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My first website…

Alex Christie

13 February 2009

Was made in around ’96 for The Perfect Propaganda Company, the project was as a disaster in many ways but one that I learnt priceless lessons from.

Perfect Propaganda, a start-up media agency, was the brainchild of an IBM marketing manager based in New York. The team comprised of Chris (the project manager), a guy called Klaus (an investor), my friend Phil (in an undefined role), a dev guy and me – fresh out of college and looking for something to do.

The brief was to create a website to reflect the company’s outlook, an atrium was required for the homepage that was welcoming and echoed ancient Rome. I think cherubs were required as well.

We got off to a good start using Chris’ house as a base and after getting the design nailed down quite quickly we moved onto building the site.

From my perspective I was entering into the unknown, I had never done anything on the web and had only worked with Director to build cd-roms. I knew hardly any of the rules of web design so made many mistakes.

The site was built using tables with all text being embedded in image files, a big no-no in the early days of dial-up, there were no alt-tags, terrible from an accessibility perspective.

Cracks started to appear in the team in the form of a power struggle between Chris and Phil (who could never understand the hierarchy of the team) vying for the attention of the supremo in New York. This resulted in them nearly coming to blows and Chris sacking my friend.

To try and repair the damage the head honcho flew over from New York and laid on a team-building boat trip down the Thames. Sadly, the damage was already done and they both stayed at either end on the boat.

I decided to stay with the project to try and finish the site which created a temporary rift between myself and Phil.

The project was a lesson in how not to build a website and to be careful who you work with.

As for the site, it never saw the light of day!

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