As we continue our new year of creative work in earnest, taking on new clients and a raft of new projects, TintypesDigital is very pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our team: JD Selig, web developer, technologist, photographer, musician, writer, linguist, and teacher. JD, in short, combines a prodigious set of talents. It’s a rare thing in our age of hyper-specialization to meet a true polymath, but for a small agency such as ours, operating at the intersection of new digital media technologies and creative expression, it’s exactly the right combination.

JD Selig

John comes to us from Harvard College, Class of 2009, where he concentrated in Visual and Environmental Studies, as well as in Computer Science, Psychology, and Japanese Studies. On the technology front, John’s expertise represents the latest in web development methods, bringing us added strength not only in XHTML and CSS, but also in Javascript, jQuery, PHP, XML, MySQL, and AJAX – the building blocks of today’s more dynamic web applications. John’s skills in these areas have been honed both in the private consulting realm and during several years of serving as a teaching fellow for beginning and advanced Computer Science courses at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and in the Extension School. He’s also paid his dues on the front lines of technology service and support, working for a time in Harvard’s Information Technology division as a helpdesk jockey and as a student support supervisor.

John’s talents, as noted, are by no means limited to the realm of pure technology. While at Harvard, he also served as an Executive Arts Editor of The Harvard Crimson newspaper, wrote news copy and served as Lead Anchor, News Host, and Arts Correspondent for the WHRB campus radio station. Meanwhile, in the IT group, he graduated from taking support calls to serving as Multimedia Liaison and Graphic Designer.

John’s linguistic interests (he’s a student of French, Latin, and Japanese) took him to Japan on several occasions, and in 2007 led to a stint in Tokyo as recipient of Harvard’s prestigious Reischauer Fellowship.

Since graduating, John has continued to teach in the Extension School at Harvard. He has also worked as a freelance web developer, photographer, videographer, and recently joined Boston University as an Instructor at their Center for Digital Imaging Arts. Throughout, he has continued to develop and advance his creative technology skills. He’s fully versed in Adobe’s Creative Suite, fully comfortable in Windows and Linux environments, and has significant experience with audio engineering and video production.

TintypesDigital is delighted to welcome an associate of John’s caliber on board.

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Harvard Steeple

Although you’d never know it from the tourists still thronging the Boston Common and Harvard Square, summer is, quickly, starting to wind down here in New England.

It’s been a busy one at TintypesDigital, and it’s also had a consistent theme: everyone seems to be lining up to build a new website these days, or for doing a makeover of an old one. It started back in May, with our rebuild of the East of Shirley band website, a site admittedly near and dear to our hearts. A fairly ambitious e-commerce site was proposed for a potential client in June, but this was then back-burnered due to the slowing retail economy. That was followed, in quick succession, by requests for 5 or 6 new site implementations over the space of the next month or so, two of them from serious bloggers (and very talented writers), several art/design portfolio sites, and some good old-fashioned small business frameworks. We’ve had additional queries since that could turn into real work somewhere down the line. The phone, even in this challenging economic climate, is ringing.

A common theme has emerged as we’ve dug into these clients’ requirements: in each case, the customer wanted to be able to maintain the new or revamped site substantially on their own.  They needed help, both technical and in the design department, getting their projects off the ground, but once running, they wanted to hold the keys.

This, of course, is an old refrain in the web development world – especially when it comes to smaller, highly budget-conscious, lower-margin businesses. It’s very much an understandable impulse. But meeting this requirement hasn’t always been easy. The technical obstacles to real “self-management” are often daunting. In recent years, however, with the emergence of “CMS,” or “content management systems,” such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, the tools and frameworks that enable effective client management have clearly continued to evolve and improve. It feels like we are now indeed at an inflection point in this regard.  Smart, stylish, content-rich sites really can be produced now that allow for a very high degree of “self-maintenance.”

We view this as a positive development, and not only for our customers. Clients who are more engaged in the actual day-to-day management of their site(s), whether it’s by posting regular updates to their blog pages, or by creatively exploring the myriad possibilities for leveraging social media in conjunction with their online presence – these are clients who more often have active, “living” sites. They’re clients who have moved beyond the old, static paradigm of “Web 1.0″ pages, which oftentimes suffered from stale, out-dated content.

The new approach isn’t for everyone. For sites requiring a maximum degree of design flexibility, CMS frameworks can sometimes get in the way, or at least complicate the site significantly from a coding perspective. And for some clients, particularly those less comfortable with chores that have a technical dimension, self-maintenance is more of a burden than a liberator.

Still, this new model for website construction and management is catching on for a reason: clients understandably are looking for ways to lower costs, while increasing their independent capabilities.

The new web is a more dynamic, exciting place. To the uninitiated, it can indeed be as complex and as confusing as ever. That’s where we come in. We’re here to help clients move their enterprises forward, by developing the web presence necessary to allow them to put forward their best ideas, whether it’s business content or intellectual capital, for the world to see.

As the summer draws to a close, and the streets of Boston and Cambridge become filled once again with the sounds of students’ voices, we expect this new way of doing web work will really begin to take hold. We hope so. In our view, it continues to provide a compelling business proposition for smaller, budget-conscious clients – or for anyone who simply wants to take control of their platform, and needs some help getting there.

So, give us a shout. We’re here all seasons, no matter the weather.  And our rates are definitely easier to take than those college tuition bills that might be sitting on your table right now.

Widener Library Steps

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Introducing TintypesDigital

August 20, 2010

Welcome to “TintypesDigital.”
TintypesDigital New Media & Technology Solutions is an independent technology services company specializing in addressing the needs of the SMB marketplace, non-profit organizations, educators and their institutions, and fellow consulting outfits – people who seek to build and maintain productive enterprises through the creative application of new technology. By “independent,” we mean that our [...]

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