The Lives of Freelancers

An interview project for #MBUStorm

Scootpad Educational App

A look into one of the educational apps we use.

Woodcraft Antique Sale - The Secret

As I took a picture of its best parts, I began to ask "Who was she?". What gave the sculptor the inspiration to make her

Contest: #MBUStorm

Collaborate, network and make words come like a waterfall...

Quick! Free Tropico 3 Only Today

Do you love third world banana republic dictators? This game is for you

Friday, May 28, 2010

Number

Number


With a number, his destiny is changed
With a number, things will never be the same

To choose a number, one must be numb-er
Numb to the fallacies that it can render

Some kill and die for a number
For some it is 1000000, yet that too, may still be smaller


With a number, hearts are won - or lost
Or it could even mean an angry shout  from the boss
Through a number, we weave through the strings of fate
Yet for the hopeless, it is a broken hearted bait

If one should ever ask "What's her phone number?"
One should be prepared to hear "No" for an answer

Destiny, fate, the apocalypse
it seems that a number holds them to its fist

What is 10 to the 100th but a ploy by the giant
Holding those who beheld it like a quivering tyrant

What is the winning number?
Is it one? two? or could it be far far bigger?

One could never really tell, unless one spoke with a soothsayer
Alas, the soothsayer has his own number, one of your dollar bills in his backburner

Fortunes are made and lost with a number, 
but who are we to tell which number, is "the number"


dannybuntu

Fast Cash in Freelance Writing? Apparently Not Fast Enough...

Apparently, the fast cash in freelance is not fast enough. You may be looking for something faster. A loan payday perhaps?

In my own humble experience the fastest that I got a return on my investment was 1 day. The investment of course was none other than my time spent on writing, electricity bills and food. What can I say? When it comes to writing I can do as much as 6,000 words on a slow day and 15,000 words maximum.

How did I get that cash that fast? Well, I bypass the go betweens like oDesk and Freelancer.com. Yes you can Find Writers on oDesk,

I tend to rely on word of mouth. They pay me directly, I get the cash in a zip.

If you look at the bar to the right you'd notice that my performance has begun to plateau recently because I only earned $150 for the month of May. The month when my earning was really high was the month that I worked day in and day out.

I've decided to slow things down a bit and concentrate on a new endeavor where time isn't so labor intensive. Freelance writing can be a tiring exercise but if you really want quick and reliable cash, it is the way to go.

However, if that's not what you call fast cash then I may have an alternative (I am selling something to you.) I am talking about Personal Loans. Cash as fast as one hour.

Let me be honest and upfront with you. These loan payday can have a high interest rate. A lot of people actually get into more trouble going into these even when they know the risk.

Why do they go into it and why should you go into it?

Because of sheer and utmost necessity. These are times of desperation for many and loan payday can be the only solution to their woes. It could also be your solution, but not the only one of course.

I've been in that situation when my daughter got sick and we've had to hospitalize her. I didn't have a job and I didn't have any money. Lucky for me, I've had friends who I could turn to.

Loan payday or Fast One Hour Loans at 100DayLoans.commay be the proverbial cling to a knife measure but if you really don't have someone whom you could turn to...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Important Thing You Didn't Know You Could Do In Twitter

Pray. 

Every minute, there are literally thousands of prayers that are made on twitter. These involve:

Prayers of thanksgiving for Answered Prayers
Prayers for loved ones
Prayers for financial help
Prayers for peace
Prayers for healing and strength

Follow twitaprayer and see what people are praying for in real time on twitter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

prudent investor newsletters: Has Quitting Facebook Been Gaining Steam?

The prudent investor, makes a very compelling case on Internet attitudes and trends.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Better Yahoo Answers Alternative: Aardvark

After the demise of Google Answers, it would seem that Google has decided to leave the realm of crowdsourcing collective consciousness.

Come February 12, 2010 however, Google has reinvigorated their approach and acquired tech startup Aardvark or vark.com (Don't confuse with aardvark.com)  for $50 Million. This innovative website promises to give Q&A users real time quality answers through its intelligent algorithmic matching.  

It's dynamic is simple and effective.


Person A asks a question, Vark.com places a tag on the question and then searches for a person in the network who is best qualified to answer. It could be Person B, C or D.

The results are impressive.

