(last update February 13 2019)
Once upon a time…
…there was a young lady with a passion for music and a desire to promote artists for a living. She had a crazy idea that Internet might just be the key to make this happen. This was the year 1996. So, a time when the music business was still resisting the rise of the world wide web. This is the story of myself, Nora Tol, and my first company Virtual Publishing, as well as my current company, ElNorado Productions.
During my teens, I was turning into a bit of an entrepreneur. All the business ideas I had were always targeted or closely related to the music business. I started fan clubs or helped them, and I wanted to start my own music magazine to sell at high school. At age 18, a few of my hobbies, like writing, layout design and playing around with Photoshop, all came to great use once I got introduced to the Internet. That was the perfect platform to integrate all those hobbies with my passion for music.
Online And Desktop Design
The first website was launched. It was a fan site for MN8 (later the official website for this pop group) and with that, a web design company was born. Many websites followed, as well as logos, flyers, articles, interviews and so much more. Enjoying to keep myself busy became great asset to the company, as well as my interest in many creative things.
In the first few years, I mostly worked on websites for artists, musicals, theatre productions and companies that would somehow be linked to the entertainment business (see a list of my former clients and Virtual Publishing portfolio. It was a great time. At times, I’d combine this with part time jobs as webmaster, webdesigner or web editor for all kinds of organisations. This introduced me to the world of local politics, health care, IT, retail and daily deals, which also affected my company. My assignments started to descent the music business.
In the meantime, webdesign itself matured. Web standards were introduced, as well as official education on the subject (whereas before, local schools were using my online HTML course). Scripting languages were introduced, as well as tools that allowed people to publish their own content.
Break From Designing
It was all a great ride, but I needed to get off and explore more than the online world. So, after 15 years, in 2011, I closed my first business, Virtual Publishing, and mainly worked as a content editor, content creator, blogger and songwriter.
In 2015, I’ve founded ElNorado Productions, my current company. I combine my love and interest for music, online marketing and well, anything Internet really. Web design, development, content and media creation, SEO and even music production. It’s great fun.
What did I do?
Even though Virtual Publishing started out being a webdesign company it quickly evolved into a full service internet company with a strong instictive knowledge of design and marketing. This led to a wide range of activities.
Webdesign and webdevelopment:
– design web sites using Photoshop
– design banners (static, animated gif, Flash)
– design and configure MYSQL databases
– design and configure Access databases
– design customized templates for PHP Bulletin Board
– create administration websites / Content Management Systems
– created / maintained artist profiles
– write content for websites in English and Dutch
– translate content for websites (English to Dutch, Dutch to English)
– edit / write web content in Smartsite 5, Smartsite Ixperion and Joomla
– write biographies for artists
– write articles about Internet and Entertainment for online magazines
– write press releases and provide press with follow up information
– interview people
– design, write and send online mailings / newsletters (using my own system or using PHP list)
– maintain mailing list members subscriptions
– analys site statistics (webalizer, google analytics, analog, netstat)
– promote websites in search engines
– adjust websites for the best position
– register domain names using Auto DNS
– create cPanel hosting accounts using WHM
– design logos using Illustrator and Photoshop
– design flyers
– design wall papers and screen savers for Windows
– create enhanced cd’s using Flash
– design mousepads
– design brochures
– design letterheads, written forms and labels in PageMaker and InDesign
– Retouching photos
– edit / create audio files
– edit / create video files
– billing and keeping books
– filling out tax forms
– writing quotes