Thursday, August 09, 2012

Do it yourself?

These days, we often have the choice of doing many things ourselves that we used to have to pay for...from pumping our own gas to printing our own business cards and documents.  We may save time and money...or not.  We may enjoy the control over our products and time, or be frustrated by the process.  (Does anyone like self-checkout at the grocery?  It's not faster--there's often a line, and scanning your own items is tedious, especially when you have to type in produce codes, etc.  And when the machine acts up, you have to wait for an employee to help...)

When I was in graduate school, my typewriter (remember those?) had a correct key, but if I wanted a copy (there was no saving documents back then, not even on a disk), I'd use carbon paper to save the trip to and expense of a photocopy place (no printers, either).  You had to have your acting and business resumes typset and printed, so any change was a cumbersome and expensive process.     

As Internet use blossomed, more individuals had websites.  Even in 2006, designing your own site required knowledge of complicated code.  A few do it yourself options existed, but IMO the result looked too much like a template instead of professional graphics.  I couldn't figure out how to design a quality product on my own.  So after extensive research, I hired a designer for my author site (  Now there's WordPress and Weebly, among others. 

I recently asked my designer (biondo studio) to transfer that site to WordPress so I could update it...adding audio, video, links and new clients.  The goal was to save money.  Her rates are reasonable, but I want to make changes more frequently, which could add up.

But what is my time worth?  Do I want to learn all of these new products, programs and skills so I can adminster my business, or is the effort better spent on craft and marketing?  I tried to figure out WordPress, but didn't find it intuitive.  Adding additional text is one thing, but adding audio and video and/or adjusting the layout is quite another. Now a friend is helping me figure it out and offered to do my updates.  I've helped another friend print assorted documents because her printer died, and she hasn't made time to research and purchase another.          

So sometimes do it yourself becomes do it for your friends.                  

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