Tuesday 27 June 2006
Many professional organizations publish policy and ethics documents relating to how they as individuals treat their clients, each other, how they manage fees, and the kind of treatment their professionalism deserves in kind.
In an effort to mobilize the Web community as professionals, and what it means to be a Web professional, I firmly believe that a code of ethics for our profession should arise out of a common group. I believe we owe it to ourselves, each other, our clients, and the profession’s integrity and sustainability at large to begin a time of new professionalism for ourselves.
A good example comes from the AIGA which publishes a policy document as it pertains to graphic designers. There are some great ideas there.
Do others in the field, or even outside of it, see value in collaborating on something like this for the Web community? If so, let’s get some ideas going here and maybe that can evolve across other blogs and sites into something really tangible.
Saturday 24 June 2006
I’ve been researching places where I’d best like to live next. Don’t know if anyone else is thinking of same, but here are some of my findings.
I’m so excited because I get to use a table, a real live true table, in this post! TWO in fact, because I’m just that thrilled (seriously).
Here is a comparison chart of what my research results show so far, first by U.S. findings:
|U.S. East Coast Cluster (NJ, NY, MD, DC, VA) USA||Culturally, I’m a good fit since I grew up in New Jersey, but I did once say I never wanted to live there again. I could change my mind||Some very good friends and family members in this area||Surprisingly more affordable than I realized|
|San Francisco, CA USA||My favorite city in the world (so far)||Phenomenal friendship network||Extremely expensive, high stress potential|
|San Jose (and South Bay Cities), CA USA||Really dislike the area. Strip malls and cars.||Very good social / work resources and good social network||Extremely expensive|
|Santa Fe, NM USA||Beautiful, stunning, progressive, artistic location with great climate, but little water||Good potential social network||Medium expensive. Outlying areas are less expensive, but also with less services|
|Tucson, AZ USA||Beautiful location, already own home and business here||Limited social support, bad economy||Very affordable|
And now by U.K. findings:
|London, UK||Vibrant, productive scene, one of the world’s truly amazing cities||Lots of friends, socialized medicine||Damned expensive|
|Newcastle, UK||Lively and growing cultural scene, unique beauty, oh but lord it can get cold||Lots of friends, socialized medicine||Medium expensive, it could work|
What do you think? How about you, looking to go other places, and if so where and why?
Friday 23 June 2006
Whooo boy howdy, take a look at this one, kids.
Here I was surfing along on a site called Find Your Spot and lo and behold Camino stumbled upon this little notice:
The text reads:
The web browser you’re using can’t quite handle the programming used for the Job Search feature. The following browsers will not work:
- Netscape 6 or higher
- Any service (e.g. CompuServe) based on Nescape 6 or higher.
- Any browser based on Mozilla 6. (The tech gnomes in back say that if you don’t know what Mozilla is, you should ignore this line and save yourself the brain cells.)
The following browsers have been tested and will work:
- Netscape 4.x
- Microsoft I.E. 4.x or higher
These guys are joking right? RIGHT?
Yet again a major company is putting on a conference and has invited me to “participate” as a speaker. I have received guidelines, plus a date of deliverables, along with my session name.
However, the major company in question, while asking for my apparent expertise and enthusiasm, doesn’t see fit to pay my travel or time. In fact, the entire invitation reads as if I owe them the honor of my presence, and not only that, should pay for the privilege.
I don’t understand this phenomenon, I never will. And from this day forward, if you want me to speak at your event for free, and if you’re a rich corporation with deep pockets and not a legitimate charity or community organization, think about the time you’re going to waste before you take the trouble to type up that invitation.
I can understand the not-pay issue when there’s good cause. Charity, non-profits, community action and interest (that’s why we all dip into our own pockets for SXSW, for example) and truly limited budgets are all real reasons for modifications of a speaker’s fee and expenses should that speaker be so inclined. But this crap of paying for the privilege of speaking, in my opinion, has gone on too long and for all the wrong reasons.
