Moving ahead

After going through 39 bids on doing the site, I finally narrowed it down to three groups; one in the US and two in India. It took ages! Each bid had numerous links to work they had done, so I had to check out each site, look at the design work to see if they looked capable of doing the work. Some of the initial bids were quite high so it was easy to hit the "declined" key in elance.com where I had the ad running. But the more I narrowed it down, the more difficult it became. I talked to the three main groups - to India on Skype! Love it. So when it came down to the final pick, it was hard to hit "declined" because I almost felt like I knew them. 


One of my main concerns about using the Indian groups, was the language problem, but both the guys I talked to spoke very well, and the accents are not so strong as to make them difficult to understand. So yesterday, I awarded the job to Konstant Infosolutions who seem to have a good grip on what we are trying to do. The only problem - not a real problem really, is the time difference. They are exactly 12 hours ahead of me, so when I am getting up, they are leaving. So I am going to have to rearrange my day to work later so I catch them first thing in the morning. Or the alternative is get up at 4 - not sure I'm ready for that, although I do work better in the morning. So I will just see how it goes and I am sure we will work out a system. 


This is quite nerve wracking, actually. Yes, it's great to spend someone else's money, but all these thoughts of did I pick the right group, can they do it all on time, what will it look like, feel like a huge responsibility. Poor Ryan keeps getting emails from me - he is my sounding board!


One of the best things about this group is that it is a one-stop shop - design, logo. programming, everything. The shop will be done by November 5 and the full community ready on the 15th. But I do feel a bit bad about outsourcing this, but when you have a fixed budget, it is really a no brainer. It means the difference between having a site or not - basically there wouldn't be a business at all. So...


Not that anyone really cares, I'm sure, but they will build the community site using a script called DZOIC Handshake Professional and build the e-commerce section in OSCommerce, which is an open source product - meaning that it is free and can be used by anyone. 


My next job, besides gathering the content and pix for the site, is to narrow down the suppliers and I am getting price lists etc and then will set up accounts. Prices vary wildly, but I think I have found a couple of places that will be good. 


Last night I went to a Water Awareness presentation and every time I go to one, I learn something new. Last night there was a guy there I hadn't met before and he has been using the water for three years. What he says is that you drink about a quart/liter first thing when you get up. It immediately hydrates your body after you have slept. So I did that this morning and it definitely clears away the morning fog! I still have my tea, though, but after the water. You'd think all that water would be sloshing around inside your tummy, but because you are dehydrated in the morning, the water goes right into the cells and you don't feel full at all. Amazing stuff! Today, Jim and I will work on how to get a machine to Mick and Debbie - where it needs to be shipped from etc.


More great weather - but down to almost freezing at night - my tomatoes are still going strong in the sunroom and will nurse them along as long as I can.


I just got off Skype with Manish, the project manager, and I hit the "fund" button and we are good to go. He is sending a design document for me to complete and then tomorrow the designers will start work! So this is very exciting!