Bruno Deshayes
Crowdsourcing or labor exploitation?

Has anyone living in the US, UK or Australia got any good testimony to share about getting decent work on websites such as http://elance.com or ?

Has anyone living in the US, UK or Australia got any good testimony to share about getting decent work on websites such as or ?
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My experience with Social Media Marketing

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My experience with Social Media Marketing
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My experience with Bitcoin

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My experience with Bitcoin
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Fabric of Society Falling Apart

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Fabric of Society Falling Apart
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Fine Cyber Shop for Books CDs and DVDs

handy shoppingGoogle has become a massive repository where you can just enter the ISBN of a book to instantly discover who has it in stock and at what price. It is critical that the title, author and ISBN of the book be displayed in the web page title so that it can be indexed. Use this feature to check competitors and market availability. Some books are sold out very quickly - others go into a second or third edition.

Introducing Handy Folks In order to give visitors a “compelling user experience” they decided to feature both the front and back cover of each thing. You hear: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I personally find it annoying not being able to read at least how the publishers promote their offering. What about the cast for a film, or the list of songs on a CD? You find it all on the back cover…

The inventory has exactly a quantity of one for everything. So it is first in, first serve. If you come back to the site one week later - the item might be gone. I guess that’s why some places call themselves opportunity shops…

Did you notice the ubiquitous Bitcoin logo in the corner? They decided to support this new cyberspace currency to gain an edge. When PayPal started many naysayers raised their voices but even today, MasterCard or Visa don’t want to let you send money to an email address…

Stringing me along

Have you ever been curious about an enticing title in a blogpost or ebook only to find out it was only a vain attempt to catch your attention but never deliver any substantial information?

This a worrisome marketing trend called “reel’them’in”. I don’t know what sort of big fish they are after but it is an insult to my intelligence to think that I would fall into that trap…

So how would you bait the passing traffic to have a look at your offering without giving it away for free? You can get some ideas here

In the old days you would walk into a bookstore, grab a volume, read the back cover, skim through the table of contents or the index and read a few random paragraphs.

To some extend amazon has achieved that electronically where within reason, you can do online the things mentioned above.

Where this is becoming really painful is when some self appointed marketing guru offers you to stream a lengthy video only to find out: “I will explain this method in the next instalment…” Well, you have lost both my patience and my respect with that one.

The paradox is that more and more people are shopping online but there is still this perception that on the internet things are free. Let us deal with both of these issues:

People may well shop online but at the same time they would walk into a real store in a real shopping centre, try out a clothing outfit, carefully note the price and then rush home to see if they can order online the very same item at a better price. The retail outlet is bearing all the costs of displaying the merchandise and yet misses out on the sale.

Market dominance can be achieved if you have enough resources to flood the market with a free service and starve out the competition in the process. Microsoft did that years ago with Windows. When Netscape released the first internet browser you naturally would pay for it. Then Microsoft offered a free web browser bundled with their operating system. So many word processing and spreadsheet vendors went by the wayside in that fashion. Today many programmers write mobile phone apps loaded with advertising because nobody wants to pay for those toys. Mind you telcos had a good run selling us fancy ringtones for a while.

This issue is normally solved with the concept of sampling the merchandise. Food stores often have demonstrations where you can taste the food being promoted. Software vendors offer a demo version to download - you can unlock the full version when you are convinced there is value for money there.

But why stop here? What about a landlord offering you to live in a condominium for a week free of charge to see if you like the neighbourhood? What about a free airfare to Disneyland to see if you like the new appointments in the aircraft? You think I am going too far? Think how much hotels give away fro free to attract high flyers into their gambling dens.

Who spies over social media?

social mediaSocial media relates to a variety of things to different people but is there scope for diversity? If you want to bookmark some web pages regarding your project, photos of your recent travel and summaries on your endeavours where do you go? Evidently facebook comes loud and clear to fulfil those points but are they trying to be all things to all people? Remeber they are now a public listed company and shareholders want to rake in their claim from advertising receipts.

Talking about revenue bring in cash but also your profile. Yes you read correctly marketing companies are constantly on the prowl for ways to measure your buying pattern and social media portals are the main source of information for that. So for a fee you can buy a snapshot on the geo-tagged demographic footprint that fits your favourite keyword.

Indeed the issue of security is the one that gets targeted most often against the social media juggernaut. But is it a fad or is it to stay? It is one scenario to have a presence towards your family and friends but what about if your former partner, your boss, someone across the street starts to keep tabs on you? Introducing Social Buzz a facebook look-alike without the heavy footprint.

The desires of an online community are fairly simple. Post an article, bookmark a web page, upload an bunch of collated images or a clip, follow a discussion or an event through keywords and that’s basically it. Certain social media platforms are growing through invites only - some allow any person to sign-up. Some entice you to rummage through your inbox and blast an invite to any email at hand - a bad spamming technique if there was one.

The next problem with facebook is the ever increasing growth of apps that try to tag on the immense pool of connected friends and weave a web of intrigue. It began with entertainment, then birthday reminders now career search networks and whatever will come next. No wonder we all have someone we would dearly connect with but cannot because they run away for good reasons from the social media scene.

