Not too very long ago, I considered selling steamlocomotive.info. Hosting bills were coming due, and I could not afford them. I was tired and frustrated and thought perhaps someone else could do a better job with the site than I was doing.
As I pondered completing the sale I was forced to take a serious look at the website itself, and how it is maintained. I reached two conclusions: first that there are a very large number of bugs within the site which need to be repaired; and second, that for a person to successfully maintain the website certain technical skills would be required, both as a programmer and as a MS-SQL query developer.
The first problem can be solved with time and persistence. The second required me to rethink how the administrative interface to the website worked and how I would redesign it to allow a non-technical person to do all the tasks required to maintain the site. That proved to be daunting but doable.
As I continue to repair, enhance and modify the site in the coming days, weeks and months, it is my intention to write about what I’m doing and why in this blog. I hope that those of you who think about online presence and social media will find this useful and maybe even instructive.
There were some monumentally stupid design decisions made back in the day (almost 20 years ago now) and while they may have seemed reasonable or “good enough” back then, they have come back to haunt me as I’ve made the site more capable and more complicated. As I make changes to the site, I intend to explain what I did wrong, and why and how I’m fixing it.