koczij: back in the saddle

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INDEX & What it is I am thinking of today
Friday, April 26

Yesterday was truly a red letter day. I won a contract to redesign volunteersonline.ca. I begin on Monday. This is precisely the kind of break I've been working toward since February. It came out of nowhere really. I applied through multimediator on March 7th and eventually forgot about the position until Wednesday last week when I got a call to come in for an interview. One thing lead to another and now I am going to have the privilege of working with some very slick, well organised folks. The feeling I get from them is that there is probably a lot of tension and stress that this project can create but they transcend it with superior organisation and planning. I have high-up-in-the-sky hopes for this work and I'm excited and flattered to be the one to do it. So watch this space in the coming month or two for updates on this project.

Thanks go out to Tony, Eric, and Paul for celebratory drinks last night. Looking forward to the first spring weekend up at the cottage to carry on the celebrating - put on your Sunday best little lady, we're a goin' dancin'!
9:48 AM |

Thursday, April 25

Congratulations to Antony on the six year anniversary of Siteway.

Six years on the internet, think about that! He's about 120 years old in web-years.
2:30 PM |

Monday, April 22

Met with a couple of guys from Volunteers Online today. It seems like a really remarkable place. I think there's something about volunteer organisations that makes them inherently more passionate than your average group of people. I suppose its a little bit obvious that if someone cares enough to volunteer their time, they are going to care about what they're doing. But what I was really impressed with was their approach, I think there might be a misconception about how volunteer organisations conduct themselves when compared to the business world. My experience (as limited as it may be) with volunteers has demonstrated to me that these people apply all they learn from business and apply it to something they makes their heart race - which in a way makes volunteerism Business+. They plan more than a profit driven outfit does. The reality of scarcity is ever present, and this is combined with a true belief in what is being done. I think this is the core of entrepreneurialism.
1:14 PM |

Thursday, April 18

My greatest fear about Canadian involvement with Americans in Afghanistan has come true. Four Canadian soldiers from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - one of Canada's finest units; seasoned, professional soldiers that think and plan every move they make, judiciously and carefully - were killed by an American Reservist who "did not have visual confirmation of his targets". Those "targets" were in a recognised training area - recognised by everyone except the pilot.

The judiciousness of Canadian soldiers, that which makes them the best peacekeeping soldiers in the world have tried on a number of occasions to teach this to the quick-draw cowboys to the south. Canada's lack of funding for the military has one very good upside. Canadian soldiers have to be resourceful, frugal, and always thinking about all aspects of a problem. This is not something that U.S. soldiers need to worry about. It angers me beyond words, especially since this isn't the first time that Americans have killed their allies, they're actually quite good at it - the national post has come out with a retrospective of notorious American friendly fire incidents and Canadians who have died oversees on peacekeeping tours.

I hate this.
10:24 AM |

Tuesday, April 16

If you are lucky enough to be in Toronto today, I tip my hat to you. If, on the other hand, you have the misfortune of being anywhere else in the world right now, my thoughts are with you. Today has become the culmination of a week where nostalgia cues for me have been working overtime.

Every breath I take in, everything I have been touching, everything I'm seeing bombards my brain with joyful childhood memories of my summers in Wroclaw, Poland and my late teens and early 20s in the army. The grass is green, the sun is sweetening everything, the neighbourhood is starting to smell of sweetbread, fish, and car exhausts, the Vespa is a mere week away from hitting the road, I'm moving into a new house in just over a month, and the wedding is quickly approaching. Bring on the summer. I'm beside myself.
1:48 PM |

Thursday, April 11

Two and half months after I left nurun, the last project I worked on has finally gone live! A recent press release from Manulife announced the official launch of Repsource. I designed and did the graphic production for the site. It was a back-breaker, but totally worth the effort. Read about the demo I created for the launch of the site too.
7:11 PM |

Monday, April 8

The last week has been a hectic one. It was dominated by my work on canada25. We launched the site today and things are looking good. With the help of Aird there is going to be a nice discussion forum on the site, there's a mailing list sign-up form, and search functionality. I designed the logo in collaboration with Aidan Chopra and with help from Antony Hare.

There's a lot to to take from this experience. I was involved with this site from concept to completion. Any errors in it are my problem, and reflect on me directly. It's a wonderful change from working in an environment where the buck is easily passed. I feel like its some of my better work though I can already see things that I would change. It was also my first kick at a full-fledged freelance relationship. Both the client and I are very happy with the product, and I have learned from what hiccups there were.

So, why don't you head on over and take a gander. Canada25 - remember the name, they're going places.
5:38 PM |

Tuesday, April 2

When I was working for nurun the workflow always involved the usual stuff; gather the client's requirements, create mock-ups, get approval, go into production, launch. We rarely had the chance, or took the time to do serious documentation. It's one of the most difficult things to do in a market where every penny counts and where the client rarely has an eye on the future of their site. This is especially true when the client is large because people get moved around so much that they don't realistically expect (or want) to deal with the site a year down the road.

After finishing a major project with General Motors, I had time to create documentation for the maintenance of their site. I created an online, fairly interactive, style guide for them. I sent them a prototype and never heard anything back. I have to say I was quite disappointed that I wasn't able to bring the whole project to a neat finish, but what I did create I have here. Take a look at it. I've never seen this done anywhere else - if you have, tell me about your experiences with online style guides.
9:52 AM |

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