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24

Jun 2011

Can you work on the move?

Posted in Business tactics | 0 Comments

It’s arguable that due to the standard of today’s technology, we no longer need to work within an office environment in order to finish a profit and loss sheet. But are we really producing work of the same quality when tapping away at a netbook at thirty thousand feet, or are we sacrificing doing our jobs properly in order to complete a higher number of tasks and reduce downtime?

I find airplane travel to be an interesting experience. I love airports, for one; strolling around the duty free area, getting something to eat and drink for the plane, buying a magazine and enjoying the atmosphere (easy when everything is around 20 % cheaper). But I don’t feel compelled to work on the plane whether it’s a short trip or a long one, because it’s not a productive environment.

The seats usually aren’t comfortable – unless you’re in Business Class, a category whose name makes no sense whatsoever given that a business shouldn’t be forking out more for a flight than it has to. The noise is somewhat disruptive. Most of all, travelling is exhausting, and anyone with the desire to stay awake at a meeting after an eight-hour flight is going to use those eight hours to get an entire night’s worth of sleep.

I will sometimes work on the Tube – as a Londoner, our transport network is reliable, and you can work in relative peace as everyone is so fearfully antisocial when placed in a public environment. I’ve even written a MoreDigital blog post while sailing down the Piccadilly Line, but I find that it’s slightly more difficult when you can’t access the web to double-check your facts, or edit header images. So you can get your rough work done, and clean it up later.

Anyone expecting a neat finished product produced in such a stressful, disruptive atmosphere is kidding themselves. But you’ve got to do something with the time, and occasionally you’ll find that doing two hours of work while travelling (The Evening Standard indicates that a fifth of London commutes are over an hour long) means that you’ll be leaving at half five, instead of half seven.

Geekpreneur offers a few tips for working on the plane, most notably that you can’t work on any confidential projects, or that you probably shouldn’t be working, because no one would expect you to do so – not your boss, not your clients, not your staff. It’s simply unfair. If you want to do it, then go for it! Pass the time with a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation. But don’t start in on that quarterly report because you feel that to snooze or read a novel would be to waste people’s time.

Do any of you work on the commute? I’d love to hear about people’s various attitudes to getting their projects closer to completion whilst being jostled around on the bus or making a major medical breakthrough while on the 5:29 to Bristol. So chip in, and share your thoughts.

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22

Apr 2010

Will you pay to read web content?

Posted in News | 0 Comments

The new age of internet journalism began this week as the legendary Rolling Stone magazine became one the first well known magazines to start charging people to view content on their website. This came as quite a shock to many, that a magazine known as a leader in counter-culture and that at times has been quite controversial,has decided to do this.

The new site they launched this week, full of new features including “Rolling Stone All Access” which, if you pay, allows you to view the whole of the Rolling Stone archives. I have to say that is pretty cool, a number of greats have written for the magazine in the past including Hunter S. Thompson, Lester Bangs and P.J. O’Rourke. And the covers (remember the Britney Spears one?)are a talking point by themselves. Of course nothing comes for free, so why shouldn’t we have to pay a bit to view it?

However with the new site, although a lot of the basic stuff from the homepage, like celebrity news, photographs, previews will remain free, if you want to read full features from the current issue, you will have to pay to do so.
The decision for Rolling Stone to do this, hasn’t gone unnoticed. Media insiders have been divided for months about whether charging for content is to only way to sustain expensive, high -quality journalism or whether it will just make readers turn to free rivals instead. I suppose only time will tell if it will be beneficial for Rolling Stone or not. At the moment, I’m inclined to think that people would just go elsewhere. I know I would, unless I knew there was no way I could read that information anywhere else. But surely people will find a way of cheating the system and making it accessible for everyone?

The Times has also announced that they will start charging for access to their site in June. Again, I’m really not sure that will work because people will just go and get their news free, elsewhere, won’t they? You can pick up a free paper on the tube, so why would you bother paying to view it online? Their argument is that the free news just won’t be of the same quality of journalism, because they won’t be able to pay their writers as much. They do have a point, the Metro isn’t the greatest journalism ever and The Evening Standard is going rapidly downhill. But they are also promising lots of exciting extras for those who pay to view the site, to try and entice you.

So what do you think, will you pay?

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