Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 9:15:11 AM by Danilo Celic
Big news in the web development world, I'll let the announcements speak their own volumes, and I'm sure you'll hear plenty of others on the topic. I'm going to wait an see what further info comes out before I decide what I'm going to think about the whole deal.
I guess we'll become quite tired of the "forward looking statements" statements in the near future.
Posted Friday, April 08, 2005 5:57:36 AM by Kim
Now, I do design work like this almost as much for what it teaches me as for the money. After all, I have a full-time job already, but my modest web development "company" does take on design work. I usually get into these things when someone learns that I teach web design. "Really? I need some design work done. Would you be interested?" If the project looks interesting, and won't take too much time, I do dive in from time to time.
Recently I was presented with a site redesign job by a friend through one of those tangled relationships that are hard to understand. "Yeah, my brother-in laws sister's neighbor needs a site done. Can you do it? They're eager to get this done and are ready to pay."
Oh, OK. Doesn't look too hard, there's a little PHP work involved (and Lord knows I can always use practice in that) so I took on the job. A quick discussion through the friend (not with the actual client--which should have been my first warning sign) and a few hours of work and the job was done. Contract?
Friend: "Really, this is a steady guy. He'll pay what you quoted no problem. Or I'll pay you. Whatever."
Warning sign #2. Which I ignored right along with #1.
A few hours of work later the job was complete.
ME: "All set and live on the Web. Let me get you an invoice."
Friend: "Oh of course, no problem. I'll have a check by the end of the week."
And now more than a month has passed. A smattering of promises have been made by the friend, but nothing of late. No, it's not a lot of money, and no one is going to starve at my house if I don't get paid, but it has become this nagging annoyance. If nothing else, I don't need the hassle of "reminding" my "friend" that I should be paid. I do the work, you get an invoice, I get my money. Simple, right?
The lesson is simple. Never work without a contract. Ever. Negotiate your fees up front and be clear on the terms, no matter who it is. If the invoice is to be paid net 10 days of the site going live then be clear on that. And it doesn't matter who it is. Your Mom, second grade teacher, pastor--whoever. Get........a..........contract.
And it really comes down to being seen as a professional more than the possible legal actions that you might take against someone who doesn't pay. If it appears to your friend that you're doing work as a "favor" then you'll be treated like someone who helped them move some furniture. Sure, you have a truck and you'll help them out, but the understanding in that relationship is that you'll repay the favor some day, but not with real money. If you work without a contract you're buddy, neighbor, or whoever is going to see you as a hobbyist, instead of someone who has paid good money for software and spent a lot of time developing you skills.
Unless they're a total moocher, they'll understand your professional attitude and that you do this for a living, not for pure fun. And if they are a moocher you'll be better off if they balk at your prices or when and how you expect to be paid. In those cases it's better to preserve the realtionship and turn down the work.
Category tags: Web Business
Posted Monday, April 04, 2005 8:18:03 PM by Bill
If you haven't seen Part One of this mess, see below, or follow this link.
So, you read that the Sherrif's office called me... or did they? [Cue lightening and pipe organ effects] I checked my phone for that incoming number, and called it back. The phone number was a disconnected number. That's odd enough, right? But I googled the phone number and found out that number used to belong to my congressman. OK, that's wierd too, right? Just to make it even more odd, I have a PO box that used to belong to... the same congressman. Sweet Raisin Danish! This is all one big coincidence, I'm sure, but then again, my PO box is listed in WhoIs, and maybe she googled it and connected it to this congressman...?
So I called the Sherrif's department that this deputy said he was from. They never heard of him, and there is no record of anyone in their office calling me. Holy ice-cream sombrero! So my wife calls our cellular carrier to find out if someone can fake a number like that. They said yes, it can absolutely be done. It's caller-ID spoofing, and it certainly appears that it may have happened to me.
