A Siri for other phones? Nuance brings Dragon Go to Android

There are a lot of bad Siri imitators in the Android Market, but Monday night a pretty close approximation to Apple’s now-iconic personal assistant will be available. Nuance Communications is launching an Android version of Dragon Go, it’s voice-powered semantic search app.

iPhone 4S: Siri’s international limitations

Siri is a big draw for customers interested in the iPhone 4S. Apple’s promo material about Siri make it look absolutely amazing, and by most accounts, it is. But if you’re not in the U.S., you might experience a little disappointment when you fire Siri up.

Back to the (Office of the) Future

Over the years, there have been numerous articles musing on what the office of the future would look like, but how have those predictions matched up to reality today? Let’s look at a BusinessWeek article from 1975 and an Apple video made in 1987.

What Do VAs Look for in Clients?

The typical virtual assistant has clients that they truly enjoy working with, along with a few they’ll never work with again. You want to be in that first category, especially if you want to build a lasting relationship with a professional who can help your business.

Chris Ducker: The Art of Managing a Virtual Team

Chris Ducker has made an art out of outsourcing. He not only writes about effectively building virtual business systems and teams at Virtual Business Lifestyle, but he also operates Virtual Staff Finder. He answered a few questions for us about his process.

TimeSvr: On-demand Virtual Assistants

Moving from the well-oiled corporate environment of personal assistants and friction-free expense accounts to arranging my own travel and doing my own accounts was jarring; I’ve long toyed with the idea of engaging a virtual or remote executive assistant to help with administrative tasks.

Productivity Superstar: Could a VA Improve Your Productivity?

Special Keyboard - HelpEven the most efficient of web workers may occasionally feel overwhelmed by the nitty-gritty details of running a freelance business or the more-to-do-with-fewer-resources stress of working for a company.

In either case, when you find yourself in the thick of things, there’s help available in a new breed of ready-to-work, would-be productivity saviors called virtual assistants (VAs). If you’re uninitiated into the world of VAs, they are administrative assistants who work independently via the Internet and phone to provide support to busy entrepreneurs, tired telecommuters and hard-working corporate types.

But as appealing as turning over your to-do list may seem, it’s not all a bed of efficiency roses. Witness my own first foray into hiring a VA. I made the classic mistake of not screening carefully enough and ended up losing $500, but also gaining insight into how to make the process work for me. But there’s no place for bitterness here — and besides, it inspired me to write this article. Since then, I’ve have some great experiences with VAs — all of which have helped me to increase my productivity, take on more business, and provided peace of mind. Read More about Productivity Superstar: Could a VA Improve Your Productivity?

Web Worker Careers: Virtual Assistant

VA WorkerAs the employment landscape continues to shift, some job titles are waning in importance, while others are on the rise — among them, virtual assistants. In fact, more than half of the respondents to a 2008 survey by Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce said they’d started their VA businesses in the last two years.

Monday Morning VA owner Dawn Martinello defines a VA as someone who “works off-site and provides administrative and other business support to different types of businesses.” As Caroline Pigott of VIP Assistant Solutions notes, “Clients are happy to find a one-stop shop rather than find someone different for every task,” she says.

Could becoming a VA be a good career move for you? Read More about Web Worker Careers: Virtual Assistant

The Poor Web Worker’s Virtual Assistant

Not everyone can afford a virtual assistant, especially if you’re just starting to freelance and it’s a little out of your budget. Still, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy some of the benefits of having one: you can still delegate and automate some of your tasks without the heavy price tag.
I’ve looked at some of the common services that VAs provide, and found some free or cheap alternatives that you might want to look into.