- behind the screen with independent designers, developers and others.
Imagine a Renaissance Woman. Meet Shirley.
What did you do before the Web?
After finishing a bachelor's degree in music (piano) I worked in banking management for 5 years, during which time I also married my college sweetheart. However, following several occasions of sawed off shotguns and police cars screeching up onto the sidewalk at work to chase the bank robbers, I decided that was a little too much of the wrong kind of excitement. So I went to graduate school to get a master's degree in piano performance and continue my dreams as a professional concert artist. I traveled around Europe, studied piano in Vienna, did some performing, and finished my master's degree in piano performance and literature.
As I began pre-doctoral studies and was pregnant with my 2nd child I got chicken pox that resulted in severe complications from which I spent the next 7 years slowly recovering. During that time I also got a divorce, began my adventures as a single parent, explored new possibilities and found the Web.
How did you find the web?
After playing with the computers at my children's school I thought I'd better keep up and learn how to use a computer, so I bought one for home. That quickly turned into joining a local BBS (with a 14,400 modem!), and then I got onto the Web from there around 1994.
Why are you here?
I was fascinated with computers and the Web and just had to become a part of the Internet's progress. In 1996 I started a new business creating Web sites, SKDesigns, it took off full speed ahead, and I've never looked back. While I was creating sites for clients I learned a lot about the Web by researching and also building my own sites of annotated resources. It's been a fantastic adventure.
I choose to be here because I love being a part of this fascinating industry, its advances, its challenges, and even its frustrations.
I also find the Web to be a perfect way to help others by sharing information, writing, being creative, and whatever else one may wish to do. Several sites are a direct result of my desire to help others and to share information. I recently added a listing of some of them at my business site's Special Projects section. Those sites include thousands of annotated resources, music linkware graphics (that I also give away to educators to help support music education), other graphics, tutorials, tips, and my brainstorms.
I love being connected with others all over the world in this way, and it's an extension of the creative energy that I also love with music. I thrive being in this industry, and it's truly an exhilarating business for me. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here.
Methods of production
What do you use to create your sites?
For design and development I use Macromedia HomeSite, Bradsoft TopStyle CSS Editor, and Adobe Photoshop For publishing my daily weblog, Brainstorms and Raves, I've been using Blogger for almost a year now.
I validate all my markup as I go along with CSE's HTML Validator and then run everything through the W3C's validators for CSS, HTML, and XHTML.
I use Watchfire's Linkbot Pro to check the thousands of links at my sites' and for my clients' sites.
About the Web
What do you see as the greatest strengths of the web?
The ease of communicating, sharing information, independent publishing, and connecting as one world. There's a massive library of seemingly endless information available right at home on your computer. Incredible.
What do you see as the greatest dangers?
Bad guys are on the Web just as anywhere else, stealing copyrighted work, creating viruses, endless spam, lunatic marketing schemes and ripoffs, stalking people, and worse. Identity theft is becoming increasingly easy, too. With the ease of sharing information is its dark side, unfortunately.
What would you say to folks who want to work the web?
If you have passion, determination and an insatiable thirst for this business, go for it. It's a constantly changing, challenging, and fascinating industry that's growing in limitless ways. That's what I also find so exciting, and if you do, too, you're in for a fun adventure that you happen to get paid for doing.
CSE's HTML Validator
W3C CSS Validator
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