Every year, I donate some of my meager PhD student money to the Yonge Street Mission, but this year I’m feeling particularly cash-strapped. Yet, the need still exists: people are hungry, cold, homeless, and needing assistance. So, I decided that I would use my skills to raise money for donation.
As an academic, you’ll need a website to promote your work, host preprints, display your CV, and so on. I’ve discovered that, despite the omnipresence of the Web, many academics still do not have a website. And, those that do often realize that it needs improvement to bring it in-line with contemporary web standards and design.
I will build you a simple, modern academic website for only $500, and donate $450 to the Yonge Street Mission ($50 is for hosting and domain name registration).
I’m Quinn DuPont, PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, and sometimes information architect/front-end developer/technical project lead. I’ve worked for a large multi-national software company, and helped many academics develop information systems. I have years of experience with information design, and a Masters in Library and Information Science. Basically, I understand academics’ needs, and can turn an idea into a reality.
I only have time to build one academic website, so this offer only stands for the first person to contact me and send payment (if you miss this opportunity and would like an academic website or assistance with an information project, feel free to contact me). Once I receive payment and the returned contract, I will send the money to the Yonge Street Mission and forward a copy of the donation receipt to you for confirmation.
I will then meet with you—in person if possible—to discuss your needs. Together, we’ll come up with a workable scope and design, and you’ll supply me with the relevant materials (documents, photos, descriptions, and so on). I’ll then code a first-draft of your website, and after an iteration or two I’ll put the site online with your chosen domain name. After about one year you can contact me again and I’ll provide a website checkup, to ensure everything is still running smoothly and to make any necessary small changes. This is all covered in the initial $500 payment (but see the Questions & answers section for some fine print).
With any luck (and some charitable people), you will have contacted me, and sent me payment and the returned contract all before the end of 2012. Then, in early January (or at your convenience) we’ll have a meeting, followed by a first draft of the website within a month of our meeting. A few weeks after the first draft you’ll have a fully functional, live academic website.
This is the fine print. This isn’t a legal document, although I will have you sign a simple contract to lay out some of the basic expectations (to help protect both you and I). Remember, this is for charity, I have no desire to scam you, and I expect that you’ll feel the same. This is also an experiment, so while I have considerable experience working on websites and information projects, there's likely going to be a few small bumps.
Q. Why are you donating to the Yonge Street Mission?
A. I have previous experience with the Yonge Street Mission, both as a volunteer and a donor. I believe they do a good job helping those in need—they’re reputable, accountable, and truly care. While YSM is technically a Christian organization, I believe they are non-judgemental, open to people of all or no faith, and practice good ethics. I am not a Christian, but I do believe in the basic Christian values of helping the sick, poor, and needy. The YSM also supports Toronto individuals and families through a variety of programs, including classes and workshops. This is how I got involved with YSM, by teaching children's computer classes in Regent Park. I recommend that you read about their organization, and consider donating anyway.
Q. What is the domain name, and who hosts the website?
A. I’ll setup the domain name using an available name of your choice. I’ll host your website (and register your domain name) on Nearly Free Speech—an inexpensive web host I have used in the past, and is suitable for these sorts of websites. I will purchase the domain name (for 1 year) and deposit $20 in your NFS account for bandwidth usage (NFS has a unique usage-based pricing model, so $20 should cover the hosting costs for well over a year, based on typical usage). Once the website goes live I’ll hand over all the account credentials, and you’ll take the reins. In a year’s time, if you want a free website checkup you can contact me and I’ll make sure everything is running without issue, and make any minor changes as necessary.
Q. What does the website look like? What kind of technology is it built with?
Q. Why $500? Isn’t that a bit pricey?
A. For a custom, modern, professional website $500 is a great deal. But, better still, you’re really spending that money to support a great organization that helps many people in need. I expect the website to take me several days to produce, which means my hourly “wage” is low for quality web development (of course, I’m actually doing this gratis). Of the total cost, $50 will be reserved to pay for hosting and domain name registration. You will receive a copy of the donation receipt, but not a tax receipt.
Give now, and get your website
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