What's more interesting is that with integration to Google's IM protocol, users can conveniently add aardvark to their list of Google Talk buddies and chat with it as if it were an actual person. Well, the people who answer are actual people after all. Aardvark then serves as a buffer wherein it 'filters' and aggregates this set of 'relevant people' to just one IM contact - aardvark.



So far, I've managed to ask certain questions on Google Talk as if it were an actual person I know. The responses were generally satisfying  - maybe because Internet Marketers and Spammers have not yet gotten wind of the service.


Interestingly, when I asked aardvark how long it would take for spammers and make money online kibitzers to get wind of the service, somebody answered, 6 months. I'm guessing that it would take shorter than that as people who are tired of Yahoo Answer's cartoony appearance and more often than not spammy users, would take vark.com as a cool and refreshing breeze in the world of Q&A.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Getting to Know Each Other Again

Ummm. They moved the close button to the left...

Crowdsourcing and Outsourcing: The Two Most Legitimate Approaches to Making Money Online

Delineating between the two could spell a huge difference in terms of the quality of the service provided. Taken into context, crowdsourcing is "the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call." (Wikipedia: Crowdsourcing)

Discovery News has an interesting podcast on crowdsourcing.

Outsourcing on the other hand, "often refers to the process of contracting to a third-party... transnational corporations have increased subcontracting across national boundaries."  (Wikipedia: Outsourcing)

Major differences between crowdsourcing and outsourcing is the inclusion of the word 'contract'. Having a contract entails several attributes:
  • Both of the contracting parties are legally held accountable to fulfill their obligations.
  • In crowdsourcing, it would be more difficult, if not impossible to secure a contract because that would entail engaging in an agreement with multiple parties who are often anonymous.Needless to say, you cannot engage in an agreement with John Doe.
  • Outsourcing ensures a more focused service because the engaging party is committed to seeing the task reach its end. Whereas crowdsourcing could only be mustered when the collective is sufficiently motivated. Anytime that the crowd loses its motivation, the project slows down it doesn't become stagnant.
  • The involvement of a contract sets parameters and limitations to what either of the contracting parties could do. It usually sets a time frame, objectives, limitations, accountability, professionalism, court jurisdiction and arbitration in case of dispute, quality control, service satisfaction and an overall agenda which is most often economic in nature. 
Both crowdsourcing and outsourcing have their inherent flaws and advantages. Different tasks require different approaches. For example, outsourcing is more desired when the service that needs to be performed requires round the clock performance. Here, the outsourcing company or the BPO, is mandated to maintain a presence that enables customers of a particular company to reach them no matter what time of the day. Call centers are efficient in doing this because of their staffing requirements.

Entrusting sensitive information such as personal and financial data is better kept in the physical confines of a corporation with a building, where the person to whom the data is entrusted can be held legally accountable for whatever happens to it. One could only imagine crowdsourcing banking information to an anonymous group.

Crowdsourcing on the other hand could be utilized for less sensitive tasks like referrals, sales, promotions and technical projects. The best example for this is the Open Source Movement. Here, the role of the core group is relegated to quality control and management. The details of the technical project is then left in the hands of the "crowd".

In some instances this is effective, such as in the Debian/Linux Operating System,  Mozilla Firefox Browser, VLC Media Player, and countless other Open Source Projects.

However, crowdsourcing isn't a walk in the park. Internal political strife usually occur which could either lead to factionalism and has the overall effect of slowing down the development of the project, if not total cessation of it.  

Perhaps, the best application for crowdsourcing is in sales. In a way, affilliate marketing belongs to this sphere in the evolution of a product or a service by engaging Internet citizens to add value to their Internet endeavors through sales and marketing.

It is a mutually beneficial engagement where the affiliate marketer, who sells a product or a service in behalf of the producer derives a commission in the event of producing sales leads up to the point of conversion. The producer benefits from the "free" or "crowd" marketing by minimizing costs on manpower and advertising.

Freelancing is an advantageous phenomenon in that it could embed itself in either of the two processes. It belongs to outsourcing if and only if there is a legally binding contract between the two contracting entities. It belongs to crowdsourcing if the producer engages in multiple anonymous entities without the benefit of a contract.

