[map]A Content Pattern from
Patterns for Personal Web Sites

Your Own Voice

There are a lot of personal Web sites. This abundance makes standing out a challenge. Many site creators try to counter this with knockout design. Fewer do so by creating compelling content. Fewer still find the third element of an outstanding site: a distinctive voice. When everyone's a tenor, a bass or soprano will stand out. Likewise, if you imbue your Web site with a unique voice, visitors will notice and remember.

Therefore, be distinctive. Find your own voice.

Since voice is a quality that's hard to define, an example might help. Consider That Loser Feeling's photo gallery of France. The conversational back-and-forth of the captions make us feel like we're in the room with its authors. Without having met them, we feel that to some extent we know them. This sense of familiarity can be created only by a distinctive authorial voice.

Blogs, position papers, and online notebooks are good vehicles for conveying a distinctive voice. What are your opinions? How did you come to them? How do you respond to challenges to them? This kind of information gives visitors a better idea of who you are, and why you created your site.

Last updated 8 July 2003
All contents ©2002-2003 Mark L. Irons