Global Advanced Media was launched by Steve Bryant in 2002. I published this site and some business cards after spending time getting self taught with books at the beginning, it all came together and continued to grow from there.
What started with a thick book on building web sites and dealing with pictures leading to another big book on picture editing and vector graphics creation. It wasn't long before we were learning adobe video editing software and building custom computers. It's been a non-stop learning journey ever since.
Over the years we have had family and friends working with us in various capacities, sometimes taking over entire divisions of the company. We have networked with people including Vanderbilt computer networking teachers locally and remote teams of coders from around the world.
I turned into a full time DJ in the 90s after managing multiple retail stores. That gave me time to learn and explore. I bought a lot of books and started taking many random classes. I took multi-week VoiceOver classes, contracting / house building classes at Vol State, dance classes at Vanderbilt. I have a passion for learning.
More and more classes have become available online and I keep signing up to learn more about what I know and what I don't know. I've enjoyed classes with Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, FreeCodeCamp, FrontEndMasters and others.
Around 2010 we started expanding more globally, managing teams and projects in multiple time zones. Using forums and support tickets turned into many more forms of communication. Internet advertising, google adwords, facebook ads, these sorts of things became even more important for our clients so we focused on them.
Around 2015 we focused strongly on internet security and let several of our advertising clients go to be taken care of by other companies who specialized in that field. Internet security, web site updates, patches, web server updates, and un-hacking web sites was our primary focus until 2019.
In 2020 we are now accepting new clients for generalized web work and consulting. We've learned a lot over the years, and continue to do so pretty much every day.
I work with other professionals sometimes hiring them for short term help with projects, and sometimes I am hired by other teams to come in and help them get through design sprints with their customers.
Ever since the beginning it was put into my brain to focus on lean code and small file sizes in order to make the web and easier place for all to use. Back in the day this mainly mean tweaking compression for jpg pictures and offering different bitrates for encoded videos.
These days pagespeed is a big factor in ranking a site in the top of google results, it's also still a big factor in web site visitors enjoying or leaving you site. Many things have bloated the web over the years, and many modern tech stacks have a lot of overhead that increases the amount of data that is expected to be downloaded and processed by your visitors. I try to slim things down as I go along and further tweak things as needed.
Many web sites are coded with bootstrap or using wordpress as an engine with various themes on top of it. Most of the time when I deploy a site based on the bootstrap framework I try to slice out some of the components that are normally included, and often not used in many projects.
Sometimes I take third party fonts and other resources and package them up so they load from the same web server the main site is on. This can help with page speed and also helps with privacy.
I've spent more than a hundred hours working with different wordpress sites to get a better page speed score with google's checking tools. There are so many things than can be merged and optimized with wordpress and the various themes, there is no one-click it's all fixed solution. A considerable amount of time can be spent trying to speed up wordpress.
I've built sites with basic html, php, css, wordpress, bulma, bootstrap, picnic css, foundation 5, and many other technologies along the way.
I love to build web sites using a basic text editor (notepad ++, sometimes I pop over to sublime text) from the ground up. Most of my small business and hobby web site clients don't have the kind of budget needed for a full on site creation block by block like that, so we do also work with them frameworks like bootstrap, and can deploy an modify wordpress based web sites including using free themes that need little modification to make really good.
I've used many programs over the years and done tutorials on many as well. I currently enjoy using photoimpact more than photoshop. I also prefer corel's video studio to adobe's video program. Sometimes I use online tools for things, it varies with the situation.
I've trained in linux and servers, ssh, ftp, cpanel / whm, directadmin, plesk, and others. Far from an expert on many of these things, I sometimes know enough to be less dangerous and sometimes call in some mercenary help. But I do a fair amount of these things on a regular enough basis that I don't need the manuals as much as I used to.
This is a screen shot from Global Advanced Media in 2009 - funny how many things have changed, and yet some things have stayed relevant.
I was also lucky to have access to good libraries, which led me to articles about future computing and allowed me to give presentations about future computers talking to each other and how people all over the world would benefit. We also had books at home.
When I saw 'looking good in print' on a shelf or table I was enthralled by the content. The colors, the layouts. How design elements can totally change a message and how it's perceived. How adding space can make things easier to read. My mother was studying some desktop publishing in those days, which was a rare thing at the time I believe.
I was able to visit one of her jobs at a computer company in Reston Va and help with software and documentation duplication. Getting to see huge rooms of hardware producing code and documents and the effects it had on individuals and groups of people was an unusual perspective at the time.
Access to information and sharing has had a huge impact on my life, and I try to make those things accessible to others.