I dabble in web stuff (making websites in some form or other), because I'm comfortable with the internet and basic mark-up, and because I can't seem to shake this habit of doing things myself whenever I think I can do better than what's already out there. I'm not a graphic designer or an illustrator, but I have some training in user interface and interaction and I know how to create content and structure information, and I know my way around a stylesheet.
My 9 to 5 with the Center for Health & the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago involves a lot of different type of work, but redesigning the website was one of my biggest projects. This site was created in Dreamweaver, to support an existing Adobe Contribute content management system that was in place before I started. Although the site uses Dreamweaver templates, I manually coded nearly all of the layout and design elements. While I'm pleased with the design, I think the creation of entirely new web content and a large-scale restructuring of the information architecture underlying the Center's web presence is an even greater accomplishment.
I created bikeCHI.org when I realized that Chicago was lacking a good reference site for information on the city's vibrant bike community. While there are excellent blogs and forums dedicating to the Chicago bike scene, all of which have extensive blogrolls and lists of links to other sites, none of these gave me the information I wanted, presented in the way I wanted it presented. bikeCHI.org has the same links as many other sites, but it links only to recent, up-to-date content, and it offers descriptions of each linked site. With integrated Google Calendar support, I'm hoping to expand this site into a more comprehensive resource for cyclists around Chicago right now. This site is powered by Joomla, a flexible and powerful open-source CMS.
Brewing Notes is a small personal project, but is a good example of a Wordpress-powered blog that can be put together quickly (and cheaply). I use this site to collect all of my notes from our homebrewing attempts, allowing me to access them on-the-go. And, of course, it's possible other people might stumble upon it and find our experiences enlightening.