I Feel The Need, The Need For…

I Feel The Need, The Need For…

Hello blog readers and curious onlookers. Hello spammers, too. There seem to be plenty of you spammers around, according to my comments sections. A few months back I had written how a book by Elizabeth Gilbert ignited a small fire within me to create more. You know, for creation’s sake.

During that time, I had started researching a book and even making calls with the goal of putting together a series of non-fiction stories about NHL players who had realized their dream of playing in the NHL – but ended up only playing one NHL game in their career. I had a few doozies that I was excited to write about. A few months after my research began, this book came out. Someone got to it before me. So it goes. Onward.

I’m happy that I have some creative freedom at my current job. We have a creative group that does the majority of our stuff and they do it so well. But I still get plenty of tasty morsels in terms of creative freedom. And that’s great. But I always want more. Insatiable need? Maybe. Today’s post isn’t about labels or personality traits, though.

Late last summer I connected with John, the owner of Hit the Net Sports, a sporting goods store in Acton, MA. They mostly sell hockey equipment, along with lacrosse and field hockey. Sounds familiar, right? I told him I was looking for a side project and would love to build him a new website. We met, I outlined my vision and he was cool enough to trust me to proceed with my vision. Neat.

Over the next 8 weeks, I slowly built the site, using the WordPress platform and a whole bunch of pictures I took at the store. The old site was very text heavy with a lot of images pulled off the internet. There were no actual pictures of the store. So my main goal was to turn it into something where the visuals tell the story. It’s not absent of text, but in an fast-increasing world of visuals, this was a glaring need. I also went in and shot some video, because video is where it’s at, if you’re to believe the marketing experts. Which I do.

In addition, I wanted to make sure the most common questions and their answers would be on every page, along with location and contact info. Important for a local business

Here’s a quick before and after shot of the hockey page:

BEFORE

building a website

AFTER

hit the net sportsIt’s my first real website project that I’ve built on my own, in its entirety, other than this blog. While it’s not 100% complete, it’s 95% of the way there and it’s certainly far enough down the road to launch. So launch it we did, just after Thanksgiving. If you want to see it all, you can see it here. Hope you dig it. I was happy to hear that John liked it and I’ll be doing more with him at some point soon.

My mission continues: create. Inside AND outside of work. It keeps my spirit burning.

If you need a small website built, let me know! I’d love to help you out. I have a full time job, so most of my work happens piecemeal, but I’d love to build more. You can hit me up here with questions or ideas.

Facebook

The rise of Facebook has been meteoric, even Google-esque. Of course, I have a profile. I have to, really, so I can stay on top of things for work and it’s also, believe it or not, a decent networking tool. Not as helpful as LinkedIn on the professional level, but still helpful. The fact that you can play Scrabble against your friends is also a nice cherry on top! I am hopelessly addicted to Scrabble.

Anyway, there are rumors a-floatin’ that Microsoft is in talks with Facebook to take a 5% stake in the company. The 5% stake would value the total Facebook business at – get this – $10 billion dollars. Yes, with a “b.” To that, I say ohmygoddontdoit. Microsoft is in a very interesting position these days – they’re not cool anymore. That is the single biggest problem with that company. They can innovate as good or better than anyone. They’re just not cool. Facebook, be careful. Let’s also not forget how these sites aren’t just flavor of the month, they are more like flavor of the day! It wasn’t long ago we were all buzzing about Friendster and MySpace. The former is a ghost town and the latter is well on its way.

So apparantly there’s been some kind of back-end upgrade to WordPress, the site that powers this blog. I had to do some downloading and some FTP’ing, along with some moving around of files that end in tags like “php” and all kinds of stuff I don’t know. It was scary, man. At one point, I went to my site and it was ALL white. At another point, I got onto my page and everything looked normal – except that it said “this blog has no posts.” After I cleaned my underwear, I calmly sat down and figured it all out, though, and we’re back up and running with an upgraded, fine-tuned new version of WordPress on the backend. You will see virtually no difference here, except for a new tagging system and I have the ability to drop a signature with the song that is currently playing on my computer (via the excellent FoxyTunes).

So there.

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Now playing: Johnny Society – Chinese Torture
via FoxyTunes