Just like in the past you would continue a conversation off the record now you can do that offline. No I don’t mean going back to the time worn mail service. I mean switching to a less oft used social media system off the beaten track.

Being thankful - always

Being thankfulAdults just like children need to be taught the wonders of giving thanks. Or is it past any hope of change by then? Taking things and people for granted is a troublesome development these days and I dare say it would account for much of the strife in our community.

As always it is as a result of a setback that you tend to come to appreciate the things that you have left. As human beings we are by default self-centred. On the other side of the coin people are craving for recognition and acceptance. So if you build the habit of uttering a well thought of and deserved “thank you” in your conversation, the rewards are manifold. You have heard the phrase: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When we meet a new person an instant recollection occurs in our thoughts to discern friend from foe.

Compliments from someone you don’t know always seems phoney because they don’t have any common experience with you to qualify giving any report on your character - good or bad. Salespeople of all types have learned the good one-liners from Dale Carnegie’s book “how to win friends and influence people”. In today’s world of rampant divorce and distrust in the workplace the catch phrase is akin to “how to alienate strangers and bust your marriage”…

If something is going to budge it might as well be you. To give is better than to receive. Following up on that, you will discover more long lasting satisfaction in empowering an associate to be their best than in focusing on your short term comfort.

Amazing isn’t it? Would altruistic motives be the cure for a decaying society? Philosophers have dreamed about that one for centuries but the reality is that we live in a spiritual world as well as a physical world. Unless you acknowledge the forces at work which pull your attitude one way or the other you will keep being indecisive not knowing who to obey.

Take note I use the world obey here. You thought you were a mature person - in control of your own destiny. Just check your past and you will find this is not so. You find it impossible to connect with God? You’d rather not relate to God at all, hoping you don’t have to report to anybody for your life? You are pinning away trying to find value and purpose in a world that’s going nowhere fast? Why don’t you start giving thanks that someone dared to tell you about Jesus Christ - the Saviour of our soul

Could it happen to me?

lifesaverLooking after yourself is a reflex we barely need to learn. But an easy life can also be known by another name: selfishness.

Just like you see avid runners jogging on a brisk windy morning just to get physical you may be curious if some individuals really set themselves out to be stretched in the area of finance, education or family.

Do you know somebody who is reeling from a marriage split-up? Have you opened your home to offer a suitable setup for recovery?

Do you follow emerging changes in your profession so that you may steer your vocation where new opportunities will be? Or do you wait to be made redundant to do something about it with the view of receiving a termination package or some government pension?

Is the spare room in your home cluttered with junk, broken furniture and other obstructions or it is kept in shape so that you can provide for an unforseen visitor?

Do you earn just enough money to support your necessities because you do not want to pay too much taxes or do you plan at having sufficient resources to carry out acting on the issue you feel strongly about?

Do you go the extra mile to be reconciled with a disenfranchised family member or do you ignore their plight?

Have you saved aside some funds for a rainy day? Would you be willing to use it to stand in the gap for a person in need of redemption?

If you run your own company do you shy away from hiring staff - cruising along nicely just by yourself, or do you see your potential to instruct and generate work for others?

Do you volunteer to teach at your local community center or do you waste your spare time following degrading soap operas to ease your lack of fulfilment?

Do you make conversation with the checkout operator when you do the groceries or do you dash home to surf social media - folks you can never see face to face?

Do you know your neighbours by name, do you keep abreast of local issues, do you participate in local politics or are you resigned to think your voice does not count?

The choice is up to you: you may decide to step out of your cozy environment at your own call or at the most impractical time you will be jolted in the deep end because you avoided all the opportunities beforehand.

Bread of Life

Transparency is the key to customer satisfaction

timesheetIf you are billing your expertise and your time for a living you know how confusing it can be for a client when they receive their account due. How will they have the assurance that what they are being charged for is value indeed? How can they feel confident that their invoice is a proper account of work actually executed?

The answer is to let them know what is happening. Instead of waiting for the end of the month and cause them to fall off their chair when they eventually get your bill why not provide them online access to your timesheets? Scary thought? Not really. Either you are fudging the actual time you spent on that assignment or your hourly rate is too high because you don’t want to admit how long you really spent on this assignment.

Customers simply like transparency and if you spent 10 hours on a project and are only charging 5 it ought to be documented. If the senior partner could have done the job in two hours at a top hourly rate but a new recruit took twice as long at bottom price it is proper letting the client in the loop.

Some IT providers are so fidgety about their billing issues that they send their employees to work on location when they might as well have done their task in house with peer review. The idea is that if the client sees our people at their office they will have some good vibes that we are really busy on their project.

Baloney! What is the matter with you? Trust is lacking here. The best way to clarify the situation about explaining your hours and your prices as a company is to be pro-active by providing the logs of all activity taking place. What you need is an online billing application where your customers can see your timelogs. Later they can also see how much time was spent and at what price. They can see if the contract is still under budget or not before all the money is spent. You might have agreed that the job will not cost more than x dollars and that any overtime will be absorbed by you. You may also charge hardware components or software applications as part of your service.