MY cub reporter days gave me a marked distaste for mother and baby contests, where you were expected to goo-goo over gurgling infants that mostly looked like gremlins. (“So how old is little Jenny? Oops, sorry, little Jimmy?”)
But I’ll have to swallow my heartless words because my own ‘baby’ recently made a small news item in the local press! Yes, you do hear the sound of one proud mother gushing. It won a Costa Press Club (CPC) Communicator Award last month – pretty miraculous since it’s only 18 months old and I’ve only just figured out how to change the slider.
Those of you who read my cautionary tale about giving birth to a website will know I don’t mean the kind of ‘baby’ that wears Pampers. (In fact, now I’ve got a spam filter, who needs them!) But with apologies to traditional mums and dads, looking after belindabeckett.com is as close to parenting as I’m ever likely to come.
As my offspring approaches the ‘Terrible Twos’ it’s good to network with other website parents who have done it all before me: setting up an RSS feed, checking for broken links, injecting a daily dose of SEO, registering it with the Google search bots… there are so many worries with a young website that I’m able to share at monthly CPC dinners.
Mind you, the Stone Age hack in me still yearns for the ‘hotmetal publishing’ days of slugs and flongs and more stimulating journalistic banter. And I draw the line at discussing anti-spam plug-ins at the dinner table.
We can never stay late because we have to get back for the cats. Two of my own, one adopted. For someone who never wanted ‘dependents’ I’m not sure quite how I ended up with a quartet: one with no legs, three with four – in human terms that equals six individuals! Dave’s the father of Blue. He really does think of himself that way, through no fault of his own.
Conversation with local vet:
“Hola. Soy Daveed Cussen”.
“Daveed Cussen, el padre de Blue?”
“Aye, por supuesto!”.
At least cats don’t need a new fur coat every year. With websites, just when you’ve paid for a redesign or a fancy shmancy Content Management System they’ve outgrown it. I thought you could never feed a website too much fresh content but mine has evolved from a lightweight business card into a bonny bouncing travel site that’s so all over the place – Gibraltar, the Campo de Gibraltar, Cadiz Province, Costa de la Luz – the categories and tags no longer fit.
There’s a wise old web-mistress’s tale that says: ‘Followers for vanity. Monetisation for sanity.’ So I’ve taken a part-time job writing sizzling travel guides to help cover the expense of bringing up cyberbaby. (My first one’s free when you sign up!) Of course, my social networking life has gone to pot and now I’m going to need a part-time web nanny too.
Motherhood? Why do we bother!