These by far are the most effective and legitimate means to make money online.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Graduate? Can't Find Work? Try to Make Money Online as a Web Worker

Can't find work? You are not alone. An estimated 500,000 Filipino graduates are struggling to enter the labor pool right now, further adding to the existing number of unemployed. Quoting from the Philippine Daily Inquirer,

"more than 90,000 will not be able to find work
despite having invested four or five years and a fortune in a college education." (Inquirer.net, March 2010)
There is hope for those who are willing to traverse the make money online scene. As stated previously in this blog, a new paradigm is emerging - one where jobs could literally be found and done on the Internet.

Credit this to the New BPO Paradigm, where employers from abroad, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and practically every nation in the world,  can and will directly employ candidates who can do the job.

In this new paradigm, diplomas, transcripts, grades, your school's name or your economic status will not matter as long as you are able to do the job well. You won't even have to secure Police, NBI, and SSS.

The application process is so easy that it only requires that you have spare time and the dedication to complete a task well.

Examples of jobs that are found on the Internet include Sales, Virtual Assistants, Transcription, Writing, Data Entry, Computer Programming and literally thousands more that could help you get started in the new career of the Information Technology age.

Welcome to the world of freelancing, where your boss is literally across the ocean. The pay is even better than a call center agent and you practically decide whenever you want to take a vacation. More and more Filipinos are entering this field and there is still room for more.

Everyday, tens of thousands of online jobs get posted on freelance websites.

Candidates don't even have to submit a biodata or a resume in order to qualify. For online writing jobs, you only need to be able to prove that you are knowledgeable about Internet trends and then write about them. If your work sample is good, the employer will hire you on the spot for that project.

There are no fees to be paid to apply.

Even if you don't have a computer or an Internet connection, you can go to an Internet Cafe and work from there.

This trend will surely replace the existing status quo when it comes to outsourcing and labor. Where only 3 out of 10 applicants are accepted.

The world is surely becoming flat. Equal opportunities are opening to everyone who is willing to learn and listen. For more information on how the world is changing, read the book: The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The New BPO Paradigm

There's a continuing explosion of both supply and demand in the world of outsourcing. Writing, programming, customer service, technical support and quite interestingly - spamming, are currently the world's most outsourced services.

The old model was for a BPO company to invest in a brick and mortar facility and then hire local workers from a certain geographic area. This was executed by large BPO corporations with venture capitalization.

This has created a boom in developing economies such as the Philippines and India, where BPO is a strong economic driver. According to the Asian Development Bank in its 2010 outlook, "the Philippine BPO industry will increase employment from 100,000 to 450,000 in 2010" (ADB, April 2010).


 
However, this is constantly proving to be more and more costly for the investors as maintaining a regular workforce translates to increasing unnecessary costs in terms of facility maintenance, equipment procurement, government compliance, leasing arrangements, travel expenses, human relations, training, and hiring. 

It's sole effectivity relies on the insulation of the business from the workers. Applicants are screened rigorously by the BPO consultancy firm and the client company is protected from the headaches of training and direct contact with labor.

However, this is anti thetical to the optimal model of outsourcing because the whole locus of the process is to efficiently outsource at the lowest possible cost and get the best services.

But with the advent of direct outsourcing services, offered by popular freelancing websites. Outsourcing is evolving to a new level of cognizance. One wherein the middle men are getting less and less important by the day.

BPO firms are becomingly increasingly irrellevant as both global firms and workers are now made aware of better opportunities and partnerships when it comes to direct outsourcing.

Traditional Business Process Outsourcing Diagram

The primary advantage of BPO Consultancies rely on their role as middle men. But is it worth it? The Internet was invented to change how the world works. It's kind of amazing that companies are sticking to traditional business models while at the same time portraying these models as the "new thing".

One might argue that these middlemen ensure the quality of the service provided by carrying the costs for training, hiring, management, quality control and many aspects performed by the human resources department.

But with the increasing ability and proficiency of global workers, and the creation of low cost web based platforms that take care of these concerns, one cannot help but think that this obsolete process is a practice in excess.

That's why more and more small and medium scale businesses are finding oDesk.com,  Elance.com, and Freelancer.com as good sources of labor. These websites are gaining traction in the outsourcing market by bringing the workers and the employers back together.

In this business, the less the middlemen interfere in the whole process between the service provider and the service buyer, the less expenses are incurred.

Businesses have finally come to realize that they could build their freelancers.

By shouldering training and operating costs like electricity, internet connection, food, transportation and equipment, freelance web workers have distinguished themselves as the centerpiece of the new BPO paradigm. 



