[Infographic] The 25 most popular online tools for freelancers

BestVendor has just released the results of its 2012 Freelancer Survey, revealing the most popular tools and apps for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Freelancers are a huge part of the workforce, with 42 million in the U.S. alone. And as one-man (or more commonly, woman) operations, they typically have to manage everything from accounting to sales to operations. BestVendor wanted to know: What are the most popular apps used by freelancers? Below is an infographic showing the top 25 based on data from nearly 100 freelancers

The single most popular tool? Überpopular file-sharing, storage, and back-up service DropBox. Evernote, the electronic memory app, comes in at No. 4.

Which ones do you use? More importantly, which ones should you be using?


Infographic: Best Times to Tweet or Post on Facebook

Most of us now know that effective use of social media can be highly beneficial for business, but have you ever wondered when is the best to post your message to reach and engage with the most people? Fortunately Bit.ly have done the research on this and have the answers courtesy of this nice infographic by Raka Creative. They’ve worked out the best times to Tweet for click-throughs and the best times to post on Facebook for click-throughs. How does this compare with your experiences?


IOC out of touch with Olympic social media laws

Olympics social media

Image via techi.com

The Olympics is considered to be the greatest sporting event in the world as well as the oldest international sports extravaganza. Leading up to the London Olympics 2012, Beijing as the host of 2008 had ushered in an era of glitzy grandeur to the event which made the games a big hit all over the world. When every continent comes together for the Olympics with the urge to create a historic event every four years, you would expect the Olympics to sync well with times. Sadly, the upcoming London Olympics 2012 has just been plagued with a controversial statute.

The IOC, International Olympic Committee, has set aside a few very strict social media laws for this year. As per the social media laws stipulated for 2012 Olympics, every post, tweet or blog, in short any online content being circulated through social media or social networks, must be in a first person narrative. Which implies that every piece of  information posted online should be in a diary type format necessitating the fact that the poster, tweeter or blogger is giving a firsthand account and speaking for himself or herself.

If these social media laws were not enough, the IOC further states that no videos can be shared from the Olympic village and if athletes were to post any photos or any sort of content about their peers or other competing athletes then they would have to seek permission from the concerned athlete or athletes prior to doing so. What the social media laws for this year Olympics imply is that there would be a sort of social media ban on athletes and everyone involved in the event. This is a form of censorship being imposed and the social media laws basically amount to a social media ban.

What the IOC had in contemplation while announcing these social media laws is not well ascertained at this stage but the sporting community and also a huge section of the online community are not very happy with these social media laws. Putting a social media ban would not only limit the exposure of the Olympics but telling the athletes what they can do, share and what they cannot is simply something that would not go down well with most sportspeople, not to mention the hundreds of millions of social network users.

The IOC is certainly out of touch with the social media phenomenon to have come up with these laws which are nothing short of a social media ban.

Infographic: How mobile technology is changing world travel

Is there an industry more affected by social networks and mobile technology than the travel industry? Possibly not.

When I first traveled overseas postcards and the weekly letter were the main means of communication. These days we’re rarely disconnected from home, our next destination or the people and places we visit.

Mobile technology has turned travel on its head. Now 3 in 4 travelers use a mobile device while on the move. We can check in with our airlines, search and book accommodation with AirBnB and much much more.

The following infographic is by the team at MyDestination.com and has some excellent stats for those researching travel and technology.

How Mobile Technology is Changing World Travel with My Destination

Take your mark, get set…..Tweet! The social media Olympics

Usain Bolt. Image via telegraph.co.uk

When the Olympics start in London on Friday, 27 July they will be forever known as the social media Olympics. At the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008 any news from there may have found its way onto the Internet via blog posts and the occasional video being posted and re-posted on YouTube.

Since then the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest has changed the media landscape dramatically and this time around the impact of social media on the Olympics will be huge. In the past people may have sent text messages, e-mails or commented on forums and chat rooms about the most interesting aspects of the Olympics. Can you imagine the volume of traffic that will be going through all the social media sites as soon as an event has taken place?

As soon as Usain Bolt crosses the finishing line there will be thousands if not millions of posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. People will be posting on Facebook to get interaction from their friends about the race. Twitter will be buzzing with all sorts of comments, jokes and anecdotes about what just took place. Pinterest will be awash with folk pinning a whole variety of photos that have been lifted from news sites all around the world.

What kind of impact do you think that the social media Olympics will have on newspapers? By the time a journalist has written their piece, the editor has chosen the relevant photos and the rest of the newspaper printed and delivered, there will be very little in the newspaper that has not already been seen, discussed and dissected by the vast majority of the civilised world. The impact of social media on the Olympics could render newspaper coverage superfluous.

Many people will be watching the Olympics not on TV but on iPads and various other mobile devices. Every single bit of news that comes out of the Olympics will spread through the social media like wildfire. It is going to be very difficult for the media to compete against the more popular social media sites. It will be interesting to see the increase in the volume of traffic that is generated by the social media Olympics.

A lot of the athletes themselves will be posting comments on Facebook and Twitter and it is here that most people will go, rather than tune into TV to see any interviews. People now expect news to be delivered immediately and are impatient. If you want to see results, comments, quotes or photos of any of the events it is most likely you will go to one of the social media sites for instant gratification.

2012 will be the first true social media Olympics. The data that emerges over the next few weeks will be telling. Take your mark, get set…..Tweet!

