In The Sphere: Social Comparisons

Published on Sep 30, 2011   //  In the Sphere

Everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses. It’s just human nature and that’s the theme for this week’s tour of the blogosphere.

Darren Barefoot recently attended his 20-year high school reunion and naturally found himself comparing himself to his former classmates. Of the people he chatted up, he was the only one who was both married and childless. Is this indicative of a generation or simply of the people who choose to attend reunions?

Tyler Cruz has completed his $650 weight loss challenge with Paul Piotrowski. At the final weigh-in, both participants were able to reach their goals, but only barely. Along the way, Tyler has significantly adjusted his diet and exercise patterns. Here’s hoping he sticks to the new lifestyle!

LaToya Irby came across the 2nd Annual Freelance Industry Report and has provided us with some highlights. This considers freelancers as an aggregate — including everyone from writers to designers — but it says that the nearly half of the demographic earn between $20 and $59 per hour with 17% earning $100 or more per hour. Where do you fall on this spectrum?

Neil Patel previously wrote about the ROI on dressing well. Now, he’s talking about the ROI of partying. Paying for the overpriced drink at the club might sound like a waste of money, but it can be an investment if you happen to bump into the right people and talk shop. People are more likely to open up when they’ve loosened up with a couple drinks.

Trent Hamm takes a look at the other side of the comparison equation, outlining what you have that other people might want. Your time, skills, equipment and relationships are all of value to other people. You just have to figure out how to best utilize them in your favor.

In The Sphere: All About Attitude

Published on Sep 23, 2011   //  In the Sphere

What’s happening in the blogosphere this week?

The Simple Dollar discusses the concept of frugality and what it means to save money on your off-time. He equates saving a certain amount to earning a certain hourly wage, but shouldn’t that “extra” time be spent living and not “earning” more money?

Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOM continues along these lines by approaching how billable hours may not apply in the age of social media and multitasking. It’s much harder to break up your work day into distinctly separate hour-long chunks, so how do you bill your clients accordingly?

Laura Spencer of Freelance Folder reminds us of situations where attitude makes a difference. It’s all about how you think about the world and the circumstances that you encounter. Suddenly hit with a costly expense? Have you saved up an emergency fund? Can you work with your creditor?

Greg McFarlane of Control Your Cash has a guest post up on ProBlogger discussing the importance of proper, comprehensible English. It amazes him that in this day and age, there are so many people who don’t understand why plurals don’t need apostrophes. Correct English matters.

KISSmetrics marketing blog finishes off this week’s collection by providing seven tips for creating killer product pages. Each of the tips is accompanied by a screenshot to help illustrate the point, like clearing your calls to action and including concise copy with conviction. Are you doing it right?

In The Sphere: Luck and Success

Published on Sep 16, 2011   //  In the Sphere

What’s going on with bloggers around the web? Let’s see what they have to say this week.

Tanya Davis starts out with her gratitude list. She is thankful for a supportive husband, her many new friends in Calgary, and the many opportunities she has to grow in her field. What are you grateful for?

Michael Kwan takes a look at how to know when to quit your day job. Many people want to pursue their own businesses, but they’re not quite sure when to take that leap of faith and abandon the usual 9-to-5 routine.

John Bardinelli chimes in with his two cents on Phone Story, the iPhone game that got pulled from the App Store due to “objectionable content.” He says that if the game was never pulled, it would not have received the attention that it did, even if it admonishes our love for the latest smartphone.

Neil Patel is a successful Internet entrepreneur, but he recognizes there’s more to success than good ideas and hard work. You have to dress the part too. He found that as he dressed better, he was better respected and better able to get a higher ROI on his fashion investments.

Amanda Hackwith finishes off this week’s collecting by approaching LinkedIn and assessing its value as a way to attract new clients. Of the 120 million members of LinkedIn, nearly one million use “freelance” in their job title and over 8 million cite themselves as an “owner” of their current business.

In The Sphere: Healthy and Wealthy?

Published on Sep 9, 2011   //  In the Sphere

Having your health without wealth isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s probably even worse to have wealth without good health. Life is all about balance and that’s the theme for this week’s blogosphere tour!

