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march 29

I've been thinking a bit lately about the vast difference in understanding of the web and internet that my clients have. Some know exactly what they're dealing with and some need a lot more help to get them to a stage where I can explain what I'm actually doing for them. To that end, I've decided to write a series of articles on the basics of web and internet usage, and make some additions to the glossary I put together a while back.

We've come to the end of a cycle of projects that all went online in this last month, so there's a few to check out. To start with, there were a few additions to the AMG Architects website, which you can check out at amgarchitects.com.au. Next is an online portfolio for a local artist Lucy McEachern, which was designed in conjuction with Lara Gibson. A major overhaul of the Big Red Trading has been in the pipeworks for a while now, which includes copywriting by Rebecca Gleeson of Squidink Communications. Finally is the much needed and long awaited overhaul of the Polyphen website. There was a bit of weekend work and an all-nighter put into the Polyphen site, so I hope you like it.

There's a few more websites that are close to being released over the next few weeks, so check back soon for another update. For now though, I wish you all a happy and safe easter, and leave you with these words:

Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.
Author Unknown

february 1

How's everyone going with their New Year's Resolutions? Me either. My gym membership card has stayed snug in my wallet, and as much as I want to, I haven't made it out of bed before 6:30am more than maybe three or four times in 2010. That said, there's plenty of time left to make some positive changes, so let's not let one month of slackness affect our whole year.

Things got started reasonable quickly around here, with a few new jobs on the go already, and a couple that came in and went out in the last few weeks of January. Check out the new front page of delighting.com.au, designed by Lenka Drncova and built by Run Web Design as an example. A couple more jobs on the way soon, so check back mid-Feb for some updates.

december 17

Christmas?! Already? Wow, I'm going to have to fight hard against the cliche here, because I know for a fact that it was only last week that I was stressing about the end of the financial year... wasn't it? In any case, I'm a big fan of living for the moment (although not always a big one for practicing that philosophy), so bring on the paper crowns, the pressies and the full bellies.

Run Web Design wishes all it's clients, suppliers and website visitors a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Our office is closing on the 23rd of December, and we're having three weeks off, so won't be back until the 18th of January. If you need some help in that time, feel free to shoot me an email, I will be checking in from time to time (in between sessions of the cricket and sleep).

I've posted a couple of recent projects to the left, so check those out, but look out around the end of the first quarter next year for a brand new Run Web Design website! It's been in the pipeline for a while now, and although we've got a couple more months of work to do before it's ready for release, it's on the way.

Cheers

august 11

Although it might seem like I've gone into hibernation over Winter, things have been pretty busy around here lately. I'm taking on some new methods of running the business which will hopefully mean better service for our clients, and more time for me to have a life.

This reflection on how we operate here at Run Web Design made me realise that we haven't been largely affected by the Global Financial Crisis, and I think that may be because we have really clever clients that see the value in maintaining their advertising and profile during tough times. Everything I hear from business specialists, industry experts and my accountant is suggesting that now is not the time to stop all spending and try to ride this thing out, but rather use it as an opportunity to show your clients and potential clients that you're the real deal. If you can maintain the same level of service despite a drop in the economy, you'll build trust with the people you deal with because they'll realise that you care enough about their business to put them first.

Onto websites and what we've been working on lately. The Geelong Business Coach website has just gone online and is in the early stages of release. There's still some more functionality and information to go on there, so if you like what you see, keep your eyes peeled. Also just released and with more to come is the Fitness Driven website, the new home of a local personal trainer who's heart for fitness and 'special populations' is tremendous.

Also online recently is the single page RGC Floors website, which was a collaboration with Challis Design. We're working on another couple of websites with the good folk at Challis at the moment, so check back soon for those.

Cheers

june 9

I've just spent the long weekend doing a complete re-install on the laptop I use here at work, and despite feeling like I've been through the IT equivalent of a knee reconstruction, I realised just how valuable the web can be in so many different ways. I made the comment to a friend that I don't know how I would have completed the process without the Internet. All the drivers I needed to operate audio, video, networking and wireless controllers were all in one place, on the laptop manufacturers website, and those I couldn't find were just a quick search away. Some software that I had bought from a website a few years back was lost in the install, so I went back to the website, and armed with only my email address, was able to download the software again based on my previous purchase. And finally, all the settings and emails I had on my previous install could be retrieved by searching for help in Google.

The point of all this, besides being an open excuse for being a day or two behind on a few projects, is that with any of the websites we build, we have the ability to provide extremely helpful information to people all over the world. We shouldn't always be content with a website that just tells people who we are, we should connect with people by giving them something they can use or learn from. The World Wide Web is like nothing the world has seen before, and it's changing the way we communicate, shop, learn and share, and we can all be a part of it.

