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Woman machinist illustrates DIY metaphor.
Controlling the means of production!

Authoring Your Own Video-Driven Web Site

Social Media web sites vs. CREATING YOUR OWN WEB SITE in 1 hour!

Have you ever eaten an Oreo cookie?
Oreo cookies.

You, too, can now learn how to self-author the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code that supports your web site content.
Even a monkey can learn HTML code over a weekend:
Webmonkey logo.

The basic tags which you can find on the webmonkey's cheatsheet are
•like the cookie part of that Oreo cookie
•and your content is like the cream inside the cookie:
each piece of content needs an opening and a closing tag,
with some exceptions which the webmonkey will show to you.
•You will find every web page has the same two opening and closing html tags:
<html>My web page containing text, images, links, code to launch my videos, etc., goes in-between these two opening and closing html tags.</html>

You can prove this to yourself by looking at the html source code for any web page.
Just look through the drop down menus at the top of your browser window until you find a command for "Page Source."
In the Firefox browser, Page Source is located under:
Tools>Web Developer>Page Source
Screen shot showing where to find Page Source on the Firefox browser.
Go on: get under the hood.
Try it: you'll like it!

Uncovering a web page's source code is like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" suddenly seeing all the tricks behind the Wizard's audio/video machinery.
He tries to distract her by talking into his microphone,
but she can see him as he vainly commands:
"Ignore the man behind the curtain!"
Gang of 4 sees Toto has revealed the Wizard of Oz by pulling back his curtain.Dorothy can see all the switches the Wizard uses to create his special effects.
Dorothy and friends see that her little dog Toto has revealed the Wizard of Oz by pulling back his green curtain.
•This is much like how you will feel whenever you reveal a web page's source code.
All the switches that affect the Wizard's image projection visual effects are now in plain sight.
To create your own web page magic,
• you need to learn at least the basic tricks-of-the-trade.
Whether or not you end up authoring you own web page,
•knowing basic HTML will help you get what you want from your web page's fundamental programming.

It's like the difference between playing with a child's modeling clay,
•and an artist actually creating a beautiful sculpture.

Blogs and social media sites use proprietary coding in an attempt to make it "easy" for non-HTML coders.
But as this code logic is different for each social media site,
•users must relearn how and where to post their content on each of these sites,
and predictably become frustrated.
All too often, they throw up their hands
•and never finish filling in all the boxes on LinkedIn.com, Facebook.com, etc.
Don't believe me:
•look around at your Contacts/Friends pages on these sites.
What a mess!

Avoid this understandable frustration by instead learning standard HTML code.
Then, you can author, control and update your own web site.


I have even taught HTML code to high school kids who were flunking English but found it a breeze to learn basic HTML.
•They created their first working web page within one hour of first hearing the letters "HTML."
Then, tested their code on a computer to make sure their new web page worked as expected.
This, before ever uploading it onto the Internet.

If you are having a bit of difficulty with computer logic,
you may find this list of common computer and digital camera phobias encouraging:
You are not alone!
I can help you get past these mental blocks so you can more efficiently enter the digital age:
"Knowledge is Power!"

Here is some advice for stand-up comics and business keynote speakers
with long-term PROFESSIONAL ambitions
which can help folks avoid some common pitfalls:

1) On your web site's Home page, have your best video or a direct link to that video.
•Never rely on freebie web sites, not even youtube.com.
You web address should be something simple and easy for people to remember.
Your name works best, something like: JimRichardson.com
If your name is already taken, just add an appropriate word or two after it that is still available.
No spaces between the words, natch:
is kinda long; but you get the idea.

2) Get your email sent to your permanent web address,
never to anything like jimrichardson@pacbell.com
as these Internet companies like pacbell get bought up,
and change their email addresses
since pacbell.com will no longer be a working web site address.
•Your permanent web address can travel with you forever,
even if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) goes belly up.
•Something simple like jim@JimRichardson.com works best.

3) As over 50% of social media sites are now accessed by smart phones and other hand-held mobile devices,
yesterday's desktop and laptop computers are no longer the target audience:
•Design your web site for "mobile first!"

In short, before you do your first open mic,
have a budding SELF-PROMOTION plan well in place.

Where to begin?

