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Oh Yes to Oh No

book-cover-mockup-blog.jpgLast week I said yes to a quite unusual project, Maryrose Lyons of Brightspark Consulting had started a project called Website in a Week. The idea was inspired by the experience of David Jones, who lost his job in January this year and wrote a book about it - in one week. So Maryrose's idea was to help out with the launch of this book and promote it by producing a website in the same amount of time, but for free.

Such a project would involve several capable, and efficient, people with a diverse range of skills to complete this project in such a short space of time. They would also have to be prepared to work for free. The initial request for voluntary help came, as always these days, via my favourite network: Twitter. I saw the request on Wednesday last week and said yes immediately, I thought it was an inspiring project and, although I didn’t know Maryrose all that well in person (only met once at Belfast CreativeCamp) I follow her on Twitter - and I do find Twitter to be a pretty reliable reference in finding like-minded personalities. I knew I could work with Maryrose's team so I offered to lend my help in designing the cover for the book, for the PDF download version and for the final printed copy.

Then the fun started! The project kicked-off like a wild west barn-raising party, such an energetic bunch of people, I’m so impressed with the effort and work of all involved here in accomplishing so much in such a short timeframe. Much of the team were freelance like myself, and had never even met, yet here we were operating swiftly and almost friction-less thanks to the organising skills of Maryrose and Basecamp. I’m a big fan of Basecamp, but my typical use is for longer span projects and fewer (known) people involved, really good to see how robust Basecamp is when under pressure like this, it really did keep the project moving.

I had early concepts for the design of the book cover planned by Friday and first visuals uploaded to Basecamp on Saturday, team members were dropping in to the project site during the weekend (freelance working hours - don’t you just love ‘em!) and the favourite idea was chosen Sunday night. I was pleased with the final choice, it was the strongest idea, nice clean graphics and all done with illustration and background texture - no stock photography needed. It was also a tricky brief to answer, we didn’t want to dwell on depressing images of losing a job, especially important as David’s book is all about the practical things you can do to improve your situation.

With unemployment scare stories becoming horribly repetitive nowadays it’s good to see such a positive, and practical, attitude in David’s book. I hope this book helps a lot of people deal with their situation, if they are unlucky enough to find themselves out of work.
You can still download a free PDF of the book until midnight tonight, after that it becomes a paid edition at €4.99 - with the paperback version to follow soon after. Be sure to checkout the website and the blog.

I’m thrilled to have been part of this project, much thanks to Maryrose, David Jones, Rachel Early, David Duignan, Alex Gibson, Gordon Murray and Digiweb, great to ‘meet’ you all and keep in touch.

Good People, Good Work, Good Karma...

Good Grief!