Category Archives: networking

And it’s up!

 

Homepreneurs page header

Homepreneurs page header

Last week I wrote about Homepreneur’s Blog  and how he decided that I was somehow worth mentioning and doing an interview on. Well it looks like the interview is up. I would like to say Thank you.

When things start to look bleak, this will give me some motivation to continue struggling on.

Thank you very much.

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I’m flattered

I was recently asked by a fellow blogger if they could interview me, of course I agreed. I don’t see the appeal but I am greatly flattered.

I’ve been plodding along here writing but I haven’t done anything spectacular. I haven’t rescued any children from burning buildings or made any grand donations to medical science. I am just me, April Carvelli, trying to see how well I can survive in the digital world. I am in a totally different field after almost 20 years dealing with field service and water/wastewater treatment.

I filled out his questionnaire and returned it to him, so I guess I will shortly be featured on Homepreneurs, which is very cool. In the meantime go and check out his site as there is some very cool information on there, he finds some of the best sites. Most recently a Free website creator, which he wrote about in his blog.

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Scams, scams everywhere

Scams, they are everywhere. You’ll find scams in your mailbox, on your screen, you’ll even find them on legitimate job posting boards. As per normal I’m going through all the boards looking for work. Writing is where I look first, then I start looking at other things.

Well I found a sweet looking job posting. A small but known art gallery out of London was looking for a representative in the U.S. I immediately applied and asked for more details on the job. I had visions of art shows and museum tours. I even figured the job would entail negotiating shipments or scouting for new artists. The employer sent me back a rather lengthy email detailing the history of the gallery and how his time was consumed by new a new family and how he didn’t have time for some of the tasks that were required to handle overseas (for them) deals. He needed someone in the U.S that would handle them. He then went on to state how it wouldn’t be a full-time job, only a few hours a week a the most. At the end of his letter he made a small comment that started ringing some bells for me, the primary job responsibility would be to handle the American finances. If it sounded like a job I was still interested in then email him.

I cautiously replied and got a response a few hour later. It still sounded pretty good until I got to “…collect payments from our numerous customers within your region, process the payments, deduct 10% of the amount issued to you as your personal bonus and you transfer the rest of the funds to our main account officer whose information will be provided to you in due time …”. Now alarms are fully ringing in my head. I pull up the gallery’s website and start searching for the name of the owner. I can’t find the name from my email, but I can’t find any one elses names either. At that point I decide, I’m going to call them, only by then it is midnight London time.

Next morning, once I’ve settled in I pick up my Ooma (Great internet phone system BTW) and call the gallery. The phone is answered by an older gentleman named Paul who is quite charming. It turns out that Paul is the owner of the gallery and he only hires a few people from his family to help with the gallery. He was a little surprised about the job posting. I spoke to him for about twenty minutes (actually he spoke to me) about his current artists and art show. At the end of our conversation I sent him an email with all the information I had on the job posting and then I went to the job board and connected with their live chat board to let them know it was a complete scam.

After going back and forth for a few minutes on the chat board Odesk escalated the complaint and is investigating the job poster. I just hope that no one has actually fallen for this and taken the job. Worst of all would be if the reputation of that gallery was harmed by this.

And by the way, just to give Paul a nice boost the gallery is the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms and the artist is Adam Neate

April Carvelli
http://killerteacup.wordpress.com/

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Drops in a bucket

Well no spam today, at least no Careerbuilder.com based spam and no viruses, so things are looking up on that end. Unfortunately the work end is looking rather bleak, maybe its because I came in and took off running with a steady job and several small writings, but now it seems as dry as a bone.

I am continually being turned down for jobs because I charge too much or because I have no experience. Even with little experience I want to make something, from what I can tell $1 per 100 words is a decent rate for me to charge. I speak and write fluent English (both U.K. and American…Australian stumps me occasionally), have good grammar and I know where a comma goes. I’m willing to do reasonable rewrites and will write on any topic they ask me to, even if I have to do intensive research. I like studying so I don’t mind research, in fact the more trivia in my head the happier I am.

The big problem is that I live in North America and need to pay North American bills. If I lived in India, China, or even some of Europe I could easily undercut myself. The disgusting part is that most of these writing jobs are asking for English and most of the people responding don’t have English as a first language, but they can go cheap. Thus American outsourcing once again rears its ugly head in yet another small way.

As is, I think I’m asking for less than minimum wage and that’s without benefits or a byline. The work I’ve been writing I can’t even claim to put on a resume because I have sold the rights. If I don’t relinquish my rights then I don’t get paid. I could have a lot of articles written on these sites, but they won’t pay any bills that way. I don’t have a good enough following to make money off of impressions.

All I can do is keep plugging away at the writing and hope something bites. Good luck to everyone else struggling.

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March 16, 2012 · 2:03 pm

You MUST be kidding!

After applying for a few jobs, doing a few articles and taking my son to the park I thought I would do some online shopping. Everything was going fine; I was looking for a white bodysuit, I thought that would be easy. I Googled what I was looking for and a had a list of links, I glance briefly at them if they might be what I want and then right click on the link and tell it to open the link in a new tab, that way I don’t need to have to constantly flip back to my search.

I look though a few sight and don’t exactly see what I want so I change my search a bit and start the process over again. I had clicked about six pages I was interested in when I suddenly got a strange pop up. I’m computer savvy, I knew it wasn’t legitimate so I didn’t even touch it. I went to do a quick shut down of Firefox using Ctrl + Alt +Del so I can eliminate whoever’s annoying pop-up that is. Unfortunately before I could get that far I suddenly had a huge string of pop-up flooding my screen, it was like bomb much like I used to see years ago, before it could crash my computer I hit the power and killed it (And that is why you want a power strip…quick, easy instantaneous shutdown).

I tried rebooting my system, just in case it was related to the browser window only, no such luck…again, another forced shut down. This time I booted in safe mode, which didn’t look right as it booted..the screen was missing things, programs were hidden. I couldn’t even get to my anti-virus so I did a restore (perfect reason to make sure your restore points are up to date) and that eliminated the immediate problem.

After reboot I ran my anti-virus and malware. I eliminated all cookies and history then I ran a boot scan. After all that I did another full computer scan and malware search. I think I am finally clean.

It’s always scary when you get a virus, your first thought is “OHGODIMGOINGTOLOOSEITALL”, but your second should be “thank god I have a back up”. I stupidly did not have a backup; now I do. Let this be a warning to all of you, that even something as harmless as shopping, can be a problem.

April Carvelli
http://killerteacup.wordpress.com

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Online presence isn’t everything, but its a lot

Today I did about 50 proposals for online posted writing jobs. I’ve also crafted a letter I will send out to local businesses offering my service to keep their web presence up to date .

I looked at only six companies today, but only one of them had current information on them. One site had a copy write date in the lower corner of 2010, another site hadn’t posted anything since last summer and that update was a promise to continue updating. I’m not sure when they planned to keep that promise but it looks like they are almost a year behind.

All of the companies I looked at had websites, they just haven’t done anything with them, there is nothing to pull people in and hold them. I had to go to one company today (for an unrelated reason) and I heard the receptionist talking about how they had to close an office because they had no business. After looking at their website I can tell why they had no business, no one can find them.

When I did a local internet search for their specialty two other companies came up ahead of them, and I know from experience that the company in position one isn’t that good. The top listed company just has a better  and more frequented web site.  You can’t get business if no one knows you are there. I am hoping that I can manage to find a local niche and move some of these companies up the line.

 

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