If you’ve been here before, you might have a question or two for me right about now. For those that were using the Back in Black style, I apologize. It will be back (again). Let me explain just what is going on around here.

Since July of 2005, I’ve been working from home. Up until recently, for other people. Some shit went down and I found myself in a situation where I needed to find a new source of income stat! After sending out a few emails and replying to some quote requests, I had a few weeks of work lined up in a matter of hours. I’ve decided to stick with it for a while and see if I can make a go in the world of full-time freelance web design.

When I last Rebooted I re-organized my homepage. Giving things that get updated more frequently better exposure. Since my priorities have shifted in the real world, I need my site to reflect that. I’ve moved the portfolio back up to the top half of the homepage which now spans the entire right column. There’s also three examples shown instead of just two.

I don’t seem to be spending nearly as much time reading news online these days and in return, I haven’t been updating Quick Bits as often as I once was. You can now find it in the bottom right corner of the homepage. While you’re down there, you might notice the album covers are back. For the past month I’ve been using a fancy Last.fm script that displays your top 10 artists of the week and lets you listen to some tracks from each. Pretty awesome, except for the fact that Last.fm has been plagued with shitty servers for as long as I can remember. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t take that into consideration when I made the decision to include the list – or maybe I did and figured it wouldn’t be that bad. In any case, it was causing my homepage to take up to a minute to load at times. At best, there was still a 10-15 second delay, which is not cool. Back to updating the covers by hand. And before you suggest it – I’ve tried out the Scrobbler plugin that pulls album covers. At any given time, there’s at least two or three albums in my top 10 that don’t have covers in the Last.fm database, so a shitty placeholder image was put in it’s place. And let’s not forget, I’d still be relying on their servers to get the data – scrap that all together. I might go back to using the WordPress links manager so I can have them appear in random order.

A couple weeks ago, I quietly rolled out a new “feature” that a couple people noticed and commented on. I actually had absolutely nothing to do with it. I mentioned that would love to have my comment form stay at the top of your browser window while you scroll the comments – mostly for my own use to make it easier to reply to comments, but I figured it would make things easier for everyone. Neo Geek, who’s no stranger to these parts, offered his services and in no time had it up and running. I’ve since worked with him on a couple freelance projects and I must say, the guy’s a bit of a genius. One of those dudes that can just make shit happen. He even built a WordPress plugin out of one of the requests I had for him. Wasn’t it nice of him to share?

Now, to address some more of those questions you might have for me…

  • “What happened to Back in Black and when is it coming back (again)?”
    I currently have the two styles as separate themes. This was done for a couple reasons, both of which are irrelevant now. To carry over all the changes I just made to Pretty in Pink, I’d basically have to do all the work again for Back in Black. I simply don’t have time for that right now. I’m going to look into a better method of switching the stylesheet and hope to roll that out over the next couple weeks. I’ve already had someone suggest a method they created, so I’ll be checking in with them soon. I also needed to get the (mt) Media Temple logo in there by the 9rules badge as part of the partnership deal. So, a bit of both.
  • “You haven’t reviewed anything in a while – why not?”
    I was actually planning to review all three demos that were released for the 360 during E3, but my Post E3 wrap-up took a lot more effort than I expected. And again with the lack of time. I’ve basically been working 60 hour weeks for the past couple in a row. I’m very tired. Regardless, I have a couple already started for some games that you’ll see in my “Currently Playing” section on the homepage. Can you guess which ones?
  • “So, you’re doing freelance work full time now. Can you take on my project now?”
    A lot of people have got in touch over the past few months requesting my services. I turned the majority of them down simply because I had a full time job and didn’t want to spend all my waking hours working – although, I seem to be pretty close to that at the moment. I do have quite a bit lined up at the moment, but I will always be looking for new projects to work on. So by all means, get in touch if you have a project you think I would be a good fit for.

I need to wrap this up as I’m already going to hear “I told you so” from my wife in the morning. I should listen to her more. There really is no such thing as “a quick post”. Heh. Anyway, I spent my Saturday night re-jigging my site. I actually managed to get out in the real world and hit-up a rad ska show this afternoon in Toronto. So that should make up for it.

17 Comments

All the best for your plunge into full-time freelance Matt. It’s all sounding good so far.

Sorry, an off-topic question: Looking at your album covers, do I smell an advance copy of Good Riddance’s new album spinning in your stereo?! Still a month before I’ll be able to hear it. Grrrrr…

speeeeaking! of Advances Ive heard the new underOATH album, Define The Great Line, – They’re Only Chasing Safety, 100x better

@Neo Geek: Not at all dude.

@Pat & Allan: Thanks a lot. Things are going great so far. Hopefully I can keep it going.

And Pat, yeah, I scored the new GR a few days ago. A friend of mine gave me the heads up that it had hit the newsgroups. Man, it’s great! I really wasn’t sure how it was going to be. I loved the last 2 albums with Dave on drums, but Comprehensive Guide is one of my favourite albums of all time. Let’s just say My Replublic definietly didn’t disappoint.

Good Luck for the freelancing Matt, I have no doubt that you will do well.

One thing I would say, I’m not sure I like the way your portfolio thumbs link to carbonmade, as apposed to linking to the actual site. I think a prospective client would prefer to see a site "in the wild" rather than just an image of the site.

RE: the new good riddance album. Dude did they get a new singer? I’ve been listening to this all morning and it totally sounds like a different singer.

@hear “I told you so� from my wife in the morning

hehe, nice to know I’m not the only one that gets this 😉

Good luck with all your freelance goodness Matt. You have an incredible talent so I have no doubt you will be extremely successful!

I wish you all the best as a fellow freelancer 🙂 I’m glad my income doesn’t completely depend on my freelance work though – it can be tough from time to time :/

Love your site btw (:

Hey there Matt …

Congrats on the move. You’ve mentioned in one post, I think your reboot post, that you’re not the greatest of all coders. Do you code all / most of the site, or stay strictly to design? Just interested … that’s all.

Thanks for all your support. It’s much appreciated!

@Edward: I code my sites in regards to the XHTML and CSS. I do that all by hand. I was referring to PHP and other scripting languages. I can make my way around ok to make modifications, but can’t write it myself.

Your skills with css and xhtml and design make up for any lack elsewhere.

The world can’t be full of Inman’s.

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