Archive for 2008

Don’t Buy Traditional Software Anymore

I’ve been swamped as of late and hope to add a ton of content to the website soon. I actually have a few things half-written. But, I have to take a break from the break and push this out today.

I have two friends who recently asked me which version of Microsoft Office they should buy, the thinking being that they might be able to get by with the “Educational” version (which sells for far less than retail).

No Ethics for Web Designers and Developers!

I recently decided to put a code of ethics on my business website. Calling it “Our Pledge”, I thought it would be a quick task that involved a few Google and Yahoo! searches. I was very wrong.

You would think a code of ethics would be a simple matter. In 2008, I fully expected to find dozens of examples from which to emulate or follow. I could hardly find any, and the few I found were paltry and even laughable.

Create your own Brand but stay in the Community

Jeffrey Zeldman, a pioneer of web standards and a longtime blogger, quite wrongly posted about the death of the personal home page.

In it, he critiques bloggers and webified folks alike for, perhaps, unwittingly giving away our content and “brand” to other third-parties.

We are witnessing the disappearance of the all-in-one, carefully designed personal site containing professional information, links, and brief bursts of frequently updated content to which others respond via comments. Did I say we are witnessing the traditional personal site’s disappearance? That is inaccurate. We are the ones making our own sites disappear.

Everything I know is Wrong

I read Andrew Keen’s brilliant book The Cult of the Amateur over the weekend. I read it in one sitting.

I’m stunned. I’m shocked. I feel lost.

In short, with a mere 200 pages, Andrew convinced a hardnose like me that I’m wrong. About everything. About a great many things having to do with the internet.

I spent most of Monday in a fog. I felt like deleting my blog, shutting down my business, and going to work on a lawn crew for the next ten years. I’m not joking.

I think I’m starting to recover a bit. But who knows?

oDesk vs. Elance

My friend Alan LeStourgeon at Affiliate Confession has had some success with using Elance to hire writers. In fact, Elance liked his comments so much, they interviewed him.

Since Alan has already covered a great deal about Elance, particularly from the perspective of a buyer, I thought I’d do the exact opposite and cover oDesk from the perspective of a provider, and in this case, a provider who has yet to actually get his first assignment.

As such, this review is hardly objective or unbiased. It’s really just some points of difference that I’ve noticed and has caused me, for the moment, to tip the pendulum in oDesk’s favor. I thought I’d share them with you.

Still not getting Twitter. Help me out.

I’ve been on Twitter now for a while (maybe four months?). And this is the second time I’ve joined. And I’m still not fully getting it. It’s extremely time consuming when I use it.

While it might only be little flashes of light throughout the day (using Twirl), it’s still distracting when you are working on a project. Or on the phone with a client.

Dumb Job Ads: Website design ~ several projects (Orlando / Clermont)

This made my day. Another fool discovers Craigslist.

Hi!

I am looking for a couple possible candidates to collaborate with me and execute some web-site designs to be developed and presented to investors. The outline for the initial project will involved similar features to Myspace and Ebay (but not as involved, of course)

The designer/programmer chosen will have the opportunity to be a part of several other projects that are being mapped out currently.

Ted Murphy of PayPerPost tries Social Networking in Central Florida

Ted Murphy, the founder of controversial Orlando-based PayPerPost, is at it once again.

He has recently founded a social network for Central Florida web workers called Doterati. There’s much wrong with this, but perhaps a few things right with it. I’m all about giving someone a second chance - even when Death Star attack sirens are going off in my head.

When I say he “founded” a social network, I mean to say that he spent an afternoon or two using Ning’s excellent network-creating web application to slap up a few pages to get it going. He did buy the domain name however (in his own name), and he has relegated himself to a “user” as far as any casual visitor to the site would know.

Can I Write a Book?

I’ve had many people suggest over the years that I write a book. It’s always been a goal of mine. I even recently had a published author suggest it, which although very complimentary, made me just more depressed.

Here’s why. I don’t have the time. I certainly have the ideas to communicate. I write well. I edit even better. But as life goes on, you get depressed when you don’t finish the things in life you hope to do. Especially the things that you know you can do. I might not be cycling across America anytime soon, but I can write. Now. Today. In fact, I’m doing it right this second.

Mismanagement at Planned Parenthood

Is there anyone left who truly believes that Planned Parenthood is a great civic community service? Even if you aren’t prolife and opposed to abortion, you’d have to be a blind follower to keep defending Planned Parenthood in this day and age.

As you may know, in many areas across the country, the gloves have come off in dealing with Planned Parenthood and its misguided minions. Planned Parenthood, like many abortion clinics, is so desperate for profits they have spent a half-century lying and covering up its many illegal and unethical actions.

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

I’m personally outraged by the high cost of fuel lately. Largely because it doesn’t have to be that way. More than the price of fuel, I’m outraged at the complacent lackluster shrugging of shoulders from my fellow Americans.

Folks, you better wake up… if $4/gallon doesn’t do it for you, you might as well hand the keys to the country over to our enemies and their socialist friends in Europe. I once worked for an English chap who seemed to mockingly suggest that America has had it “too good for too long” because the English, and most of Eurpoe, like fools, paid $7/gallon. He seemed to intimate that we were getting our “just deserts”. What I can’t understand is Americans who passively think the same thing.

Why I Blog

Darren Rowse recently wrote a piece called the 12 Traits of Successful Bloggers. I’m not successful, but I think it underscores a bit of why I blog, and more importantly, why you should consider it. Just try it. You might like it. Didn’t your parents used to say that to you while shoving a plate full of asparagus under your nose? Hey, just because they were wrong doesn’t mean I am. Besides, I like asparagus now, especially with salmon.

Dumb Job Ads: Web Developer Job Opportunity

Just when I thought the dumb job ads had maybe disappeared, this little gem appeared in my inbox, courtesy of Mark and Deepa Toomey at Sarastaff Employment Services in Sarasota, Florida.

I almost hate to out someone who’s careless enough to use software to scan profiles and resumes, bombarding email inboxes, but fail to note that I’ve quite clearly indicated no interest in moving across the state of Florida. Yes, I almost hate to do it. But when the job itself is written so, well, dumb, then you just have to share it with everyone.

Two Years Since Obadiah was Born and Died: More Thoughts on Grief

Today is the second birthday of my seventh child, Obadiah Malachi. It’s also the 2nd anniversary of his death. As I previously wrote, it was the most grievous day of my life.

The past two years have seemed to move in slow motion. Each day is a trial. Each day presses me in some way. What used to be easy is now hard. Some things that were once difficult are now much easier.

Infinity and Grief

Delicious Bookmarks now available for Internet Explorer

If you are still using Internet Explorer rather than Firefox, it would have been difficult to take advantage of my recommendation in October 2006 to start using a web-based bookmarking system. At the time, I recommended using Delicious (see my own public bookmarks here).

Of course, Delicious has had a plugin available for Firefox users for a few years which makes bookmarking websites from within your browser as natural and easy as bookmarking the old way. But better. A lot better.