Everyman on Humanized Description, Multitasking Illusions, Freelancer a Bad Word

Humanized Description. I love stories like this one where individuals in often menial jobs become celebrities because they blow away everyday expectations. Here Jay Baer describes how US Airways flight attendant Randy Lausen relishes the description of air travel. Baer transcribes both Lausen’s coach and first-class greetings. Here’s the opening to his coach greeting. “Ladies and gentlemen, I bid you a kind welcome to Flight 187, from St. Louis to Phoenix, Arizona otherwise known as paradise. We’ll make a short stop in Phoenix, and then carry on to San Jose’s Norman Mineta airport. The captain has informed me…”

Multitasking Illusions. I recently watched an excellent Frontline program on Roku titled Digital Nation.  It documented a study on multitasking confirming what I already knew from an On Point podcast. People (mostly young people) think they’re super productive because they’re multitasking, but in reality they are considerably less productive. The London Times asks if we’ve forgotten how to concentrate? "’In Britain, we work the longest hours and get the least done,’ says The Future Laboratory’s Chris Sanderson. ‘It’s a big problem.’ An ‘attention economy’ has emerged, where the scarce commodity is human attention. ‘The ability to concentrate is the X factor.’” Or, as this blogger writes, Stop Consuming, Start Producing. "Remove yourself from Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networks you’re plugged into. Stop looking at the work of other freelancers. Stop checking your email. Stop answering your phone. And yes, stop reading this blog." It’s all about productivity, after all.

Is Freelancer a Bad Word? Maybe Thomas James has a point in asking if we should reconsider using the description of “freelancer.” “Some clients are more comfortable working with a company than with a person.  Even though a freelancer is definitely their own company, sometimes it can be hard for clients to wrap their heads around that. This leads them to believe that a freelancer is not much more than a hobbyist who makes a little money from [insert your specialty here] on the side.” Good discussion points from other freelancers.

What’s Got You Flapping? Julie Roads shares a wonderful story of a little bird flying into her office as an analogy for how to deal with periods in your freelancing business when you might feel stuck or scared. “Here’s your open window,” she writes. Take yourself out of the equation by pretending it’s a friend struggling. What would you tell him? Calm down. Panic and stress make it harder to find solutions. Try something new. Reboot. Ask for help.

Overlooked Online Community Essentials. Richard Millington lists 8 online community elements that are often overlooked. Suggestions include a community history, a members who’s who, upcoming events, current issues and future plans pages, a FAQ and contact info.

MegaJQuery Today. A Smashing Magazine list of 45 jQuery techniques and plugins Good for browsing and getting some new ideas. I particularly liked the MegaMenu plugin. While talking Javascript and web design, check out Speckyboy’s 30 CSS alternatives to javascript.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.