Syna, Syner, Sinur - what the?

What in the world is Synergema? We can get to that later, in the mean time here is what we do.

We deliver exciting web and social media experiences that enable organizations to do what they do better. In fact, that’s all we do. We don’t sell advertising. We don’t handle PR. We don’t design documents, collateral or trade show materials. We focus, totally and exclusively, on the Internet, from Web sites to custom applications. Continued at synergema.com blah, blah, blah... what makes us tic? Simple, we like people, the web, and interacting with both.

What's involved in this role?
- You'll put on your thinking cap (strategy) and jump into the mix, no side liners here!
- You'll take ownership of a project from the get go and own that baby all the way to the end. You will be the conductor of the project life cycle symphony. If an instrument doesn't sound right, then tune it up!
- You'll be the head of Synergema Care (not maintenance) supporting clients and guiding them to the next best thing for their site. You can bring the vision!
- You'll use your Web skills (HTML 5/CSS 2 & 3/PHP) to be one of the wizards behind the curtain.
- You can use your Creative design (Photoshop) juices to, invent, inspire, and ignite.
- You'll use your leadership quality's to bring others along on your journey.
- And you'll laugh, play, and work with people who share your optimistic perspective. Dead serious, is dead!

Summary - You'll be a thinker, a front-end designer, a front-end developer, and someone who is pro-active with clients giving solutions to problems they have yet to identify to make their experience much stronger.

If you want to continue reading about this exciting opportunity, view this position at http://jobs.synergema.com.

2

(0 replies, posted in Job Opportunities)

Synergema is looking for a designer who is passionate about making a beautiful Web site using bulletproof XHTML and CSS (in other words, Web Standards).

You will help design the user experience for client projects ranging from non-profits (faith-based, human relief, philanthropies, etc.) to corporate (small business, agencies, and corporate).

Confidence while pitching ideas is as important as constructively critiquing designs, and the right person will need to effortlessly cooperate with a diverse group of stakeholders. Balancing priorities, and coordinating various types of work across different timelines is essential to success in the role.

Required Skills

  • Impeccable, cutting-edge design skills.

  • Firm understanding of XHTML/CSS and Web Standards.

  • Design work-flow diagrams, wireframes, prototypes, visual mock-ups, functionality specifications.

  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams consisting of strategist, designers and developers.

  • Solve challenging business and user experience problems by being able to quickly mockup various interface solutions (sketches, Photoshop mockups or HTML prototypes) to a design /user problem and evaluate the most effective approach.

  • Present conceptual ideas, detailed designs, and design rationales to clients.

  • Be able to make deadlines without breaking a sweat.

  • Possess knowledge of and interest emerging trends and technologies.

  • Flash skills a plus.

  • Firm understanding of Photoshop and Illustrator.

Attributes

  • Passion for quality design and innovation.

  • Able to work independently and in teams.

  • Able to balance multiple projects simultaneously.

  • Able to make confident and quick decisions.

  • Enjoy working collaboratively.

  • Responsible and capable of meeting tight deadlines.

  • Excellent communicator.

  • Detailed and organized.

  • A thirst for learning.

Synergema benefits include competitive salary, health insurance, profit sharing eligibility and paid vacation.

Please submit résumé and portfolio link electronically:
iwanttowork (at) synergema (dot) com

Company: Synergema
Job Title: Front-End Tickerer

What We Believe:
Your web site is an extension of your organization, not a virtual billboard. It should be engaging, inspired, and authentic. It should compel people to action. To get there, we take the time and energy needed to understand your organization. We look in corners and closets that everyone else ignores to discover everything unique about you. We ask curious, probing, and sometimes we ask hard questions to drill down to the best solutions. Best of all, we partner with you to create something more than a destination... a powerful, lasting web experience that enables your organization to evolve and flourish.

    * We're about engaging web experiences
    * We're about creative, custom solutions, in both design and development
    * We're about lasting partnerships with our clients, keeping their needs first

Most of all, we're about you and composing a web experience that inspires your audience.

Synergema delivers a full range of products and services that enable organizations to develop dynamic Internet solutions. In fact, that’s all we do. We don’t sell advertising. We don’t handle PR. We focus, totally and exclusively, on the Internet and its attendant technologies, from Web sites to email marketing to custom applications.

