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I have had a website for a long time now. I put it up in 1995 and have revised, maintained and administered it myself. I taught myself to do this because I was appalled at what web designers were charging to do it for me.

I invested in a “What You See Is What You Get” program and just dove into the deep end. I registered a domain name, leased server hosting services and, within a short time, I had my own website. I also learned that there are a ton of things you need to know, most of which involves weird acronyms like FTP, TCPIP, HTML, PHP, and on and on. It became like a second job and required tons of reading and asking questions of very odd looking people and inhabiting online help forums. But I quickly discovered that there are a lot of people out there in the ether who are happy to assist total strangers who ask what they must think are the most obvious questions.

Today, we have a whole new world of internet potential that does not involve any of this. It's called social networking and is represented by sites like Twitter and Facebook. These sites are easy to use, mostly free and they offer some features that are not available on a privately owned website. I just set up a Facebook page for my work and within a few hours, I had been "friended" by a half a dozen people. That means that my site is now visible to their friends and if any of them hit the page, it will be seen by their friends and the whole thing can spread at a speed that would be unlikely for a privately maintained site.

My personal site was never very active which meant that very few people ever saw it. I used it mostly as an online gallery that I could show to potential clients. But with the Facebook page, the logarithmic potential for people looking at my work is enormous. And the best part is that I don’t have to spend a lot of time on it.

D.D.

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