Meryl K. Evans is the content maven behind meryl.net, helping companies build relationships with clients and prospects through content. She writes and edits for InformIT, PC Today, InternetVIZ, MarketingProfs and others. She has been honored with lifetime recognition for her contributions to WaSP. And today, we receive this opportunity to have her here on our blog, spilling beans about her personal and professional life. So here we go… 1. Who is Meryl K. Evans in flesh and blood? Meryl: A caring and conscientious person, wife and mom who wants to produce the best result possible for clients and to volunteer often. 2. Is your background in design? What was the progression into web development and design like? How did that take place and why? Meryl: My background is a mix with a degree in education, work background in adult education programs and process management. In the ’90s, I explored Web design since I’ve loved using the computer since 1980 when we got our first one (an Apple ][+ with no lower case letters) and HTML was more my cup of tea as I didn’t like programming. In 2000, I completed my certificate in Internet Technologies from New York University — online. I tried my hand at designing for a little while, but found I didn’t have the patience or artistic eye to do it. By chance, I wrote an article and entered it in a popular online magazine. It was published and a writing career budded. 3. Meryl, would you please reveal your favorite art work / website, if any? Meryl: Have to say Amazon.com. I’ve been a customer since before 1997 when it was just a bookstore. I love books. Amazon does an impressive job in growing its site, adding more features and providing the user with a good experience. Sometimes I think it has too many features, but it still does an incredible job. I run into walls on occasion, but it’s the ultimate successful online store that proves an entirely online business can succeed. 4. Talking about meryl.net, well, when was it started? How did it come about? What sort of response are you getting? Meryl: I created my first web page in 1993 or so. It turned into meryl.net in 1995. Somewhere I read about the Internet and bought Internet in a Box to connect. Someone online taught me how to create and post a web page and he created a monster. People contact me with all kinds of responses from "How do I become a writer" and "Can we exchange links?" to "What are your rates?" and "If you have too much work, I’d love to help you." 5. The whole Internet, of course, as a media, is moving towards Web 2.0. How far do you think the phenomenon has emerged successfully? Meryl: I’m not a fan of the term "Web 2.0," but I believe in the importance of what it *means* (Explained at http://meryl.net/2005/10/24/web-20-is-it-just-hype-2/). Not all sites can or should adopt the "Web 2.0 style" as it depends on a site’s purpose. But those that use Ajax have done it well. I love having "real-time" experiences like using Google Maps. But there’s no reason for sites like mine to have "real-time" experiences. So it goes back to the target audience. I love the fact that Web sites finally user larger font sizes by default thanks to the "Web 2.0 style" and love some of the designs you see in such sites. One trend I’d like to stop is the use of grey in text on a white background. It’s too hard to read. 6. Where do you see yourself after five years? I mean any dreams or plans, for the coming future? Meryl: Continue doing what I am doing — perhaps, with fewer hours so I can spend more time with my family, community and volunteering especially before my kids go off to college and live their adult lives. 7. Meryl, what are your other interests besides your work? How are you able to snatch out time for so many things? I would appreciate if you could share your working and lifestyle with us. Meryl: I’m an active volunteer with two PTAs and am on the city’s PTA council board. It’s a struggle to find time but it’s about priorities. Family, clients and volunteer in that order. I use "No" as best as I can. I believe women need to take care of themselves for they’re better wives, partners, mothers, friends, colleagues and whathaveyou when they do so. This quote says it all: "If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy." I know it’s hard to be selfish, but our well-being affects how we interact with the world. For example, I make an effort to get seven to eight hours of sleep. Even if I have a project deadline — it’ll have to wait till morning. If I stay up finishing it and get less than six hours of sleep, then I am almost useless the next day. I try to get work done in enough time so I’m not finishing the product the day of the deadline. 8. Any word of wisdom, which you’d like to leave for our readers? Meryl: Take the time to enjoy yourself and your life (that ol’ smell the roses cliche’). Memories give you something to talk about and smile about. 9. Finally, we would like to have your thoughts on the Instablogs News Network and all its related sites. Which one is your favorite? Meryl: Instablogs is a vast community, but I tend to visit business, technology and gadget Instablogs most. Now, some rapid fire questions, 1. If not a designer/programmer, Meryl K. Evans would have been? Meryl: Full-time volunteer. 2. html or asp? Meryl: HTML. I don’t like snakes Seriously, ASP is a programming language and I don’t get along with them. 3. What is the best feeling in the world? Meryl: Energetic. 4. What is the worst feeling in the world? Meryl: Jealousy. 5. What is your favorite beverage? Meryl: Coca-Cola from Sonic. 6. What is your favorite word or phrase? Meryl: Boring, but never tire of it — "I love you" and "Howdy" being the native Texan. 7. What is your greatest accomplishment (so far)? Meryl: Personal: My hubby and three kids Professional: Building a successful freelance business. 8. If given a week’s holidays, how would you like to spend them? Meryl: Take a trip with my family somewhere I’ve never been — especially on the other side of the world. Last, but not the least, we would like to thank Meryl K. Evans for sparing her valuable time with us. I am sure our readers would have enjoyed going through the interview as well. Also, we would like to wish her luck for all her future endeavors.