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There’s no reason to fear when making a website.

Recently a friend at work said that he would like to show me one way of building a website. I was reluctant to attempt it at first, but after his constant jovial cajoling I decided to let him have a go at teaching me. I was so pessimistic about the experience; I just knew that it would be harder than he said it would be. Boy was I in for a shock!

I’ve been writing about the Internet for a couple of years now so you’d probably assume that I am proficient with all aspects of the Web, from using search engines to building a website. Well, you’re wrong. Sadly, I fall into the category of those human beings that fear new experiences in life. You can tell me over and over how cool it is to have a website, I can search and visit other people’s great sites, and still I will be doubtful that I can create one myself. Why? What is stopping me from doing what so many people have already done? Those people aren’t better or different than me now are they? The answer lies in irrational fear. You know the kind of fear that I speak of. We all do. Somewhere in your life you’ve deferred from doing something new because of the niggling doubts that pulled like ropes hanging from the branches of your mind.

What has stopped me from taking the leap and joining the online community that I so often speak positively about? I think one reason is that I’m a bit of a technophobe. I work with Internet ‘wizards’ and when I hear terminology like html, C Sharp, bandwidth, and ftp, I get scared. I don’t know what most of this stuff is and if I do know what it is, I don’t feel very confident to partake in using it. I’m a normal guy. I have a hard enough time with my life in general without having to integrate a whole new language just to put myself out there on the Internet. I have feared that I won’t be able to understand the process of building a website, and that I would waste precious time (we already have a hard enough time getting all of the necessary things done each day) trying and then failing.

There’s nothing wrong with failing at something (usually it’s how we learn lessons best), but nonetheless I think it’s part of the human condition to try and get around having to experience failure, even if it means not getting something that we desire done. I’ve wanted to have a website for a long time and yet this doubt of failure has stopped me in my tracks, literally turning me into a catatonic, barely existent web presence. Fortunately for myself and for you too, there are people in the world who are willing to help with things that we afraid to do, and vice-versa. It seems that for every one thing that we fear doing, there is both someone else willing to show us the way, as well as someone else who has a similar fear relating to something that we ourselves are comfortable in enough to teach them.

Recently a friend at work said that he would like to show me one way of building a website. I was reluctant to attempt it at first, but after his constant jovial cajoling I decided to let him have a go at teaching me. I was so pessimistic about the experience; I just knew that it would be harder than he said it would be. Boy was I in for a shock! In twenty minutes with his help I had done what I thought I could never do. Isn’t that always the way? The things that we fear doing the most ends up being simple, and gives us the greatest feeling of accomplishment. Weren’t you afraid to take the training wheels off of your bike when you were a kid, only to soon discover the joy and ease of riding freely on two wheels? I know I was.

On my computer my friend got me to open a simple Word document. Then he got me to cut and paste some photos from my photo library, and some text from some old stories I had written. We saved them as html. I didn’t need to know what html was! Then he showed me how to make a second webpage and link it to the first by typing in a word, then highlighting it and saving it as hypertext. Again, I didn’t need to know what it meant, only that the word was now able to be clicked on to send me to the other page. We also made a link to one of my favourite websites. I typed in the name of an author that I like’s name, turned it into hypertext, then simply put their web address into the required text box that came up automatically. Now when I click my mouse on the writer’s name, I am immediately transported to their website. Cool.

All of a sudden I’ve got a website with text, photos, and links! The next step was to put it on the Internet. I went to the website of a web hosting company and within minutes had a domain name (web address), and a hosting account. It’s very cheap to do as well. In my case it was only 4 dollars a month. The feeling of knowing that I now had a web presence was to say in the least, exhilarating. My site is still a bit sketchy as it’s in its early stages, but I am more confident in how to do things now, and I believe that in time I will be able to improve it more and more.

In the future I hope to have a site that has a videoblog (journal), podcast capability (audio files to share with others-music and my thoughts), blog (writing journal), cool pictures and photos, as well as some commercial aspects-like books to sell, and links to products I endorse. These links are a good way that people are making money just by directing others to places and things that they truly believe in. They also work to define your identity as everything on your site tells people about what kind of person you are.

There are other simple ways to make websites through easy to use template forms like, www.sandvox, and for freak Mac users like myself, the new ‘iWeb’ program. I may try them out soon as well to see how they compare to this basic site-creating method, but in the meantime I think just working this way is going to alleviate the irrational fears that have plagued me for so long. I am no longer afraid to walk down this road, and I know that the more you learn about something, the more confident you get at doing it. I won’t tell you my site address just yet as it’s only in its infancy, but when it looks cool and has the content that I deem as worthy to share, you can be sure that I’ll do my best to let you know where I am. Good luck to you tooScience Articles, prospective web masters!

Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a normal guy with a website. He can’t believe how easy it was to create.

Jesse S. Somer is a creative writer working at M6.Net: ‘The web-hosting company for humans.’ M6.Net is working hard to help humanity experience the power and freedom to develop their own part of the Internet, to share their information and connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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