Cheers

april 30

Following an absolutely mad six weeks or so here at Run Web Design, which not only included a couple of extremely high pressure projects, but also my sister's wedding (in a hot-air balloon no less), I'm trying to get back into some sort of natural rhythm again, which was lost in the mayhem. When you're working for yourself, rhythm and structure are extremely important, and I've been struggling in all sorts of ways since they went missing. But calm is returning, and, if I make it to the gym by 6:30 in the morning, I'll feel like I'm getting back on top of things.

Having said all that, we have had some great projects go online lately. Metabolic Precision, which is a new personal training system being offered around Australia, is a long term project that we are very happy to be able to finally present to the public. I learned a lot more about nutrition and resistance training while working on this project than I ever thought I would while building websites, but now that it's online, I'm stoked with the results. Check it out and if you're involved with personal training at all, spend some time in the Q&A section, it'll change the way you think about training.

The Global Reach Mission website, which is currently in it's very early stages, also went online, and it's one we're excited to be involved in. Global Reach Mission does some great work throughout South East Asia, and is looking to get Australian businesses more directly involved in the humanitarian work that goes on over there. They will eventually be sending business teams on short term trips to help out at children's homes, preschools, feeding programs and vocational training workshops, but right now, they're just hoping for some donations. Check out the website, have a look at their programs, and consider giving some money to help out. The photo above is one I took while I was helping out at one of their projects in Fiji, which was a great experience and one I'm planning on repeating in the near future.

More news on the new Run Web Design website coming soon, and hopefully some idea of where the missing Marathan newsletter has gone, and when it might return.

Cheers

march 13

I've just started drawing up some concepts and writing notes for the next version of the Run Web Design website, and it's reminded me how much work goes into the entire process of web design and development. Generally, as a web design company, we come alongside and take care of the design and build of the site, leaving the text and content decisions to the clients. Of course, we help out where we can and offer advise along the way, but most people like to think they've got things fairly well sorted out in regards to what's going on with their website. The simple truth however, is that most companies we work with don't know what their website is for, don't know what to put where, and aren't really sure why they need more than just basic company and product information on their site.

Having said all that, it can be a tough thing to explain to people exactly what they need when you're not a part of their company. Most of the time, website content decisions are more about marketing principles than they are about website principles. So I'll be enlisted the help of a few friends over the next couple of months to write up an article (or series of articles) about this issue. I'll keep you posted as to when that'll be online.

For now, have a look at a few of our latest websites that have just recently gone online. JAV IT are an Australian IT resources company that needed some desperate help with a difficult website situation. We came alongside and brought the website from what was a bit of a shamozzle, to a professional, nicely presented website. Props to Clarius Group for the header images. The Wills Way website covers the release of a book about the Wills family, who had a big hand in getting colonial cricket and Aussie Rules football started in Australia. The site is very small, basically consisting of an brief introduction and order form, and was built in about a week and a half to a reasonably tight design brief. I'm pretty happy with the result though, and it's getting a fair bit of coverage due to the advertising efforts of the owners.

Enjoy the last few weeks of decent weather, and hopefully I'll be back on here very soon.

Cheers

february 13

Things have been really busy around the office the last couple of weeks, but we're feeling the pinch of the country's financial situation just at the moment, with some severe cash flow difficulties. It can take the wind out of your sales as a small business owner to be putting all this work out there and not getting paid for it, but all we can do it be as honest in our dealings as possible, keep our heads down and just wait for the cash to come in.

We've got a lot of projects that will be coming online in the next month or so, so keep an eye out for those, but in the meantime, please keep those affected by the Victorian Bushfires in your thoughts and prayers. This has been a traumatic time for so many people, but what I'm most impressed by is the outpouring of support from Australians and those abroad despite the so-called failing economy. They say character is revealed through crisis; and right now I'm pretty proud to be an Australian. There's so many ways to get involved, but the Red Cross has been doing such an amazing job for so many years, it's hard to go past them if you want to put some money somewhere. So follow this link to go to the Red Cross website and donate some money to the Victorian Bushfire Fund.

God Bless

january 6

Got back in the office yesterday and have already booked three meetings and almost signed a new project. A bit of somewhat urgent work to do, so despite the cricket being on, I'm having to get straight back into things. I didn't feel like I got much of a summer break though (who knows what's happened with Victorian weather?), so I've decided to remind us all of the coast with a photo I took of the Great Ocean Road from Aireys Inlet (see above). I spent a couple of fantastic days in Lorne over New Years and am a little sad to be back in the office so soon, but it's all for our valued clients, so it's worth it...

