Re: CONSULTANT / CONTRACTOR QUIZZ

Subject: Re: CONSULTANT / CONTRACTOR QUIZZ
From: Chris <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 10:03:31 +0100

Answers follow:

1) Do you have a Web site to promote your tech writing
consulting/contracting (or other) business?

Yes... As a telecommuter this is as close as I get to passing my card around. In fact, I don't have a business card (I don't get out much). See my sig below for the link.



2) Do you have personal info (hobbies, family, etc) on your Web site?
If not, is it because you think it is unprofessional to do so?

No - professional or not, that's my personal info. When I want to transmit my personal point of view, I try to use voice. I reserve hobbies, pictures of the dog, etc. for personal friends. I have always wanted a web-cam of my kitchen sink, though... Maybe another of the dust-balls under the sofa.



3) Do you think it is unprofessional to offer advice to other tech
writers on your site?

Sounds good to me, but I don't do it for two reasons - keep the site small, and I use lists like this for advice.



4) Do you think it unprofessional/inadvisable to use frames?
Javascript? Java? ActiveX?

I think it's fine. I use JavaScript and CSS for example. I also have a non-css version, and I believe it automagically gets to you if you don't use one of the two CSS browsers I support (guess which ones...). I also use frames - I'm an advocate of frames as a way to separate navigation from content. I happen to think they're a good idea. The navigation is constant, and the content changes. I believe my target audience can deal with it.



5) Do you think it unprofessional to have a few cutesy, animated images
on your site to lighten things up?

Personally, I don't like them. But then I'm opposed to email attachments, too. I think the word is "curmudgeon." I suppose there are curmudgeons who would scoff at my use of frames, though.



6) Do you mention how much you charge for your services on your site?
Give details about your fees? Disclaimers, legal or copyright notices?

Fees - no way. Copyright, I don't bother. There's nothing to copy, really. I have a password-protected space for private guests, and consider the password protection evidence of due dilligence.



7) Do you have samples from your portfolio on your site?

I post free FrameMaker plugins as examples. I'm not at liberty to post any other programming examples, nor am I at liberty to post my writing examples.


8) Do you list references on your site? Quotes from the references?

I list some of my customers in the EXPERIENCE area. No quotes, however.


9) How often do you update your site? Do you NEED to frequently change
things on your site to keep it fresh?

I find I don't need to update the public space very often. If I update a plugin or add a new one, of course I update the page - or if I complete an interesting project and want to post it to the EXPERIENCE area... Otherwise it's pretty stable (for now).



10) Do you provide a lot of linking and menuing, or do you keep it short
and sweet with most Web actions/behaviours available from the first
page?

Well, I use frames to keep it simple. For CSS - savvy browsers I use CSS to expand and contract lists of links, which helps compact things. These are basic hypertext ideas from 10 years ago. The whole site is only two levels deep - I have a grand total of 5 nodes to get to from the menu to a page. I have only one link from the content of one page to the content of another. All other links in content either expand something or download something. I also have a separate entry to a web ring - but that stands apart from the rest. I just added an expandable list of external links to my menu (CSS-only), and I guess that adds more value than complexity. In other words, I advocate short and sweet.

Good luck with your site!

--
Chris Despopoulos, maker of CudSpan Freeware...
Plugins to Enhance FrameMaker & FrameMaker+SGML
http://www.telecable.es/personales/cud/
cud -at- telecable -dot- es



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