I’m an early adopter; I’m the guy that a lot of companies rely on to see if their product really works, in the real world. I’m the guy that those companies rely on to create buzz about their product and get other people to buy it. I’m also a web developer who freelanced for a lot of years, and I have a ton of side projects I’d like to work on; people rely on me to make stuff for them. I mention this because I’m on both sides of my next statement: making a promise and not delivering on it could be the worst thing you can do for your business.
I remember when my parents first bought something online for Christmas. It was 1998, we had just gotten a family computer (a good one) and a reasonable Internet connection. They ordered from from Dick’s Sporting Goods, but first tried an unfortunate URL that brought that to a site they were definitely not expecting. Being the resident computer nerd, I helped remove the site from both the screen and their history, and got them to the right site. Since then they’ve done a whole lot of computer shopping around Christmas, and in recent years have done their shopping almost exclusively through Amazon and other sites. Why am I telling you this? Because you don’t need to go out on Black Friday to get Black Friday deals.
It’s something that has happened to everyone who’s a freelancer, or perhaps just everyone who runs a business. People will ask for things for free; I want to make it super clear now that I’m not saying never do pro bono work. I’ve done it. It just needs to be the right circumstances; asking a person you don’t know for free work is not only bad for the freelancer, it’s bad for your project in general.
A lot of you probably saw on my various social media accounts that I proposed to my girlfriend and she said yes. I couldn’t be happier for the engagement, and now the fun part starts: planning a wedding. You don’t have to worry; I won’t be live-blogging every decision we make. I’m sure there are guides out there on how to plan a wedding already from much more credible sources than me, but I do want to talk about some of the practical things I come across in this adventure. The first is that we need to save some money in order to have the wedding that we want to have. Here are some of the things I’m doing.
Recently I woke up to an alarming email, possibly from my credit card company, saying there were several unauthorized attempts to use my credit card on various websites. As a general rule I don’t click on links from emails when I’m not 100% sure about them (and maybe I was a little in denial) so I logged into my credit card account and saw that there were some fraudulent charges, including one big one that made it through. I immediately took action and decided to put together this guide of both what to do and some general security advice.
Google Reader Vigil: This one is a little shameless self-promotiony, but I created a site for users to pay their last respected to the new defunct Google Reader. Google Reader was my first RSS reader and showed me the true power of RSS. I used it faithfully for 8 years and I will deeply miss it.
How Delaying Intimacy Can Benefit Your Relationship: This is a really interesting read that goes a bit against the grain of what you might here from most people. As a side note, if you’re not reading this blog, The Art of Manliness, I strongly recommend you do. It’s fantastic.
Are Coders Worth It?: James Somers explores the question, “Is what coders do worth the money people pay?”
10 Plugins That I Install After I Install WordPress: The ever-blogging WPDaily.co has a nice list of recommended post-install plugins. They all look good; my must-haves from t hat list are Joost’s SEO plugin and Jetpack. The others are on my todo list.
Here are the Specs for the Next Nexus 7: The next generation seems to have some killer/longed-for features, like 4G and a back-facing camera. If they can keep it around $200 it will do very, very well.
With tax time right around the corner, everyone is gearing up to file and hope for some sort of refund- found money! For freelancers like myself, this could be an upsetting and arduous task if you’re not prepared. I’ve always been umm…let’s say diligent…about keeping my books in order, looking over them weekly to make sure I didn’t miss anything and to get a good snapshot of how I’m doing for the year. If you’re not prepared, however, it can be a real pain and a bigger shock. Here are some tips for being prepared for tax time- especially for you new freelancers.
- Obama may Face new Kind of Crowd at State of the Union (usa today):Â “The choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room — while the other side sits — is unbecoming of a serious institution.”
- Comic: 3D (xkcd): String Theory is tricky…
- Introducing Technically Media (sean blanda): Sean is doing some cool stuff in Philly and beyond- I suggest you check it out!
- Cell Phone Holdouts are Right: Buy a Cell Phone, Become a Baby: It’s true. People are also becoming ruder and less considerate because they think the cell phone gives them a free pass!
- The Best Times to Buy Anything in 2011 (lifehacker): I love that they do these calendars. I want to buy a new car this year- looks like September is my best bet.
- Quote- Steve Jobs & Exit Strategies (37signals): When I did the business plan competition, “Exit Strategy” was a required section of the plan. I didn’t really know how to answer besides, “Umm, none?”
- Our Biggest Android Annoyances & How to Fix Them (lifehacker): Great guide- very helpful no matter how long you’ve had an Android phone.
- Apple’s Making it Impossible to Open Up Your iPhone (gizmodo): They are swapping out screws and replacing them with ones that don’t have a commercial screw driver. Are you surprised? I’m not.
- Ronald Reagan: A ‘Folklore’ President who Led a Revolution (usa today): â€Ž”This hard, no-compromise is not the Reagan approach,” Brinkley says. “He was the person who ended conservatism as being ideologically frozen, and he became the genial, pragmatic conservative…”
- Eek! A Male! (wsj): This is true. I’m actually self-consciousÂ about being pinned as such, and it’s not healthy. On a side note, this is the second article from Lenore Skenazy I’m linking to from this week. I think I found a new favorite writer.
- ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Villains Revealed: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. Sounds good to me.
- Larry Page to Replace Eric Schmidt as CEO of Google (mashable): Interesting news. Schmidt will still serve as Executive Chairman, but Page will take care of the day-to-day stuff.
Also, last week I launched my new website for Manifest Development. Check it out if you didn’t already!