smorgasbord-design ... three months on

Facebook had started to take over my web time until a week or so ago when I realised I'd not done anything on Last Chance Saloon for a while. Then I realised I'd not posted our wedding website yet either. Then it became clear that I was falling behind on the stuff I actually get paid for too. But frankly that doesn't seem to matter as regardless of how far I fall behind on that stuff, the other people who'll plug it all together behind the scenes are even further behind and even more under-resourced than I am. So where to focus my attentions?

Well, the invites went out for the wedding and since then it's been a bit of a whirl of RSVPs, sorting out groomsmen's attire, stag events (thanks Robin), website stuff (Marisa and I are getting there on that) and more. Floristry and church arrangements seem to be a never ending saga with the former causing the most headaches both financially and logistically. I'm sure we'll get there in the end but it's hard to think that I'll not resent the money and hassle on the day when I look around at all the hours of work and £s of cash that have been poured into it all. It's all well and good starting the whole wedding process with intentions of project managing the whole thing to within an inch of its life but it's another thing when you reflect on some of the principle reasons it was never going to work that way:

  1. I'm not a project manager. In fact I'm not even half a project manager. I'm a thoughtful creative type who's easily distracted.
  2. I no-longer live with my fiancee and, worse still, I live 3hrs away in Norwich.
  3. My fiancee couldn't be less interested in the whole affair as she's got bigger fish to fry throughout the courts of England now.
  4. Two years of intermittent planning enthusiasm is enough to stall the momentum of the best laid plans.
  5. Financially it's all become so obscenely expensive that the scattering of luxurious touches has just been turned into paying someone a King's Ransom to re-arrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.

That said, there are moments of brilliance. The band, the invites, the reception venue, our enigmatic priest, my shoes ... so I'm quite sure it'll become more than the sum of its parts. I only hope SWMBO's employers let her have the day off now to enjoy it.

Wedding aside, Last Chance Saloon is careering along at a pace. A frankly bewildering generosity from the many nooks and crannies of The Company has ensured that much of the expense for our ludicrous project to drive to Rome in a tired old Volvo has been borne by generous benefactors. Some creative writing, a smattering of mediocre photography and a few long train journeys to Surbiton have resulted in an update this morning which starts to reveal more about the direction we're heading in (predominantly South West after we pass Paris).

The lack of a commute (Shank's Pony now gets me to work in under 5 minutes) has killed off my inspirational out-of-work thoughts around user experience and the intensity of the laborious projects i'm engaged on at work has stiffled some of my much needed thinking time. In a desperate attempt to nod myself back in that direction I have resolved to pick up listening to IA podcasts and have been networking on LinkedIn as well as joining the Information Architecture Institute to try and become part of a wider knowledge sharing community.

My intention this week was to write a lengthy piece about why Facebook has captured the imagination and web-time of millions of people who never before would have considered signing up with and dedicating time to photo-sharing, blogging and general social networking. Why, for example, is Facebook's growth causing people to peel away from Friends Reunited and MySpace in droves? I think I know why and, if you're lucky and I start to find some time amongst cars, weddings and work, i'll explain all next week.