October 26, 2014

Website First Draft: Who owns it? Designer or Client?

Before I get into the details, let me say up front that this is work I have been fairly compensated for up to this point.

I developed the initial draft of a site for a client who really had zero idea what he wanted. Working completely in the dark, I went ahead and developed a draft site, published it as a sub-domain of my site, and sent over the link for feedback. The feedback, after several attempts, never did come.

The purpose of the draft site was only to see if he liked the overall look, how menu items worked, how social media was integrated, etc… Having a basic idea of his business, I pulled images and other content from the web just to populate pages until the “real” stuff came from him. Obviously, any SEO enhancements were left out as neither of us wanted this draft site found — or so I was led to believe.

Yesterday, because my client has failed to reply to any of my e-mails, I googled him and end up at a YouTube video where some marketing “expert” is critiquing my client’s draft site for him as a “freebie”. Evidently, he had sent this company the link I gave him to get their feedback. From the feedback they were obviously under the impression this was the final site — although I fail to see how an experienced developer could believe this was anything but a draft. Regardless, they thought this was the final so, obviously, the talking head was ripping it apart. 

I was a little annoyed that my client did this, especially since the “expert” identifies the subdomain and my domain in the critique. Which I feel shows questionable ethics at best. But, since this company, even though they are social media experts as well, has only garnered three views on YouTube, I’m going to let it slide. In the meantime I have removed the subdomain and completely changed my site.

But I do wonder, even though there is nothing that contractually states it, do I not own this site and content? Or, because the client has paid me up to this point, does he own it?

Any comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Peace out...

October 22, 2014

Yosemite or Bust: Risking Apple OS 10.10 Incompatibility

Apple released their latest operating system a few days back. Today (Oct. 22nd) I received the e-mail encouraging me to upgrade but I already had. I noticed it when I opened the App Store app on my MacBook a few days ago. It’s Mac OS 10.10, more affectionately known as Yosemite.

Naturally, not wanting to risk important software being out of sorts until each developer got up to speed with Yosemite, I decided to hit google for any known issues. Didn’t really find any, likely because it was just too early. Although I did find a couple posts of people recommending I wait for the first patch release to fix anything identified after the initial release. Very sensible…but no one has ever accused me of being sensible when it comes to new technology. In all honesty, I didn’t even bother to watch the Apple WWDC 2014 - OS 10.10 Yosemite Introduction on YouTube. I mean come on, it’s over half an hour long!

So I couldn’t help myself. I downloaded and installed it right away…a kind of Yosemite or bust attitude.  I did get an incompatibility notice for some long forgotten piece of software I had installed. That was no issue at all and, in the few days since I have installed Yosemite, I have not noticed any other issues either.

All is good as far as functionality goes. Safari even seems to run a bit smoother, though getting used to the new design will take some getting used to — I find seeing which tab is active rather difficult for one. But conversely, I do like the new dock and the translucency feature that hits you as soon as you boot.

Biggest plus for me is how my MacBook is now connected to my iOS devices. Phone calls can be answered on my MacBook when I forget my iPhone in the car — already been there, done that. Even better is being able to text with everyone now once I shut my iPhone down for the day, not just people with iMessage.

I haven’t used AirDrop and Handoff yet but I know I will be soon. Same for iCloud. I’m solely using DropBox right now (already moved away from Google Drive) because iCloud couldn’t do what DropBox does, but now an iCloud folder resides right on my MacBook  —  and have found old documents I had forgotten I have. The new iCloud Folder can only be good news for a lot of people.

I won’t list all the new features here as you can just read the complete list on the 
Mac App Store Preview. But what I will say is there are enough enhancements to the OS and core apps that I have moved my important e-mail from gmail back to iCloud via Mac Mail, and the same goes for my calendar…sorry Google, but you’re becoming too Microsoft’ish-like for my taste.

Bottom line. In my opinion, no need to wait. Install Yosemite as soon as you can.

Peace out...

October 17, 2014

Where isn't Art?