With no middlemen, there would be no need at all for brick and mortar facilities and consultancy fees. 

Labor screening is even provided for free by the above mentioned websites, thereby eliminating problems concerning incompetent and unqualified workers.

In the future, direct outsourcing will have a firmer foothold in the market. BPO consultancies would continue to exist but in an increasingly lower level of participation. Workers will train themselves using Internet platforms. Disputes would be resolved more and more using web arbitration services.

Now, more than ever businesses are being built by freelancers and those who wish to partner with them.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I Like oDesk's Banner

It tells me about the site in less than 5 seconds.

Guaranteed Work. Guaranteed Payment.
 
After my recent experience on Freelancer.com,

I've decided that I would be changing the links on this website. I don't want another person to experience what I've experienced with some buyers there.







Tired and Frustrated

I am tired.

This is my midnight post and I am afraid that I might ramble on about some frustrations with outsourcing. Ok then, I would. My creative juices are exhausted and I feel something inside my chest, but I'll write anyway.

First Rant 

I saw this blog which used an interesting keyword.

Should I use it? Nah, not yet. Anyway the CEO of this outsourcing company commented on her blog about her choice of keywords and some incorrect perceptions that she had. Valid points, valid points. Even the abusive comment had a valid point. 

Anyway, right now, I want to, I want to... Nevermind.... I feel drunk with this pain...

Second Rant

Why do we need middlemen in the first place?  For vetting? Screening?

By my books, the state of outsourcing is not at its optimal level of efficiency. Too many middlemen in the - well - in the middle. lol. I am beginning to write like my - never mind. I am trying my best not to be racist, but certain cultures seem to have that authoritative - you're my slave do this even while I have not paid you yet attitude. They form companies (sweat shops really) and then ask my talented countrymen - who are good in English because we watch too many movies -  to write for them.

They then put their names on Filipino work and claim it as theirs and get a bigger chunk of the Western money.

Come on guys. Do something else. Surely you must know something else to do, after all you have nukes and our lovely archipelago doesn't. Surely your scientists could come up with something for you guys to do.

You know what, I don't really give a flying ... nevermind about your nukes.

Almost all of you are terrible writers. Lemme guess, you ask us to write, then you ask more of us to edit.

Because you can't do the jobs yourselves!!

At first, I found it amusing that somebody who seems to have finished Grade One English is checking my English.

But when they got demanding, even while their English was terrible, oh no sir. You have to pay. You got it in mint condition therefore you must pay.

So, it seems that the abusive comment in Rant Number 1 is correct all along. He merely said what I have been hesitant to say. I must be getting soft.

Argg..... It hurts....

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Neobux Philippines Review: Another User Using Your IP Address Already Viewed...

In my case, that's simply not true. My IP address has remained the same for 24 hours because I haven't turned the modem off or restarted my PC. It may be a bug, intentional, unintentional, glitch or whatever. Here's a disturbing forum post in their official forum.

neobux.com/forum/?frmid=8&tpcid=109236


I recently joined the Neobux Pay To Click Program because these Filipinos claim to have earned from this:

  • Pinoydeal
  • Gl3nnx
  • Bluefrenk.i.ph
  • selaplana
  • fireyarou.bloggista.net
Regardless of the validity of their explanation, I am now quitting it for personal reasons.


I just wanted to find out for myself how this Neobux Pay to Click program works.

Personally, one way to make sure that I am not joining a scam in the make money online marketplace is by figuring out whether my actions have a corresponding value in the real world.

What is the value in clicking advertisements?

It depends on the type of advertisements.

Here are some rules to watch:

  • If most of the advertisements are about make money online opportunities, that's a bad sign. 
  • " wants to sell you another eBook about making money online, that's a bad sign.
  • " wants to sell you a forex membership, robot, software, etc. that's a bad sign.
  • " wants you to get more members who will do the same thing, that's a bad sign.
  • " wants you to pay for "Premium Membership", that's a bad sign.

Don't get carried away by screenshots. They are easily manipulated.
Don't get carried away by earning reports. They are easily manipulated.

Yes, I have an earnings report on my sidebar.

Don't believe it.

It will keep you safe from making bad decisions. Disregard the thought of whether I am telling the truth. Just focus on this advice which is universal regardless:

Be Careful


I trust that you will make the right decision.

All bubbles burst, it's only a matter of time. When it does, watch for new reincarnations of the same thing with minor modifications.