Monday, January 23, 2012

Adopt a freelancer

Like everyone, I used to shun freelancers.

They are the nervous pale kid in glasses in the playground. If you talk to him, he’ll think he’s your friend and follow you around.

They are spirit beings. They walk among you but they are not one of you. Like Patrick Swayze in Ghost.

They are mercenaries. Every penny they get would have gone towards your bonus or Christmas party or a new Maserati for the boss.

I was the same. ‘What’s the point in learning a freelancer’s name?’ I reasoned. ‘In a week, or a month, or a few months, they’ll be gone and you’ll have used up that part of your brain unnecessarily.'

But, having freelanced for over a year now, I’ve realised something. Freelancers are humans too.

So today I’m starting a new campaign: Adopt a freelancer.

Given the success of my previous campaigns to Make planning history and Stop hiring art directors FULL STOP, I'm confident this will also capture the imagination of the industry and usher in a watershed of wholesale changes.

Think about it. In the history of humanity, has there ever been a more terribly oppressed people group than freelance creatives? (Other than fans of The Cure and they kind of deserve it.)

Freelancers are never offered a cup of tea. Never invited to the pub. They’re forced to use whatever broken furniture/computer equipment has been discarded by others.

And yet do you find freelancers writing long, whiney, self-obsessed blog posts about how terribly hard it is? Not a bit of it. They soldier on, courageously accepting their inflated pay each week.

Do you have any idea, dear reader, of the difference it could make to a freelancer if you said "Hello"? If you nodded at them in the corridor or even, dare I suggest, smiled? Once I sneezed and the person next to me said “Bless you” and I was so pitifully grateful I almost wept.

So please, for 2012, join my campaign and Adopt a freelancer. Because, remember, one day you could be a freelancer too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Don't feed the data monster

While we’re on the subject, this is a very good post on the data monster that Facebook has become.

It’s the sort of post I like to think I’d write if I was a proper blogger (although mine would include fewer typos and references to the Manic Street Preachers).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Drugs! Drugs! Drugs!

I was interested to see this, by McCann Digital Israel – an anti-drug message using the new Facebook Timeline format.

However, I’m not really sure what the message is supposed to be. Other than perhaps to stay away from drugs or you’ll end up looking like Gaz from Supergrass.

It’s just not clear which life is better.

From a hair point of view, it's a close call. All I can say for sure is that if you've got stupid hair, a drug habit won't help.

Other than that, I would say the chap on the left does look a bit fed up.

But at least he doesn’t have to go to work in a shirt and tie. And he got rid of that annoying girlfriend (anyone who makes you take one of those ‘couple together taken by themselves’ shots and post it on Facebook is definitely a wrong ‘un – you're better off without her mate).

Of course you’ll all remember this thought-provoking piece I wrote a couple of years ago.

Even back then, I was warning we need to be careful what we put on Facebook because once you’re gone, you’ll be perfectly preserved forever in all your pointlessness.

Regarding the broader question of whether the timeline feature is an improvement or not I'd say it's proof, were it needed, that Zuckerburg is the anti-Christ.

Looking back at old posts hits a similar level on my Cringe-o-meter as rereading old diaries *SHUDDERS*. And now Timeline makes it far easier to do that.

Dunno about you dear reader but I for one am considering embracing hard drugs to escape from it all.