Category Archives: webmaster, website design

Life Update

Life is a bit of a mess, but I’m managing…almost.  Worked on someone’s bookcover which I’ll post over on my art blog zentao.com later today or tomorrow when I get two breaths to “make it so,” doing a bid for a CD package, working on a leafy tee, practicing to play Zappa with Forrest in a guitar/flute duo, taking care of the home front, Mom, the animals, the plants, and trying to get up the gumption to finish a manuscript, something that’s been on hold since before Christmas.  Oh, and I have to prepare invoicing. In a word, I’m scramblingly busy.

Laughing

Recently, someone requested a bid on a corporate website design.  I responded characteristically with a quote and my usual terms. They immediately replied, asking me to repeat what I’d already said in my response — what would it cost for just a mock-up of my design ideas?  I quoted myself and hit send.  I have yet to hear back from them, though I did receive a read receipt.

It always startles folks that they have to pay for me to mock-up a website design idea, but not commercial artwork.  They think that I should do the mock-up for free, like I do book covers, CD covers, and brochures.  Nope.  Here’s why: You’ll take my design, go over to some Indian coding group and have them reproduce it for pennies on the U.S. dollar.  You’ll be using my design and not paying me for my time and ideas.  In other words, I’d be letting you steal from me.

Three-hundred dollars for a look at my ideas isn’t outrageous at all, especially when you can grab a screenshot of my ideas and still head out to some second or third world country to have some starving coder do it for you for a few hundred bucks.

A mock-up isn’t XHTML and CSS, either.  Nope.  Nor is it search engine optimized by my team which is very good at getting your website up in ranking.  It’s a .jpg snapshot of a website that could be, no code included. I’m not in business to give away my ideas and my secrets. If you want them, regardless of where you have it coded up, you do have to pay for it, and, like I said, $300 ain’t much for a world-class idea.

Slow Down? HAH!

I said I was going to slow down.  Am I?  No.  Just about the time I think I’ve cleaned my plate, somebody comes along who impresses me enough that, when I listen to their aspirations, their needs, hearing a keen integrity and honorable purpose, I’ll say “yes” to.  Then there’s the client who, despite the fact that their business is on the ropes because of the economy, I’ll keep working with.  Sigh.

Yesterday was, in a Word, Interesting.

Yesterday proved one of those days of constant surprises.  It started with a site update that turned into a flurry of wannabe clients using the new forms to inundate me with crazy requests.  Next was the loss of a purse by an elderly neighbor who begged my help. (Found the purse, no problem, and, no, she shouldn’t scold herself.  For heaven’s sake, I forget where I lay my keys three seconds after laying them down.  Wish you could “call” keys like you do a lost cell so you could track them down.)  Then came the call that a little boy very near and dear to us almost choked to death.  Next was the pissed off nineteen-year-old little brother.  There was the student in need of advisement.  And last but not least was this very odd email wanting to know how much I’d sell zentao.com for.   Very suspicious, this last, because the emailer claims his name is John Y Chu, suspiciously close to author, prankster, and friend John Chew.   And of course there’s Dr. Mononculous and the Million Writers Award race. 

I didn’t get much scratched off my to-do list, I went to bed when I usually get up, and got up this morning five hours later than usual to lukewarm coffee.  Still need to make fresh…which is where I’m off to now.  Then it’s back at the list.

Oh, the boys got that 85k+ job — congrats, all.  Good job.  Now to build it.  *grin* 

zentao.com just got updated.  Really.  (Amazed faces.)

Yup, that’s right.  zentao.com, poor child of a too busy webmaster and graphic artist, a website that winds up limping along on old code and outdated everything, finally got a SMALL update.  Front page changed…which might just blow my SE ranking, but, hey, that’s okay, too.  And I put up a 2007 fine art gallery showing mostly stuff I’ve just done this year and end of last.  I haven’t put up the professional graphics gallery yet, though.  I’m too intimidated after opening the drives all that work is stored on.  I have to say, I never realize just how much “stuff” I create on the fly for various projects at hand.  Sifting and sorting what should go on, what can’t go on because it’s being used on this or that client’s website right now, and what I don’t want people to see because they might think I like doing “cutesy”…well, you do see the problem.  Still, wow.  Too many gigs.

Oh, NEW to zentao.com:  There’s also a new art blog there.  Again, I’ll be moving the posts to hard HTML when they get to the second page, but the blog is mostly devoted to me commenting back on some of the misapplied logic that artists wanting websites and promotion feed me via email, telephone, and, very occasionally, face-to-face.  The blog isn’t skinned very nicely yet.  Haven’t figured out or found something that really hits the switch, but I’m working on it.