Words, Pictures & Web Sites by J R Compton
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a web over White Rock Lake's spillway

My Current Sites

DallasArtsRevue.com is by, about and for the artists of Dallas, Texas. D Magazine, the magazine of Dallas, named me Dallas’ Best Local Arts Promoter in August 2004, because that's what DallasArtsRevue does. This is the largest (comprising more than six hundred web pages) and most complex site I've ever done — and I've done it all this century and one year in that other one.

Bwami Society Spoon - photo by J R Compton

Bwami Society Spoon

Joel Cooner.com — one day some weeks I worked at Joel Cooner Gallery, where I was the photographer and web guy. Joel Cooner Gallery is a tribal gallery with a national reputation, museum quality antiques (he sells major pieces to major museums and collectors) and contemporary work from all over the world. I did most of his photography and his website, and I worked there ten years, longer than I've ever worked anywhere.

The Amateur Birders' Journal is a suite of pages on my personal website, JRCompton.com. The birder portion has grown since its tentative beginnings in June 2006, and my photography and writing skills have improved. It helped when Steve Blow wrote a story called His own flight plan (no longer online) about it for the Dallas Morning News in July 2007 and when The Dallas Observer readers voted me Dallas' co-Best Bird Nerd in 2009.

My most recent site is for sculptor TJ Mabrey in Taos.

Lotuseaters dot org is my friend Jim Dolan's website. He's a psychotherapist, writer, poet, competitive swimmer, philosopher and lecturer, and his web site shows off his skills and his diversity — since 1999.
 

Sites I do.

TJMabrey.com link fixed is simple, direct, like its owner, has some humor, shows her recent and less recent work.

DallasArtsRevue.com link fixed is for and about and by the visual artists of Dallas, Texas, USA. I've been doing DallasArtsRevue on paper since 1979 and online all of this century. It comprises well more than 500 webpages.

J R's Amateur Birder's Journal has been going since June 2006 and chronicles the wildlife at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas.

Loop 12 Literary Review logo

Loop 12 was DallasArtsRevue's brief literary journal. Loop 12 includes work by inner-city Dallas writers and poets, but it was too much to keep up with literary and art, so I've stuck with art and birds.

Below is a descriptive list of other sites I have produced. But first, a word from our sponsor.

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My History

I've been doing websites since 1995, and I'm keenly interested in how they work and don't. I've read the web philosophy books, of course, but I have also developed my own ideas about what works, how it works and what is changing. Most of my web understandings are practical, not philosophical.

I go for simple with pictures, and I specialize in pages and pictures that load easily and fast — pages that say it, show it and let visitors explore it — whatever your particular it might be.

I am a writer, an editor and a photographer whose work has been published in more than forty magazines and newspapers around the world — including Life Magazine. I've been laying out, typesetting, designing and publishing newspapers and other publications since 1964.

I was one of the first in Dallas to support myself as a Desktop Publisher, which I also taught an honors class in at Richland College. I've watched first-hand as publishing experienced the Cold Type revolution, the Digital revolution and the Internet revolution.

This is the work I'm here to do.

See my resume for more information.

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Artist Ann Huey designed her own funky page
headlines and icons for her website.

My Web Philosophy

Web sites celebrate our differences. How a site looks and feels says a lot about whose site it is. The sites I create (list above) reflect the personalities of their owners. They are all different.

I help tell your story in words and pictures and type and color and space — and less obvious things like complexity, navigation and organization.

Simpler sites usually serve clients better. Bigger pictures speak louder than little ones. Don't show everything — entice readers with your best, then make it easy to find you.

Fancy navigation technology often confuses readers and browsers. Keeping that one element simple and obvious makes sites easier to explore.

People read pictures first, then captions. If you intrigue them, they might read your text. Give them more information at each level, so they can keep learning more. The more they know, the better they will like you, even before they meet you.