I encourage all people who publicly share their knowledge and travel distances to do so start putting a reasonable price on their knowledge and experience. And yeah, could someone explain this practice of invite-don’t-pay in simple terms that even I can understand?
(p.s. for those who have asked, no it’s not Microsoft)
Thursday 22 June 2006
I know a man, a friend for life, who reads this blog regularly and who has long been present though we’ve not seen each other for some 15 years.
My friend was a U.S. navy medic who became a prisoner of war in Cambodia. I have heard many stories from my friend, things that horrified me when I met him so many years ago.
Have you ever noticed how one day, one minute even, shared between people can change you? Anger, harm, enrage and humble you?
I witnessed a moment with my friend that I cannot explain. I was sitting on the couch in a bad apartment where a little girl’s murder had gone unsolved and I watched a guy get shot in the foot.
So my friend’s sitting there on that couch, that filthy old red couch that some folks who remember me from back then will recall. Faux red suede, sucked up stains until saturation point.
Something started to happen to my friend, he became unable to speak and became very flushed, breathing rapidly, very confused.
There’s nothing like witnessing a man’s past appear on his flesh in the form of welts from the lashings of the whips that beat him. My friend began to recount what was happening to him, and with each wound he described, the welts on his flesh became deeper and more profound.
I was terribly confused. How is this possible? He’s telling me about a story that happened twenty years prior and his wounds are now reappearing in front of me. I rush to find ice, towels, anything. I whisper words of comfort and my own fears flee in the face of this strange and never-seen before phenomenon.
Cellular memory, is what they tell me now.
Cellular memory, the idea that what happens to us is so deeply imprinted upon our psyches that when we relive those memories, the actual, real physical responses reappear.
I know a man, a friend for life. He reads my blog regularly and though I have not seen him for at least 15 years, I remember always because of him.
I remember, and I always shall, how live cells bear witness, and whisper their secrets until they finally find a place for the truth to rest.
Wednesday 21 June 2006
Some assorted pictures are up on Flickr now.
Monday 19 June 2006
In CSS for Designers, Molly E. Holzschlag and Andy Clarke expertly guide viewers through some of the most complex and useful techniques used in progressive Web design. Molly and Andy consider the topics from the point of view of creative, visual people rather than developers or programmers. Their unique approach helps give designers all the tools they need to create accessible, manageable, and beautiful websites.
Sunday 18 June 2006
I’m thinking about father’s day, and all the good things my biological dad gave me. I spent a lot of my life angry at him. That was softened by the love of my stepfather, Ole, who has been a great support in my life. I like what people have said here earlier, about honoring non-biological fathers equally. I think we meet many people who guide us in our lives, you know?
My biological father, Irving Holzschlag, had a very difficult time with life, much like me I think. He hurt people along his way, but he also had a non-shadow side. I think I am more like that side of him than I have realized in the past.
My father gave me:
- Love of coffee! Oh, and I don’t mean a bad brew. I mean coffee with kick. He brewed it in a percolator on top of the gas range mixed it with milk, and gave it to me on the sly
- My ability to be at ease with the world. Strange as it seems to me now, in retrospect my father was one of the most magnanimous, giving people I’ve ever known. A great host, very outgoing, charming and charismatic
Actually, the more I think about it, my father’s good side is almost exactly like my own. Funny how I just realized this on Father’s day years after his death and in a moment of speculation.
My father, at his best, was a joyous, unique, charismatic, funny, handsome man with a larger than life personality and a willingness to sing badly at great Opera and make pancakes with M&Ms as the eyes, nose and mouth.
To Irving Chaim Holzschlag, my father, whom I’ve always failed to acknowledge when I’ve had the chance, yet who gave me some of the qualities that have enriched me most.
To all the fathers I know, happy fathers day! To my own stepfather, Ole, you are a great man and I love you.
Shout out your paternal love folks. Hallmark Holidays aside, a good father is a blessing to this world.
