Archive for the 'Personal' Category

A New Way of Doing Things

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Well, if there’s anyone left lurking around here I’m sure you’ve noticed that this blog has been all but dead for the past year (6 posts in a year … lame). But I’ve been busy! I’ve had a lot of work, I bought my first house, I’ve been acting (community theater), dancing (salsa!), singing (joined a chorus), and of course there’s my family … life has been full and wonderful! But I missed the blog.

So I’ve been gearing up to get back to it for a while now but it seems like since the inception of Sheriar Designs the blogs about web design have increased exponentially almost daily. With the plethora of awesome information out there and limited free time on my part, I felt a bit constrained by the format I had set out for myself years ago – that I would distinguish myself by writing in-depth articles about my processes. Those were some seriously time-consuming articles!

So I kept my desire to return percolating and an idea emerged.

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Introducing NicoleKidd.com ~ Riveting, Handmade Jewelry Creations

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Well, it’s been a while, but I’m back. I’m totally back. Working at Deluxe Digital Media kept me very busy (too busy for blogging anyway), but I have now returned to running Sheriar Designs. The crew at DDM is great, and I’m certainly going to miss them, but while there I learned something very important … that I am really an entrepreneur at heart, and that being an employee – even with a fantastic company – is not ultimately what works for me.

While at DDM I got to work on several great projects, one of them is the new site for Nicole Kidd, an amazing jewelry designer based here in the Bay Area. Bringing her vision for her site to life was a very fulfilling creative experience.

screen shot of NicoleKidd.com

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Kindness – in the Blogosphere and in Our Own Lives

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Recently, as you may have read, I hurt someone’s feelings. Unlike other times when this kind of thing might happen and then get shrugged off, I had the distinct displeasure of reading all about it the next day – bringing my thoughtless behavior into sharp focus. I was horrified, and I felt that the only way to begin to make things right was to apologize, even though that would broadcast my mistake to the entire community that I had just spent several days networking with and trying to make a good impression on.

This experience really got me thinking deeply – first about the difference between blogging about something and just talking about something with your friends, then to the responsibilities of being kind in the way that you write about your experiences that involve others, then on to questioning the very nature of being critical as opposed to kind in our interactions with others, and finally to my own shortcomings as a human being. It’s been a rough personal ride, mostly accompanied by that heavy pit-of-the-stomach shame feeling, which is absolutely a wretched way to feel. And yet I feel that something good will come from it, namely what usually follows any period of pain and/or shame … personal growth. And then I thought that it just might be worth sharing some of these thoughts with whoever cares to listen.

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An Apology to Jeff Croft from the Drunken Wretch That Was Me Last Night

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Dear Jeff,

I couldn’t be more mortified when I woke up this morning (in hangover agony mind you) and read your post A response to one especially harsh critic of our SXSW panel. That horrible woman was me, and I apologize deeply, and publicly, for making you feel badly.

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Very Curious About This Bootstrap Network Thing

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Yesterday I met this cool guy named Bijoy. He was an immediately obviously intelligent, well-spoken, and interesting person. I liked him right away. Pretty early into the brief conversation, though, he told me that I was the type of person who could never be happy having a boss. Not too much later he told me that I was an evangelist. Huh? He meant that I was one of three types of people, as he has defined in his book The Human Fabric. These three types are Mavens, Relaters, and Evangelists. When asked what how these types were defined I was told that mavens are all about knowledge, Relaters are all about relationships, and Evangelists are action driven. I told him that I’d like to think I was a bit of all three and he gave me a knowing wink and simply said, “everyone does.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I have an inherent difficulty with those that think they can classify me as any “type” of person – especially upon first meeting me. I am a deeply reflective person and I feel that I am the one best equipped to realize my own nature.

