Websites for Speakers


My son, The Hermit Poet, and I have been looking at some ideas for new websites. He's thinking about specializing in creating websites for people in the arts– writers, poets, actors, painters, sculptors, musicians etc. — and friends of his Dad. My son is a lapsed painter, a great poet, and a crackerjack computer programmer.

Previously we have looked at the very interesting work of Peter Walton at who sells a template based powerful website package including hosting at a very nice price. I like Pete and his product. The other day I spotted another interesting sight that genealogy speakers might consult to see if TheAuthorSite was right for them. But it seemed to my son that the site was too busy and to me it screamed of sales. So I come back to something I picked up on this morning, I don't want to be "sold to " on the first screen of the website, I want to be "attracted". What do you think?

Let's try an experiement. Below are five links to websites for 5 great genealogy speakers I personally have met or talked to. I've heard almost all of them speak. However, if I have ever visited their websites, I have absolutely no recollection. I picked these at random from the Genealogy Speakers Guild Members Directory — they turned out to be friends! What I'd like you do do is pick out features on each site that seem to you to be good, and tell me why you like them. Then give me an over all impression. For comparison look again at The Hermit Poet site which my son hopes attracts the reader. I am not saying my son's effort is better let alone perfect, but it reaches his market. 

Patricia Walls Stamm

Karen Wallace Steely

Debby Horton

Amy Johnson Crow

Cindy Hofmeister 

Do you see a need for a clinic for professional genealogists to help them improve there web presence? Your comments are most welcome.


One response to “Websites for Speakers

  1. Hi Ken,

    Second try – clicking Amy's site wiped out my 30 lines of comments…I hate when that happens. …
    Patricia's site is oriented to St Louis genealogy, and while she may own it, it is not very evident. It's apparent she is a researcher from the contract links, but there is no CV that I saw.

    Karen's site tries to tell a welcoming story and entice you to use her services. The story is too long, and while the links to her services are at the top and at the bottom of the page, there is no sense of who she is or what her expertise might be.

    Debby's site uses a flashy graphic that is very appropriate for her site name. Her links are visible on the opening screen, and are appropriate. But when you go to a link, the font is too small, it's unclear what is offered, and there is a form to fill out. It is an overt sales pitch that turned me off.

    Amy's site was very readable, her links were on the opening screen, and the info on her pages was appropriate, except it didn't really highlight her research capability – only her writing and speaking. But there was no overt sales pitch, I thought.

    The Hermit Poet was intriguing and artisitc – I knew that he was into art and poetry, and there were links, but nothing grabbed me and made me want to click the links.

    My own criteria for a web site are that it be informative (who am I, what is my purpose, etc), welcoming (make me want to click links), readable (large font, links on first page of opening screen, use graphics, etc), have clear links that lead to information pertinent to my services and CV, and make a sales pitch that doesn't frighten away customers but entices me to hire them.

    Interesting topic — Randy

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