Jeff Croft

I’m a product designer in Seattle, WA. I recently worked at Simply Measured, and previously co-founded Lendle.

Some of my past clients include Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and the University of Washington.

I’ve authored two books on web and interactive design and spoken at dozens of conferences around the world.

I’m currently accepting contract work and considering full-time opportunities.

Blog entry // 08.31.2006 // 1:40 PM // 11 Comments

Seven new positions open at World Online

We’re hiring. Yes, again. And this time it’s for a bunch of people.

Seven, to be exact (well, six more…one of them I already mentioned). If you’re counting, this is the third time since I was hired in January that I’ve posted about us adding staff. We’re growing at a terrifically fast pace, largely because of the success of Ellington, our commercial, Django-based content management system.

We’ve got a page listing the jobs up for your perusal. Some of them don’t yet have full job descriptions, but they should be added soon. Hop over there, or keep reading for more Jeff-flavored info…

About the positions

The following positions are available (since not all the official job descriptions are available yet, the summaries below are my creations, from my personal understanding of the positions — they should be considered “unofficial”, and I’ll update them when official information is available):

  • Linux system administrator We’re looking for someone who is familiar with the LAMP stack (especially wherein the “M” stands for “PostgreSQL” and the “P” stands for “Python”), likes installing/configuring new hardware, and can put together basic scripts and programs related to system administration.
  • Python/Django programmer Pretty much as it sounds. We use Python and Django for all our web applications, and we need more manpower in this area. If you like what you’ve seen of Django and want to use it all the time and learn it inside and out, World Online is the place to be.
  • Client and project specialist We want a talented person to work with potential clients interested in Ellington (giving demos, telling them what it is and how it works, etc.), manage portions of projects, deal with contract terms and conditions, provide initial support, etc. You should be a business-oriented person with experience in client management who also understands the Internet and web technologies.
  • Ellington tech support/customer service rep This person will act as a first line of defense when clients have issues, questions, and other concerns with their Ellington installs. You should understand the basics of web publishing and be able to learn how to use Ellington inside and out.
  • Ellington sales and support rep We’re looking for someone to help sell our software. Since I know almost nothing about sales, I’ll make you wait for the real job description for more details on this one. :)
  • Convergence and interaction journalist If you’re a journalist that believes the web was made for multimedia storytelling, and you’ve got a varied skill set that lets you achieve this (probably including journalism skills, basic programming, familiarity with creating podcasts, databases, etc.), you might be the person for this job.
  • Interaction and editorial designer If you’re a web/interaction designer that has a passion for journalism and you get excited by buzz words like “citizen journalism,” and “database journalism,” this job may be for you.

If it sounds like the position descriptions are still a little fuzzy, it’s because they are. Our philosophy is to find great people that have something to contribute and tailor the position to them, rather than to create painstakingly detailed job descriptions and hope to find someone who fits them exactly.

I should also point out that our alt-weekly (which, despite the name, is both an online and print publication) is looking for a graphic designer to lay out the print edition each week.

Note: what follows is copied and pasted from another job opening post I made. Forgive me for not taking the time to write something new — but you understand. Right?

About the company and team

World Online is a wholly-owned subsidary of The World Company, which is a news and media company headquartered in Lawrence, Kansas (USA). We work on both internal projects for our news properties and external projects for clients of all types. We’ve been widely recognized as one of the most innovative new media operations in our industry. Several of our sites — such as,, and — have repeatedly won major awards (what’s more, most of our flagship sites are going to be re-designed this year, so you’ll be involved in some very exciting proejcts).

We are also the birthplace of a little open source web framework you may have heard of (especially if you’ve been reading this site recently), name of Django. All of our work is Django-based, so if you’re interested in the framework, this is definitely the place to be (as an aside, the fact that our administration agreed to open-source a product built here is a good example of just how much they “get it”).

We work in what has got to be one of the most beautiful news centers in the world — a fast-paced and exciting enviroment that makes the days go by very quickly. Our team is small, but growing rapidly. We’re currently at eight developers and designers.

All of these positions are for our core design and development team, which includes director Dan Cox, design superstars like Nathan Borror, key members of the Django development team like Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Matt Croydon, Tom Tobin, and James Bennett, as well as interaction designer and editor David Ryan. We’re religious about best practices and doing things the “right” way — so you should be, too.

I could go on about the projects, the company, the management, and the facilities here (all of which are great), but what really makes this job so amazing is the people on this team. I sincerely believe there isn’t a smarter and more creative bunch of web people anywhere in the Midwest.

We also have a lot of fun while we work. Oh, and we’re a Mac shop. That counts for something, right?

About the town

Lawrence, Kansas might be the coolest town of it’s size in the world. Seriously. As Jacob said, “If you take every negative stereotype of Kansas and turn them on their heads, you’d get Lawrence.” We’ve got an incredible music scene (The New York Times called Lawrence “the most vital music scene between Chicago and Denver”), centered in a downtown area so active it put a mall out of business. The film scene here is also growing rapidly. Lawrence is home of the University of Kansas, so you’ll find everything you’d expect in a college town — lots of young people, lots of bars, lots of late-night hangouts, and all the pagentry that comes with having one of the four or five most storied NCAA basketball programs of all time.