Infographic: The digital anatomy of the affluent male

These days businesses are needing to totally rethink how they reach their target customers. A great example is marketing to males. In the good old days, when traditional media was king, the easiest way to reach a male audience was to buy spots in men’s magazines or the reliable 30 second TV spot in sports programs.

These days its not so straight-forward as our attention is divided between so many mediums and the internet is beginning to dominate.

Here’s a really good infographic from the team at iProspect for those businesses looking to target the affluent male consumer. Is your marketing strategy in line with the latest online trends and statistics? (Note: this is from the USA and the geographic references apply to America only).

Last week’s tweets worth keeping

Here’s a selection of tweets…and more importantly the links….I’ve read or shared in the last week that are worth keeping (also a bit of an experiment in link longevity).

Digital Newcastle launches to help grow the local digital economy

Digital NewcastleThe rapid advancement of technology, especially online technology, presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Its something I am keenly aware of as I do business with a wide range of organisations whilst also trying to launch new ideas and applications into the marketplace.

I consider myself to be pretty conversant in the latest happenings in the digital world, but even I have to ask around at times or risk missing opportunities. So I can’t even imagine how the average business owner, marketing manager or government agency must feel trying to keep up with such a rapidly changing environment.

The roll-out of the National Broadband Network only increases the need for knowledge in order to understand its implications and opportunities.

What we desperately need is someone who can help connect the dots.

  • Someone neutral and knowledgeable who can point us in the right direction.
  • Someone who is talking to government agencies and knows where funding is available.
  • Someone who can help advise organisations about putting together good tenders and inviting the right people to pitch.
  • Someone passionate enough about the industry and region to identify opportunities and help them to fruition
  • Someone who can help provide training options to those who need it.

Fortunately in Newcastle we now have that someone, Gordon Whitehead aka @the_git.

And that brings me to a significant announcement. After 6 years at Sticky, Gordon is moving to a new role that has evolved from his founding of The Lunaticks. The project is called Digital Newcastle and Gordon will be doing all the above and more.

He’ll be connecting the dots between government, government agencies, local business, education, start-ups, digital agencies and services providers.

To be clear: this is a new role with a different organisation and totally independent of Sticky.

I’ll be signing on as a sponsor of Digital Newcastle and I encourage other agencies to sign on as well. Collectively we’ll all benefit from this initiative and it will only be truly effective if the right dots are being connected.

I’d like to congratulate to Gordon on this exciting new role. Already he has garnered considerable support from local government and business groups, and I urge all Newcastle and Hunter businesses and agencies to support him so he can help the entire region flourish in this burgeoning digital economy.


Which are the best social media sites for SEO? [Infographic]

How Social Media Activity Impacts Organic Search Rankings

Can social media activity impact organic search rankings? We often hear that it can but this recent study set out to prove it with a simple test. Tasty Placement in Austin, Texas ran the study then designed this nice infographic to hep make sense of the current relationships between social media activity and search engine optimisation.

Note: US data only.

Read the rest of this entry »

The winners and losers in the digital economy

A few weeks ago I posted that no industry was immune to the rapid pace of change in our modern interconnected society. I strongly believe that some current industries will be turned upside down by the arrival on the National Broadband Network and borderless labour.

Now a new report by IBISworld’s Phil Ruthven, A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050, lists the winners and losers of what it calls “the new utility” – ubiquitous high-speed broadband.

Ruthven says Australia must shift from exporting its natural resources to exporting so-called “developed resources” – health, education, tourism and business services, and identifies seven broad industry sectors that will benefit from this “hyper digital era”.

The main beneficiaries appear to be government and public safety programs such as emergency and disaster response services, followed by online retail and the mining industry.

However, Ruthven also says that of 509 industries in Australia, 15 – nearly all in traditional media, publishing and broadcasting – are likely to disappear unless they can reinvent themselves.

The industries he identifies as facing “extinction” include: book, magazine and newspaper publishing and retailing; radio and television broadcasting; reproduction of recorded media; and film processing.

Its a trend we’ve seen for the last 15 years. If the medium is easily digitalised then the industry is at risk. It started with music, then moved onto books and movie and TV downloads. Its one of the reasons Fairfax is trying to cut costs and job losses are an unfortunate symptom of these changes.

A recent presentation by Mary Meeker which explained the “re-imagination of everything” is a great pointer to what has happened and who will be affected going forward.

The report says that traditional retailing will decline in the coming decades and much wholesale trade may also disappear.

Mr Ruthven says that Australia has been slow to adopt high-speed broadband and benefit from the digital economy, and the major obstacle is scepticism.

“Because I think there’s been so many naysayers out there suggesting we don’t need it, which is it a bit like saying ‘dirt roads were quite adequate 50 years ago, who needs a sealed road and a four-lane highway?’” says Ruthven.

The report also predicts that one in four people will be working from home at least part-time by 2050, something that futurist Mark Pesce elaborated on.

“The idea of employment, as in a job that lasts for more than a few days or a few weeks, is going to be this very weird term by 2050. Our grandkids will go up to us and say, ‘You had a job and you did it for years at a time?’”, says Pesce.

“That much connectivity in the economy creates this enormous capability for fluidity, and so jobs are going to start to become gigs and those are going to start to become tasks, and eventually we’re all just going to be doing a little bit here and a little bit there and it may not be until we get up in the morning and check the smartphone that we’re going to be knowing what we’re going to be doing that day.”

Pesce feels that the employment market of 2050 is “going to look a lot more like eBay then it does like Seek.”


All are expected to be replaced by their online or digital equivalents.