devil

Today I launch my website 2.0. New. Pared down. Beautiful (I hope).  Designed to be useful.

But perfect.  No.

It should have been easy to reformat and move my website to a new host service. Or at least that’s what I was promised. But my team works in Arizona, in Utah, Seattle, Washington, D.C. (briefly) and the Philippines. Which gives plenty of opportunities for the Russians, those evil cyber-bullies, to slip in.

You ask, “Why the Russians?”

First, I need someone to blame. Second, you have to wonder why they have it in for Hillary and whether, as part of their mission, they are planning to take out other successful professional women as well. Hillary’s emails aside, I’m praying that they never take my email public; I suggest that you begin praying for the safety of yours as well.

I’ve heard that 40% of those nasty online comments about Hillary are actually being generated by Russian trolls. Evil.

Makes you wonder – or should wonder – about the source of what you read on-line. Except here. I got that 40% statistic from Samantha Bee’s political satire show – so it has to be true.

One of the good things about having a small business is that you can fly a bit under the radar.

If someone finds a typo on your landing page, the news does not make it to the Wall Street Journal or Huffington Post. Nevertheless, I was dismayed just prior to launching (I thought) last week when I discovered that my entire website media/photo collection had gotten tangled up with a Little Shop of Horrors – and the photos had started multiplying. Where, previously, I had one version of a photo in the photo library, there were now five, no ten, no fifteen, and no way to tell which photo in the collection was the “real” photo I had used in a particular blog.

In an attempt to correct the problem (again, Russians must have jammed the airways), the delinquent photos were taken out, leaving me NO photos on many of my blogs. It descended from there.

I also learned what kind of bizarre stuff comes at you from cyber-space if you forget to add a spam blocker to your site. (“I really lov yur site – wanna try my copyeditng servces?”)

Were any of those glitches or troll activity earth-shattering? NO. A royal pain. YEP. I really like and value the team of people who’ve been working hard to help me launch this new website.

Despite the fact that there have been glitches and it now seems to be in vogue to issue big proclamations like “I’m cutting off your head,” or “I’m going to sue you,” or “I’m going to have her locked up,” I am not scheduling any executions. (Besides, the real culprits, the Russian trolls, have already taken immunity pills.)

So why am I releasing a preview of the site to you when there might still be mistakes – and more work to do?

  1. I promised my new therapist (the one who lives in my head where the rates are affordable) that my working mantra is “good enough.”
  2. The problem we’re having with trolls is only going to get bigger (and please explain why they’re so hungry for Hillary?).
  3. I wanted to do something positive while in my please-get-these-elections-over-with-and-promise-me-it’s-going-to-work-out stupor.
  4. I consider that my website, like me, is a work in progress. I change, so it has to change, which means my wonderful virtual assistant has a job for life.
  5. I really wanted to share it with you.
  6. It is likely that when you find a mistake you’ll be kind about it.

But mostly I’m proud of it. When I launched my first site, my team at the time created a beautiful set of pages – way too many of them. I wanted to compress twenty-five years of experience into meaningful services, and I ended up writing too much. I wanted the site to sound “professional” which it did, but I’ve since learned that “professional” is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

I subsequently launched my recovery-from-business-speak program, and starting cutting all uses of “efficient” and “effective” in the copy, and a too liberal use of the word “results.” Thankfully I never used the word “optimize.”  I’m still weeding out business clichés.

I’ve struggled with figuring out what my brand voice should be. My biggest clients are organizations – but how do you write to an organization? People read websites. Over the past three years I’ve learned to use a more natural voice – the one I use on this blog – informal but informed. (Discovering what is “natural,” as cereal manufacturers know, is a bit of an art.)

I’m relaxed with my prose, but if you ever find me writing expressions like “secret sauce” or “easy peasy” in my copy, take me out! That’s not my voice. (You’ll see “rock the world” on my landing page because I do say things like that.)

Please have a look. www.engagingpresence.com. Hopefully, you’ll find it engaging – even if there might be a troll still lurking.

I look forward to your feedback!