Darren Azzopardi SEO & Usability Lover

A change in working direction

Maybe there was a temporary band aid covering up my true feelings

You're about to read what could potentially come across as condescending or a non-religious epiphany. It's potentially a change in my professional working direction, an outlook of what projects I would like to spend my time on if possible.

On Thursday 4th September 2014 I attended the opening of Community Linx where it's premises resides within the William Booth House area, which I've only ever driven passed and where people point out that's where the homeless stay-and not using those type of words.

I attended the Community Linx opening because;

A banner used to promote Community Linx's ethos, personal growth

One of the Popup-banners I designed for Community Linx's opening

  • I wanted to show my support for the person behind the idea and the staff.
  • To see the marketing material I designed for them.

I would never of thought this visit would change my professional outlook. That it would make me think about the type of projects I really want to work on.

Can I make more people happy with my work?

I design websites for a variety of companies and I don't need motivation to work on them, it's just there, the enthusiasm to build a website. After yesterday though, I thought to myself, "Do I really do enough? Is my work contributing to people being happy?" I know the clients are and I try to do as much testing as possible to see if their users are happy-but does it stop there?

I don't want to be a dark cloud but the world doesn't care who you are and at times people act like it too. News hardly reports anything positive and if it does it's a simple PR exercise for a company's media image.

I am very lucky but rarely do I sit and reflect upon this, having a roof over my head is something I generally don't think about. If this was somehow to change, I would literally have no self-confidence if my options were so small that I needed to seek shelter outside my friends or family. I'm not singing the praises of services the organisation provides, but more in awe of those that live there.

They should be fearless

I don't know the circumstances of how they became residents at William Booth House but I can lazily assume some drugs/drink related scenario but that's just wrong and that's not even the point. Those residents who I shared a conversation with at the opening of Community Linx and those ex-residents who came back to help with the launch should automatically have bags of confidence and self-belief!

To put it bluntly half the people I know would be mentally crushed if they didn't have a place to live. These residents shouldn't be intimidated or feel inferior. Some may be quick to say they're at the bottom. Their options seem limited but they're alive, they have experienced something people may not and this could and should be their strength. They should be fearless and have an attitude of wanting to kick butt, not searching for their self confidence and definitely not seeking it from other people's approval. They've had that one thing that could be so valuable, something they could refer to and use it as their driving force, a shield even. It came from one thing that I've never had to and neither want to experience. The feeling of being alone.

If I can help some how through my work then that's something that has to be worthwhile.

If there's a place that's willing to dig deep within these people, make them know that they are valued and not in just within their community but as an individual, then I take off my metaphorical hat to you Community Linx, you should be very proud of yourself because alot of companies are just talk. Your actions speak much louder than their words and you've inspired me.

Make people happy with themselves

I want to know if my online skills of designing sites or creating marketing strategies can be worthwhile, not just to the immediate people I work alongside but those around. I suppose what I'm after is a ripple effect, that my work carries on helping-I'd even roll my eyes if i read this on another website.

Can I work on projects that have a social value, bring communities together-can I make something that will make a human being really, deep down happy and content even? Can I help someone achieve something that they couldn't necessarily do using my skill set?

The feeling I got from the opening was much more than what I've been getting when projects are done. That long lasting feeling, again I'm sounding quite selfish but I know when I help someone face to face I get, we get more positivity, more energy to carry on. I need to replicate this online somehow.

I'm happy when a project is signed off and handed it over. But chatting to those who are unfortunately in a position of what would make most people give up (sounds dramatic but it's the end of the world when you personally have no internet access, right?) made me think, "What the hell am I doing with my time? Why am I happy because of that?"

From now on, I want to make an active choice of seeking out projects that go that extra mile, a project that helps one person achieve something that they couldn't do. I suppose I'm saying I want to design and make people happy with themselves. I don't know where to start, but I'm making one either way.

If you've got an idea that will bring real social value then lets discuss this over a quick coffee. I've got one I'm working on right now.

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