January 27, 2008

Pix -- Jim Ospenson

I set up a website to contain some portfolio pictures at http://pix.jambop.com

I'll be participating in the Leap show at 13FOREST Gallery, scheduled to open Feb 29, 2008.

January 27, 2008 in Art, Projects | Permalink

September 28, 2007

South Coast Water Protection

My brother-in-law, Mike Crume, has a new business that keeps track of backflow valves.  I don't exactly know what they are either, but if you've got some, you want to make sure they don't fail.

South Coast Water Protection has a web presence at www.southcoastwaterprotection.com.  I was glad to be able to help out.

September 28, 2007 in Projects | Permalink

December 04, 2006

Vote Medford Redux

The Vote Medford project is stirring again, after we had let the domain votemedford2005.com expire.

Allison, Steve, Jim K, and I, joined by Dave, are figuring out how to go forward.  The new domain is setup, check www.votemedford.org (note the dot ORG). 

Note that all of the 2005 content is available at 2005.votemedford.org - we hope that having an accessible archive will help keep elected officials accountable.

December 4, 2006 in Projects | Permalink

September 11, 2006

13 Forest: A Medford Art Gallery

There's a new art gallery in Medford:  13forest.

Check out their web presence at www.13forest.com.  It's located at the site of the Pigmentia Studio & Gallery, 13 Forest Street, Medford MA 02155. 

13forest's focus is on art and artists from the area surrounding Medford, MA 02155, and is the latest project of Marc Gurton of TF Productions.

September 11, 2006 in Projects | Permalink

July 19, 2006

New Project: North Jersey School of Real Estate

I'm working with my mother-in-law's partner (not husband!) Mel Lissner to put together a rudimentary web presence for his business, the North Jersey School of Real Estate.  I'm also putting together a website for the School of Real Estate and for Mel himself, using the Typepad application for its fast development, ability for multliple authors, and stats.

I got a bunch of other domains also, and am forwarding them using the service from my domain registrar, 1and1.com.  I don't really like how these forwards use a frame, rather than simply a redirect, for the following URLs:

I have tofigure out if I can use the CNAME attribute of the DNS record here...

July 19, 2006 in Projects | Permalink

October 23, 2005

Vote Medford 2005

Well, votemedford2005.com is finally live.

Votemedford2005.com contains information about local elections in my hometown of Medford MA, with questionnaires for the candidates for Medford School Committee and Medford City Council.  The Mayor of Medford is running unopposed for re-election.

October 23, 2005 in Projects | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

Local Politics

I've been pitching in a little bit with an effort to improve the quality of discussion and discourse about issues in two upcoming Medford (Massachusetts) elections: for City Councilor and for School Committee.  I've been mostly interacting with Jim Kiely (though many others are pitching in) to draft and deliver a set of issues-related questions to the candidates.  The questions were drafted to be concise, locally relevant and politically neutral so as not to give any candidate an advantage over another, especially in regards to incumbency  or party affilliation.

I've lived in Medford almost five years, and there seems to be no comprehensive mechanism to understand candidates' view on issues that affect Medford. It's hard to do my homework! The local press, Medford Mercury and the Medford Transcript (aka the Picayune), have woefully mediocre campaign coverage.  The Transcript is exceptionally bad in its issue coverage, though it seems anytime an incumbent attends a picnic they get a front-page headline or picture.

My mom used to participate in the League of Women Voters in my hometown of West Orange, NJ, and the LWV used to prepare the questions and distribute the local candidates' responses to similar questionnaires.  I've never heard of the LWV in a Medford context - there's certainly no other similar non-sectarian effort locally, though the Medford Democrats will be having a forum.  The thing is, even though this is Massachusetts, not all of the candidates are necessarily Democrats.  I'm curious how much all of the candidates will engage with that effort, and also how well the results are distributed beyond existing party channels.

Anyway, I'll be hosting the Vote Medford 2005 effort on my website.  I worked out a reasonably simple category structure such that it's easy to

  • View the questionnaires for the City Council and School Committee candidates,
  • View each candidate's response to each of the questions,
  • And for each question, to view all of the candidates' responses to that question.

In terms of ease-of-authoring, the categories (metadata) are relatively simple, but there will still be a lot of cuttin' and pastin' -- 11 questions for City Council times 11 (?) candidates plus 12 School Committee questions times 9 (?) candidates equals something like 229 separate pieces of content.

Intelligent Design?

Also, as a parent with kids in the school system, there's a curious omission in the School Committee questionnaire:

  • Where's the question that asks candidates to describe their position on the teaching of intelligent design in the science curriculum? 

Among the parents with whom I've discussed the School Committee election and this questionnaire, this is the top question.  I'm concerned about efforts in other school districts in which local school boards are packed with crypto-envangelists who ram this creationist psuedo-science down kids throats. 

Journalistically speaking, it seems a no-brainer to ask School Committee candidates about this.

A question related to this was watered down to the candidate's opinion on the role of religion in the classroom.  Let's talk about xmas, hanukkah, ramadan, kwaanza, and, um, other in December, shall we?  Should make for gripping reading.

October 11, 2005 in Projects | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

mgjk2005.com goes live

Marc and Jim have sent their invites.  Mgjk2005.com is now live.

I'm interested to see how the chitchat develops:  Jim K. thinks that people need to be taught how to interact on this kind of site, I think that everyone will Just Get It, and the chatter will grow to a thundering din.

May 24, 2005 in Projects | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 26, 2005

Deliverable: Request for Response (RFR) Published

My most recent project has been the writing of an RFR for a Massachusetts state agency, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  It's part of a package software selection process -- the EOEA is looking for a portal to help perform case management and services provision for elders.

The RFR for the Senior Information Management System (SIMS) was published to the state's procurement website on Friday.

I performed an analyst role:  interviewing, drafting and wrangling business requirements, defining the vendor response and selection process relative to state regs, writing and rewriting to ensure the document's clarity.

It's a pretty good effort, if I do say so.

If you'd like to view the RFR document and the Requirements matrix, you can find the documents this way (note: Comm-PASS, the state procurement website, is a user experience train wreck):

  1. Follow the Comm-PASS: Search for a Solicitation link
  2. Use search keywords: SIMS portal
  3. On the first "results" page, click the link that tells you there are matching search results.
  4. On the Second "results" page, select the View icon (eyeglasses with no plain text description, of course) for the matching record.
  5. You'll see the main page for solicitation RFR-ELD-2005-03, with Summary and other metadata.
  6. Select the "Specifications" tab to show links to the RFR and Requirements matrix.

Why do you need two results pages for a simple query? Why can't application designers give simple URLs to enable deeplinking to important content? These are small things technically, but so important to users. Arg, don't get me started.

April 26, 2005 in Projects | Permalink

April 11, 2005

Another Side Project

Another Side Project is a blog for Marc and Jim's wedding.  This will be a group blog, mostly to gather info regarding wedding weekend activities.  In this and with brooksPTO, I'm finding that the TypePad limitation on authors (they can only manage their own posts) might be greater than I'd initially thought.  I wish I could permission an author to be able to update a "TypeList", one of the sidebar lists of links or people.  Comments will be turned on in this blog, let's hope that the spambot harvest of email addresses is delayed.

My biggest problems in the setup of this one have been in setting up the domain (mgjk2005.com) and getting it mapped properly between 1&1, my domain name registrar, and TypePad.  Domain name mapping is oddly complicated and extremely boring -- it should be one of those things that Just Work.  I'm always surprised when I encounter the inevitable DNS hurdles.

April 11, 2005 in IA/ UX/ Design, Projects | Permalink | Comments (0)