Monday, May 24, 2010

White Out Conditions

I still don't know if they make White Out any more.

And obviously, this had nothing to do with me, since that's not even my character in the strip. So there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who You Gonna Call?

Back to our regularly scheduled cartoons...

Jack Jefferson has gotten off too easy lately, even though I know he's not a big fan of appearing in TFRL.

On the plus side, this hasn't happened... but then, their move is still a few weeks away. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Our IT support group is moving their entire operation to new offices at the same time that they are undergoing a complete reorg. I'm sure it will all go as smooth as an oil slicked sea.

Seriously though, I know they've got a lot of things going on, and I hope the move and reorg go well. I'm not trying to add to anyone's stress level; I'm just trying to lighten things up with humor before we all get laid off to fill a $19 billion budget hole.

And don't forget the Tales from Redsignland (or "Redesignland" for you spelling Nazis out there) story contest! You have until June 13th to get your ideas in!

Monday, May 17, 2010

OMG TFRL Contest!!!

OK, hopefully, it isn't that bad. But OMGBBQWTF, TFRL is having a cartoon contest!! YOUR IDEA COULD BE A CARTOON ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the 'rules':

Send me your ideas for a TFRL cartoon. They can be from real life or made up, I don't care.

By sending me your ideas, you are granting me the rights to use your ideas in perpetuity, and to alter your ideas as I see fit to use it in a cartoon, even if you do not win the contest. (See how unfair these rules are? Even if you lose, I get to use your ideas forever and ever.)

I will select one (1) lucky winner from all of the entries. The winner will be announced in a future post (which will be separate from the winning cartoon). The winner may choose not to be credited for the winning cartoon in case they are in fear of losing their j-o-b.

In addition, the winner will receive a T-Shirt (in the size of your choice) that says:

Exciting stuff, I know!

Contact me via twitter (@tonydunn) or in the comments if you have a great cartoon idea.

OK, I know the way I put this that it sounds like you're getting taken advantage of, but's that exactly how many contests (photo, writing, art, etc.) work. At least here, you can take solace knowing that that the T-shirt will set me back about $30 and that I am making absolutely nothing from this blog. My one attempt to 'monetize' this blog ended up landing Steve Krug the keynote gig at HighEdWeb, and got me nothing. Not that I'm bitter or anything. I'm NOT. Not at all.

Stupid Steve Krug.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Job Too Well Done

OK, this hasn't happened (yet), but my boss is beginning to make it very clear that my job as I know it is not going to be around forever. It seems that I am literally putting myself out of a job by doing it well.

Now, if you ask the people who work with me a on a daily basis, they will swear that I am pretty useless as a state employee (which is actually saying quite a lot considering the average uselessness of state employees). But regardless, I have managed to make steady progress in making charts that show how many sites are in our CMS.

Fortunately, in reality we're only about half way through all of the sites that need to go into the CMS, but the writing on the wall gets clearer everyday: You need to figure out some other way to make yourself valuable or your days here are numbered. Just as clear, and even sadder, is that that "some other way" probably does not include anything to do with the Web.

I'm honestly not sure what to think of that possibility. The Web has been my life for the past ten years. All I know is the Web. My peeps are higher education Web people who read this Web cartoon about Web development. Moving away from all of that isn't something I was planning on contemplating.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Not Exactly Rocket Surgery Is It?

Yeah, I was bummed to hear that they gave the HighEdWeb 2010 keynote to Steve Krug. I really really really wanted it... partly because it was about the only way I'd be able to afford to go this year. Last year, I had to pay for everything myself except the conference registration. This year, I'll be lucky if the campus covers even that. But I'm determined to make it to my 5th HighEdWeb in a row one way or another, especially if my presentation proposal is accepted. I have my red stapler to defend after all.

In all seriousness though, they couldn't have given the keynote it to a nicer guy. I met Steve at the Voices that Matter Web conference in San Francisco last year (which the HighEdWeb folks were kind enough to send me to), and he's not only incredibly knowledgeable, but also very down to earth and approachable. I doubt that we'll see a repeat of last year's great keynote revolt with Steve at the podium.

Anyway, even without the keynote, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there in... some Midwestern city someplace (yes, yes, Cincinnati). You folks know that there are actually cities with conference facilities west of the Mississippi, right? Nice places, with names like 'Denver', 'Seattle', 'Portland', 'San Francisco' and 'San Diego'. I'd be wary of places with names like 'Phoenix' or 'Tucson' though, unless your papers are in perfect order.

P.S. The title for this cartoon is a mash up of the title of Steve Krug's new book and a hilarious comedy skit by Mitchell and Webb (you definitely should watch!).

P.P.S. And no, I'm not going to kill off Prophead, even though he's been developing quite the attitude lately. Must be something that comes from working with SharePoint.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Phase 2

Well, this didn't happen quite this way, but it did happen. There were a lot of things that we wanted to do that we just didn't have time to make happen. Thus, 'phase 2' was born - and it immediately became a dumping ground for every idea that we either didn't want to deal with or didn't want to do at all in 'phase 1'.

So now that 'phase 1' is done, people are starting to ask about 'phase 2'. But remember all the stuff we were supposed to be doing as part of our real jobs that we put off so we could work on the home page? Well, we had to do that stuff some time, and that's what we're doing now instead of 'phase 2'.

Some people have gotten the idea of 'perpetual redesign' in their minds, but don't seem to understand that we all had full time jobs before the redesign came along. Of course, we're partly to blame by eagerly dumping every crappy idea that cam along into the 'phase 2' bucket. Right now, we are all doing our best to ignore as much 'phase 2' stuff as we can, but sooner or later we'll have to fess up and admit that we never intended to do 99% of what ended up in 'phase 2' ever.