Since the development of the Mosaic web browser in 1993 -- the first web browser capable of simultaneously handling text and graphics -- the World Wide Web has grown into an amazing digital ecosystem: a place every bit as rich and colorful as the rain forests of the Amazon. The Web is a vibrant place -- a collective enterprise carried out on a massive scale, full of dense interconnections and surprising juxtapositions. Here, economics mingles with entertainment, Freedom of Information fraternizes with Secure Socket Layers, and commerce rubs shoulders with communism.

But while its roots lay in the collective efforts of scientists to connect information, the Web's explosive growth has been fueled primarily by enterprise -- by capitalism's unquenchable thirst for exploiting new markets. Almost anything you could possibly want -- or want to know -- can be found here. So it's no surprise that people have flocked to the Web in droves. According to The Baltimore Sun, over 400 million people currently use the Internet each day, up from 16 million just six years ago. And as the telecommunications revolution marches on, these numbers will only get larger.

I cut my web-design teeth back in 1996, working on a site satirizing Nike's penchant for aggressive marketing. When it first debuted in the fall of that year, the NUKE radioActivewear site proved both larger and more sophisticated than Nike's Web presence. And though the intervening years have allowed Phil Knight's marketing Goliath to more than close the gap, that initial experience has convinced me of one thing: that the Web is the closest we've come to the so-called "level playing field."

On the Web, a good web site can make the smallest of businesses look big; by the same token, a poorly implemented or poorly maintained site can make even corporate giants seem small. On the Web, attention to detail counts as much as economies of scale, for the limitations imposed on content delivery by slow modems and slower telephone lines keeps "the Big Boys" from truly flexing their muscles. If you're designing with only DSL and broadband in mind, you're excluding most of your potential audience.

The essence of the Web's creative appeal, though, lies in its ability to serve as a printing press for the masses: a system for churning out billions of inexpensive digital copies, day in and day out, and distributing them to every corner of the globe. Each time someone types in a web address and hits "enter," a request is relayed to a server (the computer storing the document, or "web page"), which in turn shoots a copy of that document back to the computer making the request. Since there are no physical printing costs to be borne, even a small business or an individual can afford to get a foot in the door. And if you use the medium effectively, the possibilities are endless, for a web page can serve as a business card, a brochure, an animated greeting -- practically anything you need it to be, it can be.

Little wonder, then, that my work on a novel about marketing in the "digital age" would lead me to explore -- and eventually exploit -- the tools and techniques required for putting together polished, professional-looking sites. After all, what better way to present the marketing strategies of nonexistent corporations than to build their actual web sites?

As a result, I've come to work with HTML on a regular basis; it's the infrastructure upon which I've built my book. I've also picked up a familiarity with the tools of content creation -- from Dreamweaver and Flash to Fireworks and Swift 3D -- and a proficiency with many of them. Below, you'll find a link to some sample sections from my NUKE site, which is certainly indicative of my "web aesthetics."

As for my rates: all design work for the Web is $25/hr. This includes the preparation of any text, graphics, animations and layout, as well as ancillary services such as domain name registration or uploading a site to its host server.

I'm also available on a "per project" basis to facilitate working within a set budget. Please contact me to discuss your needs; I'll be more than happy to provide you with an estimate.

(785) 979-5794 -- M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. CST