Saturday 17 June 2006
The world has been in a very dark place lately, and my brother Linus has always pointed out that it appears my own strengths and fortunes have always reflected what was happening on a global scale. There is so much greed, violence and strife, and I am most of the time in a country which is becoming more militarized every day and seeks, in its greed, to harm and destroy rather than heal and rebuild.
One challenge I have always had is difficulty receiving. Be it gifts, love, kindness, anything positive. Yet, my own spirit is so generous that it will give beyond my human ability to sustain. I think I value others far more than I do myself. An example would be that it’s far easier for me to comfort an upset friend – no matter how much pain I might be in – than to allow that friend to comfort me. From these last days it’s evident how much I need to learn to receive the amazing love that people offer, and while it shores me up and undeniably is a huge piece of healing, I find receiving love profoundly uncomfortable. It makes me feel greedy and selfish, and needier than I’d like to believe I am. That I’m taking something from someone, when I should be the giver!
I want to learn how to receive. Do you struggle with anything similar, and if so, what strategies or methods do you use to get beyond that? Any practical tips to get beyond this block in my head and through it to my heart?
Friday 16 June 2006
I cannot believe the outpouring of love, here, in email, on the phone, in person from friends that are @media. I have to possibly be the luckiest person alive to have the good fortune to be so cared about in this world.
For scaring everyone I am truly sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Depression is a nasty, horrible place.
I think that people sometimes wonder how I can risk my professional much less personal stature in the world by being so blatantly open about who and what I am. Most people keep their pain inside, or aren’t comfortable expressing it in such a public place as a blog.
For me, living my life authentically means more than anything. That is my first truth. Interestingly, my authenticity has rarely, if ever harmed my professional life. If anything, it’s done the opposite. I don’t exactly understand why, but I am very grateful for that.
After my talk today, which I really enjoyed because of the interest and enthusiasm of the fantastic @media audience, I felt a lifting of the sorrows and a sense that I was surrounded, both physically and virtually, by a family so large and loving it far surpasses anything I could have imagined existed in this world. For each of you who wrote to me and here on my blog, called, came by, and messaged, I wish all that is good to be returned to you, and that if you’re having trouble, you can talk to me, too.
You all have treated me with such compassion during one of the darkest times of my life. Whether I’ve met you or don’t know you at all, I have to say that I feel stronger today than I have in a long time. I think I hit bottom, and I guess that’s part of the process of learning how to heal.
Now, the challenge I face is to make restitution toward the people I have harmed with my fear and my pain, how I lashed out at certain people close to me who should never have had to bear the brunt of my cruelty and anger. I believe I can honor myself by honoring this profound love that I have been gifted by each of you, and I plan to do that with the following actions:
- Stop drinking, completely
- See or talk with my therapist regularly, no matter where I am in the world
- Seek medical care for my situation
- Own my wrongdoings toward others and do right by people
- Modify my travel and workload to allow for better self-care
I’m sure I will think of others, but the point is that it is you, my tribe, my friends, my colleagues, my family, have helped me more than I think I will ever be able to say in words. Again, to you all, my deepest gratitude and I love you, each and every one (even the obnoxious troll).
I have to say thank you all.
You are my family, you give me strength.
I love you with all my heart.
Thursday 15 June 2006
I am sitting in a hotel room in London. I have a minibar full of alcohol, and 80 Lorazepam tablets (2 milligrams each) and 100 friends within a mile radius.
In the past months friends might have noticed that I have been really down. There are a few reasons for that, and I’m going to reveal those here because despite being one of the most blessed people on earth when it comes to friends, there are some battles that I have not been able to strategize my way out of, and I’m thinking that the time has come for me to finally rest.
- Since 1999 I have battled a drinking problem. I have sought treatment, and failed at it terribly. I think I turned to alcohol because I battled cancer in my 20s and a resulting chronic illness from the treatment for 25 years, and nothing has helped the pain, nor the sense that I am at the whim of a disease that is relentless and unweilding. Alcohol has helped me escape that. It has also helped me pretend for a moment here and there that I have some control over the way I feel. At least if I feel shitty after a good hard binge, I can blame only myself.
