Skype Interview with Mike Tarantino

Mike Tarantino is developing his own humanitarian website which will help people to avoid debt. He’s busy developing a lens or two on Squidoo and is one of the first people to read and review Website Stress Test.

Here’s the transcript from my interview with Mike (otherwise known as Yoda) which we conducted on 2nd November 2008, via Skype:

[3:19:52 PM] Dr Richard says:

OK. How did you hear about infinite42?

[3:20:36 PM] Yoda says:

If I’m not mistaken, I found your Lens on Squidoo, and found your site from there

[3:20:59 PM] Dr Richard says:

Did you sign up for my Squeeze Guide?

[3:21:16 PM] Yoda says:

Yes indeed!

[3:21:31 PM] Yoda says:

…and thanks for making it available!

[3:21:45 PM] Dr Richard says:

You’re welcome. Do you own a website?

[3:22:24 PM] Yoda says:

Yes, but it isn’t finished (although after reading your book, I now understand they never are).

[3:23:02 PM] Dr Richard says:

Right. It’s an ongoing process. So what problems do you see with web design?

[3:23:59 PM] Yoda says:

At this point, more than I can imagine, since I’m starting from scratch learning HTML, to be followed by CSS, etc.

[3:24:23 PM] Dr Richard says:

There’s certainly a lot to learn

[3:24:31 PM] Dr Richard says:

Where do you look for tips and information?

[3:25:21 PM] Yoda says:

Tell me about it! Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time on your material, and of course have been doing Google searches as well, where I’ve found some good tutorials.

[3:25:55 PM] Dr Richard says:

So you find you have to look around at a lot of different sources?

[3:27:06 PM] Yoda says:

Well, I’ve “looked” at a lot of tutorials, but have settled on concentrating on one in particular, in conjunction with the help you’ve been sending out in your newsletters.

[3:27:27 PM] Dr Richard says:

Do you find that different sites contradict each other?

[3:28:24 PM] Yoda says:

Not really, but there is a big difference in the way the material is presented: some much easier to understand than others (at least for a beginner like me).

[3:28:39 PM] Dr Richard says:

And is it all up-to-date?

[3:29:41 PM] Yoda says:

No. I found some tutorials that were several years old, so I avoided them since I know there have been a lot of changes in the technology and the languages as well.

[3:29:56 PM] Dr Richard says:

Right. It changes pretty often

[3:30:07 PM] Yoda says:

for sure

[3:30:20 PM] Dr Richard says:

So I’m hearing that all of this research takes a lot of time…

[3:31:44 PM] Yoda says:

That’s quite true for me since I’m a neophyte, but I’m getting it, and the more I learn, the easier it’s becoming.

[3:32:10 PM] Dr Richard says:

So a one-stop guide on what makes a good website would be very useful?

[3:32:57 PM] Yoda says:

Definitely, “especially” if it’s up to date with the latest technology!

[3:33:27 PM] Dr Richard says:

So now you’ve had a chance to read “Website Stress Test”, what did you think?

[3:36:08 PM] Yoda says:

I think it will jump-start me on the way to “novice expert” status or higher very quickly, and I also think that once I have the nuts and bolts of the site finished, my site will have a definite advantage over a lot of other people’s, if they haven’t received the training put forth in your book.

[3:36:32 PM] Dr Richard says:

So you’re definitely planning to use it?

[3:37:43 PM] Yoda says:

Absolutely. I’d be a fool not to, don’t you think? (You’re probably not the right fellow to ask that, but….)

[3:37:55 PM] Dr Richard says:

Of course!

[3:38:07 PM] Dr Richard says:

How much time do you think it will save you?

[3:40:32 PM] Yoda says:

That’s a tough one, because rather than save me time, it’s going to force me to put more time into it; the reason is because if I hadn’t read the book, I wouldn’t know about all the different things I can tweak. The saying is true: “Ignorance is bliss.” Still, as far as I’m concerned it will be time well spent, because it will help me reach and maybe even exceed my goals.

[3:41:14 PM] Dr Richard says:

Agreed. Hopefully you can spend that extra time tweaking and improving your site

[3:41:41 PM] Dr Richard says:

OK – 2 more questions

[3:42:35 PM] Yoda says:

Right, that’s what I meant. Without your book I’d have gotten the thing up and sat on my hands waiting for things to happen.

[3:42:54 PM] Dr Richard says:

How do you think it would help other site owners?

[3:46:09 PM] Yoda says:

No matter what we do, whether it’s buiding a website or anything else, there is always room for improvement, if we have the tools to make those improvements. Your book has been a full set of tools for me in terms of gaining a good position on the web, and in keeping the “stuff” on it fresh. If it is all of that for me, it would undoubtedly be the same for anyone else, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on their level of experience, obviously.

[3:46:39 PM] Dr Richard says:

So you’d be happy to recommend it to other website owners?

[3:47:33 PM] Yoda says:

Yes, with pleasure!

[3:47:51 PM] Dr Richard says:

Well that’s great to hear. I’m happy you liked the book