Simplifying the web

This site has wandered around a bit, been reincarnated a few times. Much of that results from simply feeling my way around, and never really having any clear focus for HTM other than as an outlet for my thoughts. And it served that purpose well for a bit.

But as the history of How To Matter has mirrored my transition from gainfully employed in the corporate world, earning a nice living, to professional patchwork (which is to say, stitching together a living from many different sources), it’s time for a change.

What I’ve learned by sharing my most personal and meaningful thoughts/emotions

I could write a good long time on this topic, but let me bottom line it for you. I’ve learned, more than anything else, that there is power in telling your story, in sharing your passions and fears and failures and intimate thoughts. And while doing so won’t resonate with everyone, it’ll certainly speak to a small number of folks who can relate to your experience in a way that helps you both.

How To Matter started in a time of great turmoil for me and mine, as I desperately sought to find meaning in a world that made less and less sense with every passing day. It’s funny the way things turn sometimes…so often our expectations miss the mark, but we discover (if we’re willing) that the mark was vastly more important than any expectations we may have had about it.

Thusly, I came to find the meaning I sought existed, more than anywhere else, in the chronicling of that journey. That is, in letting my inside out, sharing in an authentic way, freely showing the world who I am and what’s important to me, it became clear that connecting in that way was not only meaningful, but critical.

Sharing ourselves - our true selves - is how to matter

This is how I see it, anyway. And I believe it applies across the board, to individuals, businesses, politicians (or political movements), non-profits, you name it.

But despite how much easier it’s become to do that - to share our message, our product, our passion - I’ve found that the vast majority of people I interact with (yes, even those who blog or have some other online presence) are hugely intimidated by the technology that makes it all possible. What seems second nature to some is wholly unimaginable to others.

I’ve decided to try to help the latter.

Simplifying the web…websites and blogs for the rest of us

Two years ago, I’d never built a website in my life. Now I’ve completed a couple dozen. Honestly, it’s been a frustrating journey. So many of the resources available for people looking to learn about web development assume a certain amount of knowledge. They teach to a certain level that may very well be fine for their target audience, but which creates a certain barrier to entry for those just starting out. I’ve wasted countless hours (days…weeks?) toiling over things that could easily have been avoided with the proper instruction. Instruction that starts with “Okay, I’m going to assume you know nothing about this”.

So that’s my niche. If you’ve built a few sites, know some code, understand some of the logic behind this online world, I’d love to chat with you…to share ideas and tips and strategies and the like. But I don’t want you as a client. I’m not right for you, nor you me.

But if you’re like my mom, who has been writing a Greek cookbook/travel journal for years but wouldn’t begin to know how to start her own blog, you’re perfect for me (and vice versa). If you’re a small business, like Tori’s, that needs an online presence, if only because people simply expect you to have one, then I’m you’re guy. If you’re the crafty sort and are tired of your friends saying “You should totally be selling this stuff online”, please reach out. Or if you’re a political candidate, or a politician in need of a professional, yet very easy to maintain and update website or blog, I can help.

In short, if you’re anyone in the world who wants/needs/knows they ought to have a website or blog, but don’t even know how to register a domain name, much less set up a hosting account and build a site, we were meant for each other.

The future of How To Matter

I was tempted to start a different site for my WordPress website services…thinking this was too much of a departure from the original purpose of HTM. But after thinking on it a bit, I realized that this is a very natural progression for me. Will I still share myself, my thoughts, my fears and hopes and dreams? Absolutely.

But I’ll also help others to do the same. Whether by offering free, easy to understand and implement tutorials, inexpensive WordPress websites and blogs, or high value, low cost WordPress Coaching, I have a singular goal…to simplify the web for beginners.

To this end, my posts going forward will be a mix of old and new…of sharing myself, and helping others to create and use the tools that will enable them to do so as well.

If you’ve been a reader of HTM for a while, I hope you’ll stick around, but I certainly understand if you choose to move along. None of us is one size fits all.

Regardless, if I can be of any help to you, with regard to any of the above, or anything else, please ask. I’d love the opportunity.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist May 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hey Jeb, I’ll certainly stick around and wish you best luck with your offer. It’s certainly comething that’s much needed, and I sometimes work on similar projects. Really like the “Troubled Maker” site - great name, too! :)
.-= Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist´s last blog ..Towards Ethical Lifestyle Design =-.

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Jeb May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hey thanks Fabian, I appreciate that very much. I like TTM too… :)

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Milo May 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

All seems an entirely logical progression to me Jeb, and I’m sure what you’re doing here will continue to develop organically as you go along. I can totally see the use for your services, as although I was able to set up a wordpress blog it’s finding the time to tweak it and learn the intricacies that is holding me back so I might well need to call on you in the future!

Also I think you’re right about authenticity and honesty. I think anyone interested in getting started blogging can only benefit from transparency as you’ve shown here - it’s nice to know that not everyone pretends they have it all figured out from the word go!

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Jeb May 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Milo it would be my pleasure to assist you any time. So long as you’re cool w/ someone who most definitely doesn’t have it all figured out. :)

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Tre ~ (Tresha Thorsen) May 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I nodded with every word of this post. This market you describe is everyone of my now right now clients who have any inclination to create an online presence. But I’m not a web tools coach at all..I’m a thought coach and healer:) so I can nudge their confidence and help them heal their fear but it’s always much more about owning voice and resolving to live that individuality we must…how giddy am I that you’ve fine tuned this niche as I’m certain I’ll be able to send a few on your way:)
Meanwhile I too am lookin fwd to rallying with you.
So grateful for how you think, how you advocate HTM and just for your continuing on. :)
Here’s to YOU and HTM.
.-= Tre ~ (Tresha Thorsen)´s last blog ..Why knowing the motive helps you choose what matters most =-.

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Jeb May 30, 2010 at 5:04 am

Thank you so much Tresha. I know they’re out there. Even though it sometimes seems otherwise when I look around the web, around Twitter…everyone seems to be an expert at this stuff. But the thing is, my clients aren’t typically around the web. They aren’t on Twitter. They want to be, but they’re not. They need my help finding their way there. ;-)

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