- I have had bleeding discharge from my right nipple for some time now. I hardly eat, yet I am gaining weight and weigh more than I ever have in my life. My sense of myself is nothing, I believe I am nothing, despite whatever accomplishments anyone reading this might think.
- I am depressed beyond my own ability to express, despite 20 years of therapy, medication, and so forth. I don’t know where to turn for support. Friends can only take so much, you know? And I know that my “much” is quite extreme.
- I sometimes think I might have taken up more oxygen than a person deserves to take. I had some of life’s most profound experiences, great experiences, and the love of many. But I have always wound up on my own, because I’m an abject failure at receiving love in kind.
- The grand irony is that I have missed my period for over two months. Over the counter pregnancy tests are useless because I produce large amounts of progesterone and testosterone, which make for false positives. I don’t know what it is inside my growing belly – a baby or the cancer back – but either way I know that at 43, after countless miscarriages and with my medical and psychiatric history, along with the status of my financial and personal life, even if I could physically sustain that pregnancy, the risk is unbelievably high. I am frightened, and deeply sorry, because maybe had I been a mother, and a wife, instead of pursuing some misguided dream called a career, I wouldn’t be marking each harm.
- I have no medical insurance and cannot find anyone to insure me. I am a U.S. citizen, so there is no health care for me whatsoever unless I become completely impoverished. But I’m in the middle class, unmarried, and have no access to regular medical care. This problem has gone on for years now, and I believe at the core of my soul that my challenge of this moment, on this day, has everything to do with my nation’s inability to care for its own.
- I have no hope, no faith, no joy in these dark days of the world. I wanted for so long to rekindle my natural optimism and joy. The other day I flew over New York City, and cried. City of my birth, whom I loved, and a representative of the wound that is in my soul as it cries for all people of this planet who are being killed, harmed, enslaved and abused by the true terrorist nation, which I believe is my own.
I am counting coup, telling the true. If you see me tomorrow, it’s because maybe I can figure out how to help myself instead of destroying myself. But I’m not sure that will happen, and I have only myself to blame. I have waited too long pretending. I believed I was stronger, and I didn’t tell this truth, here, the one place I know, where friends and strangers could share their challenges and strengthen me with their triumphs. I should have spoken up sooner, I know.
Please understand, no matter what was said
Your pen was dipped in blood I never shed
– Counting Coup by Matthew Skala
Wednesday 7 June 2006
Okay, how do we begin to make the Web do what it was always meant to do at its spiritual best?
I think about Jeffrey Veen’s oft-used example “Have Hay Need Hay” in which he describes the ease of use of a site that has only two links.
One is for those who have hay. The other is for those who need it.
That’s the Web in my mind. That’s the Web I’ve been working for over 13 years. What do you have? What do you need?
So here’s my starting list.
- Have food, need food
- Have clean water, need clean water
- Have shelter, need shelter
How do we begin to make the global world a reality? We on the Web have the best resources to do so. What do you have to give? What do you need that someone can provide?
Let’s begin. Got ideas?
Sunday 4 June 2006
I am a proud American girl lost in a land she loves.
I almost always avoid political discussion on my blog for fear it will agitate me and others beyond the despair we each, for our own reasons, already feel.
I am a patriot. I love my magnificent America. I look upon her as I would a lover, a body with whom I am most intimate, understanding her curves and feeling her harsh lines.
She is passionate, yet aren’t we all put off by her stubborn and oft vain beauty?
I love my America. She whispers to me as if she were the woman of my dreams, the healing Mother of my mortal heart. She promises me liberty and freedom and success and oh, how I believe her.
When I wake up from my fantasy I find my borders are more armed than ever. My country’s heart is closing, drying up like an old, old woman drifting away on a dry, dry breeze.
I hear the helicopters now, they are looking for my friends in the desert between here and there.
My America, she told me:
Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.
That’s what I get for believing in beauty.