Job Description:
We are seeking a front-end designer/developer. What does this mean? Basically it means that you know how to design beautiful sites, and then you can create the XHTML/CSS Web Standard code to display properly across a number of browsers. This also means that you know how to ticker with JavaScript and do some fun stuff.

What We Are Not Looking For:
Let's just be honest and just get this out of the way, we don't want to sound harsh but these questions will come up....

- We want someone that has passion and truly understands that sometimes it may take 12 hours to get the job done rather than saying, "Its 5 o'clock - see you later". So if you do not have exceptional work ethics and will not go the extra mile to finish a project even if that means crazy hours, we'll probably exhaust you (LOL).

- If you are a head-hunter or another development or design firm (especially if your overseas) looking for us outsource our work - we don't want to hear from you at all!

- If you are freelancer and are not interested in full-time employment - we love you, but this job isn't for you.

- If you are not within a two hour drive of 19372 (I guess it depends on how quick you drive) - this isn't the right job for you (although we do allow for the virtual office).

We Want to Hear From You:
We are looking for the following skill-sets:

    * Excellent interpersonal, organizational, communication, and multitasking skills a must (OCD is a recommended condition for this position )
    * Developing in Web standards-based XHTML & CSS (we love Jeffrey Zeldman)
    * Effect-based JavaScript (slides, hides, animation, etc.)
    * Comfortable working in an all MAC environment
    * Knowledge of Accessibility & Usability best practices and latest techniques (Section 508, WCAG, If you've never heard of Jakob Nielsen, you're probably not qualified. )
    * Photoshop
    * Flash & ActionScript a plus
    * Search Engine Optimization knowledge a plus
    * Information Architecture / Wireframing experience a plus

If the above list didn't discourage you and you are up for it, we would love to hear from you - please contact us showing us your 3 best examples of your best work and skills - please email us at iwanttowork@synergema.com or PM through GodBit.

Cheers,
Brandon

4

(1 replies, posted in Freelance Projects)

This post was posted Tuesday, April 15th at 6:33pm EST

5

(1 replies, posted in Freelance Projects)

I need an ASP coder for a project tonight that needs to be delivered first thing it the morning. Please email me at bsteiger at synergema dot com

6

(14 replies, posted in Business Advice)

Hey Dmarino...

I would say this is one area in business you have to establish your rules upfront. This also means you have the set what the policy for no payment and establish this is upfront because, and I'm no lawyer, but if you don't put things in writing up-front and get a signature you could open yourself up to some type of small claims court. Unfortunately this is the way the world works, even though they didn't pay you.

My recommendation is to have your policy upfront and also what you do in the case of no-payment...this is our policy:

1) On the day that payment becomes late, I sent a personal email reminding them that their payment is late because they might have forgotten.
2) 15 Days out - I send a follow-up snail mail letter and a copy of the invoice. Still nice and friendly
3) 30 Days out - I send another follow-up snail mail letter and a copy of the invoice along with a finance charge and explaining that if the payment is not paid in full that all services will be terminated within 15 days.
4) 45 Days out - Follow-up with any action promised. If you don't this is legally seen as harassment.

Overall, make sure you keep a very consistent policy or else you can put yourself in legal hot water. Again, I'm not a lawyer - but be consistent with all of your clients and set known policies.

In agreement with AJP

8

(5 replies, posted in Business Advice)

Hey Deborah,

This is definitely a difficult subject. I think the hardest part of this is what is your business colleague's impression of your relationship? Could you possible be on two different wave lengths...

If you do have an equal type of relationship I would recommend just inviting them to lunch and talk frankly about the topic. Let them know how you felt about it personally and then also professionally, and most importantly ask how they view this.

bjs

While we use EE extensively, we have pretty much pulled out our primary CSS out of EE. The only time we use the CSS within EE templates is when we want to write dynamic CSS

10

(11 replies, posted in Content Management)

Hey Mike...

I'm referring to the Christmas series they started - it was like 24 days to build out an E-Commerce site, and I was wrong, it was a recipe site. I was really interested to see the inside tips that these EE experts had to share with us. I can say I was truly sadden and disappointed to see the progress

bjs

11

(28 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

I'll play too....

