Web Questions, Intranet Infomration Sharing

Subject: Web Questions, Intranet Infomration Sharing
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 10:47:00 -0800


There have been several fairly off-topic questions related to the
web, lately. In the interest of helping Eric stay sane, I suggest
folks check out some of the other fine forums available. There are
several good lists out there - html-l and cgi-l being two of them.

For less technologically directed discussion, check out the
web-consultants forum (surf to http://www.just4u.com/forums to
subscribe). It's an excellent forum with enough leeway in the topic
for a variety of questions about doing web development, particularly
as an independent business (i.e. a consultant).

Susan Vineyard <vineyard -at- cherokee -dot- nsuok -dot- edu> asks:
> I manage two intranets at work, but have never done any outside web
> work. A co-worker has asked me to do a brochure page for her home
> business. Without knowing a lot more details, what's a ball-park
> figure for charging for a job like that? I need to talk to her this
> afternoon, so if you have any ideas, please reply asap. Thanks.

Pick up a copy of _The Geek's Guide To Internet Success_ for
general information on this topic. Specific answers about rates
depend a lot on what you're doing, what your skill levels are, what
the market is, and what the job looks like.

For your co-worker, sounds like a trivial job, charge what you
would charge for professional writing services. Discount it if you
want the goodwill or a little bit of exposure to doing freelance
stuff. Unless you have a lot of experience with project management
and negotiation, I'd suggest either charging hourly (to avoid
situations where you price a 3 hour job and the customer drags it out
to a 30 hour job) or figure out a "reasonable" cost, charge that, and
view it as a learning experience, so you don't mind when it takes a
lot longer. But make sure you establish firm boundaries so you'll
be able to say when it's over.

and in a later post asks:
> I am looking for a product with which programmers and other staff
> members can publish documents to the web easily.

"Publish documents to the web" is fairly vague. What kind of
document processing/development do they need to do? Is it trivial
enough that they could do the editing in HTML-based forms and the
document could be served through a database? I'd recommend going
in that direction, if so.

> I also want to offer templates to keep some control and conformity
> to the look of our intranet. Right now, we are encouraging them to
> write their documents in WordPerfect and publish to html. Most of
> them don't want to document anyway, and they won't go to the trouble
> involved. We need to make the process fast, less painful, (even
> fun?) to encourage their participation.

Resreach cascading style sheets. I haven't looked at WordPerfect
since the DOS days, so I don't know enough about it's
editing/formatting/stylesheet capabilities, let alone publsihing to
web capabilities. I'd suspect what you want is some flavor of html
editor that allows you to specify a set of "styles" that can be
deployed both in web and GUI form, as well as some level of structural
definition for files. Since my favorite web editor is emacs, I can't
advise you here. Again, html-l, cgi-l, or web-consultants might be
of more help.

Steven J. Owens
puff -at- netcom -dot- com

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