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In college, and grad school, I mostly hung with a crowd that shared the same interests, hobbies and field of study. I know that a lot of college faculties are beginning to move towards a more interdisciplinary approach, because it more accurately reflects what students can expect their post-school life to be like. College professors tend to be somewhat protective of their disciplines, however, so progress is moving faster in some areas and at some schools than others. The result is that a lot of people in the workforce have a pretty narrow view of what the word “colleague” means. It’s important to broaden that definition and cultivate relationships with people in other fields. Here’s why. Read more »

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Document collaboration with distributed teams can be a bit of a headache, as I’ve noted in previous posts. No doubt, if you’ve ever tried it yourself, you don’t need me to remind you. More tools are available than ever before for getting this kind of work […] Read more »

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Earlier this week, Apple held its keynote address for the annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). At the event, it announced many things, including new upgrades and pricing for its notebook lineup, official and final details regarding OS X Snow Leopard and iPhone OS 3.0, and a […] Read more »

Sometimes doing things via web apps is great. Everything is in one place: your browser. Even so, sometimes having everything in one place isn’t ideal. A browser crash could kill all of your work, not just one component, and it can be harder to keep your […] Read more »

Distributed creative teams face the unique challenge of having to collaborate on a product without being able to quickly and easily access files and works in progress via an on-site file server or intranet system. Emailing files to one another can get messy very quickly, and […] Read more »

Perhaps one of the most amazing partnership announcements made during WWDC’s keynote yesterday is ZipCar‘s exciting story of iPhone app design. But it could easily fall through the cracks, for a couple of reasons: One, hardware announcements took center stage, and two, people who don’t live […] Read more »

I still take it as a personal affront that Mac users have had to wait so long for a usable build of Google Chrome. Since I haven’t done any Windows-related work in a good while now, running Chrome was really my only reason for using any […] Read more »

This past Tuesday marked the release of The Sims 3. It’s a recipe for disaster. Or at least, a dip in productivity.

Luckily, I had professional cause to engage with The Sims 3. And it was with strictly professional interests in mind that I devoted upwards of 14 hours in the past two days to EA’s wildly popular life simulation franchise. Well, maybe that’s not strictly true, but there was work involved.

In-game, I was working, too. Specifically, I was pursuing sim careers in both the music industry and professional sports. In doing so, I realized that I think of my job in exactly the same way a sim would. Here are the specific parallels I’ve drawn between my real-life and simulated experiences. Read more »

Windows Live Search didn’t go over too well with the online masses. Few, if any, moved from search industry leader (that’s an understatement) Google. I remember the worst part about doing a fresh Windows install was changing IE’s defaults from Microsoft’s Live services, and replacing Live […] Read more »

Nothing will motivate you to achieve your goals like making other people aware of the specifics of what you’re aiming to accomplish. At least for me, the threat of public shame is a great tool you can use to prevent yourself from giving up on your […] Read more »

Since Apple doesn’t provide detailed release notes with each of their beta installments, it’s understandable that details about less obvious features and changes would only come to light gradually, as people poked around and tried different (and sometimes unusual) things with their devices. Computerworld’s Seth Weintraub […] Read more »

One big difference I notice between my life before becoming a full-time web worker, and my life since, is that I actually spend far less time not working now that I work from home. I think distraction is a crucial part of productivity, especially if creativity is part of your job. Which is why I think that there is a certain danger in the zealous work ethic that manifests itself most freelance workers once they shrug off the corporate yoke.

Here are my usual work avoidance tactics, and why I think they actually help me work better in the long run. Read more »

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