Yes! you are right on the button and of course I know it - why else would I have stopped myself from biting back in the first place? I know that's just going to make a big problem out of something that is really my own fault, and creating tension won't help anything at all.*
*(sometimes later you end up in more trouble by being diplomatic, and someone says you should have nipped it in the bud...)
I just came back because I was having a think, and I know that the real reason I reacted so emotionally was that in fact I'm so short of money right now that I had been counting the days (well, weeks) until this was finished and making plans. It's childish - I felt like a little kid who has been told they can't have a new toy. It's also kind of screwed up that I could get that bothered about such a small amount of money. That's not their fault either.
I think perhaps if I just stay calm and when I am in a good 'place' and have an opportunity to raise the subject, I should just ask them nicely to pay me even though their content isn't ready. I think that was what I thought I could do at the time, but the worry ate away at me.
The person who initially approached me has been a client for quite a while now, and I regularly do bits and pieces on their website. I quite consciously gave them 'mates rates', and had actually been really pleased about how everything was going. They actually told me they were going to pay quite a lot more than first agreed (relatively), and things were going brilliantly as I felt I now had lots of happy people who were in a great position to recommend me to their contacts. I was even networking them with old friends.
I had a falling-out with my original client, way back when. I came and asked advice about that here as well. We sorted it all out in the end and I got a sincere apology and explanation that there had been a misunderstanding. But I did have to send that formal (sort of) email.
I suppose another thing is being treated with "suspicion" by someone when I know my original client trusts me and would probably be quite shocked if she thought I felt I was under suspicion of being the type to "cut and run". I really think if there was a real issue there she would back me up because she knows I'd never do that.
I have been applying liberal doses of beer to the issue. I'm not a drinker by anyone's standards, but it seemed more sensible and healthy to get out and chill out than stay in and stew. Time heals all etc.
It's quite freaky to see this on the list of top forum topics, by the way. LOL, asking for trouble! Oh well, so far I have resisted the urge to delete anything I've said. It's come close once or twice!
Anyway, time to try to be zen ...
Came back to say I also noticed this is a good thing overall. It's giving me back some of my usual pep. I tend to be at my best when I have something to get me going ... (Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and fierce). It probably is actually relevant to my attitude in general that I'm female, btw. I noticed the blurb says 'he' and thought 'haha', but for one thing it explains why I don't care much about sounding like a psychopathic angry freak, and for another why I seem so 'emotional'. It's handbags at dawn!
Spam is illegal in many countries and Russia is certainly no exception. So why then is it mostly left up to the technical experts to try to combat the problem when it could be argued that the legislature should be leading the crusade? In this article we will discuss anti-spam legislation as it exists in different countries around the world, focusing on how effective such legislation is and what prevents it from being more so.
Spam can cause a number of very serious problems, not least of which are excessive mail traffic, unrecoverable costs generated by staff productivity losses and server overloads, this last being a real headache for email providers and system administrators. But it doesn’t end there. Due to its perceived anonymity, spam is an effective tool for fraudulent activities such as the advertising of counterfeit goods and other forms of contraband, the distribution of pornography and a host of other crimes besides. Additionally, spam acts as a malware ‘delivery service’. A malicious program can be attached to an email, or a link can be placed in the body of an email that points to an infected website. Phishers also employ spam to trick users into visiting fake versions of well known websites with the intention of stealing their confidential data.
Cases involving spam are notoriously difficult to investigate and it is even more difficult to prove the spammers’ guilt. However, that’s not the only issue. The second problem is that many people, including some authorities whose job it is to protect us, simply underestimate the damage that spam can do, often seeing little problem in the mere fact that unsolicited correspondence is to be found in someone’s inbox. That is why much less attention is paid to the question of fighting spam than, for example, to the question of computer fraud.
lol, I don't know if he's a russian spammer perhaps you know something I don't!
I came back because I had some email notifications of new posts but I haven't been checking much email - trying to chillax and succeeding nicely. Good thing too - I've been indundated with new work requests, and I need to recharge the batteries. The latest thing is being asked to write a report that will be taken to Parliament in 2 weeks. If it doesn't scare you to think that someone like me could be mixed up in something like that, it really should! I've been bricking myself all afternoon, and worrying about how on earth I will be able to fulfil all my commitments ....
