I've had a passion for communication since early childhood. The internet became commercially available when I was in high school and I almost immediately began building web sites. Here are some sites from recent years which introduced me to new technologies and helped me establish a web design philosophy.

LazerInc.com

When I started work at Lazer Incorporated, the company had an outdated web site built largely in Flash and JSP. Lazer employees had trouble updating the site and changing its structure. I cleaned up the design and ported it into Adobe Dreamweaver for templating and WYSIWYG editing support. I also replaced the Flash navigation with a CSS/Javascript Framework for search engine optimization and web standards compliance.

The new site is compatible with non-Flash platforms (such as the iPhone) and achieves high results in search engines. Content written by Lazer employees is now easier to post and share with potential clients. And the straightforward design implies a smarter, more modern company.

RocBike.com

RocBike was originally a Rochester-based bike blog by radio personality Jason Crane. Jason set up the blog in Wordpress with a standard template. When I joined as a partner at the site I created a new “orange argyle” template to better express the blog’s themes. The template works with Google's ad network and Amazon's book suggestions to provide revenue for the site.

As the site grew to take on new contributors from different cities, it required structure beyond the simple categories that Wordpress allowed. I implemented PHP scripting in a Wordpress “Widget” to detect and organize posts according to contributor ID and location. The scripts query a MySQL database and generate HTML for each post. The code allows for an unlimited number of contributors and locations.

FowlPlayMovie.com

Fowl Play is my new feature-length documentary about factory farming, co-produced with the organization Mercy For Animals. I developed a site design and interface that borrows from the popular video site Hulu. I then partnered with web developer Derek Coons to implement the concept in server-side ASP and client-side Javascript.

The site queries the related blog’s MySQL database for most recent blog posts and also seamlessly integrates embeddable videos from Blip.tv. Since only advanced users edit the primary site, all editing is done directly in the SQL database with phpMyAdmin. The blog itself has a Movable Type backend which allows for easier posting.

ARI-Online.org

Animal Rights International was one of the first organizations in the animal rights movement. Their web site was outdated and required a complete redesign. I designed a new logo and corporate style, and set up a content management backend with Movable Type Open Source. I also integrated PHP scripts for mailing list management.

Now multiple organization members from various cities can contribute to the site. The organization can easily inform its members about campaign developments and accomplishments through RSS feeds and Facebook integration. And tasks that used to be done manually, like mailing list management, are now handled automatically by the site.