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Milwaukee Bonecrushers

Starting in March of 2008, Indoor Football will be back in Milwaukee… The new team is the Milwaukee Bonecrushers.

Milwaukee Bonecrushers

I worked on the build of their web site mkebonecrushers.com, which had to be completed in just a few days to be ready for their first press conference. I think I prefer sites that have to be built quickly with short deadlines as opposed to projects that go on and on and on. (There’s a site I’m working on now that has been in progress for 11 months. We’re hoping it launches before a full year is up.)

Oh yeah, back to the football. Honestly, I am not much of a football fan (saying this in Wisconsin could get me strung up, but it’s true) but I’ve got to know some of the Bonecrushers, and these guys are passionate about what they are doing: having their own team, and having it in Milwaukee, has been a dream of theirs, and it’s exciting to see it come true.

If you want to see this crazy brand of indoor football, where it’s up close, on a small field, with 7-on-7, and narrow goal posts, they’ll be playing at the U.S. Cellular Arena in 2008. (But keep an eye out for exhibition games in 2007.)




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Z2 Marketing + Design

We just launched the brand new z-2.org, which is the first step in the re-branding of Z2 Marketing + Design. This site was a real challenge compared to most of the other sites I’ve worked on in the past year. There’s a decent amount of Javascripty/Ajax stuff, without overdoing it, and while we used some Flash-like things here and there, the only place Flash is currently used is for playing the audio and video pieces in the portfolio.

Z2 Web Site

Take a look around, and let me know what you think. We’ll be doing various tweaks as time goes by, but all in all, we are pretty damn happy with the outcome. We hope you enjoy it.

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Amazon S3 Update

Over at Z2 Marketing + Design we’ve implemented Amazon S3 as an off-site backup solution. As a design studio, there are a lot of large files, between photo and video shoots, print projects, and a zillion other things that require creating files, we’ve got our own storage issues to deal with. Will the building burn down? Dunno, it might, but if it does, it will be nice to know our data is safe over at Amazon.

Since I’m still moving a lot of older data there, the uploading is constant. I’d estimate I’m moving about a GB of data per day right now. In fact, let’s look at the numbers…

Amazon says we’ve transferred 16.035 GB this month, and we’re storing about that much as well. But wait, what is the cost of this? Well, as of right now, it looks like Amazon will be billing us just about $5 or so. (Probably a bit more, as I have another 11 days to keep moving data there.) So for the cost of a good burrito, we’ve transferred and stored over 15 GB of data. Freakin’ awesome!

I’m still not 100% happy with the tools, and how I’m doing the transfers (much of it is manual right now) but better tools will come along, and with a new server in-house, we’ll look at automating all the backups, so it “just works” and if something doesn’t work, it’ll let us know. Thanks Amazon!



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Meetup, or Not?

We’ve been discussing whether or not the Milwaukee Web Design Meetup should continue to use Meetup.com or venture off onto our own…

I’m convinced we could replace the web tools that Meetup provides, the main issue in my mind is if people will be able to find us, since we won’t really be a “Meetup” group any more. I think with the power of the web (and blogs!) we can do it.

We’ll be meeting in November at Z2 Marketing + Design and I’m hoping at that point we can make a decision about it. If you’ve got comments about this, discuss it at Meetup.com or feel free to leave a comment here…


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BarCampMilwaukee: Succeed without Thinking

Cory Zimmerman of Z2 Marketing + Design presented a session at BarCampMilwaukee titled “How to not think and succeed – Starting and running a firm.”

I thought the basic idea was somewhat similar to the 37Signals idea of "Getting Real", where you can’t let planning and over-thinking get in the way of actually doing something. I’ve been involved in businesses before where grand schemes were discussed over and over and never acted upon. It’s the whole “ideas are useless, execution matters” thing.

Succeed without Thinking

From what I’ve seen, Cory and his partner Deb have made Z2 successful by doing the right amount of planning, just enough to keep from flying by the seat of their pants, and then executing on their ideas. Yes, they’ve dealt with failure, but Cory didn’t think it was due to a lack of thinking or planning.

I’ve tried to adopt similar ideas for 2XL Networks, focusing more on doing and less on thinking, or over-thinking, as it were. Maybe a good deal of this is based on previous experience, but if that is the case, then people starting out might do well to focus on doing as well, to actually gain that experience…