Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twitter - a Google Killer. Really?

Question is, can Twitter be a real challenge to Google?

Well, lets just say that it depends largely on what you perceive as "Google's capability" of taking a challenge. And what Google takes as a challenge in reality.

At the moment many are debating whether Twitter search can kill Google search or not. Before we jump to any conclusions let's take a brief look at the facts...

Drawbacks of using Twitter Search:
While Twitter search is popular and gives you ample of opportunity to search real-time chat topics, there are still many out there who don't know how to use it. Better yet, at the moment twitter search is much easier to manipulate with spam.

What Google Search offers:
Quality, spam free search results that offer you a blend of web results along with news, press results, blog results and videos.

Having said that, lets move on to What Else Twitter is Offering:
Twitter is more or less like an online SMS service, keeping you connected to millions and allowing you to follow updates and chat online. This makes Twitter all the more addictive. Also, only recently it was discovered that in order to improve its search Twitter is now focusing on adding a Q&A section soon. A very smart move indeed, as Q&A sites have quite an appeal.

To Cut the Long Story Short:
A growing trend shows that while Google gives more authentic results than Twitter, people now prefer to log on to Twitter search long before they search Google for anything.

Moral of the Story:
It didn't take Twitter too long to become a verb and with so many positive changes being made in Twitter, it won't be long before it hits big. Ok fine, so may be it can't do better in search (yet... or as searchenginewatch reports) than Google and its possibly not the Google Killer most of us are rooting for but it's growing fast and admit it or not... people are beginning to prefer Twitter over Google now. So that makes Twitter dangerous for Google on so many levels.

Possible Condescending Ideas of Google:
I bet Google can't wait to get it's hands on Twitter (they just always have to own anything that threatens their popularity!). Who knows, perhaps at this very moment Google is cooking up some devious plan to acquire twitter altogether. Argh! I just hate Google take-overs! :8

Monday, May 25, 2009

Got a Question? Ask Google!

Here's a funny illustration I came across some time back. Honestly gives you the jest of why Google is the best search engine there is ;) Well, it does work for most people and we'd rather have people asking stupid to Google than us, wouldn't we? Yes, we would! Problem solved!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Caution: Freelancing Burn-Out in Progress!

Where loads of work is known to get many of us down, shortage (or rather lack) of work can also lead you to agonizing boredom and absolute stress. As full-time freelancers many of us get so caught up in work or worrying about it that personal life is likely to get affected.

Freelancing Insecurities
It is at these times when you tend to get insecure about your expertise or qualifications. While these times might be rare, insecurities are a part of a freelancers work routine, especially during the 'down-times'. Times when there is no work, the weather is blazzing hot, nothing good comes on t.v and your social life is running at a slow pace... did i just give a very pessimist picture? Nah!
It really does happen.

And then you have the freelancing burnout! POOF goes your temper and BAM goes your creativity and WHAM you feel lost and useless. So much for that growing progress of your career! What to do? Hmm... fret not! These times are rare and while many of us are unprepared when they arrive, a bit of logical thinking can help loads. Just put two and two together!

Where to Focus your Energies?
Even when nothing helps its good to remember that your freelancing career is a constant progress. What you offer to your client is unique and has a character of its own, that's why your client keeps coming back for more. Either this or you guys have a contract ;) Anyways, creativity doesn't come from remaining static and its your constant experience in your field that makes you an expert. Although the progress is gradual, most of the times its worth it in the end.

On a freelancing burnout it really helps to use your energies in progressive stuff and leave the stress alone. Instead of stressing over not having work and not having a life, go out there and get a life. Use all your extra time to make yourself flexible by studying some aspect of your job that you have previously ignored. Taking creative classes or teaching yourself some new found skill can help a great deal. You will be able to spend all that extra time on hand and will find the skill you learnt useful in your job as well. In turn this will allow you to grow more confident of your talents and capabilities.

Burnout or not, one thing is for sure... freelancing gives you ample opportunities to educate and train yourself for becoming an expert at a particular job.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to be Your Own Boss & get Away with it!

No one ever tells you that freelancing isn't all about just sitting at home, relaxing and getting your work done. It's more than just all that 'fun' and 'freedom' people generally associate it with. Yes, freelancing gives you independence but unless you know how to manage certain aspects of your life together and understand how to act like an independent business person, you might as well say goodbye to your freelancing business altogether.

We have already discussed some of the most important aspects of the freelancing career in the earlier posts, including the necessity of keeping a balance between work and play. The next most significant thing for your freelancing career is understanding your independence and appreciating it.

