in This time it's personal

How Blackberry, Twitter, and friends helped improve this website (such as it is)

You can call it crowdsourcing.

But I can’t.

Because I don’t know what that means exactly.

And second of all, it didn’t involve a crowd.

Only four people participated, if you include me and my imaginary friend, Mang Carding.

So what was the deal—supposedly big—all about?

I had wanted to overhaul and redesign my website (such as it is) because Mang Carding had been telling me to do so for the longest time.

Except that I didn’t want to listen to Mang Carding because one, he was imaginary, and two, he was crazy.

The last time I followed his advice—which is to defer payment of my water bill—I ended up taking showers in cheap motels for six days straight. As a result, the motel attendants and I had gotten so close I almost asked them to add me on their Facebook accounts.

I remembered Mang Carding and his advice once more when a real, sane person brought it up.

Her name is Nikka Corsino, a former co-worker, who is a skilled photographer and a competent writer. About two years ago, she agreed to take the picture and design the header graphic of my previous homepage. [See: Nikka]

Recently, while exchanging sentence fragments over Blackberry’s messaging app—just about Blackberry’s only saving grace right now—she happened to mention that many other WordPress themes were available that were not only free but would help enhance my website’s content.

“Your website deserves a cleaner theme,” she said over BBM.

Nikka may be skilled and all but if it’s one thing I know about her, it’s her inability conceal understatement.

When she said what she said about my website, she was saying something else— that in terms of design, my website was only slightly better than those created a dozen or so years ago that featured blinking lights and tacky banner ads.

In short, my website sucked.

It took awhile for that to sink in because I am generally dense and am unable to comprehend concepts unless accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

A few days later, I was able to act on Nikka’s advice.

It then became a dizzying obsession.

Just on the WordPress site alone, there were hundreds of free and clean website themes available to everyone. By the time I had shortlisted 17 themes, I was already prepared to give up, having been overwhelmed by the work involving a website theme change.

To his credit, Mang Carding led me on. “You can do it, my friend,” he said.

As I was set on installing one theme—it was either Svelte, Erudite, or Great Ideas (words that clearly can’t be used to describe my personality)—I decided to make one more search for the WordPress theme that would suit my website.

And so, I tweeted about my website needs.

Lo and behold, another former co-worker came out of the digital woodwork.

Jayme Gatbonton, one of my followers whom I also follow on Twitter, replied with a link. It then brought me to a page with themes so simple and colorful that I ditched my old list and created a newer, shorter one—Sutra, Word Finder, Theophilus, and Harimau Malaya. [See: Jayme]

After I posted a tweet that thanked her, I chose Theophilus, which is designed by Timothy Long.

And that is how the Blackberry, Twitter, and friends helped me improve my website.

But that’s just half the story.

I’m thinking of making the home page static. But I’m not too sure about what Mang Carding has to say about that.

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