Here and there I do a little pro-bono project as I imagine many web designer/developer types are prone to do. I am not sure what it is about the web but occasionally it demands of us our time and effort on something we know will never pay out. I don’t think you’d see the same thing from professionals in other fields. Imagine a free surgery, a free day in court; those things just don’t happen (and if they do I’m going to say with some assurance not as often as a free website happens).
I think this is because information, as Jeff Veen once famously (in my mind) said, wants to be free and those of us working on the web want to make it free. I also think this is because at our roots web designer/developers also want to make things for people who would appreciate them, money or no. We just all had to make a living too. And if this is not the case for most designer/developers out there it is at least the case for me. I do occasionally enjoy helping a good cause or a poor but deserving organization to a good website. I also generally like to see how fast I can do it.
When free is going on, why not try for a bit of speed? I think either of these projects took less than 6 hours, and without having to build in wordpress or any fancy jquery bells and whistles, these two sites harken back to my roots. When web pages were hypertext documents, the written word with links, a couple pictures here and there and a lot of love, quickly. The difference now of course, theses sites validate as XHTML Transitional, include stylesheets, not mustly old table structure and look considerably better than the pro-bono sites I had built when I was a young lad with fresh eyes to the web. Here’s to going back to my roots and a couple of old fashioned, pro-bono sites.