What do I have to tell?

This is a question I didn’t find easy to answer. It has some kind of philosophy hanging around it, because in fact it also means “who am I?”, or actually, “who will my readers think I am?”. It’s all about profiling. Most of you have never met me in person, and some will also never do, so the image I give you on my website about myself is who you will think I am.

If you follow some blogs, you probably have noticed that lots of them are about one niche topic. This can go from “Photoshop” over “yoga initiations” to “Greek philosophy” or “Sudanese for dummies”, but you won’t often find a blog about a combination of topics (and especially not about the combination of my example topics).
The advantage of this strategy is that your readers will be more devoted. I can’t imagine someone reading a blog about playing the trombone without being interested. And normally the reader won’t only be interested in that certain article she or he is reading, but also in 90% of the other articles in the blog. This will make the reader come back more often, or subscribe him/herself to the newsletter or news feed.

Because I’m not planning to use my website only as a blog (but also for photos and articles), I found it not really a problem to combine different topics. And the topics I’ve currently chosen are:

The written word
Web development

The first two speak for themselves, I guess? These are my main interests (or hobbies as you like), and I’m quite certain that I have one or two things to say about them.
About “The written word”: I like reading since I was a kid, both fiction and non-fiction, and with the integration of the internet in my daily life, I started to read more and more online. On the other hand, I also started to write stories on my own. This began with an article called “Iceland for beginners”, published on
BootsnAll , and the plan is to write these kind of articles more often. And of course the blog has also quite some writing involved.
What you can expect from the fourth topic “Web development” is not strictly some source code of how I did “this” and how I could do “that”. In fact, I would like to stick more to theory in this part, for example “what are good ways to attract the attention”, “how to make a website more user friendly”, and so on. Also, I would like to discuss differences between CMS software and these kind of things. So even for the non-programmer, this might be an interesting topic.

One last question I’m asking myself is if there should be room for evolution. Should I stick to my main four topics, or if the visitors or myself find it necessary, should I expand? Maybe it’s too early to already answer this question. But with not deciding at this very moment, I’m probably already leaving room for evolution…

Post Numéro Uno

This is where I’m supposed to put an introduction, right? So my readers (yeah you!) can decide either to put this link into their bookmarks or move on to never return.
Here I’m supposed to give you the best of myself, promise you all kinds of things to make sure that you return at least a couple of times a day and generate loads of traffic for me.
Well, I might have to disappoint you, because honestly I also don’t really know what can be expected here in the future…

Let me take a minute to explain why I started this blog.
A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted an own website. At school we learned to use some web design tools, and we got some basics of HTML and PHP, and in order to maintain these skills I needed a website. So I rented myself some space and I bought a domain name, and
www.nicolasdecorte.be was born. Now the next question was “what do I want to share with the world?” What is interesting or entertaining for my visitors? What do I have to tell? At that time, I didn’t really have an answer to these questions, but I was a passionate traveler, and I figured that at least someone could be interested in my travel pictures. So I downloaded the source code for an image gallery, created the website, and I’ve put my pictures online. Now that was that.

My parents and friends were my main target audience. After each journey I made, they didn’t have to gather around my pc anymore, but now they could see my travel photos where they wanted, whenever they wanted (and most likely at the speed they preferred). Some time later, I found my website too static, it had too many boundaries so I couldn’t always do whatever I wanted. That's why I started creating version 2: a travel photo website, totally created by myself, and dynamically enough so I could easily adjust it later. This is the version you can currently find at nicolasdecorte.be, with both a main menu on your left hand, and a top submenu. The design doesn’t look very awesome, but at least I have a gallery where you can see the images in three sizes…

Now again, I’m at my boundaries, because next to a photo gallery, I want to implement written content: a blog and articles. So what this means is that it’s time for version 3.
In the meanwhile, I discovered the existence of CMS systems and I recreated my business plan:

Start again from scratch.
Create a website using either Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress, with a blog, articles and pictures, and with also room for video clips.

Of course I also need a revision of the subject of my website. What will my blog be about? What will my articles be about? Will there be other pictures than travel pictures?
As a matter a fact, not only do I need to recreate my website design, I also need to think again about the same question as years ago: “What do I have to tell?”

And here we’re getting to the purpose of this blog. Because I don’t want to jump into creating a basic website again about the first thing that comes into my mind, I will take it slowly this time, and use this blog to document my progress. Here, I will try to post my ideas and thoughts, screenshots, snapshots of articles, etc.
Both the design and the content will be made available for comment. And for those comments, ladies and gentlemen, I need you!
It doesn’t matter if you are a traveler, a writer, a web designer, a blogger, or just someone who surfs by, your opinion counts!

So may I ask you, please pass by every now and then, have a look at my blog posts and let my know when you like or dislike something, if you have a different idea about something, if you see things from a different angle, or if you just wanted to say “hi”. Every contribution is highly appreciated!

Now what’s in it for you?
What you will find here is a story that still has to be written. A story about a website being established, ideas being created and thoughts being changed. It’s a story about success and failure.
But most of all, I hope you'll keep visiting to be informed and to have fun!