Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Freelancers Unite! Either Full Price or Free

Being underpaid is worse than not being paid at all. You know what you’re getting yourself into with the latter. You are a volunteer, so you can unvolunteer at will. You can prioritize other jobs above the non-paying “favor” job and expect that the person benefiting from your unpaid labor will, if they have any common sense, understand and you can decide just how much effort and time to expend because you’re the one holding the magnanimous cards. Not so with underpaying gigs. It’s all the work and the demands  of a well-paid opportunity, but with a lot fewer zeros.

 -- J. Maureen Henderson explains why working for less than you're worth is for chumps.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Because, Because, Because, Because, Because, Because, Because, Because, Because

The Future of eBook Advertising in Hilarious Charticle Format

Softcover Hardsell
Hello, (Stoli) Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea

As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the popularity of e-books has resulted in various experiments that place advertising between the covers. And while a Keebler elf suddenly appearing beside Proust’s precious madeleine might sound like bad sci-fi, the same thing was once said about urinal ads. The trick to making e-book sponsorships palatable is finding a seamless partnership between prose and unique selling proposition (while hopefully avoiding a pathetic fallacy). --Ryan Bigge

Book: What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
Synergistic Concordance: Since Gladwell’s best seller journalism involves more product integration than an episode of American Idol (to wit: Heinz Ketchup, Hush Puppies, Pepsi, Ragu spaghetti sauce, the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ, the Aeron chair, Blue’s Clues) it’s not much of a stretch to imagine e-book sponsors. Especially since all Dog articles first appeared in the ad-friendly New Yorker.

Book: The Girl Who Played With The Hornet Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Synergistic Concordance: Like Gladwell, the late Larsson was obsessed with verisimilitude, at least as it applied to Apple laptops. So while a Stieg sentence like “best of all, it had the first 17-inch screen in the laptop world with NVIDIA graphics and a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels” ain’t exactly literature, it does scan better than most of the ads in Wired, and provides multiple opportunities for click-through promotions.

Book: The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook by Ben Mezrich
Synergistic Concordance: At this point, reading about Facebook without being interrupted by series of annoying bleats about Farmville or miracle weight loss tricks would feel positively wrong. And given that publishers are undoubtedly collecting information on your e-reading habits anyway, it won’t be long before e-book screens perfectly resemble your Facebook feed.

Once Again, Walter Benjamin Was There First

Back in 2009, I wrote about the sex appeal of bicycling for Spacing. This was not exactly groundbreaking journalism, but I thought I was adding something to the debate. Turns out, however, that Benjamin was there first:

The figure of the woman assumes its most seductive aspect as a cyclist. . . . In the clothing of cyclists the sporting expression still wrestles with the inherited pattern of elegance, and the fruit of this struggle is the grim sadistic touch which made this ideal image of elegance so incomparably provocative to the male world.

I discovered this thanks to a quite wonderful N+1 article called Hasids vs. Hipsters, which also includes this little gem:

That each group selected Williamsburg as the terrain for carving out a secessionist utopia can only be blamed on the cunning of history, plus the L train.
And this gem too: 
group dressed as clowns led a funeral procession along Bedford to protest the decision, but failed to capture the public imagination since they lacked any vernacular of protest other than the language of a grant application.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Text Message Keepsake Generator txt2hold Invited to Toronto Maker Faire

TORONTO, ON (May 5, 2011) – txt2hold (txt2hold.ca), a new free service that transforms any text message into an attractive and permanent paper keepsake, will be participating in Toronto’s first ever Maker Faire (makerfairetoronto.ca) to be held this weekend, May 7 and 8, at the Toronto Brick Works. Developed by Toronto-based media collective the Brototypes (with the assistance of the CFC Media Lab), txt2hold allows anyone with a cell phone to capture and display a precious digital memory forever.

“txt2hold is built around the idea of creating a physical keepsake of a digital experience,” explains Brototypes spokesperson Dylan Reibling. “Our research process showed us that most cell phone users have many text messages with sentimental value, but these texts are hard to preserve and easy to lose. Our txt2hold service solves this problem by making your favourite texts easy to preserve and hard to lose.”

During Maker Faire, users can forward their precious text messages to 647.462.8292. The txt2hold system uses a powerful semantic engine to interpret the emotional content of the text. It then generates a unique and attractive origami shape that seamlessly incorporates the original text message. Utilizing a magical combination of technology, graphic design and paper folding, txt2hold is meant to generate a shoebox of text message mementos for the 21st century.

“The technology-infused, Do-It-Yourself ethos of Maker Faire dovetails perfectly with our project,” explains Reibling. “And we’re honoured to be a part of the event’s debut in Toronto.”

To learn how to let your memories unfold 160 characters at a time, please visit http://www.txt2hold.ca

Twitter: @txt2hold
Facebook: www.facebook.com/txt2hold

Contact Info
Dylan Reibling, Brototypes spokesperson: dylan[dot]reibling [at] gmail.com