So I felt a bit conflicted – I liked Bijoy and clearly he was quite interesting and charming, yet I didn’t appreciate being immediately classified. I went back to my hotel and did some research on him and found that my confusion only deepened. Clearly there were lots of folks who believe that Bijoy has this gift of “seeing” people quickly and clearly. He had written what appeared to be an interesting book, and he had started a network of entrepreneurs, the Bootstrap Network, that was flourishing here in Austin with splinter groups popping up around the world.

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My Life May Have Just Been Changed

Monday, March 12th, 2007

I just attended the most impactful presentation I have seen here at SxSW. It was called The 4-Hour Workweek: Secrets of Doing More with Less in a Digital World and it’s description read, “Is your team mired in the goo and muck of old-school thinking? Are your designers and developers divided on their approach and about to throw in the towel? Are you dying to move from a stale world to a more agile, innovative approach? This panel features formerly stuck experts as well as those who have helped clients get out of the muck. Success in today’s web environment means merging design and development thinking to move to a 2.0 world and beyond.”

I almost didn’t go to this today because it was the first panel of the morning, I was tired, and I couldn’t really tell from the description whether it would be interesting or now. Well, the description was misleading. The lone presenter, Tim Ferriss, was a charismatic, dynamic, power-horse of amazing advice. Honestly, right now, my mind is a bit blown. I am filled with manic energy while I frantically try to process how my entire view of running a business and living a life may very well have just been dramatically altered.

Here are my notes from this radical presentation:

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Busting Tantek’s Balls … and Receiving a Free Microformats T-Shirt

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

So if you read my first SxSW post you know that I was pretty disgusted by the How to Rawk SxSW presentation, which had on it’s panel the esteemed Tantek Celik (the creator of Microformats and the box model hack, Chief Technologist at Technorati, and general web standards celebrity).

Last night, after meeting some new friends (Trey, Dave, and Paul) I was at one of the many SxSW parties when I was informed that Tantek was upstairs. I quickly took the opportunity to go up there and bust his balls a bit. I announce to my friends that this is my intention, and my business partner particularly was a bit freaked out. Several of them urged me to reconsider. I, however, insisted that I could give Tantek a bunch of grief and let him know how much I thought the Rawk panel was lame, and yet do so charmingly, and leave the discussion with him liking me.

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My First Real Celebrity Spottings – 10 Years in CSS

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

So I’m sitting here in a SxSW panel with Doug Bowman, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, and some tool from Microsoft (he just called himself a tool … I’m not just being mean.) He’s actually Chris Wilson, an IE Platform Architect. He seems nice enough, and I’m trying to get over my predetermined hatred of him based on his employment.

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Tiny Pencils and Screams – My first Experiences at SxSw

Friday, March 9th, 2007

So, I’m at SxSW … you know, THE conference for web geeks such as yours truly? I have my list of panels all picked out already and I came here with a lot of expectations about how amazing it was going to be. Well, I’m not giving up hope quite yet, but I must tell you that my first experiences here have been anywhere from frustrating to inane.

To set the stage, let’s go to the conference center to register and get our badges. The line is mammoth. I mean, it snakes back and forth around two floors of the huge conference center. We stand in it for about an hour. Occasionally people in SxSW t-shirts yell at us to move this way or that. We inch along. The woman in front of us has a big fight with her partner. He leaves, he comes back, he leaves again. A prolonged anguished phone call ensues and tears are shed.

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Busy, Busy, Busy!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

So, you may be wondering if I’ve fallen off the face of the planet? Well … sort of. I’ve fallen into the world of Full Time Work. Yes, gone are my beloved 4-hour work days. And sometimes, I’ll admit it, I do miss them and the life of flexibility of time that they afforded me. However, despite the loss of my beloved free time, I am finding my new career role to be very challenging and rewarding, and I’m excited about all the possibilities the future holds.

South by Southwest LogoEspecially exciting is the near future … Friday, to be specific. Why? Because I am going to South By Southwest! YES!! I am so completely excited about this, my first year at this much touted conference. If you are going, please feel free to come say hello! If you would like to stalk me, I’m trying to make that easy on you by providing my itinerary in the form of a lovely Excel spreadsheet.

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