Last Friday, we gave our twice a year ‘One Day Website’ workshop. Our reasoning is that there are people who have the time/interest in learning website software but not the funds to pay us to do it for them.

The reason we do it only twice a year? Honestly, it’s a ton of work ahead of time (helping people buy domain names, getting the software installed, preparing the slides since the software likes to change periodically). We barely break even on it looking at this from a purely business point of view… but the whole point of this business was to at least ‘Break Even’ so I guess we’re good there. (I know, haha!)

But earning beaucoup bucks is not why we do this. For me, I consider this a bit of community service… and if we happen to get business from it someday, great. But at least we’re doing our part, teaching small pockets of people how to do something they want to learn. It’s a bit like being a teacher again.

I’m always impressed by the variety of people who come to this workshop: different ages (everyone from college students to retirees), different businesses (artists to non-profit directors), different levels of seriousness (from ‘I want to get this done today’ to ‘I just came to check it out’). As someone who runs one very specific kind of business, it’s nice to get a window into what other people are working on, and what they care about in terms of a website.

Since Matt Baya and I started doing this workshop in 2009, we’ve helped take about 200 people through this process in the twice yearly ‘One Day Website’. And that’s kind of cool.

Many people don’t end up finishing their websites, which makes me a little sad. But then I think about the success rate of the adult ed French class I used to teach… or how long it’s taken me to lose 15 of the 30 pounds I want to lose… and I see it’s similar. It’s hard to make yourself do something that is a little (or a lot) against your nature.

I’m always sad when I haven’t taken photos of these things, especially since we had such a nice group on Friday. But it was fun and we do look forward to doing it again!

Had no idea we did this kind of event? For the official internet record, we do it twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall (summer is crazy and winter weather can make travel difficult where we are). The best way to find out about when it’s happening is to subscribe to our monthly email newsletter. We announce the workshop there first, wait 3-4 days then post it on Facebook, the website, etc.

Sometimes, we can do this workshop for a private group, like we did for the Maine Indian Basketweavers and the Maine Crafts Guild. If you can fill a room for us, we’ll show up and do our thing. If everyone chips in, it’s a pretty affordable (and almost painless) professional development opportunity. If you’re a Chamber of Commerce, business group, networking group, adult education facility, university group… it’s a pretty good offer since just about everyone these days needs/wants a website.

So thanks to everyone who came last week, and especially those who came to those first few workshops when we were still learning the ropes. There will be many more of these (and hopefully some other regular workshops) coming to Downeast Maine and beyond.

Those who can do teach. Those who can’t, we can just teach you in a class. 🙂