Let me explain our situation, while Synergema is more than just myself (4 full-time employees [starting April 1st], 2 part-time, and 2 to 4 contractors), we have built a strong belief in the virtual office and allowing people to work in the best environments (so that could be home, Starbucks, or at the zoo...), so here's my answers:

1. When and where do you get the most work done?

In my office (in the basement) - I typically get the most work cranked out deep into the dark of night.

2. What gets in the way of your work the most?

Myself, my mind tends to race from subject to subject and you could say that I'm a daydreamer (which I fully love). There's also IM

3. What do you do to get back on track?
   
Write a task or to-do list. When I write lists I stay on track, I'm motivated, and I get things done. Plus I can look back and say, "Wow! I actually did accomplish something today!"

4. Do you work for your self or for a company, with a boss?

I guess I already answered that. I own Synergema but I work with a bunch of great people who I feel are my equals. Actually in many ways I look up to those I work with because they definitely outshine me in so many ways!

5. How does your family help/hinder to your working at home?

It hinders because I get distracted and want to play with my little boy (18 months old) and I want to spend time with my wife. However at the same time, it greatly helps me because I can't imagine having to go to true office in the city everyday and being so far away from something that is so dear for me. I honestly don't think that God ever wanted us to be so far from our families, especially when our order of priorities is supposed to be God, Family, Friends, and Work. Notice that order - but yet we spend more time than anything else at the office working. So for me, I love being able to integrate my family into my work. It makes me a better worker and it helps me be so much better at my job.

6. How do they feel about you working at home?

Well, technically I was working at home long before we had a family and so it was more of an invasion of my space when my wife decided to stay home and also when our son was born. It was odd at first but within the first 6 months I have grown to fully love and cherish it. I wouldn't want it any other way.

7. Do you have any insights/advice for others like you who juggle family and work, from home?

For me (and I agree with Boyink - to each their own), I have to be disciplined and have set working hours - its setting boundaries. The basic rule in our family is that, would you call me to take out the trash if I worked in the city at a traditional office. If the answer is no, then please respect my office hours and honestly, it goes both ways. For example if I want to sneak away and work in the family room. If my son tries to mess with the computer she tells me to respect our family life and go back to the office. It may sound harsh but you have to draw a very strong line between being at home and being at work...so even more than boundaries alone, its about setting defined lines in the sand that your home is your home. For example, NO computers are allowed in any bedrooms - because we don't want to bring the office to the bed. You catch the drift.

8. How do you set boundaries and how successful are boundaries (does everyone in the house know when you're "at work")?

I think I answered this in #7 without realizing it.

12

(11 replies, posted in Content Management)

Finish the series that Jambor-ee started on building an ecommerce site!! I know so many people that were watching that, and then it just ended...... **POOF**

13

(46 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

WORK -- http://twitter.com/synergema

PERSONAL - http://twitter.com/brandonsteiger

Hey everyone!

We are in the process of looking for a Project Coordinator. We are looking for someone in the Philadelphia / Lancaster, PA area. While I would like to say we have a complete job description written up for this job - we don't!

We are basically looking for someone who is personable, detail oriented, understands the Web world (technical), and most important very likable. This is a fulltime position but with the ability to work from the comforts of your own home while still being close enough to come into the office for team meetings.

Check out our site: http://www.synergema.com to get a feel for our culture and the type of work we do! Looking forward to hearing from you.

15

(2 replies, posted in Freelance Projects)

We are flexible, and honestly, if you hit deadlines, we don't mind how you work....

Let me just put out the nitty-gritty out there....

-We are not looking for a coder
-We are not looking for a master of all trades
-We are not looking for someone who is boring
-We are not looking for someone who feels like they are the world's gift to design world
-We are not looking for someone who is inflexible with their masterpiece

We are looking for a very specific type of person....We want a Web site graphical designer who has some great skills and is staying on-top of what's happening in the design world.

We are specifically looking for an individual who could do up to 20 hours per week and work into a our new position as Defender of all things Beautiful (Director of Design). There are a number of reasons we are not making this full-time right away and I would be more than willing to share those reasons offline.

