Attending WordCamp in Atlanta last weekend was this 50-something web designer’s way of catching up with the pack. The tail-end of it, anyway. The stragglers. I’ll fall back soon enough, of course, because web design is a jungle ruled by the young and the restless. Older, less easily stimulated animals like me spend too much time asleep in the trees digesting food to be serious contenders.


But I did learn enough to keep me awake while the presenters were presenting and I’ll more than likely flesh out a WordPress template or two for paying clients before the end of the year. I also learned a new initialism: MVP. In this context, it stands not for Most Valuable Player, but for Minimally Viable Product. It’s the four-page static HTML “brochure” site that preceeds the e-commerce juggernaut you’ll launch when your widgets are ready for market. It equates with the trailer that you’d park on your lot while you build your dream home.

Minimally viable product. I’ve been rolling that term around on my tongue and it tastes familiar. Much of the time, I think I could be wearing a T-shirt that says “Under construction. Please come back soon.” A vague invitation that offers no incentive or time frame. Soon relative to what? The life cycle of a butterfly? A squirrel? A century plant? And why, be it soon or otherwise, should the visitor return at all?

Whatcha got goin’ on there behind that privacy fence, fella?

Excellent question, visitor, and thank you for asking. Please come back soon.

And while we’re on the subject of things perpetually under construction, the big question right now is whether I’ll spend the last week of April in Washington, DC attending Steve Bassett’s Citizen Hearing on Disclosure at the National Press Club. It’s an expensive proposition and not one that I expect to surprise or delight me, so why go? Why spend an entire week listening to words I’ve heard spoken before by the very same people who always speak them?

Excellent questions, visitor. And thank you for asking.