WWD Reader Profile: Maurice Cherry, Designer/Blogger/Entrepreneur

WebWorkerDaily readers are a diverse bunch. Every week, I profile a different reader and ask them to share what they do, how they do it, and some of their favorite hints and tips.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Maurice Cherry, and I’m the founder of the Black Weblog Awards, the web’s premier Internet event celebrating Black bloggers since 2005. I am also the creative principal at 3eighteen media, an online media company that handles theme design, email marketing and design, copywriting, copyediting and social media consulting. In this role, I am currently doing some consulting for the Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation, which funds Grady Memorial Hospital, one of the largest health systems in the country. When time permits, I also do some freelance writing on technology for Black Web 2.0 and TechDrawl.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I always start my day with a fresh pot of tea and go through my email and my RSS subscriptions in Google Reader (s goog). After that, depending on the day, there’s meetings with clients around town, working on client projects at home or collaborating with other creatives on projects around the city. Oftentimes, you can find me at a Starbucks or at Octane Coffee working feverishly on a new article or on proposals, or coding and designing a new web site.

What gear and software do you use, and why?

My portable gear is pretty minimal: I have a Gateway T-Series laptop (aka “Deanna Blu”) with a 320GB external HDD and a Logitech Trackman Marble (I’ve always used trackball mice). My home office has an HP Slimline PC (s hpq) running Windows 7 Ultimate (s msft) connected to a 24″ LCD monitor. Also, I have a T-Mobile G1 (s dt), which pretty much never leaves my side and sometimes serves as a 3G modem in spots where I have my laptop and there’s no Wi-Fi.

On the software end, the tools that help me be great are few. I use Freshbooks for invoices and client management, Dropbox for synchronizing files between my two machines and phone (as well as between me and my clients), Belvedere for elegant file management between my machines and my external HDDs (two 1 TB drives) and Thunderbird 3 for mail (tricked out with a few different plugins and filters). I also use Google Calendar and Google Tasks a lot since the updates sync to my phone and my mail client effortlessly. I’m still pretty old school on project management, though — I use Microsoft Project, a Moleskine and a Marvy Uchida LePen.

What’s your favorite web working tip?

I have three tips, actually.

  1. Get a change of scenery from time to time. Working from home can be great, but explore coffeehouses, restaurants and coworking spaces to give you a change of pace.
  2. Realize that occasionally you have to meet your clients where they are. Sometimes, that means they’re not going to be as technically savvy as you are. You can either spend time getting them to your level, or you can slide tackle (à la Nathan Smith) and just get the job done.
  3. Track everything. Track your web stats, your finances, your project timeline — track everything you can. It’s the best way to see when you’re making progress.

If you would like to be profiled on WWD, get in touch with me at simon (at) gigaom (dot) com.

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