Our team is entirely virtual so there is no need to move here, you can work from the joy of your own space (bedroom, living room, bathroom, Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes & Nobel, etc.) if you so desire.

We just want to hear from you! We are flexible and we are creative....so talk to us!

bjs

This is such an interesting topic, and honestly an unfortunate topic. We've had similar situations with Christian clients, but what we have learned is that we also have non-Christian clients that do the same thing. I think that we've become more aware of those Christian clients because, personally (IMHO), we expect a higher standard.

We have found an interesting way to deal with church clients, or even people without our own church - we basically set the ground rules up front. For example, when someone from my church approaches our firm we clearly state the following rules.

1) All projects have to be based upon a proposal and we must also have signed Agreements to keep everything above board.
2) If you call me at home and what to talk about church stuff or just to shoot the breeze that is not a problem; however, I will not discuss work issues while at home (beyond 5:30pm).
3) When at church, do not give me a check, do not give me project files, do not talk to me about work anything - basically I'm at church to worship and enjoy fellowship and by doing work at church it gives me no separation.

By laying the ground rules (even though they sound strict), we have found we have much better working relationships. I'm not saying its been perfect, but we have learned some important lessons through trial and error.

I'm curious to see how others handle this...

18

(11 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Check our the GotBit group on LinkedIn -- : http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/41253/2D1F6A3DD7CA


We have to approve you before you get on the list, but it only takes a few minutes....(unless I'm not online)

19

(5 replies, posted in Content Management)

Hey Jasonathopi,

Pnomolos makes a great solution  -- Its an interesting module, but basically you create a regular entry in a weblog and then you have to tie it to the module (that can be the most interesting part to figure out).

Its a neat little store because then you can allow someone to be a member or not. If you require them to login on your side then you get the reporting features of simpleCommerce otherwise you don't

bjs

20

(11 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Hey Everyone!

I've been using LinkedIn for a few years but more recently. I can actually say that I have enjoyed the service, reconnecting with old colleagues, clients, and vendors.

Its actually been very beneficial tool when it comes to networking and have formed many great relationships because of LinkedIn. We have ever received work because of LinkedIn. One of the tools that has been incredibly beneficial is the recommendation tool. I have had clients, vendors and partners provide me with recommendations of our services which is great to hear and also provides a level of validation.

You can see my profile here:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/synergema

Here is the GodBit group on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/41253/2D1F6A3DD7CA

Once you sign-up for the group, I will need to approve you because I don't have access to your email address.

bjs

PS --- I've never had any problems with spamming or spoofing because of the service.

21

(3 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Hey Deborah,

I use it on a few of our sites -- it definitely has been the one tool that helps us analyze how user are working with Ajax on our sites - unfortunately you can see this type of effects using Google Analytics alone.

I agree with C.Barr, its not the type of thing I want to keep loaded on my site. We use it solely for testing and understanding how people are interacting with the design and to see what needs to be improved.

bjs

22

(13 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

Mont....what type of issues did you run into so we can take a look at it

23

(13 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

yes, heavy -- but also very degradable if you don't have JS

bjs

24

(13 replies, posted in Website Critique Area)

Clever - by practical terms I'm the founder and owner of Synergema, although my business card reads, "The Big Idea Guy" -- I don't want to let all of the cats out of the bag just yet because we are going to do a write-up on the entire process from idea, to concept, to design, to development, and finally to launch.

bjs

25

(6 replies, posted in Shoot the Breeze)

Can I just say I TOTALLY AGREE with Boyink! I'm pretty frustrated with the EE search because if the site is of any size you can run into issues with. We are now working with the Google Custom Search Business Edition http://www.google.com/enterprise/csbe/index.html. The cost is very reasonable for any ministry or even small company.

The cool thing is that there is an XML based search so you can fully integrate it within your site. The smallest downside is you have to keep the Google Logo but they allow you to embed it within the search box -- look how Smashing Magazine implement this search, its awesome and very nice: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

This is what we are starting to implement with our customers because search is such big business and clients feel like its done right when Google's doing it and finally Google provided a inexpensive custom search solutions for small business.

bjs