Many people refer to Lawrence as being very similar to Austin, TX in culture and vibe (although Lawrence is smaller than Austin) — so if you’ve been to SXSW, you may have a decent feel for what this town is like.

The cost of living here is also pretty damn good. As Jacob noted when a pervious position was open at World Online:

If you’re used to the insane cost of living in most big cities, Lawrence will blow your mind. You’ll easily be able to afford a brand new apartment, or one within walking distance of downtown, or a turn-of-the-century house. Food’s incredibly cheap, too; the best barbecue dinner of your life is less than ten bucks.

Some very representative bits from Wikipedia about Lawrence:

  • While Kansas is one of the most conservative states in America, Lawrence is a tiny island of liberalism. Douglas County, where Lawrence is located, was one of only two counties in Kansas to vote for the Democratic candidate in the past four presidential elections. Douglas County was the only county in the state to reject the amendment to the Kansas Constitution prohibiting both gay marriage and civil unions in April, 2005.”
  • Lawrence also features the customary staples of college-town liberalism, such as an anarchist bookstore, two microbreweries, a half-dozen locally owned coffeehouses, and a law protecting gay people from discrimination.”
  • Downtown Lawrence, in particular Massachusetts Street, has a lively atmosphere and is filled with restaurants, galleries, shops, and music venues.”
  • Artwork, theater, and other related activities are some of the biggest parts of Lawrence.”
  • Clinton Lake is located approximately three miles (5 km) southwest of Lawrence and has areas for boating, swimming, and fishing.”
  • There are a variety of mountain biking venues, including the trails at Clinton Lake, and the river trails by the Kansas River.”
  • The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas and was the only KU coach with a losing record.”

In closing

If you’ve made it this far, it should be safe to assume you’re interested in the position. So, send me an e-mail, or get over to the official job listing page and apply. We’re looking for people soon, but we’ll also keep the positions open for as long as it takes to find the right fit. One of the reasons this team has been so sucessful is that we’re relentless about finding the best people out there. If that’s you, let’s talk.


  1. 001 // Jina Bolton // 08.31.2006 // 4:23 PM

    We’ve got an page listing the jobs up for your perusal.

    Are you hiring a proofreader, too? ;)

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. :P

    Congrats on the fast-growing success!

  2. 002 // Jeff Croft // 08.31.2006 // 5:23 PM

    Bah, Jina! Go away! :)

    (Seriously, thanks. I fixed it.)

  3. 003 // Ryan Berg // 09.01.2006 // 2:51 AM

    Haha. Looks like a couple positions to keep me from flooding Matt’s inbox with feature and help requests :-)

    Wonder what’ll be open when I graduate in May…

  4. 004 // Ben // 09.01.2006 // 10:16 PM

    Some of the don’t yet have full job descriptions”

    Did you really? :P

    Btw, how do you make a quote box? I looked at the markdown but it didn’t work for me.

  5. 005 // Jina Bolton // 09.01.2006 // 11:32 PM

    Sorry, Jeff, I seem to have started a proofreading trend on your post. ;)

    Ben, are you talking about a “quote box” like what I have in my above comment? I just used a blockquote.

  6. 006 // Cooper Mor // 09.02.2006 // 6:12 PM

    Sounds like a good opportunity. I went to read one of the job descriptions but it was broken in Safari.

  7. 007 // James Bennett // 09.03.2006 // 1:44 AM

    I’ve seen Safari do that seemingly at random to pages on a bunch of sites. I can’t replicate it on that job ad, though, which leads me to believe that it’s some sort of Heisenbug in WebKit.

  8. 008 // Cooper Mor // 09.03.2006 // 12:12 PM

    Hmm, I’ve seen it on before in the side bar, and when it happens I can refresh and replicate the problem, but then it’ll dissapear next time I’m on. I think the only sites I’ve seen it on are and that job page. Interesting though.

  9. 009 // Jeff Croft // 09.04.2006 // 3:02 PM

    I can’t imagine what my site and that job page have in common (entirely different codebases, written by different people). I’ve also seen Safari do this, and I’ve definitely seen it in more places than those two (I’ve seen it here, can’t seem to make it happen on the job page). I dunno what it is exactly, but I’m inclined to call it a Safari bug.

  10. 010 // Kristofer Baxter // 09.08.2006 // 3:43 PM

    I’ve been bitten by that Safari bug on more than one occasion recently while developing sites. Makes for frustration when you think something is actualluy wrong with the CSS to cause it.

  11. 011 // Oliver // 11.18.2006 // 4:14 PM

    Our philosophy is to find great people that have something to contribute and tailor the position to them, rather than to create painstakingly detailed job descriptions and hope to find someone who fits them exactly.

    There needs to be more of this in the world