Small Firm Innovation Launched, and What I Learned. So Far.

I mentioned it once before in an #abatechshow post, practically in passing as it wasn’t ready for prime time yet. Odd conference to pick, perhaps, but it was a good testing ground. Having other eyeballs look at something you’ve been staring at for a couple months is incredibly helpful.

So, yesterday, Clio officially announced Small Firm Innovation: First-person accounts of small firm success.

It’s built on the WordPress platform (yay open source!), and the designer and programmer did a really nice job translating verbal, well, garbage, into an excellent template. I say “verbal garbage” as I didn’t have a clear visual image of the site, just its direction and focus. Turns out I’m not one to dictate color schemes, I just lob out some ideas and leave the final crafting to the masters. They did an excellent job. I’m quite pleased.

While color scheming may not be my thing, messing around with code is actually quite fun. I’m a total novice at PHP. What I know, of PHP, HTML, CSS and the like, I’ve picked up on the job elsewhere, viewing lots of source code from lots of sites and reading books, web tutorials and the like. Just like with the law, I know enough to be dangerous, but not deadly. And I discovered, over the past few months, that code is incredibly soothing. And it’s down right fun to dig in into a problem, and systematically work through it to find the solution. I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing so much the weekend before #abatechshow started, and just kept working at it the last couple of months, having set a hard deadline of June 8. I’ll tell ya, that pesky “Older/Newer entries” problem was a real nuisance! For such a common problem, there is no simple fix.

A good looking site is pretty useless, though, without equally good content. And for that, I have to thank our current Contributors:

  • Russ Alexander
  • Robert Ambrogi
  • Andrew Barovick
  • Nicole Black
  • Chad Burton
  • Colin Cameron
  • Carolyn Elefant
  • David Gulbransen
  • Tom Haren
  • Rob Hyndman
  • Mallory Lynn
  • Mark C. Metzger
  • Phillip Millar
  • Edward Poll
  • Donna Seyle

Many of them…OK, practically all of them, I know via Twitter and have met in person at various conferences. Needless to say, they weren’t surprised when I sent a DM asking if they’d like to contribute. And I know I surprised a few when I followed up with an email longer than 140 characters describing Small Firm Innovation. String a few 140 character sentences together, turns out you get a paragraph. 😉

They’re a fantastic group, and there are others whom I’m eager to post what they’ve written as well. It’s developing in the direction I had envisioned, which is pretty exciting. I’m genetically programmed to set exceedingly high expectations for myself, which ultimately results in numerous recalibrations that I’ve often viewed as mini-defeats. Call it maturity, call it wisdom gained through experience: I’ve managed to set appropriate expectations from the start this time. Or such is my view, thinking back over the past few months. Didn’t overdo it like normal, didn’t underdo it as a means to compensate for overdoing.

Suffice to say, it’s been a learning process and, well, fun. Yes, fun! I’m convinced I was a programmer in another life, or will return as one. There’s just something intensely soothing, and gratifying, about tinkering and creating something others find useful. Whatever “it” is, being it messing with code, finding images, talking to current and potential Contributors, Twitter, Facebook…perhaps the whole process, just seems natural to me. And it comes so naturally to me. Who knew?

Well, go have a look around, go poke around and let me know what you think. There’s bound to be something you want to see or know about. Definitely give the LiveFyre commenting tool a try. It’s pretty awesome. And like I said, it’s incredibly useful to have other eyes on things. Like this blog, Small Firm Innovation is a “work in progress.” I’d wager it’ll progress a heck of a lot faster than this blog, though.

And I just realized #jeopardy is on. Squirrel!


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