Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

What Hop Studios Is Up To

posted at 5:42 pm
on Nov. 8, 2004

Comments: 1 so far



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If you’re wondering why I haven’t been writing much—or if you’re wondering why I haven’t been writing well —or even if you think I’ve been writing too much and it’s just fine and my ego is just full of stupid rocks—I wanted to take a moment to talk about what I’ve been doing lately, Hop Studios-wise.

Susie’s been doing this all, too, just in case you’re wondering.  Overall, things are cooking right along, which is a good thing, because for some reason the Canadian dollar is growing faster than Popeye on spinach steroids, and the business of our company is much appreciated.  Even if it means we don’t get outside enough.

1) We finally launched the chimpanzee sites we’ve been working on for several months.  These were two intertwined sites about the chimpanzee project currently located at Central Washington University. Over the past 40 years, researchers have taught these animals to speak sign language.  In the process, they’ve challenged the notions of what it means to be human, what is intelligence, and, in a bizarre coincidence, unwittingly gave my father ammo for the “trained monkey” jokes that always accompanied report card time at my house.

  • Specifically, I recommend the time line, and the three live chimpanzee video cameras.

    2) We created our first Web site for a music licensing company:  This site showcases the newest musical creations of Stefan Girardet, and was a radical design for us—let Susie know what you think.  Stefan’s British, so you know his music’s got to be good.  And it is—one of the best parts of this project was that we got to groove to his creations on our stereo while we were cranking out the HTML code. His off-beat (in a good way) music encouraged us to try some interesting techniques with layers, CSS, QuickTime and JavaScript—all of which means, it should be very easy for you to immerse yourself in various aural environments.  I encourage you to listen to at least one of the samples we put on the site.

  • 3) Hop Studios played a small but direct role in the elections this year.  Bobby Shriver (yes, of the Kennedy family) ran for city council in Santa Monica. He asked Hop Studios to build his Web site, and won with the most votes of any council member.  I kinda wish John Kerry had asked us, too…

  • 4) We launched the redesign of the USC Debate Squad site.  They were surprisingly easy to work with—I expected a lot more arguments.  Their site now looks fabulous; clean and to the point, with no room for confusion.  It’s just what you’d expect from a winning debate squad.

  • What’s on the horizon?

    Two interesting projects: For one thing, we’ll be doing a redesign of five newspaper Web sites including the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa, CA.

    Simultaneously (no problem, there’s two of us!) we’ll be creating a set of Web sites for a J-Lab project called “New Voices.”  This is an initiative to fund, and train, groups to run hyper local community new media sites.  Basically, if you’re trying to set up a small news site to cover a particular niche topic, New Voices may help you fund it, and will definitely help you learn how to do it technically, from comparing appropriate Web tools to getting traffic.  Susie and I will be working on the design as well as the content.

    As always, you can seen our latest and best clients here:



    Previous entry:
    Am I a Whining Pussy?

    Next entry:
    I Have a Short Attention Span

  • Overheard

    “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

    ...who said it?

    “Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

    ...who said it?

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ...who said it?

    “I play with variables constantly.”

    ...who said it?

    “Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

    ...who said it?




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