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@belllindsay @flemingsean I miss you... there's a joke somewhere about me having a crappy aim, right..? ;)
1 month, 1 week ago on Why Work for Free? Because it Works
@belllindsay @flemingsean You and I are most definitely on the same side of the line here. I'm not sure I was splitting hairs though. Being careful about the distinction I make, perhaps.
Free is a bad word. If something is free it has no value. Things that have value can be exchanged for other things that have value, not just for money - a kind of esoteric bartering, if you like. :)
You're right, I do a lot of unpaid work - some of it's PR, some of it's journalism, some of it's music. Some of it makes me look good, some of it makes me feel good.
Right now, I'm doing some consultancy work with an actor in Hollywood (has been in several TV shows that I'm confident everyone will have heard of if not seen). I'm not accepting payment for this consultancy for a number of reasons. I'm not convinced they could afford my market rate, but I really want to work with them, chiefly because it's interesting, it's different, it's making me think.
That feels like payment.
I recently got offered a commission by a global publishing concern ... would I write an article for them, they were offering $80 for something that would have required a day's work, maybe two.
That felt like an attempt at exploitation. Mostly because I know they could afford to pay writers properly but they won't because they know there are people out there desperate to work. So I politely declined.
The internship thing is a grey area. The real problem is with the intent on the part of the company taking on the interns. Are they offering training and development, or just taking advantage..? In the UK there's a move toward making payment of interns mandatory, but that's probably because we have a problem with businesses taking advantage of young people and not providing anything of value during the internship.
Nice piece, LB. It touches on a few fundamentals, some of which frequently get lost in the simplicity of language - free, for example, is a big concept for such a small word.
I never work for free, but I have no problem doing unpaid work.
Interns should, likewise, get something in return for the hours they spend and the work they do. I think there's a strong argument for mandatory payment of interns, simply because there are so many scumbags who treat young people as slave labour; there's little in the way of learning and development, nor any money. That's unacceptable and helps no one. The intern is taken advantage of, the business stagnates because rather than adopting a culture of development it becomes fixated on using free labour to keep costs down and profits up.
But Sean, you may be thinking, that's the whole point of being in business. No - the whole point of being in business is to do better in the future than you did in the past, and you don't get there as a result of a race-to-the-bottom mentality predicated on knocking things out as cheap as possible.
So, why work for free? Well, you shouldn't - only an idiot would choose to work for free, and far too many people are forced to by circumstance.
Every economic activity you participate in is an opportunity to invest in yourself. The returns you get on that investment might be of the immediate financial variety (cash, salary, etc) or it might be getting your work published by a well-respected title, or by learning a new skill that can be put to good economic use in the future. Or - and call me an old hippy if you like - it might be that you get to feel good about yourself because you are helping someone out.
I'm afraid I take issue with a great deal of this. Starting with "91% of adults now use social media regularly" and "Internet users now spend 3 times longer on social media and blogs than they do on email."
If you're going to use the word "now" please give readers a point of comparison. If it's 91% 'now' what did it used to be... 10%..? 20%..? 80%..?
Context is everything.
Which brings me to the "91% of adults" thing. I *think* you mean 91% of adults in the US. The internet and social media are global phenomenon, so you need to make that kind of thing clear.
Also, it's an implausibly high figure. But maybe that's just the cynical old journalist in me.
67% of people are more likely to buy from a company they follow on Twitter sounds great but I wonder if cause & effect have been correctly attributed here. What proportion of that 67% started following the brands they like and buy from? What proportion have started buying from brands they encountered on social media? That would be more interesting and more valuable. Sadly there aren't many stats on that.
I'm also not convinced that email will go the way of VHS et al. Email has become an over-used method of communication and a sizeable amount of that over-use could easily be replaced by social tools (and I'm referring as much to the way people communicate in the work environment as in the personal sense).
Email is a very important part of the way business and people communicate. Should it be used more sparingly? Absolutely. Will it be replaced by social tools? No.
Finally... of course people spend longer on blogs, the internet and social media than they do on email. I'm only surprised it's as low as three-times longer when you think of all the information, videos, comments, cat-pictures etc that people can lose many hours looking at, compared with email which is rarely as entertaining.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Check out these stats if you need convincing your business should be on social media
As a parent and a Catholic (albeit lapsed), I say "well done Sarah Crouch and St Mary's school."
I find it staggering that anyone would have a problem with this. If any institution could benefit from guidance on how to tackle an issue like this with sensitivity and with no loss of determination, it would be a Catholic school.
