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Archive for the 'web development' Category

Amateur Web Designers are not Professionals

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

The barriers to embarking on a web design/development career are pretty low. I once had a female friend email me her revelation that she would forthwith be selling herself as an SEO Expert, for example. Why? Because for some reason people think that there is a whole heap of easy money to be made in the web sector that I’m here to attest is rarely made outside of corporate work; often, it’s a slow death of pennies on the dollar and being underpitched by the amateurs.

My credentials. Well, I have TAFE Certificate 4s in Website Design and Website Administration, a Bachelor of Computing, and a Master of Business Administration with an extra specialisation in Journalism and Media Studies. Yes, the business degree is relevant because professional web design/development is fundamentally about solving business problems for your client. I’ve also worked on a bunch of web projects, both paid and gratis (ending in 2010) in the private and public sector and by invitation taught a semester to TAFE Design Diploma students in the subject of hand coding websites using Web Standards best practice.

Relevant units in my computing degree outside direct IT and programming skills were KXA156 Multimedia and Web Applications, KXA281 Advanced Web Development, BSA207 Web Management, BSA309 Multimedia Professional Placement, KXA358 Human-Computer Interaction, KXT307 Computer Networks, KXA355 Ubiquitous and Mobile Computing, KXT301 and KXT302 Software Engineering Project. I also did business electives like BMA251 Principles of Marketing and BSA102 Information Modelling and Infrastructures.

During my MBA (Master of Business Administration) and specialisation units the relevant subjects – ignoring strategic management, law for managers, ethics, finance, statistics, economics, organisational behaviour, etcetera – included BMA584 Marketing Management, BMA684 Electronic Marketing, BMA787 Entrepreneurship, HEJ504 Media Writing and HEJ606 Advanced Journalism. Beyond that I completed a postgraduate unit in Investigative Journalism with John Martinkus.

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Small Business, You Probably Don’t Need a Website

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

As a web professional I was brainwashed into the idea that every business needed a website. For a while that stuck, until I began to realise that most businesses get no return on investment. And, at the same time, most web developers were adamant that their products and services didn’t require a return on investment. Which is madness. In business you pay for something that makes you money and you employ people to make you richer… you don’t buy and employ on the basis of brotherly-fucking-love.

The key phrase when you’re looking to get something done for your business on the World Wide Web is web solution. That means a web solution to your current business problem – marketing, e-commerce, data collection, something that only the web can achieve. If your prospective web developer can’t give you measurable indications of what success and failure look like in that investment then walk away.

Seriously, most small businesses can put a compass onto a map and define their universe. Why, for example, would a tradesman in this small Tasmanian town care if somebody in California accidentally opened his/her web page? Bah. And that’s the trouble, web developers are too busy selling web sites to even consider solving a real and pressing business problem using web technologies. Most developers wouldn’t know a business problem with a web solution if it hit them between the eyes – they sell something else. Internet beach towels.

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Common Name Web Domains can be a Problem

Friday, November 29th, 2013

I’ve had this web domain for years and invested tens of thousands of hours in content generation, site maintenance and relationship building. Throughout my university years up until now this has been the main marketing channel that brought in business and income. It endorses my expertise. It provides a form of legitimacy that I need to sell myself as a professional. And it makes me look good when people hunt me out as a web professional.

However, over the last two years there has been a growing (and slightly annoying) problem with emails that I receive through my main email account. The one attached to this domain.

A South Australian lawyer shares the same name and has a very similar domain name. His URL is different by one letter because he includes a middle initial. And I get approximately three emails per week from clients or people related to his law firm.

At first I used to forward these private and confidential emails along to the other Steven Clark. Then I began replying instantly to the sender that they have the wrong email address. But my issue with both of those solutions was the lawyer perceives that the problem doesn’t exist simply because I’m the sap using up cognitive load dealing with these errant emails.

Add that up… three emails times fifty two weeks in a year. That’s how many times I receive notifications or meeting requests, attached PDF and Excel documents clogging up my limited account space… over 150 free services that I have provided in the last twelve months. I’m not an employee.

My other concern is that I am receiving private and confidential legal documentation. This is really not a good situation. But it comes about because they chose their domain name or named their business very badly.

So at the moment I’m ignoring this spam. Because that’s what it’s become from my perspective. I have a huge sympathy for the lawyer and can see how this has occurred but I really don’t like having to deal with my clogged up inbox or the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that private information isn’t being appropriately secured.

The moral of this story is probably that a near enough domain name is always going to be an issue. One letter wrong in the sender’s email address and the communication channel has a high likelihood of chaotic error. If you only receive 99 per cent of your mail then you really have no idea what should or shouldn’t have arrived in the first place.

I really don’t know what to do about the issue though. I know it would bother me if I was their client.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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