So you're gonna help me, for free?
Because I like building websites.
"But they say the work you would do for free is exactly the work you should charge for."
I'm well aware. And while I agree to some extent, I also like helping people.
And I like building websites. And that's really the whole reason you're here anyway, isn't it?
So quit your wise questions before I change my mind! Just kidding, asking questions is the foundation of democracy.
But hey, if you wanna participate in the Gift Economy with me, please feel free to contribute what you'd like. Thanks!
*See question 5 below for more specifics on reciprocating*
I do this because it genuinely just makes my day when clients regularly tell me,
"Oh, I thought building a website would be so hard and expensive. This is so much fun."
I love to pull back the veil, guiding and showing the laymen - you - how easy and fun building your online presence ought to be.
"Sorry, but anything of quality isn't free."
... so we've been taught. But really, who says that must be so?
I choose to say it doesn't need to be.
The traditional market view is that things which are perceived as rare and valuable can slap on a higher price tag. Sure. We often like to sum that up in one word, "Economics."
But just because we can, does that mean we should?
Or that we have to?
I believe I don't have to.
More importantly, this happiness project of mine is an art; it's my art.
So please, humor me for a minute as I muse on art.
"Art should be expensive" they say, for it is both rare and valuable.
To that, I must say, "No, it's not."
Art isn't rare. At all.
Art is so incredibly prevalent in each one of us as to be absurd.
We've just been socialized into hiding it so damn well we don't recognize it in ourselves anymore.
You need only think of any children you know to recognize this truth.
Noting the important exception of poverty, for most of us in the "developed" world, if art is rare it's only because social constructs - our choices, and excuses - have limited our ability to see that we can make time for working out that creative muscle. If we so choose.
And we can say that of anything in life - not just art, of course.
Make time for yourself. And let's make time for each other.
Art is valuable though, I won't disagree there.
And isn't that exactly why we might do all we can to encourage the spread of valuable things?
Because here's an important distinction:
More valuable art for me does not lead to less valuable art for you.
It's not that kind of relationship; that's scarcity thinking.
And it could only be the work of a scarcity mentality that would see art and call it rare.
I don't have a million dollars, but I live in a world of abundance.
So what's your art?
Here's the deal:
ART IS A GIFT.
That's a quite simple truth. And here, that's literal.
Also, not to be overlooked - and moreso perhaps even insidiously - ridiculous prices serve to maintain the collective perception that art is unapproachable to the average Joe and Jane. And that does not strike me as a pro.
So rather than price absurdly expensively and thus out of reach to most of us (the sad route a lot of modern art has chosen to go), I see all this as reason to at least experiment with work in a Gift Economy.
This may seem like the other extreme of an unhealthy pendulum, but I do not see it that way. Working in a Gift Economy provides for striking an equitable balance for all parties (and not just financially). Charles Eisenstein goes into this discussion in wonderful depth in his book, Sacred Economics (and I couldn't recommend it enough).
So here, my work is my art. Welcome.
It isn't super expensive. It's the complete opposite.
It's a gift. It's priceless.
This is just my gift to you, fellow human of the world.
"So... what, are you rich?"
No. Far from it. I work just like everyone else.
And I'm not trying to be "holier than thou" either. I'm just experimenting with a new (and simultaneously ancient) form of economics. Sacred economics in the gift economy.
Too hippie for you? Don't care.
Plus, you can see my portfolio right here. Decide for yourself of its quality. There's no accounting for taste anyway.
"That's fine Adam, but you're fighting an uphill battle against a world that holds the perception of scarcity in a traditional market economy."
Well, I wouldn't say I'm fighting it. But perhaps if you hold that view as well, either a) feel free to return my gift to you with your own gift of paying me an absurdly large amount of money. Thank you. Or b) we'll say that maybe my help just isn't a fit for you. Thanks for reading and entertaining these ideas. If you'd like to discuss all this further, I'd be grateful to hear your thoughts, email me.
And after all, I am only looking to work with one of you at a time anyway.
*more on the Gift Economy and Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein
I love this short video. And the book is fantastic. As I said earlier, I couldn't recommend Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein enough. If you want to read it, hell, I'll buy the book for you (though Eisenstein offers it free on his website, www.Sacred-Economics.com).
How long will it take us to build my site?
That depends on you, dude.
We can have you set up with something clean and simple by COB today. Of course, I know you're gonna want to put in more effort than that. And the more you dive into it, you'll find thoughts coming to you as you go about your day, little ideas to improve a page - a different word here, a better picture there - and you'll get excited.
Building a website really is a constantly evolving project.
Curating your presence online is more than building a website though.
Embrace and enjoy the process. I'm excited for you.
Will you maintain my site?
Somewhat, but not actively actually. After a while, no. But I'll always be available for questions and feedback.
I want to help you learn how to confidently build and maintain a website yourself.
