Category Archives: Geek Stuff

Next on the chopping block…

I have to sites coming up on the chopping block very soon and I’m really excited about them! My team is working diligently to bring us the fifth revision of AllisonMack.com with cool new features AND the FIRST OFFICIAL website for the lovely Kristin Kreuk! Kristin’s site should be out first and then we’ll release Allison’s new version in the next month or so (her site’s so big we gotta make sure that its all converted!)

Anyway, just thought I’d drop a teaser!

Cory is designing Kristin’s site and Chad will be programming it while I designed v5 of Allison’s site (and yup, Chad is coding it).

Can’t wait to show you all!

Great Graphic Design Search Begins

Graphic Web Designer QuestionsOne of my least favorite parts, so far, about running my own company is the part where I look to hire new people. Posting on craigslist is the best way to go, in my opinion. In fact, that’s how I found all of the jobs that I’ve ever worked for, so I swear by it.

Posting on craigslist, however, has its ups and downs. Firstly, it’s where the serious programmers/designers go to look for work. We tend to want to stay underground and organic; Craigslist provides both of these luxuries. However, craigslist has become a breeding ground for the outsourcing companies in India or the Phillipines as well and you get a lot of generic copy/paste submissions any time you post an ad.

So, I’ve discovered a way to combat that that seems to work for the most part. I ask the applicant to answer unique questions. Most of the time the questions server two purposes, aside from being able to tell if the applicant is a outsourcing company or a legitimate local applicant. The first purpose is usually to draw the “personality” out in the person and help them feel less unsure of themselves as they submit the application. This is projective, I know, but any time I have ever submitted an application there was always that seed of doubt. So its to get them thinking about fun things. The second nature of the questions is to gain a bit of insight towards the general attitude about the person. Those questions are usually when I ask questions about other people. “Who is your hero and why,” is always a great question for that purpose because of the power of projection. The answer to that question always tells me what the person’s values are to them and what they would uphold no matter what.

Not only has this questioning process helped me narrow down my applicants to look at (which is a great thing), it has also helped for me to look forward to reading each person’s submission as well. It sets me up to look at their portfolios in a more humanitarian based way, and thus, more objectively. I think about the person themselves as I look at their samples.

If anyone else wants to give it a shot to post questions, please do post here and let me know what your experience of doing it was and how it effected you and the way you read the cover letter, portfolio submissions, etc.

For the mobile-equipment friendly folks…

Mobisist -Home - Home Page (20090813)One of my oldest post-graduation friends contacted me a few months ago asking how much flattering it would take for me to do a website for the new company she was working for as the PR person (I know, I don’t use them there fancy terms). The company? Major’s Mobisist. This project was interesting because it is one of the rare projects that I split the responsibility up on rather than being the machomama and coding it myself. I had the designer do the design and give me html/images already cut up. Ideally, this is supposed to cut down the programmer time. I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of managing that properly but the end result is not too bad.

Our next round of v2 changes will promise a much better and precise code-set and I’m looking forward to working with the person I’ve brought on board of my team to ensure the absolute best quality job to Mobisist’s finetastic PR gal. *hats off to Angela.*

Codaholic

Sometimes I think that I would die without coding for a day. Sometimes I think I’ll die if I write another line of code. It’s such a love-hate!

Nothing really inspiring to post today! I just wanted to get that off of my chest.

Working at Bitscribe

Bitscribe (20090226)http---bitscribe.net-To this day I still consider working at Bitscribe to be the greatest honor. I interviewed with them and then got an email stating that I was under experienced. Several months later, I got an email asking for me to come back in for a second interview and I ended up getting the job. It was the most amazing experience as the people who worked there were very serious about creating a perfect teaching environment for the talented yet green employees. AKA.. me!

The most amazing experience I had there was the process of measuring my work and always knowing where I stand in the company in terms of performance. They had built an amazing measurement tool that I am inspired by on a regular basis.

Orion, Adam, and James were so devoted to their craft that they seemed joyful to be able to work with others. A truly beautiful example of humanity!

While I was working for Bitscribe, I worked with a number of different sites ranging from refactoring the  backend of a major window manufacturer to OOPhp5 to a fabric company using procedural php4 to a publishing company using Ruby on Rails. The majority of my work there was utilizing PHP5 but we were just moving towards RoR when I got the laid off notice. Tough times happens when a company looses a client I suppose.

