Recognition for the Little Guy

In the past year or so as I started to think about working as a web designer, and then actually started working as a web designer, I have taken a keen interest in improving my knowledge and skill. In doing so I have found some websites that while they are quite well known are run by small groups of people or individuals more as a labour of love than anything else.

In the past week I have come across two specific instances where these sites were recognized and recommended not by some individual web designer like me but by multi-million dollar corporations. These two examples are QuirksMode, (recommended in the Google Maps API Documentation), and Position Is Everything is quoted in the IE Blog post on CSS changes in IE 7.

I was happily surprised when I came across these two links. It’s nice to see folks getting credit where credit is due, especially when it’s coming from huge corporations some of whom usually pay very little attention to the little guy.

Competing with 37Signals

For a while now, at least in internet terms, 37signals has been somewhat of a poster child of the Web 2.0 era that we are living in, but with the lauch of Zoho‘s ZohoProjects imminent, activeCollab in development and the many offerings from Google how long can they maintain their current level of success?

ZohoProjects appears to be the first of what will likely be a long line of challengers to Basecamp challengers. Admittedly they are going after a slightly different market by planning to make ZohoProjects feature rich, (via Techcrunch), in stark contrast to Basecamp’s “less software.” While these two products do appear to be headed for something less serious than a head-on collision the enormous success of Basecamp has made project management a trendy field and I’m sure more launches are just over the horizon.

ZohoProjects isn’t the only product from Zoho that competes with something from 37Signals either, Zoho Chat takes on 37Signals’ Campfire and 37Signals’ Backpack appears to have a lot in common with Zoho Planner. If you add the rest of the calendaring apps, organizing apps, and other such offerings on the net together it’s looking pretty bleak for 37Signals.

37Signals, however, does have a couple of magic arrows in its quiver. First, 37Signals is the birthplace of Ruby on Rails, the framework that is revolutionizing the web and making it so easy for many of these other companies to bring excellent web-enabled applications to us and second, the team over at 37Signals has incredible attention to detail and dedicate countless hours to making sure that the features their products have are absolutely necessary and implemented as near perfectly as possible, (check out this blog post about making a tiny dialog box). These two things will keep them in business, and in the spotlight, for a long time to come.

Greek Navy


Originally uploaded by John Beales.

About a week and a half ago I was walking in the Old Port of Montréal and saw this sailing by the end of the quay. Fortunately I hadn’t forgotten my camera and took some pictures available in this flickr set.

On another note I am creating a new category here – The Camera – with a theme of “Don’t Forget the Camera.” I have had a couple of times recently, like this were I was glad I had my camera. Also, a couple where I wished I did, (The day before yesterday I went out without the camera only to find a full-scale bank holdup and bomb scare right across the street from my appartment).


Well, it’s been a little quiet here for the past week and here’s why – I’ve re-done it!

This is a temporary design for the rest of the summer but I like it a lot. I took the photo at the top myself at Oka beach in June. The headers use sIFR to look as beautiful as they do, and I’ve brought everything more to a blog format. The plan is to release this as a WordPress theme when I’m finished with it, (later in the fall).

For nostalgia’s sake – here’s a screenshot of the old home page:
A screenshot of the old home page.

The old design won’t be released for 2 reasons: It wasn’t made properly and I don’t like it.

So, for now that’s it. I still have some fine tuning to do and I have to add more structure to a couple of areas of the site but they’ll have to wait a few days.