forgetting the founders of costapressclub.com itself, godparents to all our offspring who host us at monthly dinners.
Setting up an RSS feed, checking for broken links, injecting a daily dose of SEO …
… there are so many worries with a young website that I’m able to share at monthly CPC meetings. Mind you, the Stone Age newspaper hack in me still yearns for the old ‘slug and flong’ days of hot metal typesetting and more stimulating journalistic banter.
And I draw the line at discussing anti-spam plug-ins at the dinner table!
We can never stay late because we have to get back for the cats. Two of my own cats, one adopted. For someone who never wanted ‘dependents’ I’m not sure quite how I ended up with four: one with no legs, three with four – in human terms that equals six!
Dave’s the father of Blue. He really does think of himself that way, through no fault of his own.
Conversation with local vet:
“Hola. Soy Daveed Cussen”.
“Daveed Cussen, el padre de Blue?”
At least cats don’t bust out of their fur coats every year. With websites, just when you’ve paid the last instalment on a fancy shmancy Content Management System, they’ve outgrown it!
I thought you could never feed a website too much fresh content but mine has evolved from a lightweight business card into a bonny bouncing travel site that’s so all over the place – Gibraltar, the Campo de Gibraltar, Cadiz Province, Costa de la Luz – the categories and tags no longer fit.
A wise old webmaster once told me: ‘Followers for vanity. Monetisation for sanity’. That’s as maybe. But money doesn’t talk if you’ve got no stalkers. So I’ve taken a job writing sizzling travel guides and my first one’s FREE when you sign up!
Of course, life’s not easy for a full-time working cyber mother. I thought it would be one long social networking whirl and, actually, that’s exactly how it is! Not always in a good way. I used to be OFF my face at 2 a.m. in my carefree days, now I’m ON Facebook until way past then.
Motherhood? Why do we bother!
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