Slave Labor: A Family Reunion Website

Last year, around the fourth of July, Gavin’s mom Bonnie asked us what we were doing next year on the fourth of July, wondering if we might be willing to go to a (then) un-planned family reunion for her family up in Chester, CA.  Bonnie’s family is large and scattered all across the country, so it seems like none of them see much of each other.  Hence, wanting to schedule a reunion!  So she went to work on it and we put a note on our calendars, a year in advance, about the upcoming reunion.

Fast-forward to a couple months ago.  Since Gavin has so rarely been in contact with his mom’s larger family, Gavin got to thinking that it’d be nice to know a little something about everyone who was coming.  That way, come the big day, people would know enough about each other in order to have a more meaningful conversation.  So, he set about to making a survey with lots of different questions and sent that survey out, requesting that people answer whatever questions they wish and, once complete, send the surveys back to him.

Gavin then turned to me and asked if I would create a website for him that would have people’s survey responses and pictures, etc.  I told him that I would create one and sketched a hazy idea and that was that.   I bought the domain for him and arranged for my cousin Danny to host the site.  I even began a Photoshop page to try to determine what it would really look like.  All was fine until President’s Day weekend, when Gavin practically held a gun to my head and basically said, “Finish the site this weekend, or else.  In return, I will give you no food, drink, or pay.”  Which is kind of an overstatement, but also kind of not.

So on a weekend when I was supposed to be thinking about the presidents of our fine country, I instead put together a website really quickly, making things up on the fly.  And, I am pleased to tell you that I was able to complete the website by Sunday afternoon (starting the afternoon before) — 60-some pages later.  Some of the pages are empty (containing only that person’s name and photo, because that’s all we have), whereas other pages are full, displaying that person’s contact information, survey & pictures.  The hope is that this website will help spur others along who haven’t yet filled out their survey to submit something so that they will have a representative space.

Anyway, a quick turnaround for my husband — one of the hardest clients I’ve worked for!

About jenny

Jennifer Smith Greene is originally from and lives currently in Burbank, California with her husband Gavin Greene. Jenny completed her undergraduate degree from Woodbury University in Graphic Design. She has worked as a graphics & web designer, both as an in-house and freelance designer. She also has completed a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She has worked as a hospital chaplain and in support roles in various churches. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys watercolor painting. She has taken classes and workshops under Joseph Stoddard, Tom Fong, Danny Gregory and Jane Friend. Additionally, Jenny is active in the community and volunteers her time on the Board of Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley, a social service nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless children and their families by providing shelter and support services to help the families find jobs and housing. Jenny enjoys reading (and highly recommends the site Goodreads), watching movies, playing softball and tennis and taking walks with her husband. Otherwise, Jenny is always curious to find out about those people who come to her site and would love to hear from you!
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6 Responses to Slave Labor: A Family Reunion Website

  1. Pingback: Fusing Glass Under Influence of the Flu | What's Jenny Making?

  2. jenny says:

    PS: is automatize a word?! 🙂

  3. Dan Smith says:

    That site looks really cool! I’m sure the whole “other” family will like it 🙂

    Anyway, next time you do something like that, let me know. I’ve been interested in seeing if we could combine your awesome design skills, with my programming skills to produce a website like this that wouldn’t cause you to have to create 60 pages…We could create 6 or 7 pages, then auto-generate the rest but with different data on each page 🙂

    • jenny says:

      Ooooh, that sounds super neat, Danny! If we ever do a Smith Family reunion again, we should try doing a survey like this and see if we can automatize it!

  4. Jenn says:

    I love the look of the pages. Makes me want to get some content and money and hire you to make me a website! 🙂 You should feel good about how nice your on-the-fly work comes out.

    • jenny says:

      Thanks, Jenn! I am glad you like it. I think I especially like the “whoop-de-doo” logo…as I feel it has a little bit of whimsy in it…like the name implies. On the whole, I am pleased with how the site came out, although if I had more time, I might have done a few things differently in how I built it.

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