Here it goes.
Hmmm. How to write a blog. I don’t have a clue, but I’m going to try … starting today.
Yes, our bread and butter is from website design and website and email hosting. But we certainly do a lot more than that.
In future blog posts, I’ll break down in detail the top 4 services we provide. Those being:
This whole journey into the Information Technology field began in 1992, just after I graduated from the Electronics and Computers 2 year course at Kaw Area Technical School in Topeka, KS.
My first job out of school in 1992 was to go to work for the Kansas Press Association in their new “Internet Tech Support” department. There were 3 of us, answering phones helping people learn how to get online with blazing fast 14.4 and 28.8 dial up modems.
It was at this time I built my first website. “Welcome to my Webpage”, “I like these links”. Remember those days?
The president of the association came downstairs to the tech room, and handed me a manilla folder and said “We need to make a website for Coldwell Banker”. At this time, there were no classes, school or books that taught website design, so I learned to code by hand, then quickly advanced to an HTML tag editor called “Hot Dog“.
I advanced my skillset pretty quickly and accepted another helpdesk job at an accounting firm called Myers and Stauffer (M&S).
Shortly after starting M&S, the bulletin board system we were supporting was going to be shut down in favor of a web-based system where the customer (in this case nursing homes sending data to the State of Kansas for reimbursement). I learned how to speak the computer language that everyone can understand and sometimes taught basic computer skills to non technical staff by phone. I led the Y2K testing of all computers and software in the office. To this day, I continue to practice IT Consulting, and still make house calls.
After experimenting with Netscape Composer for HTML editing, but Microsoft Front Page was the app of choice to get pages made and uploaded quickly. Building on my computer skillset, I finally settled in as the Webmaster of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at the State of Kansas. This was around the year 2000, and was happy to leave the helpdesk jobs behind.
I stumbled into Macromedia DreamWeaver, and continued using it after Adobe purchased it, and all it’s version/variations. I still use it a couple times a year for static HTML website updates.
I joined the state web accessibility project group, and helped them draft new guidelines for The State of Kansas with regards to web accessibility. We had to learn a new way of programming with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Ugh, but it wasn’t all that bad. I had no idea this would be the future direction of all HTML and web development.
During this time at the State, I made friends with many co-workers, and they would help start The C-Team Studios. For example, in about 2001, one of my co-workers (already a member of a nursing association) needed a website for their organization. I quickly realized that I could make $$ doing this, and incorporated as an LLC.
I treated The C-Team Studios as a part-time job and would tend to website updates and questions in the evenings and weekends.
For those who haven’t worked in State Government before, I grew frustrated at the inability to fire staff who were not productive. It was frustrating to be on time every day, but see others show up late, chat around the office to waste time then take a morning break. They would then go to lunch (and take a long lunch) only to work a couple hours every afternoon. The epitome of the “Typical State Worker”. We also had folks that would sleep at their desk with no remorse for getting caught. So frustrating.
For those who know, to get ahead in State Government you’ll never get a pay increase. You have to switch to a higher paying job.
I took a new position where I would manage the video conference network. There was some special hardware cameras at each district office, and we could hold trainings remotely and interact with the speakers in live. Imagine Zoom and Facetime before Zoom and Facetime. Although once a mysterious technology, we now hold this technology in our hands every day. That technology seems so antiquated today.
Department Directors started using the video conference system and wondered how to make it better, and they purchased more cameras and switching equipment to make the trainings easier to watch (with my help). I ended up building a broadcast station in a rolling cart. I could set up the cart in any conference room, cameras, TV, etc. and have a training.
By this time, I had basic HTML and video production skills, and then …
It was the fall of 2008. Since I was now known as the “Video Guy”, a current website client casually asked if I could take some video of their sporting event so they could put some videos on their website. This group held mixed martial arts events, and I broke into that market. When I showed up to video, there were over 1,000 people in attendance. I began filming all the fights and selling videos to the fighters/coaches and fans. This was done under a new business entity called “The MMA Video Guy”. I know, not very original, but it was easy because everyone said “Hey the Video Guy” is here!
Although it was pretty busy at the beginning (we shot 2-3 shows per month), we have over 110 shows under our belt, and we still record a 2-3 fights a year. We ended up getting business from other MMA fight promotins in the region. We worked shows from Kansas City to Colby, and Omaha to Tulsa. Once recording and capturing from MiniDV tape, we are all completely digital now, and shoot in standard HD 1920×1080. Our equipment is also portable and can record at your site.
We also have grown to feature live camera switching and streaming to YouTube. We were recently hired to stream the USD 501 Graduation from Hummer Sports Park. It was a 3 camera shoot, in the rain. Went off without a hitch! This is an image of me “calling the shots” over the radio and my assistant (and oldest daughter Hannah) operating the main switcher and monitoring the stream.
Back to Video Conferencing at the State of Kansas … once again, if you wanted to get ahead at the State, you have to take another position. I found myself working for another agency “Health Policy Authority” as their webmaster. I hated this job, mostly because my boss was a political appointee and was promoted/appointed past his ability to manage. He was not a very smart person.
After fighting the state bureaucracy for 10 years, and now fully vested in the KPERS retirement system I left to pursue being an entrepreneur.
Somehow, I started being an entrepreneur on a Monday, but the next Friday I found myself in a job interview that I didn’t expect. I was hired on the spot and started the following Monday. The company name was called Personalized Brokerage Services, and I would be working in their marketing division doing Website Design, Graphic Design and Videography. Essentially, I would taking all the overflow production that the current staff no longer has time to do. I worked there 2 more years. I learned a lot about drawing print ads in Adobe Illustrator, picture and color correction in Photoshop, video editing in Premiere and Sony Vegas, lighting a scene, and a lot more.
But those 2 extra years were a good thing, although frustrating, I learned that I wasn’t ready to go out on my own. I still needed to dial-in my skillsets and make them ready for prime time. I left the company, and went out on my own and haven’t looked back.
The next few blog posts will cover the services we provide in detail. Stay tuned.
Jeff Coen, Founder
The C-Team Studios, LLC