Monthly Archives: July 2012

How NOT To Be…Facebook, part I

Hello, faithful reader!

So a few posts ago I said that I would be starting a new series here on Freelancer R called “How NOT To Be”, with the purpose being learning from the mistakes of the big guys in business so that you, the freelancer, don’t fall in to one of their traps.

To start the series, let’s talk about Facebook, shall we? The big giant of the social networks, Facebook is no stranger to pissing off their users. If they aren’t trying to push new features on us that we don’t want, they’re constantly breaking their own security protocols, leaving users to try and figure how to reset their security settings for the seven hundred and fiftieth time.

But, as I read once, as much as we hate Facebook, as Peter Cerera said, it’s a hard habit to break. 750 million people apparently cannot break Facebook, however after the fiasco a few weeks, many have started to try.

At the end of June, Facebook users awoke to the fact that their normal email addresses that were on Facebook had been changed over to Facebook’s email. The thought was to give people an email for the site for better communication; what it did was piss people off. Luckily, many tech sites are helping folks get their email addresses from the clutches of Facebook, but the move was kinda dicky for the social network.

How does this relate to being a freelancer? By reviewing what Facebook did and not doing it yourself.

1. Not Taking Client’s Preference into Account

The whole issue with Facebook changing email on people isn’t about email, it’s about Facebook inserting their rule over their users. Many people happened to like having their own email address on Facebook; that’s called having a choice. In dealing with clients, the last thing you want to do is change something on a client without taking their feedback into the idea.

2. Not Bothering to Get Client Feedback

Another issue that Facebook faces with this latest change is that they didn’t bother to ask us – the users – whether we wanted this or not. This has been a trend with Facebook lately, first with timeline and now this; now FB has claimed they told users about this – months ago. Can you see where Facebook has become Failbook here? Let me illuminate – first FB didn’t bother to ask or have an option for users to keep or switch emails, then they didn’t bother to announce the change immediately before it happened.

Part Two of this will continue, with the addition of how to not care like Facebook and how to make it nearly impossible to change back to what you wanted.

Stay Tuned!

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Cloud Test – My Move from SkyDrive to Google Drive, II

Windows Live SkyDrive

Windows Live SkyDrive (Photo credit: 阿國)

So in page one, I stated that I was going complete Google fangirl and moving over to Google Drive from SkyDrive permanently. Being able to easily few what I’ve uploaded, as well as the ability to access on my smartphone (and hopefully eventual tablet) also helped in the decision.

The final nail was hit when dealing in my new job position as office manager for Assisted Transition.

The Professional Side

Let’s start by discussing this aspect in the terms of freelancing. Both services obviously allow you to view and even edit your files from any computer, anywhere. This of course is paramount for a freelancer, because it means we don’t need to be tethered to our home offices or whatever it is you work.

Now, as should happen, you’re working on an article or web design on say your laptop and then plan on tweaking it when you get home to your desktop with its large monitor. Which service do you think will let you continue where you left off? The technical answer is both, however personally I think Google does a better job of it.

Case in point – I have had and lost internet service while using both sites – Google was a bit faster at regaining a connection and saving where I left off. But more importantly, as a hobbied web designer, Drive is the only one here that allows you to view Photoshop files.

Now in a business sense, while yes most companies utilize both Windows and the Microsoft Office suite, not everyone may be on the same version. My boss and I, for example, use two different versions of office. In terms of using Google Drive, another great thing as I can still sync my personal drive while viewing my work one.

There is a downside to that, which I heard Google is working on – obviously, many of us Googlites have more than one Google account. I discovered the other day that you can only have one Drive account on the desktop version, which of course is annoying and trust me, bad things come about when you try having two.

I’m not sure when I became such a fangirl for Google (petition is pending on getting me a Google endorsement), but ultimately when I think about it, it makes sense to be concise in using the suite over the others. As freelancers, does this mean no more work on our computers?

Absolutely not and I push you all to make sure you have backups upon backups to ensure you don’t lose anything of importance (kinda like when I did that dual Drive thing). However, regardless of which one you choose, make sure you make the most of it. And these aren’t the only ones – there’s Dropbox, Sugar Sync, etc.

What about you, loyal reader? Which would or do you prefer – SkyDrive or Google Drive? Let me know with some comments!

Cloud Test – My Move from SkyDrive to Google Drive

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

This weekend’s post was going to be about Facebook‘s complete ignorance of what their users want, but instead I find myself at a little before 4am trying to get the files I uploaded to SkyDrive so I can update my website. So I decided – why not tell the beginning ‘lancers out there what’re some good cloud storage options?

You’ll find many comparisons in regards to Microsoft’s SkyDrive platform and that of the new Google Drive, which replaced Docs. Here’s one freelancer’s story of using both and why, after this morning, I’m making the complete switch.

The Beginning

Back in Tucson when I was the office manager for the computer company, SkyDrive was still Folder Sync, but a great way to keep folders synced across multiple computers. This was especially great when the office moved towards more remote work, which meant I worked from home. Being a writer and using more than two computers (desktop, laptop, and remote work PC), being able to keep my files with me was great.

So what changed? Well, I moved. As in, out of state. Twice. The first move wasn’t too bad, as I just had my desktop, but when I moved from Denver to Virginia, that’s where things got tricky.

Here are just a few reasons why I made the complete switch –

Easier Access

There is of course an alternative reason for me to be up at three in the morning, but as long as I was up, I decided to update the site, which I should have done yesterday. I have a lot of my writings within SkyDrive and since the new user interface, I haven’t been able to find anything from the web access site.

The problem is that SkyDrive defaults to the folder listing and of course, only shows documents, spreadsheets, or photos. It does not show any HTML, which of course is what some of writings are in (as they were taken from the now defunct My Fav Shows site). The easiest time I have is when I am able to actively go into folders, like say from my PC. This of course works when I have…my PC.

Does not work when trying to utilize the website.

Ergo, I spend fifteen, twenty minutes looking for the sync folders page, just so I can see the folders and listings that don’t show on the default page.

Why Google Drive is Better

Simple. I can find what I want, when I want. All the folders I’ve decided to sync show up as such, in both the desktop version, web version, and Android version (another reason why I’m making the jump; SkyDrive is not offered for Android phones).

Did I mention I also get offline access?

Integration

Obviously both of these cloud storage areas are integrated into their perspective platforms, however Google does it better. When I had a Windows smartphone, I could really only view some of the files I had on SkyDrive and that was if I opened a browser within the phone and went there. Again, only documents would show, meaning I couldn’t see if that zip file I synced had showed up or not.

Why Google is Better

Google pretty much integrates with all of their services. I could access a document in Gmail or G+ if I truly wanted; then there’s the mobile app. Again, as a writer, I’m prone to want to re-read things on the go or just read over something again. I can do that with Drive, not with SkyDrive.

Next up – the professional spectrum and how that works.