Hey, folks. So, while…

Hey, folks. So, while Kavi naps on me (the better to ensure long sleep :-), I started working on the new web page. This is very bare bones right now, but what do you think? The bits in the center are just placeholders until I can talk to Jed and ask him how I can get much larger excerpts from the journal there -- in fact, I think what I'd ideally like is something like what Gaiman's got on his site, where the most recent entries of the journal are just right there, on the main site. When people scroll down to the bottom (maybe 3-5 entries worth), then there'd be a link to take them to the regular journal page with the rest of the entries.

Anyway, what do you think? The colors and all are still just the basic Dreamweaver template, and the links don't do anything yet -- right now, I'm just working on layout / organization, etc. Any of this that you think doesn't belong on the front page of my site? Anything else on the site that you think should be more prominent?

And is it weird to have a photo of me *and* Kavi on the front page? It's certainly not typical for an author site...

Also, should I put the smuttier covers on the front page? Are they too explicit, given that people may come there looking for either my academic stuff or my kids stuff?


7 thoughts on “Hey, folks. So, while…”

  1. I am a bit tired of the teal background, but I think your current comment and journal page setup is much better than any others I have seen. Not crazy about the new white background, however.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    David, as I said, I haven’t done anything with colors yet. Not at all sure where I’m going to go with that. Right now, I’m just looking at the layout of my main page and the organization, figuring out what information should be there when people first come to my site.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    For some reason, I can’t sleep. So it seemed the perfect time to work on the web page. Now I’m messing with colors.

  4. Hi Mary Anne,

    I think this part when you said,

    “Right now, I’m just looking at the layout of my main page and the organization, figuring out what information should be there when people first come to my site.”

    I think something that signals movement/motion ,
    newsy, updated bits on the different aspects of your life with regards to writings, books, festivals etc. Breezy & vibrant that reflects your own personality.
    And having the blog right upfront is definitely brilliant as it subconsciously suggest you’re a writer on the move with things happening and the unseen message is that it reflects an interesting life or rather, that the browser/reader will find various things happening all at once and realise that everytime he/she stops by, there may be something intriguing.
    A riveting effect which works in your favour.

    I suppose it also depends on the kind of image you’d want to portray in the first few seconds either family, artist/writer, academia/scholarly etc.
    At the moment, the sidebar suggest you’re an author first of all.
    Your real challenge would be how to balance the academia with your other sensual stories.
    I think somehow that wouldn’t be as difficult if you could relate or merge links with something from the syllabus that you’re teaching…story links and such and that may downplay the more graphic elements of erotica.

    You may have a problem with the childrens’ stories if you put erotica right up front. But the covers are gorgeous. I suspect many parents may not be too keen on children browsing the site. Unless you open a separate website just for your children’s works and not place them as a prominent emphasis over here.

    Your photograph of mother and daughter is beautiful. One of the best I’ve seen so far. A perfect magazine portrait and it would definitely arrest attention in all the right ways I daresay, if you display it in the way you already have. 🙂

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thanks, Susan! Right now, I’m hoping Jed will be able to have more of the journal stuff on the front page. I’d ideally like to eventually have a readings/events section that’s updated too, but to be honest, I’m doing so few of them these days that it’d be a bit sparse — I think I’ll wait until I’m more active again.

    I do intend it to be primarily focused on the author stuff, although now that you mention it, I probably need a link to my c.v. somewhere on the front page. Hmmm… left nav bar somewhere? I don’t think it’s important enough to put up top. So far, I actually haven’t talked a whole lot about my teaching online; I don’t think I do enough of it to make it a whole separate section. I think at least for now, I’ll leave it to show up in the journal as it comes up.

    I think I’m going to be waffling on the erotica covers for a while. Hmm… the thing is, I don’t want to hide the fact that I wrote a lot of erotica — I can’t! But as it is right now, I’m not doing so much of it, so the only place it’s likely to show up on the front page is in the covers and a few links.

    Glad you like the photo! Another option Jed mentioned is to have something that grabs a different photo every time the page is refreshed, which I also think would be pretty cool. This would definitely be one of them, but then I wouldn’t be positioning myself quite so prominently as a mommy. 🙂 I do need a new author photo, I think — the one from BiM is three years old and with that cropped haircut — I look so different now. But vanity prompts me to wait until I lose the pregnancy weight…sigh.

    Also, would it be cheesy, cool, or just practical to have all my book covers scroll across the bottom of the site’s front page? (If they don’t scroll, they get too long across or down, and I’d have to just pick a few of them. Which would be hard.)

  6. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Also, I’m not sure I need the right column at all — I can’t think of anything else to put in there, aside from my photo. But if I put the photo in the top, at the right, it’ll mess up the spacing.

    What if I put it at the top right of the white blog section? Which would be the main content section on all the other pages too…? (Should there be a image of me on every major page of the site, or is that just egotistical? (Not that a web page isn’t inherently anyway…) I love it when Elaine Chen does it, but hers are all artsy and cool and stuff. I like Gaiman doing it too, but he’s a thousand times more famous than me. And kind of hot, in a scruffy older British guy sort of way.

  7. Hi again Mary Anne,

    My inkling is that you could put the photo any place. It will definitely get the right attention. I worked as a fashion journalist for some years. Those sort of photos are the ones that easily get used in highbrow magazines because they look extremely professional. Studio/portraits & photography – it would be great if your author shots could go the same way too as in future, it may work to your favour especially with literary journals or magazines and when they can only interview you through the phone or email, these are the kind of photos that an editor would easily grab and you never know… it could also end up giving you front-page publicity. By the way, Mary Anne, Jed’s idea is a good one. Then nothing looks tired on the page and the effect is always refreshing. You could mix the author & mummy photos up together.

    I don’t think Gaiman’s fame matters so much as that he knows how to sustain his readership. And that is always clever but not many people seem to know it – to put the regularly updated blog right upfront, so it looks like that particular writer is also on the go. You’ve jumped on to a good thing.

    Since there are a various interesting things happening in your life…even sometimes for work in progress projects like rehersals etc or for announcements of dates etc, why don’t you just have one category like a popular literary agent here does on his website. Just says news (current or archives)…and put everything in there. Then you can just talk about whatever comes up.

    It would be great if indeed your vibrance came through.

    Many author sites are conventional. I think that if you had a scrolling banner for your book jackets, that would be really cool. If you could do something avant-garde or a little radical…because yes, many author sites are too conventional

    People love photos…and you have many lovely ones. No, I don’t think it is egoistical. Don’t blow them up too much if you’re going to have one on every page but let the pics balance well with your word content.

    Just my 2 cents worth, Mary Anne. Hope it helps. :-

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