Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy centenary, house!

Section on line A-B. 100 years ago today, my house was conceived by A Stubbs, Architect. It's there in black and white on the architect's plan I got from the City Council.

22 February 1910. I'm not sure when exactly it was "born" (built), so we'll have to go for conception instead.

It's amazing when you think about it. Imagine what my house has seen over the past century!

Winnie in the dining room on a sunny afternoon. My house was the first one built on the hill. Back then it was surrounded by ugly bare earth up and down the hillside, and a rough road (track) below. These days it's surrounded by trees and bush and other people's houses. Except for in front. We have a great view across the valley in front. I rather like that.

Detail of eaves. I wonder if there were as many tuis and keas in the valley when my house was first built, as there are today? I bet there weren't. Living near the Karori Sanctuary definitely has its advantages.

My house was built for one JS Rutter, Esq., and it has the nicest vibe of any house I've ever lived in. People always remark on how welcoming and friendly it feels.

Plants on the verandah. Winnie and Bailey often focus quite intently on the ghosts in the room, and I get a strong vibe that we have good ghosts living here.

It needs a bit of TLC at the moment - the garden's a bit of a mess, the window frames urgently need painting and the weatherboards'll need doing in a couple of years, but it's doing pretty well for a place that's been standing for a hundred years.

End Elevation. I love my house. I have been known to stop and hug the doorframes in passing, on more than one occasion. It's pretty much my favourite place in the whole world.

Happy birthday, house! May you have many, many more.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Well, we didn't win an ONYA this year...

...but that doesn't mean we can't continue our great work and win one next year!

During his introductory comments at the ONYAs Che quoted someone-or-other who had said that you should never enter your work for an award because you'll get discouraged if you don't win, and you'll stop doing the good work you're already doing because you'll think it's not good enough. Che disagreed with this sentiment, and so do we.

At WebWeaver Productions we love doing what we do - we love designing and building beautiful accessible websites - and we know we're doing it pretty well - both because our clients love our work, and also because we were nominated four times in three categories for three different ONYAs.

Our Environmental Protection Authority website was nominated for Best Accessibility and Best Use of HTML/CSS, our Optimation website was also nominated for Best Use of HTML/CSS, and my website The Gathering archives was nominated for Best Content (Personal).

We were disappointed not to win - but completely honoured to be there in the first place, in such illustrious company.

Radio New Zealand won both the Best Accessibility category and the Best Use of HTML/CSS category - and it couldn't have gone to a nicer group of people. They've been under siege from National this week, and a huge cheer went up when they won their awards. It's great to see such a large organisation striving to keep their website as accessible as possible, creating the best quality code they can create, and working hard to maintain their high standards over time. Well done guys!

If you want to express your support for keeping Radio NZ commercial-free and out from under the thumb of political or commercial influence, you might like to join the Save Radio New Zealand Facebook group. As I write this I see it's almost at the 10,000 fans mark - not bad for a group that's only been in existence for four days. I think National might have a fight on their hands if they pursue this...

My dear friend Zef Fugaz ended up winning the Best Content (Personal) category for his fantastic blog, zef[a]media - which he's been writing for years and years. It's completely brilliant - and shows very clearly just why he's one of New Zealand's most experienced and most well-respected user experience web professionals. Great job, Zef!

Being nominated for an ONYA (or four!) is especially thrilling because the judges are pretty much like superstars in our universe. It's rather awesome knowing that Alex Wright (New York Times), Amy Hoy (Slash7), Bek Hodgson (Etsy), Brian Fling (pinch/zoom), Donna Spencer (Maadmob), Jason Ryan (State Services Commission), Rachel McAlpine (Contented Enterprises), Russ Weakley (Max Design), and Thomas Fuchs ( might have taken a look at our work...

It inspires all of us to keep working, keep learning, keep on striving for perfection, and keep on doing the best job we can possibly do. Our websites are made with love, just as Webstock and the ONYAs are made with love.

projection mapping + visuals: audio + sound design: jeramiah ross aka module wellington town hall new zealand / 19.02.10 (larger version here)

Thank you everyone involved in both Webstock and the ONYAs for an absolutely wonderful week. You really do rock! WE LOVE YOU!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reason #567 why I love Webstock - attention to detail

So there I was, thinking about what to wear for the ONYAs - and wondering where the heck I was going to stash my ONYAs clothes during the conference on Friday.

Should I wear my ONYAs outfit all day? Not such a great idea - it'll get all creased and diminish the fun of dressing up for dinner.

Should I plan to go home in between and get changed? Not enough time really.

Am I going to have to lug it around in my bag all day? Bad idea - it'll be a pain to have to carry it around and it'll get all mashed up in my bag.

Or should I ask the lovely dudes at Shift if I could stash it there and hope they haven't all gone home by the time I want to retrieve it? OK as long as they don't all go home early that day, leaving my clothes behind locked doors and me with nothing special to wear.

Turns out the Webstock crew really have thought of everything. In addition to blogging about what geek designer formal actually means, they've very kindly arranged a place where we can store our outfits during the day, and changing rooms for us to use between the time Webstock ends and the ONYAs start.

I love a team that pays attention to the details! Thanks, Webstock crew! You rock!

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