With a simple business card you can run off yourself at a self-service print shop like FedEX Office (used to be called Kinko's).
Locate the one nearest you by entering your zip code in the "Find location near" box: http://www.fedex.com/locate/index.html?cc=us#start
Or instead go to a similar copy shop.

You are looking for a place that can copy from your computer print out of 12 business cards on one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper in color on white card stock.
•The shop must also have a good mechanical paper cutter that you can use for free.
You can cut up the card stock sheets neatly to get 12 business cards out of each sheet.
•Test to make sure you can easily slip your new business card into the business card pocket in your wallet.
Leave nothing to chance.
•But do not run off too many cards yet as you will probably be updating the design
sooner than you might think.
Start with maybe 120-240 cards cut from 20 sheets
(20 sheets x 12 cards/sheet = 240 cards)
of card stock thick enough to feel like a real business card.

Have your permanent phone number and your permanent email address tied to your permanent web site address.
Yes: when you change phone companies, even your old phone number can travel with you:
•That is crucial or your business cards that you have already handed out will become outdated.
Not good!

Begin by creating your basic business card with at least your permanent name, permanent phone number and permanent email address.

Then, take 20 business cards to . . . even your first open mic or service club presentation.

Why take your business cards to an open mic?

Because most acts at open mics are very weak.
•If you go over well, the other comics will immediately invite you to perform with them at other "unlisted" open mics.

This networking is crucial since new open mics start and end within an average of 6 weeks.
It usually takes the owner of a non-comedy club about that long to admit to himself: "This just isn't working!"
Because there is no return on investment (ROI) in allowing unfunny people onto his night club stage.


So, networking via your business card is often the only way you can find out about the next open mic.
•To contact you about these floating crap games,
career open mic-ers need your business card to locate you.


Business speakers need to have business cards announcing that you are available to speak,
•even before your first service club presentation.
To get more such speaking opportunities, you need a card.

These clubs are national organizations almost always visited at every meeting by members from other club chapters.
If the visitor likes your talk, they will come up to you afterwards, and ask for your business card to give to their chapter's Program Chair.
Plus, members of the chapter you are addressing know members from other chapters, and will want to give them your business card.
A recommendation is a much faster path to your next speech than making 10-20 cold calls.

•Having a simple web site with a description of your topic and a very short video clip can go a long way to reassuring the Program Chair that you will do well.
In short, just like the newbie stand-up comic, the wannabe business keynote speaker must first look the part.

Sample business card.
More on business cards.

After awhile, you might want to hire someone to design a more professional looking business card and web site.
Your old Do It Yourself (DIY) business card and DYI web site will both start to look a bit primitive as your act or speech presentation improves.
Then, you will need a card and web site that better reflect you growing professionalism.
•At that point, even cookie-cutter blogs just won't cut it.
If your act or speech is original, then your thematically-matching business card's and web site's design
•must present you as unique, a truly creative professional.

I can design a business card and web site for you that is video-driven, career-oriented, mobile-first and fast loading.
Or you can shop around.
•Begin by collecting both business cards and addresses of web site designs that you like.
This is the first thing any designer will ask you to do.
So, get going on it now.

But in the meantime, just create what I have described here for your initial card and web site.
• Your web address on your business card needs to go to a web page that does not have the headline "Under Construction."


Your initial web site might look like this "Before" version,
which for now is just fine.
•You can get yourself an "After" version down the road when you have a good video, respectable credits, etc.:
Before/After for a web site design: DIY vs. professional design.
More on web site design.

Get in touch:

Snail mail:
Jim Richardson
Organized Comedy
PO Box 992
Mill Valley, California 94942-0992

Page last updated: Saturday, December 14, 2013, 12:22 pm PST
Copyright © 1997-2014
Home | Video | Coaching & Co-Writing | Order | About | Techniques | Register | FAQ | Contact
Studying Comics | Comedy Roots | Comeback? | Defense | Character mask | Robin | Censorship
Writer's block | Camcorder Coaching | Memorizing | Remembering | Setting a bit
Business | Business Cards | Your Web Site | Open Mics | Evil "Bringer Shows" | Audition | MC tips
Promo Packet | Contact media | Interviews | How to get BIG-$ Gig$ | Agents vs. Managers
Newsletter | Goodies | Auditioning: TV & Movie parts | Site Map: more tips