Have you seen the fun video released to promote the then new television show, Portlandia on IFC, recently renewed for another year or two? It’s called “Dream of the 90s” and is part of your homework for this blog exercise.
The story is that Jason went on a trip from Los Angles to Portland, Oregon, and returned to describe it to his friend, Melanie, convincing her to go there. The opening lyrics are:
FRED ARMISEN (as “Jason”): Do you remember the 90s?
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN (as “Melanie”): Yeah?
FRED: You know how people were talking about getting piercings and getting tribal tattoos?
F: And people were singing about saving the planet and forming bands?
F: There’s a place where that idea still exists as a reality. And I’ve been there.
C: Where is it?
The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland! (Portland…)
The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland!
The tattoo ink never runs dry!
F: Remember when people were content to be un-ambitious? They’d sleep ‘til 11:00, and just hang out with their friends? I mean, they had no occupations, whatsoever… maybe working a couple hours a week at a coffee shop?
C: Right. I thought that died out a long time ago.
F: Not in Portland. Portland is a city where young people go to retire.
While this is a perfect example of the crazy that is my new home town, this is a great look at how a place or person can be stuck in a time period. Stuck and thrive but stuck all the same.
In her best-selling album “Compass,” Christine Lavin’s song “Prisoners Of Their Hairdos” is about people who are literally prisoners of their hairstyle such as Dorothy Hamill, Don King, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, and Crystal Gale. Hair isn’t the only thing celebrities are prisoners of in this song.
They are prisoners of their hairdos
prisoners of their hair
If they changed the way they combed their hair
They’d never be recognized anywhere
What do Stevie Nicks, Leon Redbone, Pee Wee Herman,
Tom Wolfe, and Pope John Paul have in common?
They are prisoners of their wardrobes
Prisoners of their clothes
If they changed the outfits that they wear
Nobody would stop and stare
Fear of change is something we all battle with, keeping to the same routine. Today’s blog exercise hopes to disrupt that routine.
Today’s blog exercise is to take a look at your blog and ask yourself if you are dating yourself or stuck in a specific time zone of history. In other words, are you a prisoner of your blog?
Recently I gave a presentation to a couple hundred WordPress, blogging, and web publishing fans. After showing them my site, I did a quick audience poll and asked if I should change my site design. The overwhelming response was NO (in caps). After the presentation I was approached by several web designers who told me the would love to be considered to change the look of my site, followed by even more who told me that if I changed my site’s design, they wouldn’t recognize me.
Well, folks, a change is coming soon so be ready for it.
As I contemplate my own site change, what about yours?
As with everything, there are fads and trends. Website designs go through their own fads and trends. Boxy was in pre-1999 when sites were designed with tables resembling design by spreadsheet. Circles and round corners were hot by 2008, then faded away as minimalism took over. Today, with the oncoming storm of CSS3 and HTML5, expect to see rules broken in many design directions as boxy, round, and constrained designs go the way of truly responsive web designs.
Content, the words we use, the images and videos we present to the world on our sites also get dated. One of the biggest challenges I need to tackle soon is on Talking Your Camera on the Road as its images are extremely dated. One of the oldest sites in the world, I published thousands of articles and images prior to 2006 when high speed Internet was still a dream to most people in the world. As the Internet bandwidth has increased, these small low resolution images are like Kodak film today – too small and low rez to view properly. I have a huge project ahead of me to scan all these images, upload them, and replace them throughout the site. Volunteers?
Look through your site for anything that dates you. Archival information and images is fine. That is an important part of a website, preserving your history as well as the present. That’s not what I’m talking about with this blog exercise.
I’m talking about being a prisoner of your website’s design or content. It’s time to join the future and the future is now.
As Christine Lavin so beautifully said:
There’s a very fine line
Between a groove and rut
Fine line between eccentrics
And people who are just plain nuts.