Caroline Colton - Indexer and Web Designer

Caroline Colton
'In 2000 I started to examine the possibility of putting together a web directory that would provide information on all aspects of landscaping and gardening, but the industry didn't have a sufficient number of businesses with websites.'

Caroline first worked as an indexer 16 years ago and diversified her indexing business by developing an online directory for Australian wines, Wine Diva, in 2002.

The diversity of work in her career has given Caroline the perfect platform to pursue a number of interests – all of which she is paid for. Not only does she work in publishing in both print and online environments, Caroline is also a horticulturalist who works on about four landscaping projects a year.

Caroline proves that Gen Ys are not the only ones who explore and develop flexible work arrangements to suit their lifestyles!

Where did you get the idea for Wine Diva?

In 2000 I started to examine the possibility of putting together a web directory that would provide information on all aspects of landscaping and gardening – but the industry didn’t have a sufficient number of businesses with websites. The only horticultural industry with the necessary critical mass to build a directory was the wine industry and hence Wine Diva was born.

The building of Wine Diva proved to be a conjunction of all my work experience, education and training. I needed to design a database, index and classify the organisations listed in the directory, undertake usability studies to ensure users found the site easy to access and navigate, graphically design the website so it looked good and appealed to web users, and understand the culture of the wine industry in Australia and how it meshed with the consumer and the wider community.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am undertaking development work on Wine Diva. Our bookshop has expanded and the design of the classification needs to be upgraded. Our services pages needed revamping so we’re working on a special online tool to help consumers buy wine according to their own tastes.

What do you wish someone had told you about web publishing before you started in this career?

The Internet is so fluid – that’s the joy it. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how it would develop and, consequently, finding a niche on it is entirely up to the individual. It is cyberspace; it is fundamentally formless.

Does your job allow you to achieve a work–life balance that suits you?

It doesn’t really. On the one hand when you have your own business there is barely any separation, but on the other hand I can choose when to work my 60 plus hours.
I do find my work immensely satisfying, though, and it’s balanced with the landscape design, which gets me outdoors.

To find out more about what Caroline does, check out her websites on Indexing, Wine Diva and landscaping.

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