Meanwhile I have obviously been giving some thought as to what wording I should put in future contracts. I do HAVE a very long and formal contract that was written for me by a lawyer, but it's designed for dealing with big companies who will show it to their legal team. Round here, it's more likely that contracts need to be very simple and easy to understand, for Joe The Farmer who wants a simple website for his Bed & Breakfast and is confused about "that new internet thing". I have to draw up a contract like this over the weekend for my next client (a local builder) and I really did have to reassure him that it will be simple to understand, and even explained that "there's no point in having it if you don't understand, so you must ask me if you don't and I will reword it". Essentially, it actually makes the whole thing invalid anyway if the person signing it doesn't understand what they are signing.
Seriously, people vary a lot in what they know or can understand. Some are professional business people who either do or should know about things like data protection laws and good business practice. Some of them can and will afford a lawyer to look at contracts before signing, and it's not unreasonable to expect them to do their own fact-finding.
Other people, like my next client, are confused and anxious about the whole process and DO want help and advice. It really is easier for me to give them a simple explanation of some basic things, and they want to be able to rely on me to point them in the right direction. My next client has made it clear that he doesn't understand anything at all about the internet and that he needs me to be in charge. He just needs someone he can trust to do things for him. This is the person who came up with a completely unique internet-related law question that I really didn't know the answer to and had never ever come across before. It's important both to advise people to get proper legal advice if they have such questions and to be happy to assist in finding some information if they need it. It's a lot easier for me to find out stuff than it is for some other people.
I think at the beginning you said it came down to what I saw as my role, or job description, and how much I was prepared to take on. I think the answer to that is that I really need to be flexible and responsive to individual clients' needs. I do however need the protection of conditions in a contract that I can refer to later - the more general I can make the relevant clause the better. Still giving it thought, but it will be relevant for my next-but-one contract, so I have a whole month to work it out!
Some people here thought that actually the Unique Selling Point that I have and should make use of is a personal service with excellent support and after-sales care, as I am local. So far this is how things are working out - naturally. I have another new client who phoned up panicking about her website - wanting a redesign. Turned out that she's paid vast amounts of money to one person after another, with no progress. I may end up redesigning her site - in the end! But for now I offered my time (at a reasonable and affordable rate), just to help her figure out how to make the best of what she has and to fix anything she breaks while she is learning. (She has a complex CMS). I was very alarmed by how much she had already spent, and frankly I don't want to be compounding the problem.
With any luck word will get around about me being reliable and honest, in addition to what I can actually do on the computer. It seems to be working out. Things look like they are snowballing rapidly.
I do hope that if my original clients find this they don't freak out too much. I'm prepared to take my lumps if that happens. I was upset, yes, but really thinking ahead to the future and avoiding any much more serious problems with significant amounts of money on the table.
Trust - that is the key word I think. Doing things on time, the right way, looking good, and being a sensible person who gives sensible advice is not really too much to expect. I'm new to the area and need to build up a good reputation. I look like the least likely computer nerd in the world - more like a tramp, and my house looks like a squat. But people are suddenly realising that I'm really very capable.
So I may not be back to check the forum for a while as I am too busy - but thank you all for your sensible advice and various opinions. There is no one correct way of seeing the world!
I would error on the side of caution. It sounds like it is a bit shady.
Exactly, time to just sit back, take stock and do my best to deal with things wisely. As it stands, I have looked into using a better plugin for the form (I may still have to dive in to the code, but may as well start with a good one), and I have put some basic writing on the page that (sort of) complies with the law. We can iron out the details later, and I will be able to explain with more confidence why we need this.
As for spammers - they are clever these days. I did notice the copypasta aspect and figured that must be it ... but sometimes I leave spam on my blog when it manages to be either very amusing or relevant. As long as it doesn't link to bad things!!!! The other day I let through a comment on Generation X, as I felt it was so apt.
I should have a little rogues gallery of the best and most insane spam comments.
Back to the topic - it's always easier to deal with things like this when you are very sure you are correct, and why. I think I shall design a simple factsheet that people can have when they start a project that deals with people's data. It can have the main points they need to be aware of and information about where to get more.
I still haven't dug into the whole moving-data-outside-EU thing. I should do that ... so far nothing major has ever come up, but if I need to I can rent UK server space from the same hosting company, or even have them move my original website onto a UK server. I think if someone was expecting serious traffic they will be needing their own separate hosting anyway, so I will just remember to keep people on UK servers and avoid worrying about that aspect.
Next-but-one project will involve a lot of forms and database work, which I will probably code from scratch instead of using a CMS.