Monthly Archives: September 2012

This Just In! How NOT to Be….Nickelodeon

The TMNT logo of the 2003 animated series.

The TMNT logo of the 2003 animated series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in the day, Nickelodeon was top dog in the kids and family entertainment set. With shows like Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern LIfe, Doug, The Wild Thornberrys; and then, when it was time for dinner, Nick would segway to their classic TV with the switch over to Nick @ Nite. N@N was the reason I ever knew about The Monkees, Get Smart, Alfred Hitchcock, F-Troop, and more.

Sadly, Nick is set to take part in the many people in Hollywood who are content to ruin our childhood. This morning, the new revamped version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to premiere on the station and it’s a shot in the dark that people will tune to it. Why? For the first time in 16 years, Nick has fallen off the charts when connecting with kids.

So how can freelancers learn from Nick’s fall?

1. Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

For the last few years, Nick has been known for two things – Spongebob Squarepants and iCarly, the top cartoon for kids and the top show for teens. And that’s it. At any moment in time, Nick can be known to run hours and days worth of both of these shows, to the point that you could’ve renamed the station Spongelodeon or iNick.

Freelancers often times get their heart’s set on their first client and may not leave them. Which of course is worse when the client may drop you for whatever reason. Even if you’re good at just designing with Dreamweaver or writing for a health company, putting your eggs on one or two shows…er…client.

2. Counting Out Your Competition

Rotating two shows may seem like the obvious bad move for Nick, but another part could also be their competition. No, I’m not just talking about Disney (the channel that unseated them), I’m talking about the new trend of streaming. Netflix, who had their own issues (we’ll talk about them next week), is currently running both Spongebob and iCarly; from a viewer’s perspective, why would I want to watch repeats of those shows on Nick?

On the freelancing stance, every freelancer is of course different, but knowing what your competition is charging will help put you in the lead. Pricing is of course always important; you don’t want to go too low or too high, especially if your competition is moderately price. Find out the average and then go with what makes sense.

I won’t get into the changes that Nick has made to TMNT, which I also think is going to put them out (when you consider that those of us who loved the 80’s and 2000’s versions are the parents of those kids), but we’ll see where Nick will head with this and just how badly they’ve ruined my childhood.

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How NOT to be…Facebook, part II

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Mornin’ readers!

So, our last post here on FRR was about Facebook‘s continued foray into making their users not want to use them again. This was in response to the new change that Facebook made during the summer in which they changed their users’ email addresses with that of their very own Facebook email address, whether they wanted it or not.

Not that this was the first time that Facebook as annoyed users, whether it be constantly changing their privacy policies or changing them while erasing previously set up settings that a user had done or the bragging they did about their IPO that didn’t really do so well.

So in this second part, we’ll look at how we as freelancers can avoid doing some of these things that FB insists on doing to the rest of us.

3. Not Caring About Users

As a freelancer, it’s important that you take into account what your client wants. Now, sometimes the client may have some crazy ideas that they want to see done, which is when you should politely request that perhaps that idea is crazy. However, the important thing is always keep their ideas and requests in your head. Not caring about what your client – or users – want can cost you a rep.

4. Making It Impossible for the Client to Change Anything

Here is the big thing with Facebook – every change and implementation they make almost seems purely designed to see how many of their users will actually take the time to change it. Of course, many of the social network’s users actually don’t bother to change things like their privacy settings (which is bad, btw!), however for those who want to make sure that only their friends and families can find them, trying to change anything on Facebook is a hassle and confusing and utterly frustrating.

This might be an issue for those of you who freelance in web design or even programming; if you have designed something that will allow the client to change something – like a web site in which they can log in to access an account – don’t make it so complicated that they aren’t able to do so. In the case of programming, of course there will be sections in which the client shouldn’t have access to, but if it’s something as simple as trying to change their password or even changing the color scheme (if they are able), let it be easy enough for them to do it without them breaking anything.

Facebook isn’t the only big company that’s been making some big mistakes in the last few years. Next, we’ll take a look at how Netflix managed to dig themselves into a hole that nearly buried them, while Sony’s Playstation Network was determined to give out every one of their client’s credit card numbers.

What’s This? An Update?

Yep, you read right.

I’m finally back! Again! Sorry folks for the lack of posts here, tons of stuff going on for the last few months.

As you know, I got that job, so I’ve been in the work place. Sadly, that’s kinda pushed my freelancing back a little, but I’m still doing it. Then there was that Internet troll I’m still dealing with, so that may actually take up some time as well and then the big thing – I had my first wisdom tooth removed.

That was painful, by the way. Totally, totally painful and worse, apparently there’s another one just waiting for the chance to drive me crazy the way it’s brother did to my lower jaw.

Oh and I started some classes online with Coursera. Apparently, I don’t think I’m busy enough, you know?

But I has returned and I’m really, really gonna try to not disappear. Or at least if I do, it’ll only be for like a few weeks or a month, not…several. So yes, there’s more a comin’!