What a Month It’s Been!

Yesterday I was telling Indiana Jones, “You know, when I look at how much I’ve produced in the last month, I’m astonished.” As a consequence, though, aMMusing has suffered. I just haven’t been able to pull back far enough from my work to muster up any interest in blogs, be it my own or that of others.

Just about a month ago, I finally finished writing/editing/having vetted the contract that will become standard with all my clients. Notice the choice of words here: I didn’t say “standard contract.” That’s because my experience in the industry I’ve been operating in the last 7 or 8 years has shown me that some things need to be spelled out that aren’t usually spelled out in a so-called “standard contract.” Maybe that’s because what I do straddles the line between “products” and “services.” Maybe it’s also because I’ve detected — and this is only my experience — that some kinds of Web-related work is grossly undervalued. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to give my clients the proverbial “one-stop solution” for their Web-related needs, especially if their needs are to organize and present a lot of information. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been shafted a few time, although, fortunately, not very often. But whatever the reasons, a different kind of contract was called for, one that is designed to favour the client while being fair to the provider and that integrates such matters as “acceptable use.” Anyway, I’m pleased with the result; now I just have to get the thing translated to French. (I could probably do it, but it’s a time-management issue at this point.)

Next, I negotiated a new deal with a troublesome client. Depending on who you ask, the word “troublesome” might be applied interchangeably to the provider or the client. Nevertheless, in a week to 10 days, I should know the outcome of these negotiations and I’m hoping it’ll be favorable (to me). It was a tough slog, though.

Then, in addition to the daily content management work I do for various clients, I threw myself back into some serious programming for TextStyleM, specifically on a complex submodule within the intranet module I’ve been building. But then this activity got interrupted by a request. It turns out that for a job I’ve been doing pro bono, I’m entitled to a free ad in a special publication. The problem: I’ve never had the time to create a decent ad.

I simply couldn’t meet the deadline I was given initially (i.e., 24 hours!). But when I wrote back to the contact person and told her of my embarrassing predicament, she arranged to have the deadline extended for a few days. So, that gave me enough time to call The Magnificent BeeGoddess M and ask her if she could help me pull something together. Consequently, over supper we discussed “The Idea” (i.e., “What are these ads suppose to say?”), and 24 hours later, after some back and forth between us, she created this whole series of ads, which I love! (I already got a bit of feedback on them and it’s all been good. Anyway, click below to enlarge each one…)


But then that raised another problem. Because I’ve been so busy keeping my clients happy and working on TextStyleM, I was effectively the shoemaker with the worst pair of shoes — or to be exact, the webmaster without a website of his own! Although I don’t expect the phone to ring off the hook as a result of placing just one of the ads above, I couldn’t have this slogan and NOT have control of my OWN website! Therefore I spent a few days redesigning and writing the TextStyle website. You can take a look, but it’s still far from finished. It doesn’t help that I have to do everything in two languages simultaneously. (Note that the image that accompanies the text on the homepage and «The TextStyle Advantage» page changes depending on when you gain access to it. Currently there’s a rotation of 5 images. Although this rotation is currently hard-coded into the site’s template, I plan to make it yet another wonderful feature of TextStyleM which any of my clients will be able to use.)

The TextStyle site is not finished because I just HAD to get back to the above-mentioned complicated submodule within TextStyleM‘s intranet module. My deadline for completing this task in the end of this month. And while it’s been a massive undertaking, it’s going very well. Today I’m a bit stuck, though, trying to figure out the best interface to make the management of a specific set of data …well, manageable! And then I have to find the best way of importing several sets of data into this new submodule. But I’ll figure it out.

Once I do, I’ll be getting back to my own website as a top priority. That, along with juggling a few appointments I have slated with clients. So you might see more blogging interruptus here in the next little while…

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