Devin Reams profile photo

Hi! I’m Devin and I work at Mozilla. I’m sensibly impulsive, consistently non-committal, and passionately impartial.

Instant email is good for nobody

Like most project managers, account managers, or client-facing individuals, I have my email inbox open all day. One any given day, there could be a dozen different individuals that can reach out to me with an urgent question. But replying instantly is not always the best action. While we can’t ignore our clients (current and potential), we can help each other by getting into good habits. These are some of mine explained.

Archive your bookmarks with WordPress

Many people use some sort of social bookmarking service to collect their favorite how-to guides, recipes, interesting articles, and funny cat pictures. There are a number of services available: Delicious, Gnolia, and my personal favorite pinboard.in.

NDAs

Like Alex, I’ve had a post on NDAs ready to draft up any day now. But many people have said it better than I could: NDAs are, in most cases, unnecessary; as if I had the time or energy to implement your idea, assuming it’s even a good one. As with RFPs, NDAs are often a good litmus test: some of the best projects and ideas come without one.

The free software problem

Rachel mentioned a story about a college professor who, to paraphrase, said that “we kids have no right to complain about all the websites we use (Google Mail, Facebook) because they’re giving everything to us for free”.

Colombia

A friend and I visited Cartagena, Rodadero and Santa Marta in June 2008. After staying in the city of Cartagena for a few nights, we traveled a half-day by bus to Rodadero to enjoy the beaches and the nightlight of Santa Marta. […]

How to create a web design proposal

The folks over at 37signals have put out a request for firms to apply to redesign their blog. This is a simple request with everything I need to evaluate the project: budget, timeline, scope, deliverable, and expectations. All of this is brilliantly captured within 324 words. Every day I wade through 30-slide PowerPoints and 12-page RFPs I truly wish more people were this straightforward. Frankly, in my experience, some of the simplest project requests work out the best.

Google Street View snowmobile

Whilst the Google Street View snowmobile is incredibly cool and innovative, I worry for the small companies that are building guides, videos, 3D trailmaps, and augmented reality applications for ski resorts. Once Google Maps introduces a new feature, it almost instantly becomes the de facto standard.

Are Yelp check-ins a conflict of interest?

The concept of “checking in” to a location using a web-based service is not new. Brightkite, Foursquare, and Gowalla have all been doing this for quite some time. But ever since Yelp has joined the fray, I can’t help but feel awkward about it.

Seeking success via celebrity

The American culture has become ever noticeably celebrity-centric. Ever since California elected itself a Republican Governor it’s become very obvious to me: no matter how bad the last guy did, how does the most liberal state in the union do that? For one, Schwarzenegger is recognizable and, through his acting and body-building days, a celebrity.

Posterous: three months in review

One of the greatest hosted services on the web is Posterous (pronounced a few different ways but consensus is: pahst-err-uhs). I experimented with the service for a few months and came to love it. If you take photos, its great. If you record video or voice notes, it’s excellent. If you blog, magnificent. If you want to do all of these (and more) in one unified place, then Posterous is the site to do it.