February 7, 2010

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Papertree Design’s Jeremy Jaymes

Jeremy Jaymes is a Web Designer and Developer who lives in an old farm house surrounded by Wisconsin farmland. He is also a business owner at Papertree Design where Wordpress is his “tool of choice” in “providing web strategy, development and design solutions for businesses large and small.” In discovering his blog, including his free minimally designed Wordpress theme Charlene, a few things quickly caught my attention which are, in no particular sequence: his blog’s grid, its use of lines as typographic elements and the writing. The straightforward thoughtfulness of Jeremy’s posts, which cover topics like Business and Usability, match their simple and elegant layout. His sustained web-based publishing experience may help your entrance into the blogosphere or further inform your current work in it:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
That’s a good question. I have made quite a few attempts at it. Various reasons I suppose, I love to explain how things work, share my opinion and help others to learn from my experiences and/or mistakes.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I use WordPress, it was the first solution that I really got into working with and accounts for more than half of the work I do on a professional basis. It’s what I know and feel the most comfortable with. Lately, however, I have been experimenting with Tumblr due to the beautiful simplicity of it.

What is your definition of a good blog and what are
three good blogs that you frequently visit?

This is tough. I believe a good blog is made up of original content. You don’t need to write or illustrate something groundbreaking every time you put the “pen to paper”, but I appreciate when you spend some time, give it some thought and put a touch of your own personality into the writing. Top of the list for me would have to be:
  • Articles that make me think long after I close the page.
  • Articles that teach me something.
  • Articles that say something I’ve been thinking.
  • Articles that get me to respond and leave a comment.
Sounds obvious, but in the sea of content out there,
they can be hard to find.

Narrowing down to three good blogs is tough, if I had to choose three from my current reading selection, I would go with Drawar, idsgn – A Design Blog and ideasonideas. Like I said, it’s a tough call and I am leaving a lot out here. I do quite a lot of reading throughout the day.

How do you create content for your blog?
It’s pretty scattered, I use MarsEdit to do most of my writing, then drop into WordPress for a quick look before publication. Usually when an idea hits me, I will just open MarsEdit and start writing. Not all of my entries make sense the first time around so they might sit for quite some time before being finalized. As of right now, I have somewhere around 30 of them waiting in que. Often times, I will go back to old scribbles weeks later and the idea will start to morph, changing drastically from the first writing. Sometimes it’s just a quick clean up. Either way, it seems to work well for me to get the idea down regardless if it goes any further.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?

Motivation, it’s a struggle sometimes, especially when you are not seeing the traffic you hoped for. I usually just try to remind myself that if it helps or inspires one person it is still worth the effort. On a day to day, I have found that there are certain times in the day where thoughts just seem to flow and your motivation is at it’s peak. For me that is usually around two or three in the afternoon, so I will try to do most of my final writing during those hours.

Organized—I am pretty organized overall (aside from being scattered in thought). In addition to MarsEdit I also use a few other tools such as The Hit List, Delicious, Instapaper and old-fashioned pencil and paper to keep things close at hand.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed of
regular thoughts and
/or images, what is your advice?
If you are passionate about the topic, then make it happen. I guess that’s the way I try to approach a lot of things in life. Sitting around and talking about it, wondering “what if” will leave you with a lot of missed opportunities. Not everything you write or do will be successful, but you will learn something from each and every attempt.

What is your quest in blogging?
On my personal site, which is relatively new and replacing an older “semi-personal” site, it’s more about sharing my opinion, experience and inspiration. Like I mentioned earlier, if one person comes away from it inspired then I am happy. In regards to my “professional” site, it’s about sharing what I have learned and how I approach things in relation to what I do day in and day out. It’s about teaching but also helps prospective clients gain a better understanding of who I am, the way I work and how I might be able to help them.

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Photograph courtesy of Jeremy Jaymes.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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