August 2009 Blog Archive


Fri

21

Aug

2009

Jimdo Spotlight Candy Gourlay

 

Can you believe it?!

We've got over one million sites!

 

With this incredible amount of sites under one roof, Jimdo is proud to be the

only website creator out there that is seriously curious about the actual people behind all those pages.

Trying to make the world a less anonymus place (starting with our Jimdo community), we regularly reserve space in this blog to present special sites and site-owners we find outstandingly interesting and unique.

 

Today's gem in the Jimdo Spotlight is multi-talented mom of three Candy Gourlay and her site self-titled site candygourlay.com

Candy is a woman of many skills.

 

"I wanted to become a writer from the moment I learned to read. I did become a writer but for a long time, I was the wrong kind of writer, working as a reporter for newspapers and magazines."

With her three children "turning up" in her house, she decided to "do the right kind of writing - writing for children."

 

As a mom of three she not only writes books for kids, but also draws funny scribbles and designs cool-looking websites for other people using Jimdo. What a great combination! Her style is fresh, her attitude wholesome and just by looking over her site you cannot help but smile. Beyond all of the above, Candy wrote and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary called Motherless Nation in 2005 and speaks about "the art and craft of story" at author conferences. What a bundle of energy - we totally love her!

 

To bring some inspiring Candy to your life, please continue reading and don't miss to check out her site candygourlay.com

Candy, you've got such a cool, artsy-sounding name.

Is this your real name?

I am from the Philippines also known as the The Land Where Every Person Has a Nickname. When I was born my parents gave me a formal name that would look good on my tombstone: Maria Cristina.

But my big sister, then 2 years old, decided I should be called Candy, after her dolly.

 

Then she bit me.

How about three personal stats/facts we cannot find on your site?

1.  I have two sisters and three brothers: and they are all to varying degrees techno-proficient and into multimedia. It must have been a geek gene.
2.  I hate fairground rides.
3.  I adore babies. Love them, love them. But I sure am glad all my kids are now too old to have their bottoms wiped.

Did you have a website before starting your Jimdo site?
My very first website was built when I was a bored young mother while trying to avoid washing dishes. It's still up there. Mumatwork.co.uk. Building it taught me that I had a lot to learn about websites and design. I've kept a blog NotesfromtheSlushpile.co.uk since 2005 and CandyGourlay.com is just the latest incarnation of my homepage.

How did you find out about Jimdo and what do you like about it especially?
I actually found Jimdo through another website making service which we will identify as W. I was trying to help a friend build a website on W and it just wasn't working for my friend. I did a search for other content management sites and found Jimdo. I much preferred the toolset and I liked the usability. I also liked the personal and friendly service. I now build websites for my website clients using Jimdo.

You work in three different areas: writing, drawing and building websites.
Interesting combination - how did that "happen"?

Writing has always been what I do. I was a journalist and a magazine editor in my early career. I've never made any money out of drawing (though I did have a weekly comic strip in the Philppines a long long time ago) but I really enjoy stuff to do with graphics. The two skill-sets were a good fit for web design - websites are all about organising information and helping the reader find what they are looking for - that's what I did when I worked in magazines.

You are a mother and a career woman. Do you see any conflict in that?
Motherhood is the oldest profession in the world and I'm just lucky that I can work from home, keep my own hours and be with the kids (who contrary to popular belief often prefer quantity time rather than quality time from their parents). One of my mottos is: Let's do it all ... we're already tired anyway.

And boy, am I tired. But happy.

What motivates you? Where do you get your creativity from? Any trick to share?
Everything is motivating when you're open to change. I find that people have varying degrees of receptiveness to change - change meaning learning new stuff, trying other things, getting out of your comfort zone. And you're more receptive when you are not afraid to play around with stuff. A lot of older people I know develop a fear for change ... but they are surprised when they embrace change and discover that they enjoy it!

Your current work in progress is a book called Tall Story. Please be so kind and give us a short summary and let us know what sparked your inspiration here.
Tall Story is about a boy who suffers from gigantism. It's a coming of age story for teenagers - when I was a teenager I thought I was a freak ... what if you really did suffer some abnormality like gigantism? I combined this idea with some magical elements to do with giants in Philippine folklore.

Giants figure in a the folk lore of countries which suffer from natural disasters like earthquakes - in the Philippines, we believe the frequent earthquakes happen when giants underneath the earth are moving.

 

A propos basketball and boys who suffer from gigantism - it also so happened that my sister's husband used to coach an Indonesian basketball team that recruited a giant boy, in the hope of matching the success of the Chinese giant Yao Ming. The problem was, the boy was not tall like Yao Ming. He was a giant.

 

The book is going well and turning out to be quite funny. It's the fourth novel I've written. I am hoping it will become my first published book.

Has your Jimdo site helped you get your message across? If so, how?
Apart from the fact that Jimdo is so easy to update, it also provides the ability to add contact forms on any page. I think this is crucial in an age when the audience is no longer content to merely receive your information but to participate in it. I think the comments forms create that easy link between the author and the reader.

 

Is there anything you would like Jimdo to improve? Is there a certain feature you're missing?
The number one killer feature would be an UNDO button - or better yet, a versions app. Having the ability to go back to a previous version of your website would be so cool. You can also create the ability to save ‘skins' for your website that you just click on when you feel like changing - white and snowy in winter, green and fresh in spring, that sort of thing.

Interview with multi-talented artist Candy Gourlay

Candy, best of luck to you with your upcoming book Tall Story and many more projects to come!

Thank you so very much for this smart and funny interview!

- Lisa

3 Comments

Wed

12

Aug

2009

New Layouts for JimdoPro Users!

"A few extra layouts for JimdoPro, please!" - this was one of the more frequent requests from our users. From your mouths straight to our designers' ears, there are now nine (9!) brand-new layouts for your viewing pleasure. These elegant JimdoPro layouts are appropriate for professional or business sites, while keeping the style of a modern website.

 

You'll find the new JimdoPro layouts under "Layouts" in your JimdoPro sites - there's a new section called "JimdoPro Layouts". Just select it and choose one of the new designs.

We hope you'll enjoy trying out the new designs. And if you're feeling just a bit jealous as a JimdoFree user, take a look at all the features JimdoPro offers in addition to these great layouts. Maybe JimdoPro's right for you! It's very easy to upgrade - just log into your Jimdo site and click on the "Upgrade" button (see image) in the toolbar on the right. In just a few steps you'll be the proud owner of a professional website and can enjoy all the advantages of JimdoPro.

But enough about that! Here's a preview of all the new JimdoPro layouts that you've been waiting for :)

3 Comments

Fri

07

Aug

2009

1 Million Jimdo Sites Online! (Also, Join us on Facebook and Twitter)

Wohoo! We've got a reason to jump for joy - we've just reached a BIG milestone:

 

1,000,000 Jimdo Sites!

Because it's so exciting and we're so happy: Jimdo's growth, in graph form! :)
Because it's so exciting and we're so happy: Jimdo's growth, in graph form! :)

 

We don't let great chance to celebrate go by, so the Jimdo team took this great news as an opportunity to have a little barbeque party on the balcony (take a look at the photos below). And of course, this is another opportunity for us to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all of the great Jimdo users. We couldn't have done it without you, that's for sure.

Jimdo's Here for You!

By the way, if you want to stay up-to-date on what's going on at Jimdo, follow us on Twitter and become official Jimdo fans on Facebook! Just click on the icons below.

 

Click on the symbol and become a Jimdo fan on Facebook.

 

Click here to follow our tweets...

Jimdo Celebrates 1 Million Sites with Schnitzel and Salad

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