elance is as bad as aol

I cannot delete my account off of elance.

In order to get to their customer service, I have to go to their About page and THEN I find a Contact page. If you see the link on the bottom right that say “Send us your feedback”, it goes to a forum. I didn’t want a forum, I wanted an email address, contact us form, or at the very least a phone number. I just want to delete my account.

Elance has been of no use to me. I won’t sit here and say it doesn’t work at all because, of course, many people make a living from the site. But I find Elance’s methods and system far too complicated, convoluted and just plain annoying.

One of my biggest beefs? The test to show your proficiency in WordPress refers you to either version 2.5 or 2.3. That was about 2 years ago, Elance! Do you think I remember WordPress from 2 years ago? Half of those questions are outdated or inconsistent with the most recent versions. Why can’t they keep their survey question and content up to date?

I didn’t even bother trying to get freelance jobs because I’m bidding against other crappy designers who are willing to work for next to nothing. I can’t compete with their prices if I want to make a living.

All I want to do is get rid of my account. Why don’t you offer an easy, non-aol like experience to delete your account online? I don’t wanna make a phone call, either. Besides, it’s after 5pm on a weekend night and your customer support center is closed.

I’m disappointed in Elance and want my search results and history completely deleted. I’m sure other people have similar experiences and I feel sorry for others like me who found this site to be of no service and much more of a nuisance.

headshot

New design.
If you come visit my real site instead of reading this in your RSS feed reader, you’ll see my hair as of February 21st. I found a very minimalistic theme that looked great and modified it with my hair!

I think I’m gonna do a little more code play on this site, such as converting the front end code to HTML5 and adding some minimal javascript behaviors. Maybe I’ll get too busy, maybe I’ll go crazy, who knows. But this website kinda has no purpose right now except to archive my life.

So, for a quick update into Micah 2010:

  • January was my great depression. It was one of the worst months all around that I’ve had for years. Very depressing for some many reasons. Just a terrible month in general. Glad it’s behind me.
  • February is looking up but there’s still some reflections of January in the mirror. Not sure how to shake off this personal recession but time will take its toll.
  • I have started a new part-time contract job that makes me drive to Brentwood about 3 times a week. It’s a challenging web design job that will push my skills to their limits and force me to learn new languages. It’s a little overwhelming but a challenge I need to push myself through.
  • I also work with another graphic designer to help him with his new and existing clients. It’s not as much busy work as my part-timer but different challenges to overcome. I’m very lucky to be continuing a their part-time job which I’ve held since March 2005.
  • I have no news on the music front, sadly. I have a personal goal in the back of my mind to actually record something, anything, and publish it online. This has been the same story for nearly 10 years however. And being the musical perfectionist that I can be, I don’t know if I will fight my demons on this but feel free to leave your motivational comments.
  • For the first time my whole life, my dedicated DVD player is actually hooked up to my 27″ TV. I’ve never had this personally for myself as I’ve always relied on my computer’s DVD player or just downloaded shows/films online. It’s a nice little change!
  • Here are my travel goals this year: Moscow, London, Houston, and wherever my mother ends up being. As of right now, I have no travel plans and won’t make any anytime soon. Stability comes first, then travel.

2010 is shaping up to be a year of big changes and the most potential I’ve ever had.

digital disorientation

Why do I never feel accomplished anymore?

This year has felt like a never-ending work in progress. It usually feels like once I accomplish one thing, there’s still 100 more things that need to be accomplished. I feel like I have a ton of works in progress without any end in sight for some and a close finish for others. My head sometimes swirls at what the next task should be.

My desktop PC finally started taking a turn for the worst this year and I lived without Windows for close to 2 months. As much as I enjoy using OS X, it was torture to experience this since all of my personal files, email, etc. are stored on my desktop. So during those two months, I lived in anticipation. I was eagerly waiting for a time when my desktop would be completely up and running. This confirms why I can’t switch completely over to a Mac. It’s great but it doesn’t have what I need right now… yet.

I also started having phone troubles as well. My ringer stopped working, I couldn’t sync to and from my computers. Trying to do something became a chore sometimes when I had to wait for my technology to catch up to me. Right now, as I type, half of my personal photos are on one computer and half are on the other.

