Internet and IT

A life in publishing

“Various times it has crossed my mind that it’s kind of simpler to have a job, but I have a two year old son. Even though it’s a challenge to have a toddler at home when I’m working, I don’t want to leave at 7am and come back at 9pm.”

Michael Lommel runs his own publishing company, and helps other businesses with their internet marketing.

Running an IT consultancy

“I think the freedom is one of the big things. The freedom of choosing what we do, how we do it and when we do it.”

“We can decide pretty quickly as a team, OK, we want to focus on this and that, and decide how and when we do it. That’s a really nice thing when you have the freedom of doing that.”

Being in charge of his own destiny, and being able to work to his own agenda, were big drivers for Cyril Clement in becoming his own boss.

Quality time at home with the wife

Simon* spends most of his time at home with his wife, and he clearly wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’ve been together eight years, and we’ve spent genuinely the majority of that time together. Not just the majority of the evenings, or the majority of the weekends, we have spent a majority of that time together.”

“It’s just lovely. I can pop out of work and see my wife immediately.”

Simon’s wife also works from home, in her own business.

Cutting through the internet hype

I’ve been reading a lot about internet marketing. What with starting this website and all.

At times I’ve felt like Alice down the rabbit hole. There’s a whole other WORLD down there, let me tell you. Search engine optimisation, and all that malarkey, could easily take over your LIFE.

After an hour or two in that vortex, typically I retreat, sweating slightly and wild eyed.

Preparing for launch: choosing a host

The site was all dressed up with nowhere to go.

It had been squatting on one of John's servers while he finished beating it into shape for me, but now it was ready for it's own hosting.

Ready for its own URL. Ready to see its name up in lights!

I asked around for advice, and I surfed the net into the small hours.

Hosting seemed to be either super super cheap, with reviews everywhere of terrible service and nightmarish customer experiences. Or absurdly expensive. Where was the middle ground?

Building this site: calling in the cavalry

Well, it feels like quite a triumph to have got this far. To have created something from nothing.

Well, from nothing more than a bright idea sparked over a cup of tea and a newspaper article.

If I'd known what I was getting into technically - the actual building of this site - I definitely never would have started.

Building this site: choosing and using Drupal

Drupal is the software package I've used to build this site.

Well, I say that in the past tense, like it's all done and dusted, but in reality I suspect it may be a work in progress forever and ever until the end of time. But anyway.

I'd built some websites before, but nothing on this sort of scale. This site needs user accounts, forums, the ability to cope with a steady stream of new content, and so on and on. Basically, it was way out of the league of the software I'd used before to make websites, which was MS Frontpage.

Sustainable self-employment in a small village

I spoke to Gordon while I looked out over the urban rooftops of Elephant & Castle, and he gazed out over fresh Scottish fields.  Well, as best he could see them through the rain obviously.
 
In the early 90s, Gordon was made redundant from his job down south, and “was so irritated and annoyed with having worked for such crap companies that I swore I was never going to work for anybody again.”
 

Building this site: the nuts and bolts

I’ve created a few websites in the past. For my acupuncture practice, or my friends’ acupuncture practices, or my residents' association.

I used MS FrontPage, and I can hear you in the IT tribe laughing there at the back.

Asides from FrontPage now being obsolete, there’s no way it can do forums and blogs, and user profiles, and lots of fresh articles and interviews, and all the other things I want to do here.

Hmmm.

I’m not ready to start writing html directly, so I’m definitely going to need a package to hold my hand!

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