All posts by Erin White

Reading Roundup Week Ending 07/24/2015

2015-07-24 Reading RoundupReading Roundup | Week Ending 07/24/2015

How was YOUR week? Mine was packed with wall-to-wall meetings and opportunities to network with new contacts. Also, for what it’s worth, I hit 1,600 tweets this morning; not exactly a mystical milestone, but I just happened to notice it, so I thought I’d mention it.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Continue reading Reading Roundup Week Ending 07/24/2015

Reading Roundup for Week Ending 07/17/2015 Reading RoundupWelcome to the Reading Roundup for Week Ending July 17th, 2015

The work week is always unpredictable in the life of a freelancer. Consulting gigs present themselves when they present themselves, so adaptation to a life of ambiguity is a must. Other forms of interruption may also present themselves. This week, it was the arrival of my pre-ordered copy of the long-awaited Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.  Due to the aforementioned unpredictability of workload, I’m only just smack-dab in the middle of it – will let you know how I liked it.

Here are some of the other things I’ve been reading and sharing this week:

Continue reading Reading Roundup for Week Ending 07/17/2015

Reading Roundup for week ending 07/10/2015

Reading Roundup ParadiseCoastConsultingLLC.comWELCOME TO THE READING ROUNDUP for week ending July 10th, 2015

My favorite time of day is early morning with a cup of coffee and an electronic device, satisfying my information junkie tendencies.

Here are some of the things I read and experienced this week that I found compelling enough to share on social media.

WARNING: broad diversity of subject matter may lie ahead!

Continue reading Reading Roundup for week ending 07/10/2015

Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award

2014 Citizen of the Year Award
Lee County, FL 2014 Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award nomination

For the second year running, I’ve been nominated for the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award. Both years, my nomination was the result of volunteer work for Conservation 20/20, Lee County’s land conservation and stewardship organization. Although I didn’t win, I got a good look at the nominees list. I’m satisfied that some deserving folks made it to the finals.

I think of volunteerism as a double-edged sword. I have learned a great deal while volunteering.  I have also Continue reading Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award

Brick & Mortar Breakout: Finding your freelance community

2014-12-17 BREAKOUTBrick & Mortar Breakout: Finding Your Freelance Community

The holidays are a time of year when freelancers might wax nostalgic for an office environment. Working for a brick & mortar establishment comes with a built-in professional network. As freelancers, our offices house a party of one.  There aren’t any cubicle walls over which to prairie-dog companionably with colleagues.

How, then, to get your professional holiday party on? Continue reading Brick & Mortar Breakout: Finding your freelance community

Good news for non-profits on Facebook, maybe

2014-11-21 FB Notification Follow 3Facebook is once again poised to change the algorithm that determines what users see the most of in their news feeds – and it may mean good news for non-profits. See New York Times article, linked at the end of this post for details.

Come January 2015, the algorithm will monitor brand page posts for advertising content, and then limit visibility to fans. The idea is to force brands to Continue reading Good news for non-profits on Facebook, maybe

Work windows, and why we need them

FullSizeRenderThe article linked below describes splitting your day into 90-minute windows, reckoning that an average “task” takes around 90 minutes to complete. This concept of “windows” or “units” is not new to me. Rather humorously, I first encountered it in one of my favorite must-see-it-at-Christmas-time films, About A Boy.  However, the protagonist’s “units” had little to do with working for a living.

Still, the idea bears merit. Dividing the day into blocks defines when the task begins and when it ends. It can help to drive focus, and to curb the inclination to tweak to perfection (news flash: perfection is Continue reading Work windows, and why we need them

Are you prepared for Small Business Saturday?

2014-11-08 Small Business SaturdayAre you a small brick-and-mortar business that could use a little free marketing help?  Check out this page by American Express (see link, below). Marketing materials and a map of other participating businesses are just the start of what you’ll find here.  In addition to promoting your own small business, you can also locate and support other businesses just like yours, by shopping there on Small Business Saturday.

