Sean Sperte

She Said Yes! (Again)

19 February 2007

Valentine’s Day came and went, and this time I didn’t let it get by. Actually, I was determined I wasn’t going to strike out this year. I made reservations at the Melting Pot’s Seattle location … nine months ago.

Well, needless to say, since Valentine’s Day fell on a Wednesday (the same night the church hosts mid-week services), we didn’t make it, and ended up giving our reservations away to some friends. It was alright though, because the restaurant had an opening the next night, Thursday, at about the same time. I nabbed those reservations and we ended up having a wonderful time – and paid probably half what our friends were forced to. (You see, restaurants typically limit their menus and drive up their prices for the lovers’ holiday. Suckers in love, I guess.)

A lost memory

It was somewhere in between the cheese fondue appetizer and homemade seasoned vegetable bouillon that I realized our engagement website was no longer live. The site told the story of how I proposed on Valentine’s Day 2004, as recalled by The Wife (then “Casey Maddox”), and it including video clips of the entire event. It had been forgotten about during a service switch, I think.

I built the site for family and friends across the country who hadn’t been able to participate in the engagement festivities – the after-party or announcement at church – where the story was verbally told and the video shown. As per the nature of the internets, though, the site got picked up on some popular social blogs. What resulted were some interesting off-site (and off-color) conversations about us and our lifestyle. Whatever. We paid it no mind.

But I still get about one or two referrals to the non-existant site per week. The poor souls who click through only get my homepage … Well, not anymore.

Relive the moment

Screenshot of the new She Said Yes! websiteThis past weekend I decided I’d resurrect the site, clean it up, give it a fresh look, and relaunch it. The Wife was gracious enough to permit me to post the video clips on YouTube so we may save bandwidth, and ensure a more compatible deployment across OSes and browsers.

In fact, I just checked out the site using my Wii and the beta Opera browser – the video loads and plays just fine. Ah! Geekout moment! Embedded Flash video; on my TV; on a website; on my Wii!

Originally the site included some photos and goofy accent graphics (like a Starbucks cup), but I opted against including them in this version. I wanted the story itself to be the main focus. I used Roger Johansson’s automatic pullquote JavaScript (the same one I use on this site), and selected a few of The Wife’s more pertinent statements to feature.

Previously the story was broken up across multiple pages, and laid out using nested tables and inline CSS. Ew! Now the site semantically correct in terms of the markup, and hopefully more lasting because of that. It’s also limited to just one document/page. We’ll see how this goes. Hopefully, since the blog revolution, users have been (re)taught that scrolling is a permitted behavior, and perfectly acceptable. The story is short enough that limiting it to just one page seemed reasonable.

Feedback welcome

I didn’t enable any form of commenting system for the site. The reason for that is mostly because it would’ve taken another level of attention, which translates into another few hours of work. Instead, I opted to direct readers back to this entry. Hopefully this serves a bigger purpose, though, and users become more informed as to the context of the story before commenting. I wholeheartedly welcome feedback, but I’d prefer if comments were made by people who know me as more than “the guy in the story”.

So, without further ado, I present the resurrected engagement story website: She Said Yes!