5 Ways to Be Better at Self-Promotion, from the Brazen Careerist

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Thu, 2007-07-26 12:06.

Here's some very good advice for freelancers and others, because after all, self-promotion is what this site's all about!

  1. Specialize (tell people what you don’t do)
  2. Stay the most focused when things look the most difficult
  3. Be the tortoise, not the hare (be in it for the long haul)
  4. Mitigate the fear of starvation (but use it as a motivating factor)
  5. Know yourself, really, so you know when to shut up

Drupal Camp

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Thu, 2007-07-26 10:44.

I attended my first Drupal Camp a couple of weekends ago. It was my first experience of the "Bar Camp" concept, and I was very impressed. The way it works is that a mixed group of interested people gets together, from "newbies" to experienced developers, and everyone throws out some ideas of what they'd like to talk about, what they're capable of teaching, and it's all scheduled using a grid of sticky notes on the wall. I believe there was some behind the scenes preparation, but it was all handled very informally - and very effectively.

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Can't We Just Read Good Books Because They're Good Books?

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Tue, 2007-07-10 11:25.

This came from Amazon:

We recommend:
The Ring of McAllister: A Score-Raising Mystery Featuring 1,046 Must-Know SAT Vocabulary Words

Recommended because you purchased or rated:
* The Scarlet Letter: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic

I thought I'd just rated The Scarlet Letter, a good book.

Good Article on PR in the Age of Google

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Tue, 2007-07-03 14:38.

This is from the Chief Marketer newsletter/website, and has several good suggestions for small business PR.

"The public relations profession has long based its rationale for being on delivering 'credibility' to clients via positive media coverage. This has traditionally meant coverage in the business and trade press, news and personality magazines, programs, etc. But in our digital age all this scatter-shot media exposure has been distilled to a single word 'Google' both verb and noun, which has emerged as one's most important credibility quotient.

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Lamest Offer Ever

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Mon, 2007-07-02 21:29.

I just got this in an email newsletter:

"Members-Only Special Offer: Get a Free Sierra Trading Post Catalog - Click Here"

Now there's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, NOT! Is there anyone who doesn't get that thing, frequently, unsolicited, in their junk mail?

In more useful content, the newsletter provided a link to Hiking New York City.

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More Fun with Technology

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Thu, 2007-06-07 12:09.

This week I've been going to town on cool, new (to me, anyway), online services:

  • "Jott" - a service that lets you call a toll-free number from your cell phone, dictate a message, and have it automatically transcribed and emailed to yourself or others. My other half signed up for this because he's trying to stop schlepping a laptop everywhere. It looks pretty cool. We'll see if I end up really using it - I'm not a big cell-phone user, and I've usually got pen and paper with me. I have to say, speech recognition software sure has come a looong way over the past ten years. They were already working on it when my Dad was at IBM Research in the '60s and '70s, but in the '90s it was still pretty rough except for specialized applications.
  • GTD Inbox - a free task-manager application. I have a feeling I'll end up not doing much with it, because of the need to actually put all my tasks in there in the first place. It was easy to install in my Gmail, but their help site seems to be out of commission. (Update: their site is still down a couple of weeks later, so it looks like Tech Republic steered me wrong on this one. I've mostly deleted it.)
  • Remember the Milk - a nice, simple, online task manager. The more I use it, the better I like it.
  • del.icio.us - I finally checked out del.icio.us after seeing links to it all over the place, and I really like being able to tag bookmarks more than one way, although it took a bit of time to organize my 100+ imported links into a sensible array of tags and tag bundles. (My other half prefers the Google browser synchronization feature, but I don't think that lets you share links.)

I've been looking unsuccessfully for years for some kind of project manager that matches the way I work and the types of projects I manage. I usually end up working from a combination of wall calendar and spreadsheet. How low-tech!

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I Can't Believe How Far I've Come

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Thu, 2007-05-03 09:39.

I started my first Drupal site around mid-January (its first archive item is dated 1/15), and now I have about half a dozen sites in the works. Some of them are even fairly complete – not that I couldn't think of future bells and whistles to add. I've learned a lot about Drupal in a pretty short time, and a fair amount of CSS and general web structure stuff as well.

And I've been enjoying it!

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Addendum: someone pointed out that the above sounds as if I just got started in online development, period. While it's true that the only formal computer training I've ever had was two half days of Introduction to Lotus 1-2-3 in the mid-1980s, as you can see from my portfolio, I have a great deal of hands-on experience with all kinds of online and offline applications. I have been involved in corporate web-related work since the early 1990s, including promoting online advertising, developing web pages, and more. I have also been an active member of various online communities since the late '90s. So I should have said, a fair amount of stuff - beyond what I already knew. I tend to think of myself as a generalist who "gets" tech, rather than a techie geek, but as a matter of fact, I've always been the one colleagues come to for help getting things done on computers.

But enough about me. It's really a great strength of Drupal that it is possible to ramp up one's skills so fast - it should be very easy for the end-user of a Drupal site to update the site's content once the structure has been laid down by someone more knowledgeable.

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Life Apart from Work

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Wed, 2007-04-25 12:58.

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How to Do Things in Drupal

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Tue, 2007-04-24 12:06.

This is a collection of tips and how-to guides for my Drupal website clients. It is a work in progress; I am adding to it as I go along while I develop new sites.

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Hello Explorers

Submitted by Jean E. Gazis on Tue, 2007-04-17 16:27.

I'm going to be working with an Exploring group which is sponsored by my husband's company, L&D Computer Consulting Corp. (Exploring is a career learning program for high school students and is affiliated with Scouting.) The Explorers are being assigned a project to develop their own blog using Drupal. I had to do the introductory meeting because it was the day after my husband's spine surgery. I just set up the domains for each student and will develop some "getting started" info for them today.

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