Oh- I talked to one of this lady's other victims today. This guy has been going through a king-size mound of manure with this person for about three years now. He basically told me that she gives crazy people a bad name, and that she is capable of anything. She called all of his clients and told them that he was sexually harrassing her and/or he has done unspeakable things that they "need to be aware of." He gets his day in court with her- finally - on the 18th of this month. I'll be interested to find out the results of that one.
I won't post what actions I'm taking against her here, since she may be an avid blog reader (many psycopaths are, although I have it on good authority that just as many regular folks are prone to reading blogs as well).
So, if you ever find your text on someone else's website, be forewarned that if they were crazy enough to steal your text, they could be crazy enough to do a whole lot of other things as well. Freaks... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. No, wait. I could live without this one.
Category tags: Web Business
Posted Sunday, April 03, 2005 1:15:04 AM by Bill
Someone emailed me today to inform me that one page of my website was being copied word for word on another website. I checked it out, and not only was my website being copied, but none of the pages on this other website were original. Every single page was taken from somewhere else.
Naturally I emailed the website through their Contact form and let them know that I would like them to take down the offending page. Here's where it starts to get interesting: I received an email back:
"I have sent this to our lawyer for response. I am also going to call the police regarding your harassment."
Not quite the response I was expecting. Really, I expected either no response (I mean, it's Saturday night and all) or someone saying "Oh, sorry. Didn't think you'd notice." A minute later, I get this email from the same individual (heretofore known as "freak"), which has been sent to my ISP and to me, as well as my domain registrar and Google for some reason only a psychoanalyst could even begin to understand:
"I am writing to you in hope that you will be able to talk to your 'member'
and prevent criminal and civil charges.
It is not clear to me or to anybody else here what possesses someone as such individual to write something like below. Forms are common on the web, and his form is neither unique nor 'copyright protected'. Further more we see this as attempt to extract money as it would be to write to all the domains and claim .com or .ca domains rights and suggest to them to 'I'd start dismantling if I were you.'.
From what I see, this person is possibly attempting money extraction which started over the last weekend and we have involved the police on this matter. As soon as the criminal investigation is done and the players charged we will start a civil process.
Please note as a provider you are responsible for e-mails and extortion attempts if you are notified about the illegal behaviour about your subscribers.
We hope that this last cease and desist will be able to pacify crazy and belligerent as the poor individual from the bottom. I wish that he gets some counselling and certainly hope he has enough money as this behaviour does and will have severe consequences."
Clearly someone is a few clowns short of a circus, and it ain't me. Form? Who's talking about a form? I replied and posted a link to their page and to my page, illustrating, with a calm that I didn't realize I had, that these were identical pages - the only difference being that my page has original content whereas theirs does not. Here's the reply back, again sent to my ISP as well:
For your info...sending me e-mails is sending it directly to the Toronto's Police Dpt. Go ahead. THe law here and in San Diego is when you are told to stop, you have to otherwise, ...well you will find out...knock..knock...I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, my sickly friend"
I take issue with that, as I am clearly not this person's friend. In any case, the local Sherrif's department calls me. They say they received a call from a woman, who shall remain nameless, no matter how much I would loooove to spread her name around, who said I was calling her and trying to extort money from her. We have now passed the wierd stage and gone into full-blown "Huh?" The deputy tells me that I can't go around doing this type of thing. I tell the deputy my side of the story and how I've never called the woman and I just want my text taken off of her web page. The deputy and I even go online together so I can show him what I'm talking about. He says he's not really a computer guy, and couldn't take one person's story over the other. I ask him if he won't take sides, can he at least admit that the woman who called him is a complete loon and freak of nature? He said he couldn't. Apparently they have some policy about that. Hmph.
That's the story so far. I've heard of this kind of thing happening to other folks, but had never experienced it firsthand. I'm apparently dealing with a table-turning, psychotic thief. You know what bothers me the most? She can't even spell certifiable correctly, and you know she's had that diagnosis before, so it should be easy.
Category tags: Web Business