Posts Categorized: tech + web dev

A Chirpy Little Lark

Charlie is hosting a Meet Up and I am going. He said the magic words to a die hard tapas and wine fan… The Thirsty Bear.
Today in class, I had my students write on Dave Hickey’s essay “Unbreak My Heart, An Overture” from Air Guitar.
From page 13:

That was the best thing about little stores. If you were a nobody like me, and didn’t know anything, you could go into one of them and find things out. People would talk to you, not because you were going to buy something, but because they loved the stuff they had to sell. The guy at the Billabong Surf Shop, I can assure you, wants to talk about his boards. Even if you want to buy one, right now, he still wants to talk about them, will talk you out into the street, you with the board under your arm, if he is a true child of the high water.
And I love that kind of talk, have lived on it and lived by it, writing that kind of talk for magazines. To me, it has always been the heart of the mystery, the heart of the heart: they way people talk about loving things, which things and why.

One of the questions I asked my students to address in their writing about Hickey’s essay and then in class discussion is what do you talk about that you love so much that you will talk to strangers about it? I love the internet, I love blogs, I love writing, I love photography, I love my Nokia 7610, I love wine and tapas. And I want to talk to and listen to other lovers of all of these things.
So, I shall go to Charlie’s Meet Up. Besides, I need a good lark, a road trip, a small mid-week holiday.
I will arrive in San Francisco around 4pm on Tues. May 17th, staying at my fave little hotel on 7th & Mission in SoMa, and will be there through Wednesday afternoon or maybe later (I just have to be back in SoCal by 2pm on Thursday).
Anyone want to get together? Hang out? Have a meal? Go to an Art Museum? Walk around? Talk about what we love?

On Clients and Ethics

My creative work life is divided into three parts: freelance web design, music business and marketing consultancy, and teaching web design and art history at a local university. All of this keeps me quite busy, to say the least.
Of course, ethical dilemmas arise. When I get approached to take on a new client, I glibly tell folks that I don’t do porn or spam of any kind. I have had to turn down a few web design clients who had links to the porn industry even if it was loosely linked or their site was “art” nudes. I refer them to other designers.
I now have a new ethical dilemma: race. One of my longtime web design clients has started to employ skinheads of the wrong sort at their business, because the client thinks they are just “nice clean cut young men.” I have had a trickle of feedback from my Mexican-American or Native American friends about said business, and they have not questioned my ethics of doing the website, but have instead asked me to question my client on their behalf as to why the client employs skinheads of the wrong sort.
However, an incident happened yesterday in which the skinheads openly used intimidation and violence that was clearly racially motivated. When I heard about it, I found myself thinking, “I have to cancel this client.”