working for free, and links

As usual I’m a bit behind in posting a link roundup – for some reason the roundup, which I originally meant to post on Fridays, has slowly drifted to Sundays or Mondays, or in this lamentable case, Tuesdays.  At this point, it’s almost next week’s roundup with posts from the previous week.  It’s ridiculous, I know. I have no writing schedule, which I’d highly recommend to anyone who doesn’t want to be a successful writer. I get on little “hot runs” from time to time, but keeping to a schedule appears to be difficult for me.

I’ve also taken on organizing two fairly large professional events. Combining that with Bubelah joining the board of directors of a local not-for-profit and my family’s taking on a lot of (unpaid) work. It’s a mental shift for us to engage in this type of ‘work’. I’ve always thought you should expend no effort on work-related activities unless you see a clear and direct path to compensation; maybe not direct compensation, but at least some idea how it might pay off. That’s been a big part of my contract consultant mindset:  make sure you give value, but also carefully guard against clients or others trying to push “non-work work” onto your plate.

But one of the things I’ve realized as I shift further and further from the traditional time-for-money work model is that you have to create and provide value sometimes without ANY clear connection to compensation. Let’s face it: the reason is mainly that if you’re doing your work well enough, that connection will force itself on you. An example I like is Adam Carolla. The former ‘Man Show’ host has built a fairly sizable entertainment network around his extremely popular (and free) podcast. He did it without a clear plan for monetization, but it’s clear now that he’s gaining traction, picking up advertisers and getting some attention from the non-techy parts of America. I imagine he’ll do quite well as podcasts become more and more the norm.  I can already listen to podcasts via my Roku* and Mediafly.  I’m sure the next generation of cars will have 3G connections and allow streaming audio content, too (and in the future, video, no doubt).  So Carolla will make some money down the road.  And that’s how I’m trying to force myself to approach it.

The links:

  • New Toyota Commercial Reinforces Materialism: I detest this commercial.  It’s tone-deaf considering the economy, and just annoying style-wise.
  • What We Buy: Purposeful or Passing Time?: I realize more and more that although I’d like to think I’m shopping for a reason, it’s FAR too often just to pass time.
  • What’s in Your Wallet?: A late entry in our Money Writer’s group writing project.

And more:

* Amazon affiliate link