It's really quite easy and I can pretty much guarantee you'll also have fun with it.
(Again, the Adam Greenberg pretty-much Guarantee.)
You just don't know where to start; you need a boost, that's all. I'm here to help you get set up and on your way.
But like a proud and almost over-protective parent, as an Admin of your new site, I'll guide you along the way with support, tips, tricks, encouragement (not to be overlooked), and feedback.
Let's jump in together.
How soon can we get started? What's next?
Just email me. I usually respond the same day.
I should mention I live in South Korea (where I teach English) so I'm 14 hours ahead of EST.
That's okay though. Some days you'll wake up in the morning and excitedly check your site and say,
"Oh cool, he did that last night."
I'd like to repay you somehow ... how?
As Charles Eisenstein writes in Sacred Economics, "When we experience a gift, our natural response is the desire to give in turn." I know this feeling and I wouldn't want to deny you the pleasure of giving me a gift either, as I have you.
Still, please know I make no expectation of our work together. You are in no way obligated. But, if you'd like to regardless, you are welcome to do so in any, all, and more of the following ways:
• Money. Cash is still king, after all. (PayPal, BitCoin, cash, check, etc ...) Name Your Own Price.
• Send me an eBook from my Amazon.com Kindle Wishlist. I love to read.
• Art. In case you don't already think so yourself, I know you've got a generous artist in you. I'd be happy to add your work to my fridge.
• Make an awesome donation to a cause important to you.
• Or by any other creative method you've got in that noggin to express your gratitude. Thanks.
What's your experience working in the Gift Economy?
In 2010, I completed a successful new year's resolution to paint a watercolor every night that year. I called it Tonight's Watercolor and offered to give away each night's original piece, free to anyone who donated to Haiti's earthquake relief; I quickly helped raise over $500 for Haiti.
Probably not unlike yourself, I hadn't painted since 9th grade art class either. And like any of the hundreds of people I've since spoken with, I too would have said, "I can't paint" before this project. I didn't consider myself an artist, so I wasn't looking to make any money doing it. I happily sent my originals away, free to whomever requested one first (yes, free shipping too).
But in giving those originals away, I received a whole lot more.
"It's true. We get more when we give." - Me, right now
As the year went on, I continued gifting my art.
I learned a lot about creativity and the benefits in putting in the effort, showing up day after day.
And my paintings improved too ...Tonight's Watercolor inspired me to found CREATEandGIFT.org in 2013, based on the premise:
ART IS A GIFT.
And here, that's literal.
(Yes, shipping too.)
CREATE and GIFT is an international free art forum for artists and "non-artists" alike. (Yes, shipping too.)
Also, while living in Denver and Austin, I started and ran a successful small business repairing iPhone screens where the client names her own price, aptly called Name Your Own Price! iPhone 3G(S) Screen Repair.
Working in the Gift has brought me more joy and abundance than you might expect.
Can you help me tweak this in Wordpress?
Editing code driving you mad?
Sorry, I hate Wordpress.
Yes, people love Wordpress, I know. SEO, thousands of plugin options, and customization galore. And it's open-source! Fantastic. (Really, I do find that terrific.)
But is it practical for you?
Frankly, I find Wordpress way too clunky and text-based for my taste.
(Yes, the irony of this FAQ page isn't lost on me. Kudos for reading all this.)
I've been making websites since 1999 and now build strictly in Weebly.com.
I'd recommend it as the perfect solution for 98% of people.
Who are the other 2%?
Trust me, it's not you. I don't mean that offensively, but if you've read this far, it ain't you. And that's not bad news.
That's good for you.
We can still do 95% of the same things in Weebly, but with much more ease and in so much less time. REALLY.
SO MUCH LESS TIME.
Do you want to pay the big bucks?
If you're not hiring a professional to get you to that last (and very often unnecessary) 5%, then building (and maintaining) your web presence should at least be fun for you (and take 1/10th of that time and 1/1000th of the price).
Weebly.com is an intuitive drag-and-drop site builder that makes creating a clean, customized, professional, and ad-free website simple, fun, and inexpensive (free).
(No, I'm not on their payroll, but I ought to be.)
For me, the difference is best summed up in these two photos of their respective interfaces. Your choice:
If you're already working in Wordpress, I'd be happy to help you make the switch to a new site in Weebly.
If you're set on Wordpress, sorry I'm not the guy for you. Good luck.
But I would absolutely refer you to Adrian Hoppel at GiftEconomyWebsites.org. He works in Wordpress.
Tell me more about yourself.
You can learn more about me than you'd ever care to at AdamGreenberg.com.
The official website of some guy by the same name.
Oh yea, what's with all the kid photos?
Yes, that's me.
So now you totally trust that I am an honest person who would be happy to help you build an awesome, clean, professional and ad-free website, for free - right?