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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Smoke, Mirrors, and Photoshop

I worked on some of the web content for Sonlight.com today. I fixed a mislabeled product--one of the math textbook and workbook bundles was listed as just the workbook... and has been for five months--what!?

If you're anything like me, you don't really think about the people behind the websites you browse.

You mean, someone has to make that happen?

It still surprises me even though I've built my fair share of sites. I still live under the impression that the pages I visit are created by perfect machines that don't make mistakes.

Well, I'm not a machine. And I'm far from perfect. But I am pretty good at fixing mistakes if I know what's wrong.

Example: We now offer the 2009 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia DVD for Mac.


World Book 2009

I needed to find a new image for the 2009 edition. World Book's site only had a very small version of the new cover. So, using my "mad Photoshop skills" I went in and fixed it myself. Now when you visit the Sonlight page you are greeted with the 2009 edition image courtesy of yours truly.

We do our best to make Sonlight's site perfect, but we're a bunch of humans over here. I once put out a plea for your feedback on the website, assuring you that the web guys see your comments. I'm now one of those "web guys" and I'll be taking care of some of those issues (if they're easy, like typos <smile>). So, please, if you see something wrong: Let me know!

But remember: Sonlight.com, like every other site, is not much more than smoke, mirrors, and Photoshop holding a little bit of HTML, CSS, and Java together. My hope is that despite the fragile nature of the web, you will find more than enough support, encouragement, and resources for your homeschooling journey. And if there is a way I can help make it even more effective, I want to know.

Even if the website is a virtual space, we're really humans on this side of the modem. And we're here to help you.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

6 comments:

Danielle said...

I recently went on one of the sites for which I am the webmaster, and noticed a pretty big mistake... a paragraph that was completely repeated... it had been that way for quite some time, too, I had just never actually read the page in something other than the HTML editor, so had never noticed that. I vowed then and there to frequently read my own sites!

Ariana said...

So true. You really never know how much work it is to keep a website working and looking good until you go in and mess with it all yourself.

Wendy said...

"My hope is that despite the fragile nature of the web, you will find more than enough support, encouragement, and resources for your homeschooling journey."

I have found this to be one of Sonlight's best attributes. I've never found more support in any other venture than the homeschooling support I receive from SL's sites (blogs, forums, the website).

Keep up the good work, you all are making a difference!

mary grace said...

Totally OT, but:

I joined facebook. *Seriously.* And it's all your fault ...

Karen (KayKay) said...

I can't even imagine how much work goes into it and I thank you for it. Although I'm winding down my homeschool journey the support and encouragement have been outstanding.

Luke said...

Danielle, I read my own sites, but Sonlight.com is so huge--and we don't code everything by hand--so I don't know if I'll ever have time to read everything there. Thus, we must rely on those who happen across our errors. But yes: Read your own material. I do on my blog, and I still have typos <smile>.

Ariana, what's worse is that I have made web pages before. And I still forget <laughing>.

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Wendy! It made my day <smile>.

Mary Grace: Add me! (I'm coming to find you when I get a minute. Be afraid, be very afraid <laughing>)

Karen, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you <smile>.

~Luke


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