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Tavis Parker

User: kristi
Date: 1/5/2009 4:11 pm
Views: 5527
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The Essentials

Name: Tavis Parker
Username (IRC): tavisto
Age: 29
Profession/Employer: Plain Black Corporation
Place of Residence: Kalamazoo, Michigan

WebGUI Related Questions

In what way(s) do you contribute to WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?
I've done just about everything from sales, marketing, training, design, and even website development. However, these days my main focus is assisting people over the phone and via email with their initial questions about WebGUI. In addition, I host webinars every week to help new people/organizations get familiar with WebGUI and it's benefits. I am also very active in the WebGUI IRC channel and in the community.

When did you first hear of WebGUI?

I've known about WebGUI before it was called WebGUI. It was called “Web Done Right” and JT and I were going to use it to power a gaming website. However, he ended up scrapping the initial version and started over on the WebGUI we all know and love today.  :)

How and when did you get involved in WebGUI?
WebGUI was released to the public in 2001. I began using WebGUI in all of my client projects and built a business around developing WebGUI-based websites. Eventually our paths crossed so much that it made sense to join Plain Black.

Are you paid to work on WebGUI?
Yes, I am a full-time employee and partner at Plain Black.

How much time do you spend on WebGUI?
WebGUI-based tasks, projects, and thoughts are constantly on my mind so we'll just say I work more than a regular full-time job... and then some. :)

What do you think is still missing from WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?
I think we need a nice collection of style templates so that users can easily pick and install a cool and functional design for their new site. These could be free and for sale on the Bazaar and it would be really great if we could tie the install into the Site Starter wizard somehow. I suggested 2 ideas on how this might work in my latest RFE.

What keeps you motivated to keep working on WebGUI?
I have invested so much time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into WebGUI and basically feel like a parent trying to raise up a successful child. :) Ultimately though, WebGUI just plain rocks and the world needs to know about it!

What's WebGUI's killer feature and why?
It's strong collection of built-in features. This is a major selling point to our potential customers. Third party plug-ins are not required like they are in many of the products we compete with.

What's WebGUI's greatest weakness and why?

WebGUI lacks a large collection of success stories from high profile organizations. The interesting thing is that WebGUI is used worldwide by organizations of all types/sizes and so it seems like this would be easy to accomplish. However, factors such as security clearance, confidentiality, and the competitive advantages of (quietly) using an open source product can make it very difficult to acquire success stories.

Having a good collection of success stories is an excellent way to earn trust and gain credibility with new potential customers. Therefore, it is extremely important and something that we will continue to work on. If you are using WebGUI and have not yet done a success story, please contact me!

What makes you work on WebGUI over the competition?
Probably because I'm part of the Plain Black team. Oh and because WebGUI rocks! :)

What's your most brilliant WebGUI hack?

I'm not a Perl programmer so no hacks for me. Although I have done some pretty cool template modifications and customization for WebGUI's new Shop. It's awesome what you can do now with this system.

Have you attended the WebGUI User's Conference?
I am kind of a veteran when it comes to this because I have attended and presented at all 5 WebGUI Users Conferences. I am also proud to say that I earned the original Rockstar ribbon on my 2004 WUC badge.  :)

Where do you keep your Gooey doll?
There are usually 4-5 of them roaming around my house at any given time. It's not uncommon for my friends to come over, think they're the coolest things ever, and beg me to give them one. The ones that are lucky enough to stay at my house usually hang out in the office or travel with me on my adventures.

Personal Questions

How would you describe yourself?
An optimistic, dedicated, and motivated guy who works too much... but loves his job and the Plain Black crew he works with.

Are you married, dating, or otherwise involved?


Do you have any kids?
Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.

Do you have any pets?

Not right now. I travel so much that they would surely starve to death or their bladders would explode. :) Would like to have a couple dogs in the near future though.

If someone visits your area, what's something they must see or do?

Go to South Haven, an awesome beach community on Lake Michigan. It's a wonderful place to be in the summer months. Don't come to Kalamazoo during the winter months unless you like snow.  :)

What do you hate?
Losing, Failure, Media Bias, Ferry Boats, and false allegations of being metrosexual.

What do you love?
Team Fortress 2, my iPhone, tehnology my job: evangelizing WebGUI, friends, family, winning, Brazilian steakhouses, and hanging out with the Dutch team.

What's the last book you read?
My daily Bible, and I read a ton of articles on technology/business/politics online. Haven't had time for other books lately.

What's the last CD/MP3 you bought?

 “Before the Worst” by The Script

What's the last movie you watched?
Tropic Thunder – not a great movie. Would like those minutes of my life back.

You're stuck on a train/plane for 6 hours and bored out of your mind, what do you do to amuse yourself?
I am stuck on planes and trains quite often and what I do is watch movies on my iphone, send email, and listen to music. I tend to come up with some of my best ideas when I'm at 35,000ft looking out the window listening to music.

Any last words?
Join us in the WebGUI IRC channel! It's a great way to meet members in the community and learn how you can contribute to the project! For more details, see the Community Support page on


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