On the web, the bottom line is on top, before readers scroll. It may have been better to have many short pages linked together. Now most people have high-speed connections, and one long page works faster than finding the link and hopping from page to page to page.

If the top of the page or the top of the site changes, people will browse deeper. If your site is complex, provide multiple ways to find things. The top page should tell readers at a glance what it is about and what's new.

Little sites are easier than big sites, of course. But I've done both. DallasArtsRevue.com has grown to more than four hundred web pages. It's a full-time job. To support it, I do websites and digital photography for clients.

But it's not like I do so many sites it gets boring. I work on one at a time and put my energies into that before I move on to the next, although I also update several sites. Each site is unique, because each client is. I pay a lot of attention to what my clients need.

Check my ISP and Prices pages to learn more details. H

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Former J R sites

Fontaholics Anonymous Link Map

Former Link Map for Fontaholics Anonymous.
Visitors clicked the department they needed.

Fontaholic Anonymous was all about the incredible number and variety of free font sites available on the internet during the last few years of the last century, just before the internet replaced Desktop publishing. FA was one of the two most popular font index sites. I stopped publishing it when it reached 200,000 hits, so I could devote my energies to DallasArtsRevue.com.

I did the Texas Sculpture Association website for one year while the TSA went through major change and much-needed reorganization. It had not been updated, so I did. I also rewrote a lot of stilted prose into straightforward text and added photographs to give them a human face.

The Creative Arts Center is a small, independent art school for adults in East Dallas. For one year, I designed and produced a small, colorful and funky site that showed off the campus, classes, students and their art — presenting the school as a comfortable place to learn and teach art. At the end of my tenure, their research consultant called my production "the Creative Art Center's best and most successful public relations effort." He was especially taken by how colorful it was.

EGAD! — Electronic Graphic Artists of Dallas was a Macintosh computer users’ group whose members were professional graphic artists. I designed and produced the site and wrote and updated pages on beta software and fonts available online.

 

Dance Council Calendar Page

The Dance Council Calendar page:
Photo by Tom Caravaglia - Design by me

 

The Dance Council was a complex site that I simplified. It had ponderous, slow-loading pages that I sped up. I also improved the intra-site navigation and kept the calendar updated. They have since returned to their former institutionalized ponderosity.

WordSpace was a literary organization that specializes in Texas and music related poetry and prose. We turned it into a small, online literary journal with an organizational events calendar with information about local literary venues.

The Writers Garrett (TWG) is a similar literary organization whose site was bigger and more complicated. I significantly expanded the site and added (and edited) a literary review I called TWiG — putting the i in internet in TWG. “Twig” means to understand or discover.

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If I do your site

We'll get together to decide how your site will be organized.

Best/cheapest is for you to write your own text for each page. But it might be more efficient for me to, since I am a writer, and I know how these things are done.

We'll decide together what your site will look like.

Even if you are a graphic artist, do not decide ahead of time exactly what your pages will look like. Save your time for more important tasks like organizing the material you have or need.

Avoid thinking in preset layouts. Web layouts need to be liquid, so they expand and contract to different browsers, computers, monitors, screen resolutions, type faces and sizes, and other specifications.
 

You Will Need

Updated Resume, including — if pertinent, exhibition lists, artist's statement, etc. Don't wait till after I've started working on formatting your bio or Exhibitions list to reformat everything. It is not simply a matter of pouring new text into old formats.

Photographs of you doing what you do — I can take these, if necessary, and I'm good at it.

Any previous Self-Promotion you have used — a great start, but it will probably have to be rewritten for the web.

Logo(s) or advertisements you've used previously

Samples of your work

Press mentions or clippings, including stories about you by other writers, recommendations, positive feedback extolling your virtues. Don't just list them, link to them.

Visual ideas about how you want your site to look. But don't decide ahead of time. Send me links to sites you like with comments about why you like them. We won't copy anybody else's design. But it's nice to know what you like.
 

What YOU have to do to get Your Own Website
 

My latest email address is always on my Contact page.

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