IMG_6822_EMWPersonally, I can think of no better way of heading into the holiday season than by strolling, dining, and shopping the streets of downtown Fort Myers, otherwise known as our Historic River District. In addition to being the county seat, Fort Myers offers wonderful restaurants, scenic river views (have you tried sunset over the Caloosahatchee from one of the rooftop establishments?), unique, fun shops, and other activities.

See you there!

Inspired by: American Express: Small Business Saturday FREE Marketing Materials

The best jobs in the world are made, not got

IMG_7108 Boating on Estero Bay, November 2012. © Erin White
“I don’t think I’m getting a job. I think I’m making a job.”

It was a brilliant, blue-sky day in November, 2012. Full-time Florida residents live for this type of day – the heat of the summer is behind us, but the massive influx of snowbirds is still before us.  We get to enjoy our Florida unfettered.

Gary was at the wheel.  Tootie and I had each draped ourselves into the mandatory lounging position on either side of the vessel. We were headed into Estero Bay, deeply grateful for the sky, the water, the sunshine, and the freedom to enjoy it all. Thinking about the reasons why I, in particular, could enjoy said freedom, I remarked to Tootie, “You know, I don’t think I’m getting a job.  I think I’m making a job.” And with those words, I did what any plugged-in netizen of this day and age would do.  I snapped a pic of my bare feet against the idyllic backdrop, and posted it to Facebook.

I’d been struggling with Continue reading The best jobs in the world are made, not got

Control the place where your content lives

utterli i will never forgive youThe end of Yahoo’s contributor network reminds me of a difficult lesson I learned in my early days of mobile blogging. I had a tidy group of readers following me around, and I enjoyed conversing with them while in the act of adventuring. Sometimes that meant trading comments on a blog post in real-time.  Yet, as soon as I discovered a site called Utterz (later Utterli), it meant Continue reading Control the place where your content lives

Digital Content: NABA Butterfly Count at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

I volunteer for wildlife surveys several times a year.  These are opportunities to get away from the desk and air conditioning, and commune with nature in the company of other nature geeks, from whom I learn so many things.  Wildlife surveys are also opportunities to study and photograph wildlife, and to help nature-based organizations understand how conservation land is being used, and by which species. Yesterday’s foray into the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary had us counting butterflies for NABA. I was able to get some decent shots for environmental education purposes.  Check out the Flickr slideshow, below.

NOTE: if the slideshow embed doesn’t work for you, click this link:

Digital Content: Yellow Fever Creek Preserve

IMG_9683Here’s the fun side of what I do for a living – I develop digital content that serves up environmental education.

My aim in photography is not so much to develop works of art, but to illustrate a story. This is the story of an evening hike at one of Conservation 20/20’s preserves.  The preserve is in Cape Coral, Florida.  Enjoy the tour!

The uselessness of @LinkedIn endorsements

LinkedInTopSkillsI’ve long been dismayed at the sorry state of LinkedIn “endorsements”. The model makes it really easy for anyone to endorse you for anything – whether they know you have that skill or not.

Mostly I’m baffled by what motivates someone I sat next to in high school choir class to endorse me for my risk management skills. We’ve never worked together, not since the decoration of the homecoming parade float back in (excruciatingly long-ago date deleted) . How does she know if I’m Continue reading The uselessness of @LinkedIn endorsements

Working from home, self-discipline, and social independence

Home Office 011720113125Working from home isn’t for everyone; actually, if you ask Marissa Mayer or Jamie Dimon, working from home isn’t for ANYONE.  Despite their opinions on the subject, there are those of us who, whether freelancing for ourselves or telecommuting for someone else, can work from home and consistently outshine our office-dwelling counterparts.

What’s our secret?  I’ve identified two things about me that probably typify the successful telecommuter. Continue reading Working from home, self-discipline, and social independence

Easy steps toward protecting online privacy

FB Birthday GreetingsHere is some really useful advice from Forbes on protecting your privacy online (see link below this post).

