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- behind the screen with independent designers, developers and others.

Joe Jenett

Joe is the creator behind such independent sites as Coolstop, i2k, YooNoHoo and many others.

About you

What did you do before the Web?

From the mid-80s to the early-90s, I was a graphic designer, doing mostly business printing types of things -- business forms, brochures, stationery, product catalogs, desktop publishing, etc. After that, I was an Executive Assistant (do ya believe it?) for about 4-1/2 years and it was during that time that I started dabbling in web design.

How did you find the web?

In '95 I opened an account with CompuServe and immediately discovered there was a web outside of that rinky-dink package. Later that same year, I created my own site (it really sucked) and kept learning more and more about HTML, etc. I got much more serious about it in '96, which is really when I "found it."

Why are you here?

The power to self-publish has always attracted me and designing for this medium is much different than designing for print (it's more direct and I love doing it). The web also enables connecting to people, in one way or another, from all over the world. I've made a lot a friends on the web and have met many interesting people that I would not have known otherwise.

The most important reason I'm here is that I enjoy sharing creative sites I've discovered with other people -- the excitement of finding great sites (yep, I know, it's subjective) and making others aware of them is very special to me. I've been doing it since October, '97, and though it definitely has its downside, I could never stop doing it. It simply means too much to me and it's gratifying to know that so many people are enjoying what I'm putting out there. I also make my living on the web, but that's been a little tough lately – but, I'm workin' on it.

Methods of production

What do you use to create your sites?

Text files, using Notepad or Word (macros are a great way to automate work, even with text files), Photoshop/ImageReady, a little Illustrator, GIF Animator, and Flash. I code all HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Perl by hand, though I'll occasionally use an editor like HomeSite or the old version of Netscape Composer for designing only. I also use HTML Tidy and W3C's validators to check my code. I'm working on a new, all-Flash site at the moment.

About the Web

What do you see as the greatest strengths of the web?

It may sound a little cliché, but the power to communicate was never as great before the web. The potential for creating real communities is powerful as well. Never before has it been so easy to browse peoples' art and writing and to express oneself.

What do you see as the greatest dangers?

We have already seen some of its greatest dangers. Though the SPAM keeps pouring in, I think most of us have learned that "get-rich-quick" is a great myth and that making a living is as difficult online as it is offline. Another danger is that personal intellectual property rights appear to be going out the window – but I'll leave it at that...

What would you say to folks who want to work the web?

You have to enjoy doing what you do for a living -- if you love the web and can "work" it, too, you should go for it. Like all other industries, it's hurting right now, but that'll change.

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Joe Jenett
Joe, Joe and more Joe

Joe Jenett is one of the people who is constantly ripping open the envelope of the possible on the web.

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