Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unintended Consequences

One of my quirks is watching for unintended consequences of choices. (Do it enough and they'll never get you out from under your quilt.)

WordPress, a popular product for managing site contents from first page to last, can be customized to varying degrees, often depending on your skill with such things. Since it became popular, there are a lot (as in dozens, at least) of webcomics that use certain default settings for left on right page columns. You see them again and again, and I think it's a good idea to move beyond them when you can.*

I only know one cartoonist who used some defaults but modified them so that her site looks great and not like a WordPress Lego set: Rachel Keslensky of Last Resort . Rachel is obviously a student of color, and her philosophy of color in worth studying, whether you like it or not, because it is distinct and makes a good case study. (Part of my color spectrum comprehension is weak, and I used Rachel's webcomic to learn color shading that succeeds.)

If you like science fiction, reality shows, combat and "lurid colors" (Rachel's words), you might find yourself becoming a regular reader. That would be an unintended consequence from reading this post.

From Last Resort


* If I'm talking about you, people who help with WP, at times for a fee, include Kez and AWSOM. Kez has become a pal, but since I don't use WP I haven't a way to challenge her. She has an abundance of good qualities that give me high confidence.

I've commented enough on why I lack confidence in Frumph but his WP upgrades look impressive. If you can get along with a guy who embellishes photos of himself with saints-and-angels style illumination, he is an option. The weakness with him is you'll gain a modified site but not enhanced skills in using it. Not everyone is a teacher, and some prefer you be dependent. Simply armor yourself as if braced for a used car seduction speech, take your time, have someone check your code later, and you'll probably be OK. A sample of his work: Eben07 . Ask to see the before and after.

If that sounds like a lukewarm recommendation, I'm sorry, but I'm torn between hooking people up and referring them to people who don't meet my standards, which may be different. It's hard to predict who might set him off. I don't think many people helped him more than me when he launched his site. Getting to know the real guy, I encountered someone I don't want to be around. At the same time, people I know and respect have had only good experiences, and he's helped a lot of people for free. It may simply be a matter of not learning consideration, fairness, and fidelity to the truth while getting by on charm, energy and a version of friendliness. I'm a lot more cautious about who I recommend since I met him.