Saturday, 6 March 2010

Lights, camera, action!

SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. It’s the dark art of the internet. Our web designer, the beautiful, talented and jammy at cards, Holly Junak (contact details available on request), is wise in the ways of the “www” and tells me to write “content rich” text and not to write “like a lawyer”. If I didn’t know better I’d say she was trying to insult me. The aim is to set the world wide web aquiver with tempting morsels called keywords, which act as the dying flies that lure the bots and spiders out of their search engine lairs. In practice that means liberally sprinkling words such as holiday, cottage, Wales and free beer throughout the text with gay abandon. So much superfluous text. It hurts my lawyer sensibilities.

But there’s more to a web site than text. We needed photos, but none of the rooms were finished and it would be tricky to take any photo of the exterior that didn’t feature a builder, some rubble or a patch of mud, or maybe all three. Some creativity was called for. I bundled piles of bedding, cushions, throws and curtains in box, Dave grabbed some lamps and plants from the house, and we spent a day on our own Ideal Home photo shoot.

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Having completed the interior shots, we still had to come up with images for the pages on the web site detailing activities in the area. Beaches was easy. We even had a moon picture for astronomy (and by that I mean the actual moon and not one of Dave or one of his cohorts dropping their trousers). For cycling we hauled Dave’s bike out of the shed, brushed off the owl poo, muddied it up a bit with a few trips through the puddles on the drive, and hey presto an instant mountain biking shot. Golf was a bit trickier. We thought of creating a bunker out of a pile of building sand, but I feared coming across little presents left by Nessa and Steve. We decided on an action shot using the sports facility on the camera - I tried and failed to get a shot of Dave hoofing a golf ball down the drive. We swopped my inferior camera skills for Dave’s superior camera skills. Sadly my golfing skills are just as inferior as my camera skills. I knew I had to keep my eye on the ball as I hit it, but taken by surprise that I actually hit the thing, I then failed to keep my eye on the ball as it sailed off somewhere down the drive and into the undergrowth. Lost ball stopped play.


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