5 Tips For the Aspiring Part-time Freelancer

976083_74231444The down economy is making many workers realize that it is no longer safe to have just one source of income. On the flip side, employers are also making smaller jobs available to outside contractors, opening up more opportunities for people to have side projects outside of their regular day jobs.

Managed correctly from both sides, such working arrangements can be good for both parties. However, part-time web workers often need to do an even better job of managing client expectations and communications than full-time freelancers. Here are five tips for those considering web working outside of their day job for the first time: Read More about 5 Tips For the Aspiring Part-time Freelancer

Take Center Stage: Promotion & Publicity

stage doorJust the sound of the word “publicity” can make some of us want to run for cover. It brings to mind uncomfortable and awkward times in the spotlight, and while many of us want our businesses to succeed, it may take a while to adjust to the idea of being center stage.
I recently spoke with Nancy Juetten of Main Street Media Savvy about how to overcome the fear of publicity. The great thing about the tips that she offered is that many of them are things you might already be doing to some extent, which makes the whole idea of publicity a little less daunting. By becoming comfortable with these tactics, you’ll start inching your way into the limelight, and you’ll gain more attention for your business in the process. Read More about Take Center Stage: Promotion & Publicity

At Home With the New Mac Mini: My Setup and Impressions


I recently received my brand new Mac mini in the mail, and, as it always is when I get a package from Apple (s aapl), it was a joyous occasion. For once, I didn’t have to find someplace to cram a huge box, since the packaging is size-appropriate for such a small desktop.

My afternoon the day it arrived was spent going through the extremely satisfying computer-lover’s ritual of setting up a new machine. I didn’t do an automatic set-up using one of my existing machines, because the mini was going to be used primarily as an HTPC, and as such I wanted it specially tailored for such a narrow focus. I wanted to devote as much of the 4 GB of RAM, 2.26GHz processor, and 120 GB HD to media playback as was possible, so I skipped a lot of my usual software installs and went with the basics. Read More about At Home With the New Mac Mini: My Setup and Impressions

Web Workers: The Changing Face of the Gig Economy

In my WebWorkerDaily post yesterday, I discussed an article in The Daily Beast in which Tina Brown talks about the gig economy and their research on the changing nature of freelancer jobs and the people found in them. The Daily Beast says that “as the recession worsens, more high-income workers are freelancing their way to wealth through multiple part-time gigs, changing the way we define a successful career.”

Brown herself puts it this way:

“Just as startling, these new alternative workers are not overwhelmingly low-income. They’re college-educated Americans who earn more than $75,000 a year.

Welcome to the age of Gigonomics.”

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The Language of the Web Worker

In a recent Daily Beast post, Tina Brown talks about how everyone she knows is “hustling for gigs.” As I was reading the article, I noticed a few interesting things about the language in the post – mainly all of the words with “gig” in them: gig economy, gigonomics, and gigocracy. We seem to have our own language to describe what we do as web workers.

Web WorkersOver the holidays, I talked about how hard it is to explain what I do to family members, friends, and other people living in the regular world who find our web worker ways very foreign. This is complicated by my many side projects and diverse work that make it difficult to explain what I do in a concise way, which is another point that Tina Brown makes about how long it takes us to describe what we do in this new gig economy.

I usually respond with some variant of the rambling found below when someone asks me what I do. Read More about The Language of the Web Worker

Web Working on the Road

As I’m writing this post, I’m in a small hut in the jungles of Bohol, a small island in the Philippines. The past week has been part of an experiment for me, trying to see how far I can take this digital nomad thing.
Here’s the truth so far: web working on the road is harder than it looks. Even with all the research and planning, some things are bound to be different from what you’re expecting.
Internet Access
In a previous post, I mentioned how internet access should be one of the things you look into when researching travel destinations. This is especially important for us web workers, since it’s hard to anticipate what client queries or work emergencies you’ll need to attend to.
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Just What Do We Call Ourselves, Anyhow?

We are (obviously) fond of the term “web worker” to describe the WWD audience. But there are other terms that get thrown around a lot: “digital bedouin” is popular among the cutting-edge set, “telecommuter” seems to be the darling of the mainstream media, while “teleworker” gets heard in government circles. But as the folks over at Plantronics point out in launching their TeleWho? contest:

It’s 1973 — Elvis has popularized the sequin jumpsuit, the country is embroiled in Watergate, and the term “telecommuter” is first coined.

No doubt because it’s not catchy enough for advertising, the Plantronics folks want to replace “telecommuter” with some other term for “today’s always-connected-but-not-always-in-the-office worker.” Actually, they want you to come up with it for them.

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Amazon’s Streams a Pipe Dream?

Yesterday we learned that Amazon will launch a pay-per-view streaming service in the next few weeks. Since then, Silicon Alley Insider was able to extract a few more nuggets about the service from Jeff Bezos: You’ll be able to stream rentals and purchases, prices will be the same as Unbox, and you’ll be able to watch movies right away.

But what does it all mean? Is it a good idea for Amazon? Amazon PR is being incredibly tight-lipped about the whole thing, but here are some initial thoughts.

Since the service will stream, you’ll have to watch it on your PC (Unbox movies are currently Windows-only). That is, unless Amazon’s planning to turn the Kindle into a set-top box, which would just stream the scripts for all the movies.

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Q1P with 2 GB: quick benchmark test


Just a quick screencap with results of CrystalMark on the Q1P with 2 GB of memory. I don’t believe that comparing it to my recent Q1P benchmarks with 1 GB (score: 14873) is an apples to apples because while the unit is the same aside from the memory module, I’ve rebuilt the machine since then, i.e.: it’s configured differently. Ideally, the best test would be to run CrystalMark with 2 GB of RAM, which I’ve done above, and then swap the 1 GB module back for another test. Regardless, I wanted to share this little bit of data for now….testing still underway. So far, I’m very happy with the upgrade.