Shows: 02.18.08

Monday mornings I'm on the air sharing more stories about how people are living better through computers. I'll tuck field notes from those shows right here. You'll also be able to dig into the archives to explore previous shows as I determine how best to share some of the highlights of the past 8 year's worth of adventures.

Canadiana Notebook

Heads-up on a fun new tech challenge for Canadian youth ages 8-18 …

KALEIDOSCOPE Real World Video Challenge

1. Think about the issues facing the world today and pick one that you would like to say something about.
2. Make a video any way you want but 5 minutes or less).
3. Upload your video to YouTube or any other video sharing website.
4. Complete your entry on the Kaleidoscope website by sending the URL for your video, an entry form and a short description of what you're saying in your video.
5. Wait for the contest organizers to contact you with the good news.

Web Site:

What is it?

The KALEIDOSCOPE REAL WORLD VIDEO CHALLENGE is a call-out to youth across Canada to raise your voices on global issues. Organized by seven Provincial/Regional Councils for International Cooperation across Canada, KALEIDOSCOPE is a space for you to tell your peers, communities and leaders what you think the most pressing global issues are, and what you think we should do about them. Here’s how…

1. Learn about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the work of international non-government organizations through the KALEIDOSCOPE website, the websites of the Provincial/Regional Councils for International Cooperation in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic, and through your own research.
2. Produce your video. Remember that it needs to be under 5 minutes!
3. Upload it to any sharing platform of your choice (YouTube, MySpace, Rethos, Facebook or others) for all the world to see your video.
4. Complete your KALEIDOSCOPE Submission and Consent Form and submit an original copy of your video through the Kaleidoscope website.
5. Make your submission before March 31, 2008.


  • Submissions will be judged provincially and regionally to select one finalist from each age group from each Council. Finalists will be contacted by KALEIDOSCOPE organizers by phone, e-mail or mail by April 30, 2008. The names of all verified finalists will be made available on the KALEIDOSCOPE and Council websites. Finalists will receive a video camera or $1000 cash prize at a public event organized by each Council.
  • A national winner of each age category will be selected from the 14 finalists through a combination of on-line voting, and review by a national panel. National winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Ottawa in May 2008.


Ontario Council for International Cooperation
Kris Orantes Migoya||tnemegagne.cilbup
344 Bloor Street West, Suite 405
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3A7
Phone: (416) 972-6303
Fax: (416) 972-6996

For contacts for other provinces, and for more information, including the details of video production, visit the KALEIDOSCOPE web site:

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Bootstrapper's Bible for Reinventing Yourself at Home with the Help of Your Trusty Old Computer

Last week I talked about some of the free Internet-based resources that you can tap into to help set up your home office. This week I shared some kickstarts to help you find projects and advice. Here are the resources that I offered on the air, and a whole lot more …

Where can you find "work on demand" web sites that help freelancers find and bid on jobs?

Some web sites operate as a clearing house for people and organizations with projects in need of help, and skilled freelancers looking to connect with them. For example:

Some of the most useful web sites are the "reputation-based" connectors, where both the people offering projects and the freelancers who are applying for them have the opportunity to rate the experience and each other. Like eBay, web sites that incorporate a system of feedback tend to cultivate both a healthy set of visual cues for potential projects and candidates, and and sometimes the friction that goes along with less successful connections. For the most part reputation-based networks serve a valuable function in helping to vet credible opportunities for both parties, and this can be important for small business people who cannot afford to take a gamble on project offers that fall short of both the promise of well-defined project guidelines and sometimes compensation. For example:

Elance is perhaps one of the best known reputation-based work-on-demand web sites, and while a number of people have been very successful at using this resource in finding high-paying projects, it also serves a cautionary tale. The sheer size of the web is not only what makes it an attractive magnet for potential employers, but a rather daunting challenge for a very large pool of candidates competing for projects that sometimes never materialize at all. Temper your expectations, be persistent, and develop a set of tools to help you reduce the repetitive work of "selling yourself" when you're likely to have to cover a lot of digital ground.

What kinds of online books and advice-based web sites can help?

Online books, for example:

and advice-based networks can be a virtual gold mine of resources for helping you get organized and to cultivate an edge when you're competing for projects. You'll find everything from sample business plans, forms to help you cost out jobs, time management checklists and even advice on collaborating safely with online allies. Some examples include:

Is there software available to help bid on and manage projects?


Last week I mentioned the Basecamp web site as a good starting point, and one with no cost attached for the basic (and fairly powerful) entry level package. There are, however, many different tools available to help with things like costing and project management. Some target vertical markets. For example:

Others are geared toward a broader business planning function. For example:

Some are quite expensive. Others can be downloaded free of charge. For example:

What's on Deck?

On my next show I'm going to talk about some incredibly clever kids who have not only used the Internet to start their own businesses, but who are now earning more money than mum and dad!

Stay tuned to learn more about how one local girl started a simple web site at aged 14 with an $8 loan from her single mum, and at 17 is now making more than a million dollars a year and purchased a 4-bedroom home for her family.


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