Connect!

Remember that book I mentioned a couple of months ago?

connect-small-cover.jpgIt’s done and should be available for purchase in your favorite bookstore any day now, or you can buy it online: “Connect!: Web Worker Daily’s Guide to a New Way of Working”

I received my copy from the publisher on Monday.

I’m not just saying this because my name is on the cover…it’s really good.

Most tech-focused books are outdated as they hit the shelves. Even ours refers to sites and technologies that probably won’t see 2009. Yet, I think this is a book that will long outlive the startup-of-the-month.

Anne Zelenka, in addition to being an incredible friend and role model, is a gifted writer. As technical editor/peer reviewer, I had the easy part. She had to start with the blank page which she turned into a book that reads like it was effortless, when I know it was anything but.

I’m still amazed that simply doing a podcast interview back in October 2006 led to a relationship that has so enriched my life, both professionally and personally. That interview would not have been possible if I hadn’t been blogging about what I was doing with Salesforce and nonprofit technology. And that’s exactly how the connected web works.

It’s a common misperception in the real world that web workers are literally web workers…software developers, website designers, database geeks, etc. Everyone else uses these “Web 2.0” sites for wasting time, right? Reading RSS feeds, chatting, surfing, blogging & commenting. We’ll have none of that on the job, thankyouverymuch. At work…you work. This book turns that thinking on its side.

I think the bottom line is that you can open yourself up online and reveal the real you, find a career path that fits regardless of where your desk is (if you even have a desk at all) and be fulfilled. It’s not a definitive guide. No 4 minute workweek or quick fixes here. It’s too early in the new web for simple, “I did it and you can too” answers.

It’s my hope that the book will help open your mind to the possibilities that are just starting to exist.

A few of my favorite things

One good thing about my jobs, both of them, is that I get to play with a lot of different software tools. I love tinkering with new tools, and now i get paid for it!

Sure, there’s the big apps that I can’t live without like Microsoft Office/iWork or Adobe CS3. But woman cannot live by Mac OS X and commercial software suites alone. For me, it’s the little stuff that makes the difference between productivity and frustration.

Unfortunately, most of the time, I find that these tools are solutions looking for the problem and they don’t stick around on my drive past the demo expiration. It’s not that they don’t do what they say they’ll do, it’s that they don’t become part of my workflow. If I have to force myself to work an application into habit, there’s no pointing in keeping it.

Here’s a sampling of what has made the cut in my book…

Continue reading “A few of my favorite things”

Online game teaches while it feeds

Now this is a fun and educational way to do some good.

FreeRice.com is a English language vocabulary game in a simple, well-designed site. Click on the word definition, and for every answer you get right, 20 grains of rice will be donated to the United Nations World Food Program. According to the WFP website over 8 million grains of rice have been donated, thanks to the site’s advertisers who actually pick up the bill.

The game adjusts itself quickly to your individual level, and then stays just a tiny bit harder than you need.

Have fun. No cheating by sneaking up to the search bar!