I'm all for making my life easier.
I do it in many times every day in many small ways.
Clothes, for instance. I find that buying and owning clothes makes it easier to stay warm when the climate becomes chilly. Having several sets of clothes and engaging in a process I called "layering" provides even more warmth, directly proportionate to the amount of clothes "layered."
Eating food, I find, makes it easier to not be hungry. A similar principle to clothing applies: the more food I eat at a time, the longer I can go without feeling hunger. There are other issues involved in this one, like trips to the bathroom and the denseness of the food items, but generally, this one has a pretty direct cause/effect.
So, of course, I was ready to cry out in ecstasy when I heard there was something you could use to make updating your Web site easier.
Creating a Terribly Happy entry is a lot of work. First, I call together a committee of executives from the Terribly Happy Regional Offices located all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico. We usually meet in Omaha, or somewhere centrally located where no one actually lives. If Omaha is booked (ie, if there are more than five or six people in the city at any one time), we may try Des Moines or anywhere in Montana.
We usually camp in a hotel conference room for two days, using a marker board and PowerPoint to come up with ideas for the site. A typical session might include ideas like, "What's up with Play-Doh?" "Hey, did you see that one commercial with a voice over by that one guy that used to play Blake on Dynasty? And wasn't he the voice of Charlie in Charlie's Angels?" or "Something really interesting happened today and let me tell you about it."
The brainstorming session can be very painful and frustrating, but from that meeting will come one usable idea. That idea is then hammered into a fully fleshed-out anecdote, complete with seemingly real characters, a setting (Austin has been working out pretty well for now) and a sometimes humorous situation that takes place somewhere like a donut shop or a financial planning office.
When the idea has been written up, a memo is sent to a staff of writers in Sarasota, Florida. They "punch up" the entry, inserting links to Web sites, random observations and occasional plugs for musicians, TV shows or movies that focus groups have determined are currently entering the consciousness of the Gen-X demographic.
Once an entry has been written, it is sent to a team of Web designers in Seattle who use a template, add images (doctored photos, illustrations made to look as if they came from a Clip Art package, composite photos using models and actors) and eventually, transmit the custom-built pages to a Web server. The Web server is accessible only through the Terribly Happy Intranet. Once it has been approved by a quorum of the original executives (who by this time have returned to this regional offices), an engineer is brought in to take the template pages and hand-code them into individual pages that are then uploaded to the public server.
A telegram is hand-delivered to DamnHellAssKings.com notifying their staff of an update and our clerical assistant sends out an e-mail to those on the notify list from a dictation delivered by our CEO.
Obviously, it would be nice to streamline this process, but how? I haven't been able to see any way to make the process easier.
Luckily, there's this site, Blogger that promises to make it easy to update your site whenever you want as often as you want. It would put a lot of people out of work at this site, but it would also save hundreds of thousands of dollars a week.
So, I decided to try a customized version of Blogger and see how it works out. The beauty of Blogger is that you just type what you want on your site, and it automatically throws it onto your Web pages, stamping each entry with a date and time. This is not at all the meticulous process that we at Terribly Happy go through ensuring that each entry is a pure golden nugget of well-edited and timely wisdom meant for the ages.
But it saved me a trip to Omaha. For that, I am grateful.