Write Things

This week has been a good week for partnerships. Throughout the three-and-a-half years that I’ve been working under Make Things, I’ve had the great opportunity to partner with companies to provide interactive services to their clients, consult on ideas and develop products. Those relationships allowed me never to be wanting for work, something that I’m very blessed to have.

These partnerships made up a third of revenue to-date, down from 40% last year (and 60% in 2009!). While I appreciate the support these partners have provided, its encouraging to see their involvement in my financial stability trend downward, as I set more of a reputation and can garner work on my own accord.

I had outlined partnerships as a revenue stream when I first thought about working for myself, and had set the expectation that they would never exceed 30% of my business. I'm glad I could reach that goal.

Thanks to SDYM, Skelton Design and Smart Logic for being great partners this year, and I can't wait to see what we work together on in the future.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to help out long time client Hearing and Speech agency with an interesting project called Soundscape. Soundscape is an initiative to help raise awareness to the sounds we hear in our everyday life.

This year, the Hearing and Speech Agency was able to develop an iPhone application to make the gathering and uploading of sounds easier. The sounds are uploaded and then posted back into the CMS, where Hearing and Speech Agency has the ability to approve or deny sounds before they show up in the application, or on the main Soundscape Map.

There wasn't much design in this project, but it was great to be able to take a client into a new medium that they haven’t had access to before. IPhone development by Bill Kautter.

My new site has been up for three weeks now, and already I’ve fallen behind on my posting and updates. Yesterday I was able to dedicate time to update the site a bit more. The only visible difference is that there is now an RSS feed that you can subscribe to, if you’d like to follow along that way.

Markup Changes

Most of the changes this week were under the hood, trying to optimize and normalize the markup used in the site. Working in six hour sprints is a great constraint, but it doesn’t lend itself to the most thorough or consistent code. I stripped the site back to its output only, then started layering in markup from HTML5Boilerplate and the 320 and Up project.

320 and Up is a great mobile prepared HTML library, making it very easy to create mobile optimized sites. That’s the goal next week, to create a better mobile experience for the site.

Better Javascript Loading

The site is also now using yepnope.js to load in scripts. This script combines the asynchronous loading of lab.js with the really cool ability of being able to test for certain conditions before loading scripts. This is particularly great for loading scripts to target older browsers and increasing their capabilities.

I’ve used lab.js for the past six months or so for loading javascript, and it’s an extremely flexible loading tool. YepNope makes it even more useful, I highly recommend checking it out.

Cutting Edge

I spent a lot of time on Saturday reading all the different best or emerging best practices that are recommended on HTML5 Boilerplate’s “Make It Better” page. Even with all the time I spend writing markup, there were some goodies in there. If you write markup, I highly suggest you check it out.

Total time this week: 8:35. I let myself go over the 6 hour time limit since I hadn’t worked on the site at all the past two weeks.