Updates make me muse

I always feel relief and satisfaction every time I write the blurb on the News page about new stories being up and change the link on the homepage from my “update” to the Why INS Was Created page. It means another twenty women’s stories are out there in the world … and I am done with checking links and writing HTML for another few months.

INS has been a one-woman show from the get-go. Except for the person who created the original template, no one other than myself has ever been involved with the behind-the-scenes stuff on the site, and one of the reasons updates are sporatic are … well, it’s a lot of work. And not fun work either. There have been times I’ve debated whether or not to post a story not because of content, but because the spelling and punctuation are so abysmal even Word check is like “dude, seriously, I don’t even know where the fuck to begin decoding this mess.” With every batch of stories I’m guaranteed to get at least one like that. My human side, however, prevails over my hyperlexic/Asperger’s side by reminding me that just because someone can’t spell doesn’t mean her story shouldn’t be seen, so I buy Word check a beer and we hurtle into the abyss together and the story gets posted with the same tone, just better English.

In the past year, though, some ideas have crossed my mind that would have made me scream GAAAAAAAAAHH FUCK NO even a couple of years ago. I’ve been giving a LOT of thought to hiring a professional web designer to bring INS out of 1998. Throughout my travels on the internet I know that there are a lot of independent designers/firms who would be proud to have their names attached to something like INS, and I’m sure interfaces are available that even someone like me, who possesses just enough programming knowledge to be dangerous, could manipulate with ease. Then there’s … well, just finding someone with more technical skills who’s just as passionate about what I’m trying to do with INS, who could clean up the HTML and stuff like that and, in a worst case scenario, could even take over running INS should something happen to me.

But then my inner three-year-old comes out. “NO MINE MINE MINE NO TOUCH!” As imperfect as it is INS is mine. I created it, I designed it, I maintain it, I decide what goes up and what stays away. On the (very) few occasions I’ve dealt with people who had an interest in helping me tighten up the site I would get sent screenprints of their ideas that were clearly their ideas, not taking the current site incarnation into consideration. It was kind of like going to McDonald’s and saying “you gotta lose those dumb yellow arches.” No one wanted to work WITH me, they wanted me to accept THEIR work. Nope, sorry. To paraphrase Bobby Brown, I made this site, you didn’t.

So I go back and forth-do I hire a neutral web designer? Do I recruit someone from the fan legions? Or should I just say “fuck it, don’t fix what’s not broke” and keep on keeping on?

All I know is there has to be a way to get around two hours of writing HTML.