Anything that works toward reducing bullying and improving understanding can only be a good thing.
Those people who think the Catholic church has a particularly grim view of gay people have missed a few key facts. After all, we're all sinners in the eyes of the Catholic church - all of us. Anyone singling out the gay community as a particularly sinful group of people is nothing more than a bigot.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Catholic primary calls in Stonewall after pupil calls another student’s shoes ‘gay’
@ginidietrich There's another use I can put it too.... I'm involved in a major change management project and am constantly having to put new ideas in front of people. But the important thing is that it all has to be evidence based. This tool will really come into its own.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Use the Google Keyword Tool for Content Ideas
That's really useful! Thanks for sharing Gini.
@Erin F. @barrettrossie @flemingsean - 'Ello guvnor, Big Ben, Parliament, English muffin... :)
An inquest would (typically) be headed by a judge to investigate a death, or fatal accident, or something of that nature.
Scotland Yard is where London's police force are headquartered (the Metropolitan Police) so that would just refer to the police going about their business.
12 months ago on Write Right: Enquire versus Inquire
@SharonBautista Sharon, I'm also a singer/songwriter/musician. But because I work in PR & digital communications, I've been watching the MySpace resurrection rumours for a while, with mounting interest.
I have a feeling that if/when the 'new' MySpace gets its act together there could well be a surge in interest in it. I think a combination of nostalgia (a bit like the sentiments you've expressed) and a desire from many people for an alternative to Facebook (burn all the people who say Google+ is a Facebook alternative, it isn't).
I'm not the only person expressing this view - about MySpace making a genuine comeback. No, it's not obvious, it might not even be likely. But there are a lot of indicators there that it might be on the cards.
IF MySpace gets itself together. :)
12 months ago on Is it Time to Breakup With Facebook?
I've written about this before too. In September 2011, in a post entitled "I don't want you but I need you":
1 year ago on Is it Time to Breakup With Facebook?
My three cents on this issue.... creativity will never get a seat on the board. Never.
Results need to be measured though. They can be delivered by dint of amazingly creative ideas, but if you don't know what to measure (because that little rascal is not the same for each and every client and/or campaign) and you don't know how to measure it, and you aren't able to put the measurements into a succinct and compelling format, no measure of creativity will stop you from being disregarded as fluffy or nebulous.
Money talks. Bull-poop walks. Or so the saying sort of goes.
Run a PR agency...? Hire teams of people, get them to work as teams. Scrutinise the gaps in individuals' capabilities and in team performance. But do not do so looking for failings. Do it so that you can identify what your people need from you in order to become better.
1 year ago on Bah Humbug! New Study Shows PR Industry Lacks Creativity
@ginidietrich @Shonali 1000%...? And you said you like math. :)
I wrote about this. On Saturday. How very zeitgeisty.... http://seanfleming.com/the-data-day-challenges-facing-many-pr-firms/
@belllindsay Are you classing yourself as American these days?
1 year ago on Gin and Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Our Friends
We (Europeans) are pathologically lazy.
I blame it on our socialized health care. It's made us weak.
You should come to London. Nothing much ever happens there either. Apart from fog and chimney sweeps, of course.
Ultimately, most of us are too small - in organisational terms - to be of real interest to Google, and far too small to support effectively.
1 year ago on Google Apps Assassinated My Domain - BEWARE!
@Carmelo @belllindsay You know what they say about the UK & the US... two nations divided by a common language. You're right about Lindsay. Man, what a hoot.
I wonder how Canadians pronounce the word 'hoot'.
1 year ago on The Vacation Nation: Unlimited Paid Time Off
@belllindsay @Carmelo That's just ridiculous. Friends....??? Sheesh, Delusional Canuck.
@Carmelo @belllindsay It's not you Carmelo, it's me. It's happened to me here once or twice (more) before. I read things very literally I guess. I've also tried to make jokes and they've just upset people. So, I totally get it. :)
When I was running my own PR consultancy, the first time I allowed myself to go away for a week and leave my team to look after things was a very liberating experience.
@belllindsay @Carmelo I'll tell you what really sucks where this is concerned... if your boss changes the structure of your team so that you are the only senior person in a team of four or five. Try taking anything more than a couple of days off without them calling you because they don't know what to do in a given scenario.
So, consequently, you don't take proper holidays and you lose a substantial chunk of your leave entitlement.
That would be terrible. I am so tremendously pleased I've never found myself in a situation like that one.