Interview with CSSMania Founder Gabriel Segura

Over the past year I’ve had several sites listed on a variety of CSS galleries. CSS Mania has always provided the most traffic and comments/votes and I thought it would be interesting to chat with the founder, Gabriel Segura. Gabriel was kind enough to answer our questions and the transcript is below.

Allen: Can we start with a brief overview of yourself?
Gabriel: My name is Gabriel Segura. I was born in 1975. I am a telecomunications engineer (working at Ericsson during the day), flash designer, front-end web developer and CSS Mania’s father (at night). Married with a beautiful woman, Susana, and father of a “real” daughter Claudia (3 years old). We also have a Himalayan Persian cat at home called “Yuna” (Final Fantasy X). God gave me a wife that loves to play PS3/Xbox/Wii more than me.

Allen: What is CSS Mania?
Gabriel: We believe that CSS Mania is the largest CSS showcase in the world.

Allen: Why did you start CSS Mania and when did it launch?
Gabriel: CSS Mania was born in March 2004 as a section on my personal blog as I loafed around the few CSS Showcases that existed during that time. In 2005, before our admired Paul Scrivens sold CSSVault to Jacob Gower, we realized that other CSS Showcases sites, except ours, weren’t updating very regularly. We know that updates are what make a difference to readers.

We aren’t interested in the geek insights or trivial discussions common on other similar sites. We are interested in learning what any CSS afficionado or professional might want to learn.

Interview with Austin Hallock, Intense Debate Developer

Intense DebateIntense Debate is one of the new crop of comment replacement services. Basically if you have a blog, you can replace the default commenting system with the one that Intense Debate provides. While I am not a great fan of these replacement services yet, they are gaining in popularity because they offer additional services and functions that the standard blog commenting systems don’t.

I was able to grab some time with Intense Debate developer Austin Hallock and our interview transcript is below.

Allen: Can we start with a brief bio about yourself?
Austin: Sure, I’m 16-years-old, live and goto high school in Arvada, Colorado. I started in the ‘tech world’ when I was 12 building lame Geocities sites, and slowly progressed towards forums (phpBB), and then onto custom built sites that involved a lot more programming. I developed and ran two websites in 2004-2006 that I sold for $10,000 (quite a bit of money to a 15 year old), then moved on towards building another site that never really took off, before moving to Intense Debate.

Allen: How do you describe Intense Debate?
Austin: I think of Intense Debate as simply a better way to do comments. With most blog platforms, comments aren’t really focused on as much as they should be — comments can be what drives traffic to your blog, as well as what gets people to return and engage in a conversation. Intense Debate takes the standard comment system and enhances it to have threading, reputation, and a central storage house for all your comments (as well as a lot more, you can check out the new features we roll out here:

Allen: What’s your role with the company?
Austin: I’m one of 2 developers here, and when it comes to programming, I’ve mainly been working on the new features we release every week.

Allen: What’s the technology behind Intense Debate?
Austin: We use PHP5 and mySQL… pretty much the standard LAMP stack. To display our comments on blogs we use a combo of javascript, PHP and a bit of modified AJAX (to work across domains).