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Evolt Org It S Getting Better Every Day

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Martin Burns

Member info

User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

I was clearing out my old MJ archive the other day - several thousand emails clogging my hard drive needing dumping. Reading a lot of them through again, it was very obvious that pretty much all the cool people doing exciting things and really contributing in their own fields are now here. And that's why I'm here and staying here.

The people here know the kind of crap I have to go through each and every day at work, and if not help, can and do offer support and encouragement. Which is a bit odd, when you think about it. I've never met anyone here. I don't speak the same language as everyone. Some of you hold radically differing opinions on politics, religion, drugs and and operating systems. But it all works, because this is the coolest thing you can do on work time. And we give each other support and confidence to go out and do ridiculously good work.

Some of the other things we've done:

  • Searched for extraterrestrial intelligence
    Our SETI group now has over 5 years of CPU time logged. For a small group of 22 searchers, that's pretty damn good. We've not found anything yet, but if you join the team, you can help.
  • Helped members find/get jobs
    A year ago, I knew nothing about eCommerce. A year ago, Javier was learning HTML. A year ago, Dan was a student. We're all now working in our chosen fields. One member at least has had a job offer from another evoltarian on another continent. Bob's right - if we set up as a consultancy, our work would be in the top 5 in the world.
  • Helped members find staff
    There was a job advertised by a member on thesite only this week. And where else would you post jobs where you *knew* the good people were watching? Normally you'd pay an arm and a leg to have targeted recruitment advertising like this. But we're doing this because it's insanely great.
  • Been a voice of protest against unacceptable behaviour in the web industry is only our latest protest. We've also helped campaigns against Yahoo & Geocities, for Unmetered Telecommunications, against key escrow, for accessibility and against governmental censorship. The difference is now we're leading them.

The best thing of all is that we're still developing. There are new things going on all the time to make this a better place to be, building the community and making our cube-tower a better and better place to be.

How does this happen? Because of the network/bazaar effect. The more people join us, the more bright ideas are thrown in and developed. Take the development of the tip harvester which is just kicking off. It was suggested as an aside on thelist, and a bunch of people jumped on it and said "I'd like to do that", taking it way beyond the basic concept by their experience. From the start, where there were 25 people here, to today where there are 400 members of thelist, and nearly 700 registered members of thesite we've got better and better, and will only get better from here.

All in all, this is an insanely great place to be. Thanks to Dan and others for starting it - you've got the vision thing.


PS: Why did I keep copies of all the old MJ posts? Because it was the only way to make them searchable.

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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