Showcase Your Portfolio at The Creative Finder

The Creative Finder is a service from the people behind the TAXI design network that aims to help connect businesses with creatives. Creatives can promote their portfolios using the site, and businesses can use the site to search for creatives to fill their needs.

Build a Better Portfolio

If you want to hit 2010 running, you may well be planning to update your portfolio over the next month or so. It can be tempting to just gather together all the projects you’ve done recently and drop them into your portfolio alongside everything else, but this is unlikely to be the best approach.

Instead, take this opportunity to review your pitching strategy and shape your portfolio accordingly. Read More about Build a Better Portfolio

New Features Warrant a Second Look for Raveal

raveallogoA little while ago, I took a look at a new job search/resumé posting website called Raveal. It billed itself as the next big thing in online career finding, but I wasn’t totally convinced it was much different than its predecessors Monster.com or Workopolis.
Flowz, the developer behind Raveal, has since introduced a variety of new features to try to up the game of the fledgling web site. Some of these are little more than aesthetic upgrades, but some are substantial improvements that really change the way the site works at its core. Read More about New Features Warrant a Second Look for Raveal

First Impressions Matter

photo by woodleywonderworks

photo by woodleywonderworks

If you’re a freelancer, making a great first impression with clients is vital. Here are some of my tips for making sure that first impression is a good one.

Like many other freelancers, I dread hearing these words from a potential client: “Can you send me a copy of your resume?” Resumes will never be a great way for me to showcase my work, and I don’t think they make a great first impression. They also seem a little old-fashioned for those of us who work almost entirely online. My body of work is online, and that says so much more about me than I could possibly cram onto a one- or two-page resume. However, many people still ask for a resume, and you have to be prepared to send one to potential clients or employers. If you’re preparing an “old school” resume, FreelanceSwitch has some good tips. Read More about First Impressions Matter

Artician: Showcase Your Creative Work

articianIt’s easy to get lost in the mix when you’re a creative professional working online. Competition is fierce, and the space will only become more crowded as people are laid off and forced to seek out new sources of work. That’s probably part of the reason many new creative portfolio and networking sites like Artician have launched lately, including the similar MyFolio, which I took for a test drive a little while ago. Read More about Artician: Showcase Your Creative Work

MyFolio: A Network That Showcases Artists

myfolio_imageWorking as a freelance artist or musician can be a trying experience, at best. It’s still a field where, in general, the work speaks volumes and can more than make up for a relatively shallow C.V. But how best to show off your work, and make sure that you’re getting as much exposure as possible? You could always set up your own self-hosted personal site, but that won’t necessarily reach all that many people, even if it does ensure your work is accessible.

MyFolio may be a good resource to help supplement your own site. While you give up a certain amount of control in terms of overall design, you do get the benefit of belonging to a social network, thus increasing your chances of making connections, or at least taking some of the work out of the process. It’s a free ad-supported service, though there is an option to upgrade and remove the ads from your profile, at a cost of $2 per month.

Read More about MyFolio: A Network That Showcases Artists

Revamping Your Portfolio

December is fast approaching – this is the perfect time to tighten up portfolios for the incoming year.  In the coming weeks, I know that I’ll be preoccupied with this, especially since I’ve gained some new clients this year.
Here are some things we should consider when tweaking our portfolios:
Quality of Work
By now, your standards might be different from what they were when you last put your portfolio together.  What was a masterpiece yesterday might seem like your worst project today.  It might hurt you to take down projects that you had fond memories of, but if it’s not your best work, it’s also going to hurt your chances of getting new clients.
Read More about Revamping Your Portfolio

Ask WWD: Portfolios and Fair Use

One of our readers writes:

I’m wondering what my rights are in terms of reproducing my own work on a portfolio-style Web site. I’m a designer, developer and writer/editor, and have been developing a site to showcase my work. Trouble is, much of it (perhaps even all of it) is now owned by other firms and individuals.

Given that, am I allowed to reproduce the work on my own Website for informational purposes? I wouldn’t be profiting directly from having the work present there (i.e. I wouldn’t re-sell my work to another client), but I could see how a case could be made that I’m profiting from it in the sense that I’m using it as part of my marketing materials.

Obligatory disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. But I’ve been working with copyrights for decades now, so I’ve certainly got some thoughts on this.

Read More about Ask WWD: Portfolios and Fair Use

To Pro or not to Pro?

At my day job, we are getting new computers for everyone, and I weaseled my way into a position to have some input on the process. I have heard nothing but rave reviews of MacBook Pros and I was sure this would be my chance to get one. There are other people in the company that have MacBook Pros and certainly do not use them as well as they could (one guy only uses his for Entourage and Internet Explorer:Mac)! As I sat down to start pricing it out, I knew that I would only be able to get the base model. So, I compared the MacBook Pro with a souped-up white MacBook to see if it was really worth it to get a Pro.

The first thing you need to do when preparing to purchase a new computer is determine how it will be used. That will go a long way in determining if it is worth it to buy the more expensive model. Besides the basic email and web surfing, I need a computer that can handle a large library of photos, music, and video. In addition, I will do a fair amount of video calling using Skype or iChat. I also use Delicious Library for managing all of my books and gadgets. I will do some video editing, but certainly not a lot.

Many of these needs are satisfied by any of Apple’s computers. I am not a photographer or videographer, and my livelihood does not depend on the speed and ability to handle 15 programs open at once. At the same time, however, I do a lot of presentations and I can’t have my computer freezing up because I have too much open.

When compared side-by-side, there is not much difference. Here are the things that are exactly the same:

  • Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 3MB shared L2 cache
  • 2GB (two SO-DIMMs) RAM standard expandable up to 4GB
  • Hard Drive (they both can have 250 GB hard drives at 5400 rpm though the MacBook starts out at 160)
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Built-in iSight camera
  • Mini-DVI video out
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme (802.11n)
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.0 (2.1 on MacBook Pro) + EDR
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit) Ethernet
  • Combined optical digital/audio out, combined optical digital/audio line in, microphone, speakers
  • Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port
  • Glossy screen

That is a lot of important stuff that is the same. What is better on the MacBook Pro?

  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM compared to an integrated graphics card on the MacBook
  • Resolution 1440 x 900 pixels
  • Full-size, illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor; Multi-Touch trackpad
  • One FireWire 800 port, one ExpressCard/34 slot
  • One inch thick
  • Up to 5 hours wireless productivity (vs 4.5 hours on MacBook)

I am sure this list of things that are better is debatable, but I think most would agree with most of the items.

What is better on a MacBook? (Again, these are probably debatable, especially the screen-size.)

  • Smaller screen means I am not opening up a monster on my lap in a meeting
  • Lighter weight (5.0 lbs compared to 5.4, not much lighter, but still) because of smaller screen
  • Personally, I like the keyboard better

I will be purchasing iWork ’08 and a MobileMe subscription. When I priced these computers out, the price came to $2197 for the MacBook Pro and $1547 for the MacBook. The biggest thing that stands out as making the Pro better is the video card. However, I just don’t know if that video card is worth the $650 price difference. Multi-Touch would be nice, but again, not worth the price tag. Would I pay more for battery life? Maybe, but I don’t think the battery life is drastic enough for it to be a major player. In addition, even if I upgrade through Apple to 4GB RAM, the MacBook is still $450 less than the MacBook Pro. That may be a better place to spend my (employer’s) money.

So, unless there are some compelling reasons that you have, I don’t see how it is better to get the Pro for my needs. What do you say? Would you persuade me one way or the other? Also, are there any other killer features that I may have missed?