Understand Your Limits
Remember to take charge of your work when you are freelancing. This does not necessarily mean that you try and control each and every aspect of your work but knowing how far you can go. The key point here is to know your limits. Setting boundaries is essential if you don't want people walking all over you (and yes that includes clients). Know what you can do and what you cannot. Be your own boss and get away with it by being firm about your limits, to clients or otherwise.

Create Boundaries
Whether its work or play, as long as you have limits created for yourself there is no chance that things will get out of hand. Also once you have created these boundaries, remember to be firm about them and not sidetrack from them at any given point. The best way to go about is to generally 'notify' people (around you or the ones you are working for) when something comes up. This is one of the best strategies to-date, especially in uncertain situations. Now suppose that you want to take a break from work but are unsure as to the future projects that your client might send. In such a situation, sending a notification of your unavailability for the next few days or a week would help clarify matters before hand and save you and your client a lot of trouble.

Take Charge
Taking charge of your work is as important as taking charge of your life. In fact, for a freelancer it means taking control of your life and understanding not just when to but also when not to compromise. So become your own boss, starting today! Set boundaries, be firm yet polite and consider what to compromise and when. By doing this you will not just earn your client's respect but will also save yourself from a lot of probable future hassle.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Freelancing Qualms: The Good, Bad & the Ugly!

When your Heart tells you to Freelance,
ask your Head as to why you should?

When freelancing some people imagine themselves as successful businessmen of the future and dream of days their freelancing would lead them to a million dollar deal. As a result, many of them end up loading themselves up with work and getting totally stressed out. Then there are those who just don't know what to do with their lives apart from a few freelance projects they get their hands on. Future for them is an unknown territory, a place where angles fear to tread.

It's true that both overload and boredom can eat you alive, but an experienced freelance writer knows his/her boundaries and understands that in order to get somewhere (anywhere at all for that matter) you need to take things one step at a time. Staying focused is the key and considering freelancing as a significant milestone in your life is utterly important.

Take freelancing as a stage of your life. A 'phase' that helps you learn how to create and manage a balance between work and play. A phase that helps you understand whether you are ready for the long term goals you've set for yourself or realize whether all your dreams were only dreams.

Freelancing can also help you understand and respect failure and success. As a freelancer you will try your hand at what you imagine to be your future business/job, and failure at this point in your life will only help you appreciate the other choices that you might have. So what if you failed as a freelancer in your chosen field? At least you now know that it's not your piece of cake and that you still have other types of work that you can go back to. However your success in that certain area will help you explore your potential and will lead you to newer grounds. It may even pave the way to the perfect future job for you, perhaps something you've always wanted.

Remember: Your freelancing efforts can either be a complete success or an absolute failure. Either way, freelancing will be a turning point in your life. All you need to do is realize whether your efforts were for the good (to hold on), or for the bad (to let go) and therefore become capable of avoiding the downright ugly (the path that leads to nowhere)!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Vacation Virtues - Refueling your Freelancing Life!

There are times in a freelancer's life when s/he can't help but wonder where the day went. Times when you get off your sore bottom and stand up stretching yourself only to get startled when you look out the window and realize that yet another day is over. Then you look at the clock and drag your tired self to bed so that in a few hours you can start work all over again. Humph!

It's true that sometimes, while you are freelancing, your days can just liquidate into weeks and weeks into months before you start wondering where all that charm of freelancing went. Did it fly out of your window? Perhaps not. But it surely slipped your mind, I'm guessing!

Take a Vacation
Yes, work can monopolize you at times but remember the first rule of freelancing? It's called 'being your own boss'. And that's where the entire charm of freelancing comes in. As freelancers we do have an advantage of making up for such tiresome days i.e, by taking a vacation... (and here's the best part... wait for it...) We can do it ANY TIME we want! Three cheers for freelancing! Hip hip... oh well, you get the idea :D

Not only can we take vacations any time we want, and for as long as we want but we also don't have to worry about the 'Leave without Pay' scenario. You don't have to comply to the office rules or get anxious about what your boss might say when you tell him that you want to go away for a whole week.

Even if your work is deadline oriented and you just have to work, you can still go on a vacation and manage both at the same time. All you have to do is find a hotel or stay at a place where a free wireless connection is easily available and happily enjoy the change of scenery while you work.

Isn't that just great? All you have to do is remember that you are your own boss, so make things work your way and while we're at it... won't a vacation be a great way to start this month? Swell! I know I wouldn't mind one ;)