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February 16, 2006

Quick Review Linkage Plus Web Designer Recommendations Needed

I wrote up a longer piece but then the power went out briefly and now I simply don't have the patience to redo the whole damn thing. So, instead, some quick review links:

* A very nice review of Old Man's War in the San Diego Union: "John Scalzi writes well, and very well, and very well again." Shucks.

* A similarly very nice review of The Ghost Brigades at Book Fetish: "I called the first book in this series unapologetic and hardcore. If only I had known." Well, see. Everybody loves surprises.

* I've been informed by uber-publicist Dot Lin that the Ghost Brigades review I noted the other day  from Library Journal was actually a starred review. And that's good -- Hopefully now every library in America will buy the book (except my local library, to whom I gave a copy, as is my custom). In any event, this makes me happy; the "Old Man" series is now 2-for-2 in the starred review category, which is a nice distinction for a series to have. I suppose this puts some pressure on The Last Colony to not totally suck. But I'll worry about that later.

Okay, seriously now, I have a request for you all: I have a friend of mine who is planning to do a rather extensive re-org of his Web site, which will incorporate a new design for the main site and possibly a more attractive front end for the store he's got the site as well. What he needs and I'm asking for here are recommendations for a good Web designer -- someone who can handle both esthetics and the need for a commercial back-end.

If you know of Web designers who are capable of this (or alternately, you are a Web designer capable of this), please let me know, either in the comment thread or through e-mail. Right now this is an exploratory thing, so we won't get into costs, etc. I'm just looking for good names. If you can provide examples of the designer's work as well, that would be super-groovy. I thank you in advance.

Posted by john at February 16, 2006 05:09 PM

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rws | February 16, 2006 05:15 PM

May I recommend that marvelous thing called the uninterruptable power supply. A cheap ( at any computer/office supply/hardware/dime store ) device designed to protect your computer and your mind from premature destruction.

Steve Eley | February 16, 2006 05:27 PM

I've gotten help in the past from Stephanie Smith. She's a fellow writer, she's got a fine sensibility for template design, and I always give her props for her "Web Design for Authors" tips.

Patrick | February 16, 2006 05:41 PM

Noah Grey. Not only did he create a great blogging tool, he has a wonderful aesthetic. He can be found here.

Don | February 16, 2006 06:02 PM

If I might put in a plug for the company I work for, Aristotle Internet does some great web design. You can check out what we've done before at http://www.resultswithstyle.com

cherie priest | February 16, 2006 06:34 PM

This fine fellow did mine.

He's a nice lad who's easy to work with (and still hosts my own site on his server). Negotiable on the money end, too.

Gabe | February 16, 2006 06:51 PM

I'm a web designer as well as a freelance idiot, but I will always bow in recognition of better designers than myself. I am not in the same league of some already mentioned. I do, however, specialize in Flash animation. If your friend wants any of that, he can view my site or some of my other Flash work.

tobias Buckell | February 16, 2006 08:43 PM

www.tonygeer.com did my site and www.crystal-rain.com :-)

Congrats on all th e great reviews John!!!

Daruku | February 17, 2006 12:17 AM

Jesus saves.

Soni | February 17, 2006 01:29 AM

A business colleague of mine, H. Dean Hua, has a web design company that targets solopreneurs and small businesses.


Therese Norén | February 17, 2006 03:51 AM

Daruku: Yes, he's a mighty fine goalkeeper.

Brian | February 17, 2006 06:41 AM

I've gotta second the UPS suggestion. A unit suitable for home use will run you something like $50, by APC.

dave munger | February 17, 2006 07:55 AM

Congrats on the good reviews, John. Your career must be on the upswing because my backwater North Carolina Barnes & Noble finally got 2 copies of the trade PB version of OMW. I look forward to 2008 when we might get to see some hardcover editions of The Ghost Brigades.

Josh | February 17, 2006 09:06 AM

See, this is why I love my library system. Not only do they have Old Man's War, they even have a copy of Agent to the Stars. You go, library system.

Stephanie | February 17, 2006 10:10 AM

Aww, thanks, Steve. I was coming over here to recommend other people, though! I have exactly zero experience with online stores. (My mom wants one, though, so that'll be remedied shortly.)

If I were going to hire someone, I'd flip through the many CSS-based design galleries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and find someone whose work appeals. Anyone featured on these sites is at least clueful enough to conform to web standards. (You wouldn't believe how many aren't.)

If proximity matters, here’s a partial list of compliant developers. That list is very incomplete, though -- for one thing, the guy who started the whole push for standards compliance is missing.

I have some notes somewhere on how to hire a web designer... I'll see if I can get that published on my site this weekend.

John H | February 17, 2006 10:21 AM

A third for getting a UPS with a reminder to periodically check the battery life - they do wear out after awhile. And as a bonus, they give off heat so you could stick it under your desk and use it as a foot warmer!

Pavel | February 18, 2006 03:31 PM

I work for IMD ( http://imdllc.net/ ), and therefore highly recommend them.

Karl E | February 18, 2006 05:15 PM

check out plumcreativeassociates.com

Jeff Porten | February 20, 2006 02:11 PM

Notably, a laptop computer has built-in UPS for when the power goes out.

Regan | February 21, 2006 01:37 PM

I'm getting my site done by Aeolidia. They specialize in independent crafters who need their own shops, but have the know-how to do other sorts of e-commerce back-ends.

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