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Subject: Re: Guild? (was: ISP needs Flash site, chance for exposure)
From: Rick Kasparek
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 21:46:55 +0100

Thanks for the response christopher!

> At 07:51 AM 6/29/98 -0500, you wrote:
> >I agree with the other responses to this note!
> Me too - free work eventually becomes an albatros from which it is
> difficult to escape. For anyone undertaking free or charity work -
> always make people sign the same contract that you would do if they
> were paying for the work. That way you can't be messed around so
> much when they want this changing and ooh, just that little bit
> extra adding...
> >Someone had mentioned earlier the thought of forming a Guild or trade
> >association for Flash developers. This list is an incredible place to
> >learn and exchange ideas, but IMHO, a Guild may in-fact be a great
> >place to provide a united front to the general public in order to
> >educate them regarding the artistic and technical talent required
> >to make truly great presentations.
> My experiences with Guilds have almost always been less that positive
> - IMHO they tend to be a way for the less outstanding craftsman to
> gain kudos s/he wouldn't normally be entitled to by simply paying
> out some dollars to become a member. Certain professional guilds of
> course require proof of qualifications etc to join - be they useful
> or not they create some kind of benchmark upon which to measure
> people's "ability". Our industry has no such benchmarks thus can't
> play that game. That only gives two other ways of vetting
> membership - either i] no criteria except a bank balance that you're
> willing to deplete or ii] a committee. Neither would be particularly
> fab.

IMHO Christopher a Guild can be rather useful if created for
the right purpose and if that purpose is kept in mind...

Guild : noun : an association of people with similar interests or
pursuits; especially : a medieval association of merchants or

I'm not suggesting a guild where folks can claim membership for the
purpose of gaining work or credentials. That's not the purpose of a
Guild. A guild would be a body of us developers who are interested in
advancing the craft, exchanging ideas, providing a united face to the
public as far as opinons of a 'majority'. When I look at a webpage and
see that a person is a member of the HTML writers guild - it doesn't
necessarily give me a 'warm-fuzzy' that this means that the author is
an accomplished webmaster, but rather that s/he is at least aware of
HTML... Other guilds like the Graphic Artists Guild (www.gag.org) due
to its payment requirement says that at least the person is serious
about the organization and its purpose. I belong to a couple of other
Guilds where there's a small fee to join and then contributions to the
welfare of the guild are used as a demonstration of commitment. If a
guild member writes a great article for a publication which underlines
the purpose and needs of the guild, it is recorded and used as an
indication of committment to the guild.

These 2 guilds are used to provide for further training and
as well as to lobby against idiotic use of its members <g> as well as
use the membership as a tool to get reduced pricing on software and
services from other providers.

I dunno - I suppose I agree that a guild may not be the answer... but
a united group would certainly provide a unified voice.

> I've never seen any other industry have a public-moaning-zone about how
> hard their life is to do good work. Yes it is a problem that people think
> this kind of stuff is easy since by nature our work must appear simple in
> its end version; so this problem of perception is one we all face.

I haven't either - but I *have* seen LOTS of other industries with
guilds, associations, whatever you'd like to call it - that assist its
members in creating a united front in order to inform the public and
mold its perceptions.

> I approach it in a slightly different way though - for instance I bring
> clients into the workshop while their projects are being built. I've found
> that once someone sees what goes into scanning, filtering, touching up,
> web'ing etc a single image ready for a decent site they start to get the
> idea of where their money is going to. I recently had a client who had
> agreed to a huge job pushed into $12,000 who at the last minute said "Oh
> and I want you guys to scan the 500 product shots too - that should only be
> another few hours right?".

Thats a great approach! And one that if it were more widely broadcast
would do alot for all of us!

> UK readers might remember that BSM advert a few years ago "you wouldn't fly
> a Boeing after a couple of lessons from your Uncle Jim" kind of thing. I
> use a similar strategy with clients. In some cases I've even given them
> the design brief and said "Go for it, you've got FrontPage - you do it."
> The job's mine within a week.

Another good example - I've done that myself - allowed a client to
sit down at my machine and load up Flash... just looking at the
can put the non-technical at bay.

> Finally - such a site to show the talent needed to make good Flash sites
> would need to be absolutely spot on in its presentation and operation - the
> best designers capable of doing such work might not be so willing to do it
> for, well, for free... :)

Agreed. This is one problem that we faced for one of the guilds I
to. We needed (as you call it) 'spot-on' examples of our work and so
we did was to look at all the portfolios of the members. We then took
membership fees and used them to contract the one we considered to be
most representative of the group to come up with some great examples.
was great because we were contracting with a member. It avoided alot
hassles and we were all please with the result. Its been about a year,
membership has doubled (all very qualified individuals) and we're
about to
cut a contract for some new examples with one of our new members.

> Just my yen's worth @ 1.22am in the big city.

Your yen's worth is appreciated Christopher - along with my $.02
we've got a small start on a pocketful of change <vbg>!

> Christopher
> Tokyo, June98
> http://www.i-wonder.com
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  Re: Guild? (was: ISP needs Flash site, c, John Croteau

  Re: ISP needs Flash site, chance for ex, Pete Grant
  Re: Guild? (was: ISP needs Flash site, c, christopher

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