Adam, James, and Orion are busy on many other projects now including herokugarden.com, an amazing RoR online interface/server/everything!

Clearview Windows and Doors (20090226)http---www.clearview.biz- DistinctiveFabric.com - Distinctive Fabric Superstore | Internet Fabric Store Offers Free Fabric Samples, Fabric by the Yard, Fabric by the Bolt, Unique Fabrics, Wholesale Fabric Discounts, Fast Shipping & More (20090226)http---distinctivefabric.com- quetico 2 (20090226)http---www.queticollc.com-

Innovate

Sometimes, I get excited when I figure something out that is seemingly so simple but took a bit of though. The nature of my job is such that I am often thinking in low-level processes so sometimes the simplest of things passes me. My vet called and asked me how much my kittens weigh.

Problem: I only have a digital scale that doesn’t work until a certain poundage is on it. My kittens are for sure less than the minimum weight.

I thought for a few days about it (occasionally… not as if it was my only thought). Finally it hit me!

Solution: Weigh myself first. Pick up the kitty, weigh myself + kitty and take the difference.

Viola! They weigh around 3 lbs each. 🙂

A blur of activity

“Whatever you do, you should do right, even if it’s something wrong.” ~Hank Hill, King of the Hill.

I’m now in the middle of my fourth week as an entrepreneur! What an amazing experience it’s been so far! I can’t imagine ever having a boss again! That’s not really the point of my blog post though! I’ve been working on so many wonderful projects and I just thought I’d share it with my one reader!

Previously, in a podcast with kryptonfansite.com, I mentioned the creation of several sites like fandomlove.com and moderndayfeminist.com. I’ve also mentioned a few projects I’m working on with the lovely Allison Mack, but there’s been other projects that I’ve been working on as well! So here’s a status update on many of my projects.

FandomLove.com: This project is designed to provide merchandise and tshirts to those “crazy” fans who like to expess their love for shows or movies or all things geek in more ways than website participation. This project is currently on the back-burner. We’re in need of volunteers to manage the stores in exchange for products.

ModernDayFeminist.com: All you ever wanted to know about feminism starts here. Complete history and inclusive points of view on the movement and the waves within it. Interviews from well known people are a spotlight. This project is currently on the back-burner. We are awaiting the opportunity to get funding.

AllisonMack.com: This site is always growing! Allison’s had some amazing ideas to put out on this site and it’s always growing! Allison just launched a new “MackEvents” section which features opportunities for her and her visitors to interact with each other in a fun and creative way. New events are posted between every 10 days and every two weeks. In addition to “Mack Events,” we’re also starting “Birthday Box” which will enable people to sign up to get personalized birthday emails from Allison. Soon she’s going to be announcing two fantastic projects she’s involved with. These should come in the next few days.

GirlsbyDesign.com: This is my latest project and it has been such a joy to work on it! This site is currently closed to the public and only open to invited guests. Kendra Voth, unit Publicist and Producer’s assistant for the television show “Smallville,” and Kristin Kreuk, the actress who plays “Lana Lang” on Smallville are the hosts. They’ve been so wonderful to work with and have such a creative and amazing sense of web presence. To quote the girls by design mission: “This site is the first step towards our vision of creating a place where young women can come together from around the world to explore, express, create and realize their potential together.” Soon we’re going to have a newsletter sign-up for the general visitor, so keep checking back for that!

Mark-Hildreth.com: What an amazing soul Mark Hildreth is! We relaunched his old site with a blog in the forefront. He writes once a week now and has fun polls. We’ll be having a LOT more additions to his site coming up soon, including video blogs and a full scale gallery. “Love is a complex state of attachment” is a quote from Dalai Lama that Mark often quotes. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve learned from working with him. I can’t wait until you all can get to know him a bit better.

Geektress: This site is almost ready for the public. I write reviews and do podcast appearances on this site and explore my inner geektress!

Additionally there’s some fun new projects I’ll be picking up! MyFastNotes, a site to jot down stuff quickly and access it from anywhere, is in the queue, as is “List This,” a site where you can have fun lists for anything you want! “Top 10 Favorite Seinfeld Episodes,” “Tuesday’s Grocery List,” “Worst Hairstyles in 2007,” anything! This is almost ready for beta so I’ll announce that here. Comment if you want to be on the beta list!

Busy! Busy! Busy! As you can see, I’m happily busy! I’m never too busy, however, for more sites to work on, so drop by Prestige Interactive for a personalized quote for your project!