You'll notice our new Recent Project section to the left, which is where we'll show details of projects that have just gone online. The two projects shown went online just before Christmas, and we're pretty happy with the results. Hope you like them too.

december 15

Christmas is nearly upon us, and with all the rushing around, we can sometimes forget that the world and it's problems don't stop. The photo above is about remembering the people that don't have family, or friends, or a place to go for Christmas. There are plenty of ways to help those people out, but one in particular that's close to my heart is the Geelong Christ Church Meals program. Be warned, this could be the worst website we've ever linked to from this site, but it's a great lesson in not judging a book by it's cover, as they do great work and have done every day of the year for almost 18 years. Check them out and consider making a donation or offering some ongoing support.

I'd like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas; stay safe on the roads and enjoy some time with your families.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
'Til ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

november 18

Just a quick update to let you know that we're still alive and still working hard here at Run Web. Unfortunately though, I have no new sites to show you. We've got heaps of projects on the threshold, waiting to begin their new lives online, but, whether it's cold feet or (more accurately), the general busyness of my clients, nothing's been released for a while.

As this is a fairly lame update, I thought I'd share one of my favourite photos with you (above, next to the welcome). I took it at Perth Airport while I was waiting by myself for a flight home, and although the moment wasn't especially memorable, this shot captured exactly what I saw at the time, which was a Dad just hanging with his kids. I don't know what kind of Dad this guy was, but when I look at the photo, I want him to be a great dad, and I want to be the same.

Until next time, keep smiling.

september 2nd

Spring is finally here, and that means that the next edition of Marathon is due out soon. Look out for it in your inbox early in October, or head over to the Marathon Homepage now to check out the Winter edition and signup to the e-Newsletter if you haven't already.

We've got a bunch of sites coming online this month, so check back soon for some updates. For now though, check out our latest site, the new Waurn Ponds Community Church website. This one's been in development for a while and went live a week or two ago with a few pages yet to finish. This site is a big change in design and purpose from the old WPCC website, but we felt that something warmer and more user-focused really needed to be developed, and we think the result achieves that fairly well. If you disagree, let us know, we're always happy to hear some feedback.

Finally, I'm having a week working from home this week to find some time to relax and unwind while still getting some work done, so if you're having trouble getting hold of me, the best thing you can do is shoot me an email or try me on my mobile.

Hope you all find some time to relax as well.

august 11th

The latest edition of Marathon has been out for a good month now, and i've just realised that I've made no mention of it on here at all. Head over to the Marathon Homepage to check out the latest articles.

The Ray Long Tackle Website went online recently, which was great fun to work on. The project was a redevelopment of an existing site, and the aim was to not only bring the site forward in terms of design, but also to allow the owners of the shop to make changes to the site on a regular basis. If you're into fishing, head to the site and signup for Brian's weekly fishing report, it's a veritable treasure-trove of information on what's happening in the waters around the Geelong, Bellarine and Surfcoast regions.

Palmers Plaster, another site redevelopment online in the last month, is an extremely simple website in design and purpose. The whole project came together reasonably easily from our point of view, but the people at Palmers, despite being great at what they do, struggled to put their content together, and the project was held up for a good six months. In a lot of cases, even after a website project is underway and the deposit's been paid, it takes a back seat to the money-making side of most businesses. If you're struggling to get your content together, there are solutions, which we can help you with. Part of developing a website includes deciding where the information goes, and how it will all link together, but as we do so much of this, we can also help decide what information is needed on the site in the first place. We can also point you in the direction of photographers and copywriters, who can help you get the exact content we need to make your website communicate your message in the most effective way possible. Let us know if you'd like some help with the content for your website project, we'd love to help you out.

Finally, the photo above is from an event I helped organise in July called Modern Chronicles. It was basically a night celebrating art and music, and it went off. The photo shows Catherine Vasilakis, who came down from Sydney and just blew us away with her incredible voice and vulnerability. Check her MySpace out if you get the chance: Catherine Vasilakis

june 6th

Wow, June, where did that come from? The end of the financial year is approaching fast, and with it, the last few weeks for accountants to call us and get their horrible websites sorted out (you know who you are ;-). While the next few months will be busy for the bean counters, right now is the busy time for us. We've got a heap of projects on the go, with some really exciting concepts being discussed in meetings at the moment, which I can't wait to sink my teeth into.

Also exciting are the articles I confirmed this week for the upcoming Marathon. I was pretty disappointed not to get the last issue out, so I'm really keen to get into the final publication stage of the Winter '08 issue. We've got two guest writers lined up for you and I'll be contributing a bit as well, so it'll be a (comparatively) bumper issue!

Finally, for all of you that want to reminisce about the old days here at Run Web Design, I've decided to put up an archive of the old news entries that I've made over time (see link below). It made me realise just how slack I've been in doing these, but it's a chance to catch up with any news that you may have missed (and hopefully won't do any harm to our Google rankings...)

