[thelist] Doing a 'freebie'

Alan McCoy a.r.mccoy at larc.nasa.gov
Thu Sep 28 06:25:18 CDT 2000

At the moment, I'm doing a site as a freebie for a friend who is executive
director for a local wildlife preserve. Now, I think the prime reason I'm
doing the site for him is a combination of friendship and my child-like
enthusiasm for non-profit environmental causes.

Just a few things I made sure of when sitting down with my buddy about the

1) My free time is my *free* time. In other words, the work I'm doing for
him cannot cut into project development time for my paying clients. Nothing
personal, but

2) The site will be as turn-key as we can get away with. I want him (and the
staff at his office) to be able add/manage/modify site content, requiring
only a minimal maintenance effort from me.

3) If at anytime in the future he feels that his bosses might be able to
allocate a budget for this project, he'll step up to the plate for me. (of
course, that last one is based purely on the strength of our friendship...No
way I'd trust that one to just another client!)

So far, the project is going smoothly. Aside from being another page in my
portfolio, I've gotten a couple of referrals based on that project.

As for the "money men", try to get an idea of what they're looking for in a
site. I realize it's difficult when you can't sit down and pick their
brains, but if you have a good idea of what your friend's company is all
about, then you should be able to come up with a list of must-haves for the
site. Also, before starting work on the site, sit down with your friend and
get a feel for how willing she is to stick up for you when it comes time to
defend her reasons for picking you for the job. That friendship is the key
factor here, I think. It can keep you on the project, no matter what the fat
cats say, but don't forget that same friendship can be severely threatened
if things go awry.

Hope this helps. It's truly a sticky situation, especially if you're like me
and you need to flesh out your portfolio.

Alan McCoy
a.r.mccoy at larc.nasa.gov

"Wasn't it a millionaire who said, 'Imagine no possessions'?"  -- E.

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