Darren Barefoot starts out with an interesting tale about how someone on Reddit became an author overnight. It started out as a story on the AskReddit section, but it has since grown to have huge potential as a full e-book or physical book. Behold the power of the Internet!

Neil Patel of Quick Sprout offers the Mark Zuckerberg guide to building great Facebook profiles. Many people aren’t leveraging the popular social network to its full potential. To do that, you need to attract as much attention to yourself as possible and, hopefully, it’s the good kind of attention.

Buzz Bishop turns to the world of tumultuous finance, discussing his experience with managing his TFSA. He initially invested in safe stocks like Apple and Lululemon, but in going for the homerun, he saw nearly a 50% drop from peak to valley. If you’re going to manage your own portfolio, perhaps it’s best to keep it simple and think long.

Jennie Yuen turns some conventional wisdom on its head. We’ve become an overly medicated society, so have common pain relievers become more detrimental than useful? They’ve been linked to all sorts of negative side effects, including nausea, unusual fatigue, and easy bruising, as well as (ironically) headaches and joint pain.

Michael Fortin has a deeply personal story to share with us about his mother. She’s a fiercely loyal woman who would kindly help anyone who asked. Her health has taken a turn for the worse, reminding Michael that life is precious and we should all live every day as if it were our last. You never know when that could very well be true.

In The Sphere: Slackers, Stocks, and Success

Published on Sep 2, 2011   //  In the Sphere

We’ve got a little bit of everything from around the blogosphere this week, so let’s get down to it.

Joseph Planta has been conducting interviews on the web for a number of years and now he is celebrating the seventh anniversary of his On The Line feature. He takes us through some of his more interesting interviews, including two that he had with the late Jack Layton. Other highlights include Dawna Friesen, Mike McCardell, Tony Parsons, and Robert Bateman.

Thursday Bram is starting to recognize an emerging trend. Rather than focusing on computer science or engineering, the English major could be the next geek success story. Technology advances so quickly that what you learn in school could be outdated tomorrow, but good writing will always be valued as good writing.

Darren Barefoot is a not a “productivity zealot,” but he would like to get more done in less time. So, he has put together a list of ten productivity tips from a slacker. These include making approval requests opt-out rather than opt-in, getting onto instant messengers, and breaking large tasks into smaller ones.

Gus Fosarolli has published a guest post from Laura, running through the TV shows returning this fall. This is just part one of the series, discussing such programs as Dr. Who, Amazing Race, How I Met Your Mother, House, and New Girl.

Steve Selengut offers some financial management advice, reminding you how you can make a volatile stock market into your best friend. The volatility is what so many investors fear, but it is exactly through this volatility that you can make some very impressive returns.

In the Sphere: No Easy Button

Published on Aug 26, 2011   //  In the Sphere

Let’s see what the bloggers around the web are talking about this week.

Vance Sova is a regular attendee at Dot Com Pho and he is sharing a few videos that she shot at the most recent meetup. In the videos, the Internet gurus talk about Android and beer, though not necessarily the relationship between the two. The iPhone 5 slots into the conversation too.

Buzz Bishop recently went for a trip through the Rocky Mountains and learned what what tourists do in Canada: they do goofy things for funny photos. This is no different than when people pose in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, pretending to prop it up. Memories may change, but photos are forever?

Patti Stafford has an article up on Blogging Tips, reminding readers of a hard fact of life: There is no easy button. Despite what the Staples ads may lead you to believe, you can’t fix life’s problems by tapping on a big red button. Be ready to work and put in the effort if you want to achieve any kind of real success.

Bob Buskirk has reached another milestone in his life. He just turned 27 years old. This officially makes him a member of the “late 20s” crowd, whatever that means. He’s happy with the progress he has made in his web career and he looks forward to the many challenges that lay before him in the future.

Raul Pacheco continues with the birthday theme, but on a completely different spin. Rather than soliciting gifts, he plans on celebrating his birthday by doing charity work. That’s a fantastic attitude to have, because there are so many people, causes, and organizations that need our help!

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