To this list I would add, “Lie about your date of birth.”

DISCLAIMER: USE YOUR JUDGEMENT!  Obviously, there are times when you should NOT lie about your D.O.B.  For instance, when you are applying for a line of credit, a job, or a driver’s license, don’t lie. When you are paying taxes, don’t lie. These are instances whereby there are valid reasons to provide your real, personally-identifying information. It actually protects you to do so, in some cases.

However, there is no good reason why Facebook or Gmail or your knitting forum needs your true D.O.B., other than Continue reading Easy steps toward protecting online privacy

Social media and your employer

Free Speech MeansBack in the old days, when it was just forums instead of Facebook, avatars instead of profile pictures, and fictitious user names instead of actual identities, I never once mentioned on a public forum the name of the institution for which I slaved.

Beginning with my very first Compuserve account, and before the implementation of the mouse, I was known everywhere I went online by some form of the name of my favorite animated character. I made up names for my employer, at first calling them “MegaBank” in honor of their size and global reach. Eventually, significant growth resulting from multiple mergers and acquisitions, led to a re-anointing as “GigaFirm”, which really ended up sounding more like an anti-cellulite product than a financial institution. Regardless, until the advent of LinkedIn, I never once Continue reading Social media and your employer

Service: to supply with aid

IMG_4073“What is it you want to do with your life? …every decision you make from here on out should be in service of that.”

– the naked man on How I Met Your Mother

I never expected that line in the middle of the whole “Naked Man” schtick. To his credit, the actor delivered it with the utmost of sincerity, despite the fact that “your balls are on my couch.” Over the course of a television series that spanned Continue reading Service: to supply with aid

Sunsets: the eye candy of digital content

IMG_9576Where online content is concerned, does it get much better than a sunset? Apparently, it does!

Sunset is my favorite time to hit the beach with camera in hand, especially if it coincides with low tide. The beach is laid seemingly bare by the ebb, but countless small worlds and denizens await discovery amongst the tidal pools and puddles.  And at the end of our walk, we get an eye-catching treat, which is what makes sunsets such excellent digital content.

Check the link for a unique perspective on sunset photography –

Photographs of Sunsets as Reflected through Shattered Mirrors by Bing Wright | Colossal.

Who runs the world? Female entrepreneurs, that’s who.

It’s startling to see these statistics in print – the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Women in Business reports that 30% of all new businesses are owned by women, and that 90% of female entrepreneurs are sole proprietors.

What could be causing women to enter the workplace as their own bosses in such significant numbers? Maybe it’s because Continue reading Who runs the world? Female entrepreneurs, that’s who.

What Obamacare Means For The Self-Employed, The Start-Up Worker, The Freelancer | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Thus far, there is no indication of what one should do if one has already purchased a “party of one” health care insurance policy. Last time I switched, it was because COBRA had come to an end. At that time, I discovered I’d been paying for a lot of things for which I had little to no use (gastric by-pass surgery, well baby care, and more).  I ended up saving a bunch, but I am still paying more monthly than I would if I just paid cash every time I needed medical care.  Time to do some research and come up with a list of options – stay tuned…


What Obamacare Means For The Self-Employed, The Start-Up Worker, The Freelancer | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Siri enables hackcess to your phone

Siri help me

Looking for an easy way to hack into your phone? Simply ask Siri to help you.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to disallow Siri from your lockscreen. By default, and despite the phone being locked, Siri will cheerfully dispense the answers to such questions as, “What’s my address?” and “Text so-and-so”.

The following article from Naked Security provides more details:

Siri offers the latest backdoor into your iPhone – just ask nicely! | Naked Security

You can adjust the default and prevent unauthorized access to your phone by performing the following steps (if your passcode lock is currently turned off, then you won’t have access to these controls. Turn passcode lock on to change these settings):



2) Where it says “Allow access when locked”, turn that OFF.