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Topics and Questions to Agaric from a Request for Proposal

From a Request for Proposal, some pretty good questions about our practices, policies, and offerings:


Along with your standard practice for responding to proposals, please
address the following topics and questions in your proposal.

Design Tools and Process

What web and content management tools do you use? Why have you selected
these tools?
What is your / your firm’s specialty or strength?
What is your process for contracting and working with clients?
Who from your firm will be involved in this project and what are their areas
of expertise?
Do you have a designer? Could we bring in an outside designer?


If needed from org’s end, could you work with us to phase in aspects of the

Is there a discount or package price for doing all areas at once?
What is your policy for payment?

On-going Support

How do you work with clients to provide on-going support and updating of
their sites?
What are your rates for this kind of work?
What is your availability? How much notice do you need to take care of
non-urgent tasks? Can you respond within 24 hours to emergencies?


Do you provide hosting, e-mail, and listserv support? What are your rates?




Design Tools and Process

We use Drupal as our primary web and content management tool. It rocks.

Farther down the stack we use PHP, MySQL, Apache, and Debian GNU-Linux.

Agaric Design Collective's process for contracting and working with clients is to:

  1. respond to requests for proposals or budget quotes (informally or formally, as preferred by the potential client)
  2. come to a common understanding of the vision and needs for the project
  3. provide a confirmed budget or final estimated cost
  4. start work on receipt of one-half the fee up front
  5. work closely and flexibly with the client to develop the project
  6. receive the rest of the budget upon completion, and
  7. continue, ideally, to have a direct working relationship for support, security, maintenance, troubleshooting, and the easy resumption of development and design work.

We work together closely as a collective and depending on the project needs a different one of us will take the role of project manager or lead. We have overlapping skills but also especial strengths. Dan Hakimzadeh's expertise is design, Drupal theming, project management, system administration, and DJing. Benjamin Melançon's expertise is Drupal development and programming, CiviCRM and CiviMail, implementation and project visioning, and economic and political transformation of society. Shannon Reilly's expertise is graphic design, scientific illustration, and combining intelligence and beauty in every way. Gus Domian's expertise is Drupal configuration, making sense of things, and project administration.

We also regularly work with Tom Feeley of SpreadGun (high impact design including Flash), Stephen Cataldo of SpaceShare (custom coded solutions to eco-friendly transportation and other organizational needs), and other exceptional people not formally part of Agaric but with whom we work as a team.

Agaric Design Collective's specialty is easily updated and expanded sites that put our clients in full control. Our strength is coming up with unique custom solutions that use and build on open source free software to meet diverse on project after project.

Yes, we have several designers each with particular strengths, and we sometimes work together for best effect. Yes, we work with outside designers.


Our policy for payment is that it arrive. We aren't necessarily wedded to money as the monopoly form of remuneration, but we don't have an immediate need for a truckload of chickens (especially as we are mostly vegetarians), so inspired methods of payment would have to be negotiated.

On-going Support

We prefer to work with clients to provide on-going technical support and further development of their sites when needed. The point of our web sites is to put our clients in control so that they do not need Agaric to make any usual updates or additions to their web sites. In fact, we strive to make using your site a seamless and integrated part of your core activities. (Usually we recommend you do everything, including construction, within Drupal and CiviCRM.)

Our service plan includes going the extra mile to ensure everything is running smoothly before our clients even know there might be a problem. Agaric will also offer improvements, that our clients may not have ever thought about, that come available through the course of our or others work in the collaborative world of Drupal development. Agaric's service plan is ludicrously inexpensive per month ($10 to $100) for the time we put into it, but it is worth it to us to ensure our clients have the best experience open source free software and individual attention can offer.


We provide for our clients hosting, e-mail, and listserv services (included integrated forum and e-mail list). This support is part of our hosting package, tailored to each client.

Agaric Design Collective hosts most of our clients on dedicated servers which we manage or on the excellent shared hosting for Drupal provided to members of May First / People Link. Hosting costs range from $10 a month to more than $100 a month or whatever a client needs for a highly visited and resource-intensive site. Most clients require less than $25 a month for their site. (For clients who host on Agaric's servers and choose not participate in our service plan there is a mandatory $5 to $10 a month in security update costs; this is waived for service plan participants.

No one asks, but we wanted to tell everyone: Agaric Design Collective gives ten percent of our income to support open source free software.

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RFP Proposal About Agaric


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