Merry Christmas!

Written by Verne on December 25th, 2007

Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and fun-filled holiday! To the entrepreneurs and freelancers: do your best to enjoy the break… work free. I know I’ll be the first to disobey that one.

Best wishes for 2008! :)

The agency site relaunched

Written by Verne on December 23rd, 2007

Two posts in one day? I think I’m spoiling you guys. Maybe I’m just in the giving mood be it the holidays and all…

I told you I’d be back soon with word of a new project launch. It wasn’t too long ago (or at least it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long) since I became inspired by the powerful potential of WordPress as a CMS. Three great things have spawned since then:

  1. A new skillset that opened a whole new door to potential future business.
  2. cantwaitforchristmas.com (read this to learn more).
  3. The complete relaunch of my agency’s website in all its WordPressy glory.

Hoping to take a lesson out of my own book, the team and I began discussion of a refresh for our agency website as far back as in August. We had grown a lot as an agency and everything about the old site just didn’t do justice to who we were now, so we knew we had to start fresh. Projects came and projects went, and so did the time and bandwidth we had available to focus on building a new site.

September, October, and November passed by far too quickly, and before we knew it, December was here and we still had no new site. Enter: meeting-with-designer-that-inspired-my-WordPress-fascination. Like a shot of creative steroids, I got to work immediately and quickly turned the new layout template that our team had been kicking around for a few weeks into a fully WordPress-integrated site. That was the first night after being inspired.

Fast forward 3 weeks, a lot of WordPress hacking, plugin-customizing, CSSing, Photoshoping, and copy writing, and we arrive at 6 am Friday morning when the new site finally went live at www.vdotmedia.com. I’m pooped, but am so stoked at how everything turned out. In our moment of glory, I felt like the new WordPress rockstar (with Adii announcing his “retirement”, this possibility becomes a little more real).

Vdot Media (before)

Vdot Media (www.vdotmedia.com), before

Vdot Media (after)

Vdot Media (www.vdotmedia.com), after

The entire site, from the rotating Flash banner to our new portfolio to our RFP form, is fully WordPress-powered. And just like the promise to post my WordPress tricks for cantwaitforchristmas.com (which I haven’t delivered on just yet), I will promise to do a full write-up of the ins and outs of creating a complete agency site on this platform. I’m sure you’ll get more of a kick out of that post as our agency site is at least ten times more complicated than the single-paged Christmas countdown site.

We’ve also got our new agency blog, Simply Put, running on the site which is great because the team and I finally have a common place to expel our thoughts, ideas, and banter. I encourage all of you to check out our most recent post on the Email Standards Project and if you’re interested, do that whole RSS-subscribing thing that some of you are pretty good at.

So there you have it, a long-winded excuse for why I haven’t been too active over here in the past few weeks. I hope you’ll accept my apology.

Don’t get comfortable

Written by Verne on December 23rd, 2007

I picked up my brother from the station the other night and on the drive home we were catching up on life during the past four months during which he was away studying.

He asked me, “How’s your business going?”

I responded, “It’s going well – I’m comfortable with the amount of business that’s coming in and the money I’m making.”

He then said, “Don’t get comfortable. You can be as comfortable as you want when you’re 40. At this stage you should never be so comfortable with what you have that you’d stop pushing for more.”

A nice reminder that I thought was worth sharing to all entrepreneurs.

MIA… for good reason

Written by Verne on December 20th, 2007

I know. I promised that there would be a post coming soon on WordPress techniques. Hell, there’s even an unsaid promise that I would update at least once a week in exchange for your loyal readership. I know! I’ve been totally MIA from the blogosphere this past week both in writing and reading (I never thought something could look as intimidating as my inbox… but my Google Reader has done a pretty good job of going above and beyond that). But I swear it’s for good reason.

I’ve been working hard on an aforementioned project and am looking to launch by the end of the week. So in the mean time, sit tight. You’ll all be the first to know when it’s launched and when I’m back (though the former is probably more exciting to you than the latter).

See you all when I come back up for air again.

Interviewed by HatchThat.com

Written by Verne on December 14th, 2007

An interview with Satish and I was just posted over at HatchThat.com. In the interview we talk about our latest project, cantwaitforchristmas.com - how we came up with it, what the response has been like thus far, and also what happens when Christmas finally arrives. Give it a read here.

HatchThat actually has a pretty strong history of good interviews under its belt. 37 Signals, Mahalo, Mint, and Amp’d Mobile have all had the opportunity to leave their two cents on the site. Be sure to check out their interviews when you’re done reading ours!

PS – Stay tuned for the post-project report. It’ll have all sorts of juicy insights for WordPress and social media lovers. And there’ll be a guest blogger!