|WEB DESIGN AND WEB HOSTING, GRAPHIC DESIGN, WEB DESIGNERS|
Well, I actually started adult life as a research Physicist and Mathematician, cutting my computer teeth on an IBM 1620 Mainframe which we programmed in Fortran I. But the hustle and bustle of the big city just wasn't for me, so I packed it all in and headed for the Green Mountains of Vermont.
For quite a while, I explored a wide variety of pursuits, including ski instructing, crop dusting, flight instructing, graphic arts... and even a short hitch as a law clerk. Then I met the farm girl of my dreams (that would be Susan), we had a great little daughter (Rachael), and it was time to "settle down".
That drew me into real estate, where I built one of the first real estate web sites in the state. I thought the early internet was a really neat thing with a lot of potential, so on a whim I created the Middlebury Community Network as a place where our local small businesses could have a decent web presence for an affordable price. Back then web designers were charging (and getting) $1000 a page for programming and in my mind that was a major rip-off.
Somehow MICROSOFT® found out about our fledgling community network, thought it was a great idea, and decided to feature us on their home page as their Pick-of-the-Day. We had more than 30,00 hits in a single day, and my little web hobby had turned into an 800 pound gorilla.
I started designing sites for others, and decided we should have our own UNIX web server as well. E-Commerce became the next big wave, and I spent more than 6 months evaluating shopping cart software before bedding down with the Miva Merchant system as the most robust and scalable (and affordable) option for small businesses, which are still our focus.
Today I personally webmaster about 24 sites on my own servers, and a number of others on outside servers that I was ask to redo after an initial effort by amateurs had produced very poor results. I also do volunteer work for some of my favorite special interest groups, including a computer museum on the west coast that is rebuilding an old IBM 1620 - the mainframe I started on back in college!
Although I hang out a shingle as a "web designer", I really think of myself as a "web marketing consultant". I find myself spending considerably more time with my clients working on marketing considerations than just in programming pretty web pages. Pretty pages mean nothing if no one will ever see them, and the web is distinctly different in character than traditional print, radio, direct mail, or TV media. That's why so many traditional advertising agencies fail miserably when they branch out into the web. They carry their old technology habits with them, and that's usually a mistake.
If you hire me to develop a site for you, please think of me as your "in-house agency" as far as web marketing is concerned. I have a strong background in marketing and can probably help your business target your market a heck of a lot more successfully than a kid with instant web site software.
I enjoy working with good people on interesting web projects, and I develop some seriously strong ties with my clients. I still favor small businesses who are on tight budgets, and have (so far) not given in to the greed of the web. I also teach web design at our local computer outlet on occasion and am a sometimes contributor to the HTML Writers Guild (of which I am a member) webmaster tips section.
All in all, it's a really great life. Maybe I'm not getting rich, but at least I can work in my pajamas from my home/office and stare out at the Green Mountains anytime I want!
Next, I'll talk about ELEMENTS OF MODERN WEB DESIGN.
Design by James