An important issue is personal safety. The local church is a place where people have local connections within a sort of "bubble". We have all kinds of personal methods to protect ourselves from malicious gossip moving between a bible study groupand a workplace, for example,  such as the assumption that conversations among believers are not shared by the hostile parties in the next cubicle, but bring those conversations online and you can have problems. And it can get to a whole new level when a "faith-based" political faction targets local churches according to the activists' own perceptions and agendas. They can be vicious.

Smart Christians will always limit their public contact with their churches, and I think that this is based on Jesus' advice that it is not necessary to be making a show of one's piety in public. That concept is more complex than just a question of spiritual modesty, it is also a question of keeping one's spiritual family intact as a stronghold against an outer world that does not share the same interests.

TY. I think what has made it hard for me is my own expectation that it would not be this hard.

Sometimes I want to paraphrase John 9:25 this way: "I was blind, on account of you poked me in the eye, you &^%$#!" *LOL*

Use the pizza system.  An hour's work should equal a pizza.  You can of course vary whether it is a plain cheese  or a gourmet super-deluxe. wink

4

(16 replies, posted in Theology Discussion)

I ask "Why are you telling me this?"

That way, if the gossip is malicious it stops. If it is due to the speaker being genuinely concerned or upset, then the subject shifts off the third party and onlto the speaker's own situation, and again, the gossip stops.

5

(0 replies, posted in Will Work for Pay)

I use traditional art media.  Art illustrations instead of photos can be a good choice when showing childrens' activities or in other situations where you don't want to expose personal identity online.  I can work from photos so that the church community can recognize its own members/events while preserving anonymity to the outside world.  The original art can be framed and hung in the church or used in other publications, as desired.

I charge $150 for one watercolor, $50 per related additional image. 
$50 per black & white or similar single-color line drawing.

Portfolio images available upon request.  I can provide up to 3 watermarked preliminary images on spec.

I see most of the threads in this forum are techie, but my biggest problems in working with websites have been the results of human failures. How have you all avoided the problems of people just not understanding their role, if indeed you have avoided them?

I'm talking about people failing to acknowledge emails, then verbally asking why you didn't do some particular thing when they see you, or people agreeing to a complex project after seeing an entire presentation, then suddenly changing it because some third party claimed their cousin said it was all wrong, without giving any actual reasons. I have abandoned excellent projects over issues like this, thinking that they found a better webmaster and expecting to see the rival project go up, only to see them abandon the web altogether and blame me for not finishing.  I've dealt with people who failed to understand that what a web designer gives them is a container for their church's own text and images, and failing to appoint individuals to provide content or oversight.

And lying .  I have found that people just plain flat-out LIE all the time when it comes to computers! Even church officials! I have stood in a church office looking at the secretary's computer screen that was literally covered with program icons across two-thirds of the screen while she told me she could not understand  how to email me the text from a sermon to put in a web-page.  I have been told by a minister that she did not know what a website is, as if she truly did nothing on her computer except email, only to realize later when she told me about being a member of a spiritual online community back in the 1990's that no one who is computer-illiterate in the year 2005 could have participated in online communities in the 1990's! So why did she keep asking me what is a website? Even if she was just testing my own knowledge, why did she pretend to be ignorant when the facts proved she was more experienced than most?

Is my experience unusual? If it is unusual, what have I been doing to keep attracting it? If it is not unusual, how on earth is everyone else surviving such madness?  sad

I think this person is really using religion as a kind of intellectual hobby instead of having it as an integral element of her being.  I've been through those years of "church-of-the-month club" and while it was interesting and sometimes entertaining, the real strength comes from understanding that there is a unified system in one church, one Being who is God. I went back to my "native' church with a lot of deeper understanding as a result of my wanderings, and I certainly could never straddle separate systems even while accepting equal validity between two belief systems.

Sooner or later, one must choose a single path.   IMHO.

What kind of marketing? Purely online or are they interested in integrating it with postal mail, print & broadcast media?

9

(4 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

I completely understand. When I was just finishing my courses, I took on a project for my church, and it ended very bitterly.  What happened was that several of the senior people really did not understand the scope of what they are asking a web designer to do, they did not appreciate the legal liability of a web manager, and they did not respect work that one does "at home".  My attempts to place the relationship on a professional level  were thought to be prideful, and my intention to use my home church site as a springboard for professional accounts was considered exploitation of a "spiritual" task by people who think money is supposed to appear like manna from Heaven, not planned for.

Needless to say, that is not my home-church anymore. I have forgiven them for the debacle, especially after discovering that many of these attitudes are common to groups of all kinds and are due to ignorance and not bad intentions in most cases, but I cannot afford to take on the legal risks and invest the time in these projects. I now stick to working for individuals because the difficulties rise exponentially with the number of people involed in any project.

10

(3 replies, posted in Water Cooler Discourse)

Price-wise, I would  count cost of hours, overhead + material (for "material", figuring investment in  equipment and annual maintenance/upgrade budget, divide by 12, then divide that amount by the hours-per-month I expect to dedicate to that client) Charge 150% of that cost, placing the extra third into the various things a corp employer would normally provide like insurance, taxes, & pension.

11

(568 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Hi, I'm a web manager/designer taking a bit of a breather to write. Something about getting past the first half-century is causing this *lol*. Spiritually, I'm a fully-baptized Catholic.  Personal interests, hobbies: orchids, watercolor, sewing, reading (biographies and science fiction, especially like physics-for-non-math-readers). Semi-retired, family grown and gone.