It’s three days now and she’s still not talking to me, so I guess she’s not been able to find any documentation that supports her view. We have an impasse. What do opposing sides do when there’s an impasse? They dig their holes deeper, speak to friends they know will agree and so reinforce the rhetoric. She’s now decided, after her self-imposed purdah, to win by stealth. Her latest edict is, ‘Okay, you find something that supports your view and we’ll do it your way.’
As far as I’m aware there is only one internet, unless China and North Korea have formed a consortium to build their own, so what chance do I have of finding the holy grail of ‘Header’ info when she already knows it’s not there? Cunning aren’t they...editors? Yes, well this one is.
It dawned on me that perhaps she had found that supporting information, but it backed my view, so I closed down Word with my latest novel in progress and went searching. I found a wealth of information on ‘Headers’ in my first sweep and am now a self-proclaimed expert on ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’, which Wikipedia did its level best to try to make interesting. However, they failed, leaving me wondering why they bothered.
Then the internet led me to a different world of ‘Headers’ – tanks – not the sort used on the battlefield by opposing armies, but the type that sits in your loft holding water (you hope). These too are called ‘Headers’. Now I knew I was heading in the wrong direction.
“There are only two ways to do it,” my editor told me, “and yours is the wrong way.”
“How do you know my way is wrong? Point me to some learned study that supports your viewpoint and, all right, we’ll do it your way,” I said, one hand cold, the gauntlet thrown on the frozen ground between us.
To reinforce this view, I then discovered that Irish humour uses the word ‘Header’ to describe what I call a ‘nutcase’ or a ‘head-case’ or even a village idiot. It struck me that if an Irish ‘Header’ played football and used his bonce to bash the ball, would we have a double-header?
This brought a smile of satisfaction to my face and took me back to my childhood and watching trains where a double-header was what we called two locomotives on the front of train, as shown in the first picture of this blog.
Next, I unearthed some shiny illustrations entitled ‘Headers’. I thought I was on to a winner, until I realised our colonial cousins mean that part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that is nearest the engine...Now I’m bogged down by semantics, drowning in a sea of boots and trunks, hoods and bonnets, fenders and bumpers – heading for the bottom.
In case, like me, you are confused by the term ‘Header’ in the context I seek, I refer to that narrow strip of illustration at the top of a website or a social media page. Facebook’s, for instance, has a super-imposed square box where people post their latest selfies or daring photographs and some change them more often than they change their undies. However, I am not interested in this little box but in the big picture, well it’s not big, just the width of a page and not even half a hand deep. Anyway...
...After four hours, I have given up. I have decided, with her grudging approval, to seek inspiration from you. Yes, you, my audience. We have agreed to ask your opinion and bow to the wishes of the majority, which in itself will lead to dissention in the ranks because like us, both of you probably won’t agree either. Yet triumphant and conceited, I have wrung a concession out of her! I had to pay a small price for my near-unilateral victory by allowing her to wring one out of me as well. A trifling compromise, which made her glow with satisfaction: I have yielded on the issue of not telling you, which of us prefers which option and she has yielded to my demand that if there is not a clear majority for either course, we will stick with our decision.
We then realised what a tricky job those people that write referendum questions have. You may call them plebiscite posers, but no matter, it is tricky. However, we have settled on a simple question and hope for an answer: Static or dynamic that is the question. Clear as crystal isn’t it? Well not quite. Static is static – no problem there. But dynamic can range from something that is constantly on the move like the solar system to something less frenetic like a chameleon.
I wonder how corporations, weighed down by personnel on the career treadmill, ever make a decision when here are just two people struggling to agree. Somehow, big business reaches conclusions that appear to have the underpinning of debate and democracy. I really do not believe this to be true. Yet they have cultivated a corporate image that conveys unanimity, solidity and dependability, which jumps out at you from their business pages, ready to fight the corporation’s corner in a cut-throat world. I refer to the...logo!
However, it’s not merely this icon that speaks volumes, it may also be the house colours that themselves portray the corporate sentiment, along with the very business name and how it is spoken and perceived. Some representations have earned a place in our daily lives that is commercially invaluable; some have even become pseudonyms for the type of business or equipment itself. I need not list them, though in my immodest way, I would like to be able to have 'a piece of the action’.
Some symbols should rarely change or if they do, the alteration should be made so incrementally that nobody will really notice. Like chameleons changing their positions infrequently and their colours discreetly, we hardly notice the changes made by the likes of VW and Coca Cola with their updated logos. But what about websites and social media pages? Should they be just another barely changing form of successful representation or should they, in common with a very successful search engine, bowl the occasional ‘googly’? (A cricket term for a ball that causes the batsman surprise).
I am always impressed when the Google page topically changes. It, no doubt, brings pleasure or dismay to millions each time a new image presents itself. Is it just a bit of fun on their part or is it some fiendish subliminal advertising technique where the audience craves its regular fix of their transformation drug?
This is where you come in, my audience. You wander like nomads around the websites and social media pages seeking your fix. You know what you like. You know what you don’t like. I promise I won’t tell a soul about your cravings, but I need to cure the 'Header-Ache'.
Are page ‘Headers’ (those coloured letterbox-shaped introductions to websites or social media pages) best static or gently dynamic like the chameleon? Maybe you think an even more dynamic ‘Header’ would be better? On my Facebook author’s page, I have been experimenting with ‘Headers’ that change periodically to represent themes from my books and other things that interest me. I do not have the advantage of a corporate marketing team to slap me on the back with praise or laugh behind it with derision, so I seek opinion.
What do you think? Static or semi-dynamic? That is the simple plain English question. However, in order to assist in your deliberations, does the same old ‘Header’ become boring yet give comfort or should I bowl that googly and regularly change my ‘Headers’?