Till Next Time, Cheers

may 21st

I'm back from Adelaide and quickly catching up on what I missed while I was gone. The thoughts I had about getting work done while I was over there turned out to be rather optimistic, as I was staying in a house with seven friends and sixteen more were only steps from our front door. Therefore most nights were spent sitting around in the big leather lounge suite, looking out over the ocean (check the sunset above, taking by Run Web's own administration assistant Claire) chatting and laughing. The conference was good too...

So as you can imagine, not much has happened that's going to mean a great deal here. There'll be some significant site updates for a few clients online very shortly, so check back soon to see those, and I'll be making a few more changes on this site in the next week or so as well.

Also, the unthinkable has happened. Well, I guess those that were waiting for it had assumed already, but the Autumn edition of Marathon has been canned, simply because the pressure I would have been under to get it out, as well as a Winter edition within 6-8 weeks was just not worth it. The coming Winter edition will include an extra article or two though, and will be coming out at the end of June.

If you haven't been to Adelaide, I can recommend it. West Beach is beautiful this time of year ;-)

Cheers

may 7th

This past week, I learned my lesson about keeping the site updated, and it's one you could all learn from. From late February, which was the last time I updated this site before last week, to the end of April, my weekly site statistics email was showing a gradual decline in site visits. By the end of that time, the numbers had dropped to about 25-30% below average. Within the 6 days it's been since I made the last update, we're already inline for a record week, so thanks to all the people out there that drop by for a visit on a regular basis.

The lesson to be learned here is that you can keep people coming back to your site, and therefore keeping your brand in their mind simply by making sure there's something fresh on there regularly. I've learned my lesson, and I encourage you to not make my mistake. If you'd like to talk about ways you can keep your site updated regularly, feel free to give us a ring on 03 5277 3065, or shoot me an email using the form in the contact section.

The Run Web Design office will be closed next week as the whole office (OK, it's just me and Claire) head off to a conference in Adelaide. I'll have my laptop with me and will be checking emails and getting some things done from the hotel, but my phone will be off most of the time so I can absorb as much as possible and meet as many people as the time allows.

I've done a little more work on the site this past week; check out the updated history page (linked from the About Us tab), then spend some time checking out the new Projects in the Projects tab.

Have a great week.

may 1st

As you've probably noticed, I've been spending some time working on the site, hence the lack of updates here for a while. Along with the current changes, which include some usability improvements, text updates and some minor layout changes, I'll be making some additional changes over the coming month or so. In that time, the Autumn edition of Marathon will be released, and we'll have some new sites online.

There are a few sites I can show you now though. Aequi, one of my favourite sites and clients for a long time, have changed their name, and with it, their website. The all new AMG Architects website has seen a change in philosophy for the site itself. No longer a full Flash website, this site combines the flexibility of a DHTML website with the smooth animations that Flash offers to good effect.

Also recently released is the Geelong City Motors website, which includes a simple entry site leading into a cross-brand site for their Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands (the Mercedes Benz website linked to from the entry site was not built by Run Web). This site is fully content-managed, with the client able to edit all site text, add promotions, news items, images and linked files through a simple, custom designed web interface.

If I talk any more about what we've been up to, you'll think I'm conceited, so I'll stop for now. Check back soon though, as I'll be making more regular updates in the coming months.

february 19th

The days seem to fly by faster here every week. Already February, and although the latest Marathon articles have been online for a week, the newsletter has only just gone out. For all the visitors that have no idea what Marathon is and are feeling a little left out, please feel free to browse the Marathon area by clicking the tab at the top of the page, and why not subscribe so you're the first to know about new articles?

New websites are due online very soon, but they won't be on the site until March, as I'm heading to Fiji on Monday next week to build a kitchen. The office will be closed from Monday the 25th to Tuesday the 4th because of this, and I won't be able to check emails while I'm gone, so if you need something, please contact me before Friday this week.

january 21st

It's into the New Year we plough, and we're slowly getting a handle on things around here, with the frantic pace of the last couple of months giving way to a, well, less frantic pace I suppose. We're still busy, still working hard to keep our clients happy and still trying to learn the odd thing or two to stay on top of a rapidly growing and shifting industry.

The Summer edition of Marathon will be out next week. It's late, I know, but when hasn't it been. I'm excited to bring some of the articles to you, I'm having fun putting them together, and am confident they'll shed some light on some tricky areas of the web design industry for a few people.

That's it for today, I'll be back on here soon with some fresh Marathon articles and some new print jobs to show off.

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Jason Harper

Jason Harper

Run Web Design is a Geelong based company committed to providing businesses with a complete, professional web site development service.

With services covering all aspects of web site development, including website design and construction, search engine optimisation, domain registration and web hosting, and online advertising advice, Run Web Design is able to provide clients with a web site that works for their business.

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Read more about our Services.
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Marathon Runner

Marathon

Marathon is Run Web Design's webzine containing information and articles on Website, Internet and Business related topics. Also included are some websites from around the world that are making some noise.

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