You go, girl! SK leads East team to victory in 'Cool Site in a

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 25 Sep 1998 12:37:14 -0700

"The East Coast team walked away with a win in this year's Cool Site in a
Day contest -=A0probably the closest competition in the history of the


Story, with photos at

Sites: and

"East team leader Sally Khudairi was the last to leave. The former W3C
Director of Communications and keeper of the very first Web site (yep, that
Web site-the one made by Web creator Tim Berners Lee back in the beginning
of all of this). Sally started a new job last week at Cambridge Technology
Partners and has been trying to juggle new employee training with actual
work-not to mention this shindig."

Well-done... though I would have still put more of the organizational
overview text on the second splash page... I hate home pages without
physical coordinates -- enough that if that's the only page I ever bookmark=
I'd still know what it's all about.

I sure hope you're planning a party tonight!


PS. Unfortunately, the story doesn't have a denouement yet...


Cool Site in a Day: The Competition Begins
by Kirsten Alexander

9:15 - 1:20: The Online Lounge

The East of the Mississippi team shows up with the Chinese character for
East in stickers on their backs. The West team recruits a stray
conference-goer who wanders onto the show floor, attracted by the big-scree=
Macs, as the fifth team member. And we're off.

The coin toss means that the East gets the Massachusetts Campaign for
Children. The West draws the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. By 5:15
tonight, both will have long-planned redesigns completed.

Last night, after loading up the machines with software and hardware (some
of which were procured from ex-CSiaD East Member), we headed to my house fo=
dinner and some bonding and schmoozing time over gazpacho.

West team leader Justin Hall, who came straight to the Hynes from the
airport, started flagging early. He also admitted to having checked his
email at the San Francisco airport. A little compulsive? Just what we want
in a team leader.

Members of the East Coast Team Meanwhile, East team leader Sally Khudairi
was the last to leave. The former W3C Director of Communications and keeper
of the very first Web site (yep, that Web site-the one made by Web creator
Tim Berners Lee back in the beginning of all of this). Sally started a new
job last week at Cambridge Technology Partners and has been trying to juggl=
new employee training with actual work-not to mention this shindig.

Her team:

Owen Johnson, Director of Engineering at InterDimensions, located a couple
blocks away in an old marble-filled bank branch in the ground floor of the

Michael Mann has been wanting to do this competition since his old boss,
August de los Reyes (now of Kodak), was on the very first East team, which
won in San Fran at Web '97. A designer for Town Online, the Web site for
Community Newspaper Company, Mike was picking up tips from his teammates in
their strategy sessions last night and huddling this morning, with drawing
pad and colored markers in hand.

Rich LaMance, from Harrison, NY, is a graphic designer at Sagemaker, which
designs computer software for the energy industry (clients like Mobil Oil).
After hours, he's a designer (and part of the "Swankarmy") for Swanky. At
12:45, he tells me, "It's been this long and I haven't even started. We've
been meeting. But we're all ready to go. I just installed Photoshop. The
only thing I'm nervous about is the time. We're going to do a really good
job-I think they're going to be happy. The client loves our ideas, but now
we have to show her."

Jeannie Finks, who had planned on helping out at the Webgrrls booth, will
instead be cranking on code and HTML all day. Webmaster at the local Concor=
Consortium, she's very familiar with non-profit work. At 11:40 Jeannie asks=
"Do you know where my design guys went?"

Team West

Team leader Justin Hall has perhaps the best-known home page on the Web. I
could tell you that he lives in Oakland, CA and is originally from Chicago,
that he worked at HotWired and Electric Minds, but if you read his home pag=
you already knew all that. His latest endeavor is

At 12:38 Justin reports, "It's going great. It's a fabulous team. The fact
that they were culled from the show floor means that we're looking at peopl=
who are less prepared and more rough and ready riders. It seems that the
East has ceded the control of the soundtrack to the West and I'm happy to
provide. It's really great to see people adapt. Like Angie, who seems to be
a PC person is learning the Mac on the fly. Ben, who is a Mac person, is
learning PC stuff. Our Photoshop wouldn't save. But nobody is pulling out
their hair." Soundtrack: Flatt & Scruggs, LTJ Bukem, William Orbit.

Ben Smith is a Web programmer/shaman/guy for the University of Colorado,
Boulder Angie Stolley, Web designer and consultant with 4CS, which has
placed her with John Deere. Angie lives in Davenport, Iowa. At 12:53 she
says, "Right now I'm kind of stressed out because I realize this has to be
good in a little time. I work under pressure all the time, but not to this
degree. Working with teammates I don't know is challenging and not
necessarily conducive to intuitive or effective design. Part of the beauty
of working in a team is anticipating one another's skills and this way it's
kind of a shot in the dark. But I'm sure it'll become something much better
than I envision it right now." It's getting stressful and Angie isn't as
optimistic as her team leader, but she does love being in Boston.

Colin Schaub, is the Programming Manager for Minneapolis-based Revolv, whic=
is the interactive arm of Fallon McElligott, an advertising agency. "Right
now I'm content engineer for one part of the site - the development program=
that the Urban League offers. It's hard to wade through all the information
and architect and design and code. I thought it would be easier!" Colin had
planned on meeting speakers and attending seminars, but wanted to see what
Cool Site would be like, "Just to say I've built a site in a day."

Ariana French also works for Revolv, as a Web production artist. I asked he=
how she felt as she finished up lunch. "Really tense. I'm just worried abou=
all the last minute adjustments and how long they're going to take:
JavaScript rollovers, making sure everything mushes together all right
especially the graphics. Overall I'm not terribly worried because we have a
really good team."

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

In addition to Web Review, AppliedTheory generously sponsored the Cool Site
competition this time. The company is here (Booth #112) and represented by
Event Manager Lucille Short. They've offered to provide six months' worth o=
free hosting for the resulting Web sites. "It seemed like an exciting way t=
contribute to a non-profit organization at a show," says Lucille. "This is
totally unique and very exciting. I've never seen designers work like this.
East and West is going to be very interesting - I'm looking forward to
seeing how their styles and approaches will vary."

AppliedTheory is a specialized Internet Service Provider, providing access,
Web hosting and co-location, and Web enabling solutions. They're based in
New York and expanding their network to Boston in the near future. (And yes=
they're hiring in Boston.)

The Groups

The Massachusetts Campaign for Children ( is a
non-partisan, statewide public information, education and mobilization that
to elevate children's issues to the top of the public agenda. Their recent
work includes informing people about how to prevent shaken baby syndrome.

The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts ( serves its mission
as a multiracial, nonprofit community based organization that provides
programs of service and advocacy emphasizing education, employment and
training and career development. Active in Boston's African-American
community since 1919, ULEM recently opened an advanced Internet and compute=
training facility.

The Judges

Lined up for weighing in later this afternoon are Dale Dougherty, President
Songline Studios, Publisher, Web Review ( of Sebastopol,
CA; Terry Swack, the President of TS Design (; Carl
Steadman, the co-founder of Suck (, a columnist for The
Industry Standard (, and consultant and general Web
pundit (; and Andrew Zolli, VP, Interactive Media, Siegel
& Gale (, NY. If we can spring former East Team leader an=
winner Lance Arthur ( from his panel, or delay the
proceedings, he'll also be a judge.

At 1:16, Lance stopped by wearing a purple Yahoo! shirt. ("It was clean.") =
asked about his memories, "I'm having a little bit of a flashback nightmare
here, and I feel both pity and excitement."