Isn't this a fabulous shot? And yet, if I was downtown where I live, and saw a similar sight, I might not even think to take the shot. What is familiar to us and we often pass by without a thought, but when captured and finished as well as this image is, may well be thought of as beautiful on the other side of this big rock called Earth. To repeat a phrase I read recently, "Where isn't art?"
Photo by EYYÜP YILMAZ on 500px.com

October 15, 2014

RapidWeaver 6 Upgrade Coming October 21st — Website Designers Rejoice!


Just viewed my e-mail notification from Realmac Software that RapidWeaver 6 for OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite will launch October 21st. Let me be likely not anywhere near the first to say FINALLY! I know from the forums, twitter, etc… that I am not alone in wondering if Realmac had all but abandoned their flagship Rapidweaver in favour of developing (what I believe are) lessor programs.

It is a paid upgrade but that’s okay by me. I’m just happy to know I haven’t backed a dying horse — I develop my sites exclusively with RapidWeaver. Full price is $90 and the upgrade is $40

Some key points to note with the upgrade:
• It’s a 64-bit-only app so you’ll need to update plugins. The latest versions are in
• Plugins should copy from 5 to 6 hassle free, presuming you’ve kept them up to date
• Themes will migrate without any changes, though some new features may be available
• Adding code has improved so you can add HTML, CSS, Javascript and more to every page.
• Publishing speed has been tripled
• Check more of the
New Features

Well I know I’m excited and can’t wait to get my hands on RW 6. One more week, then it’s time to play!

Peace out…

October 14, 2014

Deadlines, Deadlines, and more Deadlines


Another issue is behind me and moving right on to the next one. The ceaseless coming and going of deadlines is common in many businesses but especially so with periodical publishing.

Magazines. Either working for them, contributing to them, or representing advertisers in them has been my life these past few decades. And so it still is as I close advertising space sales in this November/December issue of
Lake Simcoe Living Magazine and refocus my attention on the January/February 2015 edition — while others set to the task of editing, page layout, production and distribution. The Nov/Dec edition will hit the proverbial streets in early November just as editorial closes for the first issue of 2015, with ad sales closing right on its heels. If you want to be sure your ad is in just give me a call or e-mail me.

Publishing a bi-monthly niche market publication does have it’s benefits in that this week is a bit of a “breather” to recover from the flurry of activity to close advertising space last week. Monthly magazines don’t have this luxury. Yet they have more staff so I suppose it all evens out.

As I strategize for selling the next edition I also have my eyes set to next week’s
Orillia Business Expo where Lake Simcoe Living Magazine will be exhibiting. It is being held at Casino Rama on October 23rd so please do stop by to say hello if you’re up that way. If not, drop me a line and we’ll share a coffee another time.

Peace out...

October 13, 2014

Rouge Beach Bridge

Bridge over the Rouge River near the mouth of Lake Ontario at the Pickering-Scarborough border. via 500px bitly.com/1ywdXZo

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pnUBT8


Graffiti Alley

Back alley in Leaside shows there are artists in the neighbourhood. via 500px bitly.com/11grTIZ

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pnWsKJ


October 7, 2014

Street Muscle

Found this car just sitting in the rain waiting to be photographed. It's a Dodge Challenger, 1967 or so I think. Highland Creek area of Scarborough, Ontario. via 500px ift.tt/1xnmtXl

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pzqXe2


October 3, 2014

Grandma's Cottage in the Woods

Kind of a spooky run down cottage set well back in the woods. Keep an eye out for wolves. via 500px ift.tt/1n5W9Ox

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pvrQcW


A Winter's Walk

Walking along the ice covered Whitby Pier. Whitby, Ontario, Canada via 500px ift.tt/1p30xL1

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pvbCmk


The Coffee Saloon

The neighbourhood coffee shop, one of my favourite places. Doesn't matter which one or what neighbourhood, I can sit and work productively for hours in these places. The one in this picture is a one of a kind and the decor shows it...perfect. If I ever get my own place one day, the "saloon" look is just what I want! UPDATE: Sep/2014 — Unfortunately, this one had to close down. It's tough to be an independent with Tim Hortons and Starbucks close by :( via 500px ift.tt/1estUk4

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pdY4g1


The Crossing

Railway crossing over Rouge River near Lake Ontario. via 500px ift.tt/1mZFOgd

from Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pvbCMF