When it comes to online identity, there is a great deal of time spent on developing the "look and feel" of a website, but very little effort is spent on developing the tone of a site.
It seems strange that people jump straight to the visual, straight to the "big bang", without stopping to think about HOW to get there. A website is a place to tell a story. It is a space to hold a moment of history. And the visitors that come to your site truly are interested in your story – and if it is not compelling (visually or narratively) – then they will leave. On the web there is always somewhere else to go!
Of course, having a story is one thing. Developing a WAY of telling your story is the next challenge. I struggle with this here as much as anyone. But I think it is important to see it as an ongoing struggle.
Each day is different. Each perspective alternative. And if you are open to grow and learn, then your site, your tone of voice, and even your visual style will mature and change with time.
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