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R.I.P. love961.com

It was my first professionally done website and, until Wednesday, it was my biggest client. Now, there is *a* love961.com right now (check it out if you like), but it's not my work.

I went online to do some work on the website that evening only to find my files inaccessible and the homepage totally different... I even recognized the work. After ten minutes I discovered that the DNS had been changed. Now, as far as I knew (since no one told me anything, not even after the fact) the DNS had been hacked and it was then my duty to put it back where it belonged, but first I thought I should call the station and find out what the heck was going on. Charlie, the Program Director (or "PD") who was always a pleasure to work with, told me that he hadn't heard anything and would ask for me (he also said that he wasn't getting e-mail, hmmm...). After his show, he found out and was the one to break the news to me. Okay, it's business, I get it. Do I think it was a mistake? Absolutely. (and I say that as objectively as possible)

The management/ sales (same thing) at the station never cared about the website. They agreed that every station should have one, including ours, so I was able to earn some money launching love961.com, but I could never get them to utilize it to increase sales. In fact, it took months for many members of the staff to even find out that we had a website, the GM and GSM were really not interested in using the stations new marketing tool.   I finally decided not to waste my time with them and to stick with the on-air staff, who were returning my calls and giving me feedback as well as web content. In comes a new jock, who had worked for years doing websites for Clear Channel's radio stations on the island and in Manhattan. He was only there two months, but made a good advisor to myself and the PD, sitting in on our weekly meetings, helping me with software, and doing some light website work. Then he left to work in the IT department of AIG in Manhattan, telling me that they might soon need more people there and maybe he could give a name to sent the resume to. After a few months of attempted e-mail and phone calls, he seemed to be just another dead-end network contact. Back then, I was trying to "network" my way into a job.

Not long after he left, though, he proposed a new design to the PD and myself. Naturally, I checked it out thoroughly (he had actual webpages, not the Photoshop mock-ups that I'm guilty of) and decided that a lot of things worked and a lot of things didn't. I soon decided to integrate parts of his design into a new proposal of my own (which I had him in the loop on). I was practiced now, we knew how listeners were reacting to our website, and I always believed in taking new found knowledge, wiping the slate clean, and starting from scratch to ensure the best possible results. The PD loved it and I made some extra money. At this point, my more experienced friend seemed to drift into the shadows...

Oh, the Lord had given me a great imagination. The new design went up in June and was nothing short of a work of art. I really tried to get into the listeners heads and give our station the best possible impression, this was something we were gonna use and use a lot, and I was ready.

Now on to the present... surely someone as experienced as this guy can do better? Err... no. The site is almost identical to the mock he pitched in April, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. Several of our unique and increasingly popular features had simply been discarded, and what was there didn't necessarily work. This new, ***super*** experienced webmaster left the on-air staff and listeners high and dry (to say nothing of myself). Charlie had to call him first to get his e-mail back online, well after the start of business that day (the point when the new webmaster should have called them first to get e-mail back up). Every staff member with a "@love961.com" address had to find out on their own as there was no communication that things had chaged.

So, does ten years of experience make someone better? It should. But the way I these guys work, I'd put six months of my experience up against someone else's ten years... any day.

Charlie knows how things should work, so I hope he holds higher expectations for this guy than for me (which I'm happy to say were very high)... and whips him into shape. Because I know he actually cares about the stations image, along with a few others who got momentarily screwed there. Hey, life goes on. Charlie is actually a DJ up on Long Island and, cool guy that he is, offered to have me redo his own website. More information on that soon.

 

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