In the meantime, while I live through my own mental holocaust, I’ve kept myself busy keeping afloat with projects, work, and business opportunities. The horizon has potential but I need to get past this virtual hump as soon as possible.

This is the main reason why my website has no direction, no updates, and is halfway designed. I never really completed tweaking this design because many other things suddenly became more important. You can even see my Flickr account has gone untouched for nearly a year, when I came back from Moscow. Leaving these things in disarray is another form of madness I deal with, but at least I’m am not too obsessive about these things. I can live with it to a point.

Hopefully while I make slow but steady marks and knock out rebuilding my digital life, I can dedicate more time to this site. I miss expressing myself like I did when I first started this website. It’s amazing how far I’ve really come since 2002, when I started a little blog on asuh.com.

WordPress 2.5 against MovableType 4.1

Wordpress logoWhen I decided to try a weblog so many years ago, I had no idea where to start or what to do. I started out with a couple of years on a no name system before falling in love with Movable Type in 2004.

Movable Type became my CMS and was solid. It appeared to be superior in development and features compared to its rivals. They later changed their business plan and charged for their blogging system. I think the community was offended and I noticed less support and praise. Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes open source platform WordPress.

WordPress had a quite a buzz. When I first tried it out in versions 1.5, I was impressed. However, with all the upgrade and plug-in problems, I decided it wasn’t worth it for me to switch from Movable Type. I was happy with what I had, knowing I had a growing problem.

To end a long story with a short ending, I integrated Movable Type’s lackluster commenting system with the power behind phpBB. This served me wonderfully until my web host decided to screw me over a few years ago and shut down. Setting Movable Type back up and reintegrating it was a nightmare; it was an ongoing mess.

Fast forward: Movable Type 4.1 released itself as open source, WordPress 2.5 was released. As I’m a huge fan of Happy Cog and their products, I knew 2.5 would be an amazing update to WordPress’ admin system. Indeed, it was enough. MT 4.1 was an amazing update, but its anemic community and lack of interest was enough to drive me away. Not permanently, however.

Jump over for some additional commentary.

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new flavor

I enjoyed my last color scheme, but this one speaks to me a lot more. Choosing colors for my site never was my forte, but I think with a few additional colors this scheme is going to last for a while.

sxsw day 5

This day passed by too quickly, and began a little late. I walked in on the last half of Web Typography Sucks with Mark Boulton and Richard Rutter. Sadly, I missed the meat of it. Luckily, they released the notes and slides from it! I think the short of what they were saying is typography for the web is grossly misused and ugly. I agree wholeheartedly and I’m part of the problem. Time to change that!

Listening to Shaun Inman and John Gruber talk about their freelancing lives made me realize that I’m not sure that I’m ready for something like that with web design. I wonder if I an translate that with other areas in which I’m interested? It takes a very big dedication to what you’re doing and discipline that I sometimes lack (thanks to mainstream media and my lack of will to stop that medium from polluting my mind).

After a few sessions this afternoon, we make our way to to the airport for a long ride back home to LA. I shall be buying myself one little pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream before I go! Oh Blue Bell, how I shall me ye.

SXSW 2007 is an event I hope I can make an annual trip (assuming I don’t end up moving to Austin for some reason in the near future). Lots of great people I met, lots of great conversations and ideas discussed, and hopefully some great networking in the future.

sxsw day 4

By far the best day I’ve had here.

The first panel featured the ever so popular web designer Zeldman among others. It was cool hearing everyone’s ideas about how to get unstuck from being stuck in design. The next panel was all about online magazines, such as The Onion, Salon.com, and College Humor. Very entertaining and interesting to hear how they built their communities.

Probably one of the biggest events for yesterday was being able to see Dan Rather up close and personal. He spoke for about an hour and fifteen minutes about the state of journalism, the differences of journalists today, and how online media affects his job. I sat right behind Patrick Norton of dl.tv, formerly of TechTV as well as the guys who created chacha.com (very cool web search site if you haven’t checked it out).

