When the lights(internet) go(es) [out] in the city, and your work is centered around it…

So you work as a web developer, a SEO Marketer, or some other sort of web professional and right in the middle of your day, BAM, the internet goes out.  Now I am not talking about going out like the President flipped his mythical switch (like some reports have been saying), but went out like the network is on overload and it kicked back a symbolic “Eff You!” when you tried to refresh a web page.  Frantically searching for your IT Dept., IT guy, Network Admin, or just somebody that knows what to do, the entire office gets into a dull uproar.  Everybody, and I mean everybody begins pelting that person with questions, or just telling them that the internet is out…trust me, they know.  So here is a list of things you can do if your internet goes out…remember I said internet, not power.

  • Work on things locally

    Meaning if you normally have to upload your files to a server and refresh the website, why not work on the project locally?  You will be surprised at how much more you can get done without the distraction of the internet.  Need a server-side programming language? I would suggest turning it on locally on your machine, for instructions on how to do this for Mac OS-X Snow Leopard, click here, for info on how to do this on a PC, please click here.  I know there is more server-side languages than just PHP, but a recent survey from Smashing Magazine shows that is the language of choice for the majority of users.

  • Step away from the computer

    Let’s say you are a designer, or even a developer, sometimes the best devine-intervention to your overworked brain is for the internet to be down.  So grab that trusty pen and paper and begin jotting down ideas.  For designers, maybe you can team up with a developer if a project is in it’s early phase and you can draw out a wire frame for the website.  That allows the designer to know their limits, and gives the developer an idea of what lies ahead.  Designers can also sketch out ideas for logos, custom art work, and other work that they might have to work on soon.  Developers can make check lists, diagrams…database diagrams are always helpful for reducing your time of creating the DB when it is at your feet!

  • Brainstorm

    Brainstorming can be anything from sketching, to writing down words, to taking photos.  Anything that can keep your creative juices flowing and keep the inspiration up.  People tend to sit back and do nothing when the power is out, while sometimes I definitely fall into this group, I feel like having a power outage is a great time to be able to work in ways that would normally look “odd” or look like I was just messing around at work.  You could even hold a last-minute brainstorm session with those that are in your department or working on the same project that you are.

While the internet drives many companies and many different positions in the workforce today it is possible to work without it.  I may have just listed things on the ‘design/development’ side of building websites, but I promise that these three things can work outside of those industries.  Being a good employee not only means turning your work in before deadlines, making that project as good as it possibly can be, but it also means that you have a willingness to adapt to ‘unique’ situations that present themselves in the nine to five world.  So next time the internet goes down at your place, go ahead and give one or more of these a try, your boss will really like that you are going the extra mile to get things done!


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