Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New projects

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that, after the Hitchin', I was going to take the rest of the year off from working on any new projects. I needed a break so I could use my free time to catch up on things at home. Although I've been contacted recently by several people who wanted me to design websites for them (and some of them were hard to tun down), I needed some downtime.

This break has given me a little breathing room to work on a few personal projects that have been on my list for a long time (years, in some cases).

The Bay Area Action History Project

I'm happy to announce the debut of the Bay Area Action History Project, an idea which I've had for several years but never had enough time to work on. The site will serve as a historical archive of the campaigns, projects, and — most importantly — the people of BAA.

I'm using Facebook's excellent social networking functionality to invite people to join, share, and remember. I'm using Blogger's just-out-of-beta new version for the back end, while the files reside on my server. The design is a customization of a standard Blogger template, and I'll be tweaking it further in coming months.

I'll be posting lots of old archival stuff, project lists, blasts from the past, photos, news clips, and eventually articles from the old newsletters. It may take years, but that's okay. Hopefully other people will join in and help.

Ozark Handspun blog

I also used Blogger's new version to install a new section on the Ozark Hanspun website which I designed about a year and a half ago. Now Terri (my mother-in-law — yikes, that's weird to say!) can update their site with new happenings so they don't have to wait on me to do it the old fashioned HTML and FTP way.

The design is a highly customized version of a Blogger template that I made look a lot more like the rest of the existing pages. I'm getting pretty quick at customizing Blogger's templates with CSS and I can crank out a pretty good, custom design, plus set it all up on my server, in about two evenings.

Heinlein Society

A few months back I sent an email to the Heinlein Society volunteering to put the contents of their print newsletter online. As with most volunteer-run nonprofits, they often suffer from significant time delays between when articles are written for their newsletter and when it finally gets printed and mailed. I'm all too familiar with this from my own experience.

But I realized that they could put it online as soon as the articles come in and get edited. They don't have to wait for the print edition to be completed. Of course, hand coding it and FTPing it up is time consuming too, but if they had A) a volunteer to do it, and B) a CMS system that could streamline the process and make it nearly effortless, they'd be far better off.

So they gave me the go-ahead to set up a test run with a few articles and photos from their last issue, and then we'll see if they like the results and whether they'd like to implement such a system..

tags: work, BAA, Ozark Handspun, Heinlein Society, Heinlein, web design, blogs, environment


Blogger ynnej said...

The BAA thing is totally sweet. I'm expecting great things and tons o' fun nostalgia.

I had noooo idea that that was what your Facebook dealy was all about. It's like I hardly look at a website for more than 20 seconds these days. =/

P.S. So you have time to make this big long fancy blog post, but not to call me back? Laaaaaame.

12/06/2006 11:24:00 PM

Blogger espd said...

Yes, I have time to do a big long fancy blog post but not to call you back.

Actually, the last 3-4 posts I've done have been things I started writing ages ago. In the instance of the BAA posts, I started writing them two years ago!

12/07/2006 11:34:00 AM

Blogger Ozark Handspun said...

I love the news page on the website. So, since it only takes a couple of evenings, if we wanted another page say for 'Patterns' you could do it? :-)

And count yourself one of the fortunate few who are lucky enough to be LIKED by their mother-in-law.

When are you going to post the pictures taken at the wedding? I've been waiting and waiting. Have I mentioned that I'm the most impatient person I know?

Have fun on your honeymoon.


12/08/2006 09:09:00 AM

Blogger espd said...

Actually, Terri, I can probably do that tonight or tomorrow for you. I need to move our home computer first, though, since it's a high priority befoer we leave.

And count yourself lucky that you have one of the few sons-in-law who actually likes his mother-in-law. Oh, and I suppose Dave's alright too ;)

12/08/2006 04:09:00 PM

Blogger Mark Bult said...

Terri, I just made a page title "Free Patterns." It's only linked from the blog pages for now, though.

It's a single post that you should just update (under Edit Posts) when you have new ones to add. In other words, don't add new patterns as a new post, add them to the old post, and then do a new post that just says "We've updated the Free Patterns page."

Otherwise the link on the left under "Sections" will not work as intended.

12/08/2006 04:22:00 PM


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