[Bobbie Osborne] When the agency sadly closed its doors, shortly after my move from California to Illinois, I maintained the conceptual copyrights to reproduce the site on a personal basis. With the blessing of the original teens and agency CEO I decided to continue the teen-graffiti web project and have helped other groups and schools implement similar projects with their youth, either in concept or by direct grant writing. This is the most heart-felt activity I will ever have the pleasure of working with. Although it is now a personal project, I will always give credit to those youth that taught me, and continue to teach me more than I could ever begin to teach them.
The site is thriving and I'm often unable to keep it up as I would like. I have personally financed this project for about three years and cannot begin to put value on thousands of hours spent by everyone involved since 1995. Very recently we were finally able to purchase a domain name through donations and private sponsorships. I am very excited for the youth involved, both past and present, as their dreams come true and the future of this not-for-profit site grows by leaps and bounds. Now, if I could get some donations of time for help with the HTML parts, we would have it made!
[IB] Got that readers? From a technical web development perspective, you've managed to deploy very intricate table work with a nice combination of style sheets without becoming overly cluttered. Was this a challenge? For the beginners out there, what proportion of your time did you spend planning strategy, designing, and actual coding?
[Boz] Hmmm, a challenge? Yes, I would say so. Mostly, because I am my worst critic and often use programs that would make most professional designers cringe. I learned on shareware and subsequently taught those programs to the teens I worked with for quicker gratification and the fact I didn't want to use anything the average person couldn't master or afford. When I get lazy or in a hurry on personal web sites I have a tendency to fall back on the good ol' WYSIWYG programs and end up spending more time cleaning up the coding than if I had just done it from scratch.
I have also always been of the philosophy that it is not about the bigger, better, brighter "keep up with the Jones" programs that are available (an often elitist attitude), but about your own personal talent and willingness to learn and experiment.
I am still planning, strategizing, designing and coding all the sites I work on. The day I quit working on them is the day I need to take them off-line. As for crumpledpapers.com, it's an anomaly on the Net. I spent about two years experimenting with different styles and ideas before purchasing the domain. I then worked four months fine tuning and seeking advice before it was inadvertently launched ahead of schedule as a daily link on msn.com. The site continues to be an enjoyment for many people in spite of me, and very little promotional effort on my part.
For the beginners out there, <laughing> like me </laughing>, my advice would be:
"Although it is now a personal project, I will always give credit to those youth that taught me, and continue to teach me — more than I could ever begin to teach them."
"Now, if I could get some donations of time for help with the HTML parts, we would have it made!"
"I have always been of the philosophy that it is ... about your own personal talent and willingness to learn and experiment."
"There is a lot to be learned by looking in the rearview mirror, and often."
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