Category Archives: Roll Call

The Sharing Economy & the Cloud: Top 5 Services that Come to You

Our modern economy is a collaborative economy. Websites and companies are springing up to bring empty houses and travelers together, empty seats and riders together and even empty parking spots and cars together. It makes sense that websites would be developed that bring individuals with specific skills together with those who are in need of the skills. From babysitters to tech gurus, you can find just about anything you need in our modern world of cloud services.

Here is a top 5 of the sharing-economy’s most notable names in the arena of in-home help. While there are lots of peer-to-peer driven services out there, these are examples of how the cloud delivers the potential expertise of millions of people, right to your door.


stock_using_laptop3Sometimes your knowledge is what sets you apart. Knowing how to do certain things can be powerful, especially if others are anxious to learn what you are willing to teach. This is the premise behind, a website designed as an elaborate learning or tutoring center.

At Skillshare you can take virtual classes in photography, hand lettering, search engine optimization, algebra, film production, auto repair and much, much more. If someone knows how to do it, they are teaching it on Skillshare.

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Social Site Roundup: Getting Down to Business (Mostly)

When you think of social media, your first thought isn’t necessarily about business.  Of course, social media is big business.  On your end (the client side) you see the effects of business interest in the form of ads and promotions, and as much as these may be annoying, they’re the bottom layer of what makes it all work.

But it’s not just about ads and market-revenue.  There’s business going online that’s more personable and self invested.  From public awareness groups trying to spread the word, to small startups trying to drum up interest, everyone from the corporate conglomerate to the individual freelancer has a stake in getting seen … and getting seen in the right light.  The truth is, social media is so much a part of the professional world that it has successfully blurred the lines between private issues and public affairs.  For good and bad, social media = social attention.

In this ongoing countdown of current social movers and shakers, we’ll highlight some of the more popular avenues that businesses take, and that individuals take to show they mean business.


icon_FacebookIt may seem like Facebook always gets top billing, and that’s because it is currently the undisputed leader of social media.  Even though there are various SM outlets geared toward business (See LinkedIn below), Facebook is still as likely a place for an employers to look when they want to assess a hiring candidate.

Employers can and will investigate your posts, pictures and activities – inasmuch as your privacy settings allow it.  Your likes and interests can tell someone what kind of activities you engage in, your political leanings and your relationships with co-employees, bosses and businesses as a whole. It’s not doom and gloom though. Most people have come to accept this and so there’s a good-sense movement that encourages people to be free on Facebook, but also be careful. Many go so far as to keep professionalism in mind, tailoring or even tweaking their profiles to show not only who they are, but in equal amounts their affiliations and abilities.

On the business end though, Facebook has become a hub of keeping up.  Businesses don’t have profiles the same way people do. Instead they have pages, just like a given book or movie or tv show.  Other people can like the page, and the act of garnering likes can translate to traffic to that page.  So what goes on it?  Usually there’s a banner heading for the company showcasing the brand, and getting the word out about a great product or service. Ahem …

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Social Site Roundup: Artistic Expression

The internet is good for many things, but easily one of the best is the varied means of self-expression. The internet has truly brought the world together in many ways, and through social media websites dedicated to the arts, individuals are able to create, share and enjoy the work of others around the globe in specialized communities.

Communities like Instagram, Vine and Flickr represent some of the most well-known picture and video networks, but there are networks out there as well for just about every sort of music, film and art specialty that you enjoy as well.


icon_InstagramOwned by Facebook, Instagram brings social networking and followers to pictures and videos. With Instagram, you can follow the feeds of others and enjoy your own group of followers as well. You post your own pictures or videos or enjoy and then repost the creations of others.

Instagram is most popular for the ability to use the filters provided by the app or community. When you take a picture, you can change the appearance of the image using a variety of approaches to enhance and edit that image before posting it. These filters allow even beginning photographers (or just bad photographers) to turn out impressive images with flare.

InstaGram Filter
Filter Away!

Instagram also allows comments and discussion on the images and posts. The focus here is to post the image or video first and then make the conversation secondary. Often the comments and discussion fuel new niches within the larger community as well. Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Discovering New Stuff

While you might stumble across a good website when you’re searching for something more specific online, there are many different social media platforms and networks that are specifically dedicated to helping you discover all the emerging and interesting things online.

Many of these networks allow you to make an account and then personalize it for your own style and preferences. Once your preferences are set, you can continue making tweaks, but the information, pictures and messages you see through your networks all reflect your own specific tastes and areas of interest.

Tumblr – Tumblr is a collection of pictures and captions. To use Tumblr, you establish an account and then follow other Tumblr accounts who enjoy the same sorts of things that you do. Usually most “Tumblrs” choose to use an avatar rather than their real personas, and the boards they follow can be from anywhere in the world. Tumblr-news

The more accounts you follow, the wider the variety of things in your feed when you log into your own Tumblr account – all of it the sort of thing you’re likely to enjoy. Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Micro Blogs and Blogging Micro

The microblog. We get that it’s a short little burst of text, perhaps peppered with images or links. But why have these short bursts of information become so appealing?

The question implies that we have only recently decided that we like short bits of text and updates. This simply is not true. We have always enjoyed skimming headlines. There are far more headline readers in the heyday of newspaper sales than there were folks who read the thing from cover to cover.

We like to grasp the basic idea of something and then either move on or stick around and learn more. The microblog is simply a new way of reading headlines – lots and lots of headlines.

Why People Post and Follow Micro Blogs

You skim the status updates, images and tweets. Some things make you smile, some you flat out ignore and others catch your attention – what is she talking about here? Or perhaps what is he linking to that everyone thinks is so interesting?

Suddenly you’re doing more than skimming headlines. You’re digging deeper into the network. Perhaps you’re following links to read articles or pulling up older posts to get some background information when something catches your eye.

That may explain why headlinewe like to read the microblogs, but why do so many people enjoy writing them?

That part is a bit simpler to explain. The microblog asks you to throw out a quick note, summary or headline. You can then link to more information, but you don’t have to take the time to write everything up in your own words. You can just throw out a quick expression or mention and your job is all but complete. This is often the exact goal in office memos and journalism – making the microblogs a fit in many different areas.

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