Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Back!

Yes, I'm still here. Since before Christmas, I have been totally immersed in overhauling my mcmanweb site. New design, fresh content, everything. Way back, I had a vision of a website that would be the leading resource on depression and bipolar and related stuff. My website has undergone numerous changes since it first went public in early Dec, 2000 - and so have I and so have you.

The one thing that has remained constant is my three-word mission, "Knowledge is Necessity." My job then - and now - was to present information and viewpoints in a way that helped you - patients and loved ones - make up your own mind. I debuted the site with about 70 articles, divided into various diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and science categories, plus personal stories, mental health issues and famous people. The categories have largely stayed intact, but the only articles that remain from eleven years ago are some of the personal stories and the ones on famous people.

Over the next several years, mcmanweb expanded to some 300 articles, most of them my work but also featuring other contributors. By the end of 2007, the site was showing its age. I ditched my ancient FrontPage program, invested in Dreamweaver, learned how to write CSS code along with the HTML I also knew, and brought mcmanweb into a new era. New design, leaner and meaner - half my articles were pruned, the others updated. The new mcmanweb went public in the spring of 2008.

Soon after, I bought a video cam and next thing I was making my own short YouTube videos, which I embedded in mcmanweb. Then, at the end of 2008, I launched this blog, Knowledge is Necessity, intended as a companion to mcmanweb.

By 2009, it became apparent that my new mcmanweb too much resembled my old mcmanweb in approach and outlook. Plus there were numerous design flaws and technical glitches that made the site look like a train wreck in some browsers. But who has time to fix things?

Then about a month ago, I made an executive decision - tear the whole thing down and start over. I invested in an update to Dreamweaver, brushed up on my code, and got cracking. I organized my schedule so I came on duty at nine in the morning and punched out at around midnight, with plenty of breaks, seven days a week.

The good news is I programmed practicing my didgeridoo as one of my break routines, and improved my level of play exponentially. The bad news is I'm feeling inclined to show off my new didge virtuosity on anyone unfortunate enough to occupy my same time zone.

By early January, I was confident enough in my new design to start uploading articles. Things went fairly smoothly until I came to my Treatment section. I had to put a match to just about everything and start from scratch. My ten new articles on meds treatment add up to about 20,000 words (who's counting?), a third of a book. Plus another 10,000 words of fresh content elsewhere - a half a book. Plus edits and rewrites of other pieces, plus stuff originally published here, reworked into articles.

In all, more than 150 articles with a very different look and feel to my previous 150 or so articles, representing more than three, possibly four, books.

At about midnight Monday, I experienced the pleasure of crossing the finish line. My last upload to my last batch of pages. A visitor could now go to mcmanweb, click on any link, and come up with a fresh page.

I still have more work to do, stuff to rewrite, new articles to work on, technical things to iron out, but I can do all that during normal work hours while I tend to other priorities - like getting a life.

Beware - I'm John McManamy and I'm dying to show off my didgeridoo.

Check out the new mcmanweb ...

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