Jason Santa Maria and Andy Clarke gave a very enlightening panel comparing a heist to design. It was one of the most packed rooms of any that I had been in the whole week.

I ended my proper day at a future of internet video panel featuring among others Kevin Rose from Diggnation. The panel looked a little tired and Kevin was probably hung-over, and yet he brought beers for all five of them to drink as they discussed what they see happening to video online.

We ended our day bar hopping amongst 4 different bars, talking to various people from various backgrounds. It was extremely cool and interesting to be able to have so many great conversations with so many talented people! Sadly, we had to end the night just after 1am since we were both worn out.

sxsw day 3

Day 3 was very unproductive. After completely missing the first session, I barely made any appearance at the 2nd session. We tried to get some business cards made up at Kinkos, but after just spending too much money on paper, we felt we had done nothing productive so we left.

My first real session was at 3:30pm, which is 4 sessions into the day. So I attended only 2 sessions and made quick appearances at 2 others.

After the awards ceremony last night, we both decided to call it a night. So I was asleep by 11pm. Kinda sad to realize, but I’m also kinda glad because a couple of hours later, it was pouring outside with a tornado warning in the county. I didn’t bother waking up to check the news so I feel sleep quickiy after waking up.

Day 4 is turning out to be much more productive already.

sxsw day 2

Daylight savings bit me in the arse. We’re now both late to our sessions for the day! D’oh!

After a very early start to the day to get our badges and bags full ‘o crap, we made it to 5 sessions yesterday. It started out with seeing 3 very prominent people in design, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, and Doug Bowman, and one Microsoft engineer for Internet Explorer, Chris Wilson. It was interesting to hear the decade of CSS and how each of them started with it. It goes to remind you that even if you are watching web celebrities we all come from the same place. Knowing that Meyer still gets confused by display: inline is comforting! This was probably my favorite session of the day.

The next session was with Jason Santa Maria and Rob Weychert talking about inspiration. It’s not that I didn’t know most of what they said, but I think going to get a review of things is a great way to refresh yourself and your mind. And they gave me a really cool idea for a party! : Make up a really wacky theme that everyone has the dress up for, do a lot of promotional items, market it correctly, then film it and have a blast. It’s really interesting to see how these people live there lives.

Texas barbeque for lunch was just what I needed.

The rest of the day was less design oriented as I listened about tags, such as those you do on flickr or del.icio.us, about video blogging, and then I jumped around for the last session of the day between three panels.

The video blogging panel featured most TechTV alum including Patrick Norton, as well as the CEO of Diggnation Jay Adelson. It was cool not only to see them but to hear them talk about where things should be headed with video blogging. I think there will probably coexist regular TV and online programming so that they’re more closely tied together.

After bar hopping all night and getting to see the infamous Ze Frank, we decided to call it an early night on account of daylight savings. Despite an earnest effort to get up in decent time, my phone clock decided to revert back to the wrong hour, forcing my alarm to be a phone call.

“Are you awake yet?”

No.

“It’s 9:30”

Ze Frank

sxsw day 1

After more than three years of knowing about it, I have finally made it to one of the most revered events in web design: South By Southwest (SXSW). The conference I’m attending is technically the Interactive portion, geared towards interactive media that exists online, but it has turned out that a huge majority of the participants of Interactive are standards based web designers.

Delay after delay after delay has worn us out. After an hour plane delay in Houston, our luggage didn’t even make the delayed flight. So we picked up our late luggage to wait on our late shuttle to the hotel. An hour and a half later, we finally made it hours behind schedule to our rooms. I’m patient, but I don’t enjoy being behind on something I’d like to get the most out of.

After enjoying a nice, long dinner at one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasitos, we headed down to Buffalo Billiards on 6th Street. The majority of its patrons, if not every patron, was a SXSWi participant! Sadly, we felt left out due to our late arrival and not having time to register for our badges. Still, it was really nice to be around great a lot of talented designers. I did recognize a few faces, met with old coworkers and met a few nice new people. I can’t wait to mingle more with others and it’s going to be wonderful listening to and being around such amazing talent.