Calling all Charlotte Freelancers

The hot topic at last week’s Charlotte Barcamp (besides Twitter) was freelancing and coworking. Already Josh McGlinn (@MCGSTUDIO) has created FreelanceGiant.com as an effort to pool our local talents. I think that’s a great idea!

He has created an informational survey to gauge coworking interests. I thought I would take this a step further, and try to help in the process.

If you are a Charlotte Area Freelancer, attended BarcampCLT, or both. Fill out the survey below. I will then share this information with Josh and we’ll get this ball rolling.

UPDATE: This project is cancelled. Checkout “Lightbulb Coworking” in Charlotte for all things co-working and creative meeting spaces.

What I want my next generation cell phone to look like.

photo via LaughingSquid.com(photo by LaughingSquid.com)

I’ve been told this should be patented. It may already be patented. If not, feel free to steal my idea…

I originally drafted this post about three or four months ago. I simply didn’t post it. And since my original draft, people have gone iPhone 3G crazy. Even more so, other blogs have been posting what kind of devices they’d like to see in the market. (Techcrunch recently wrote about a web tablet they desire). So, I figure I should dip my toes in the water.

There’s a lot of talk with thew new Google Android open cell phone. Google is toying with creating it’s own phone. With all this talk about a new open phone system, and with all of these hot web applications like Facebook, Twitter, and the like, I am convinced that the future of technology will be about portability, high definition, localization, and aggregation of data.

Now, I’m just a regular guy. I’m not a cell phone exec, or a huge techie. But, here’s what I want my new phone to look like…

I want my online/offline/what-I’m-doing-now status to be changed when I change my ring type on my phone. So, when I change my phone from ring to vibrate, my phone should know that I’m in a quiet place, and should alert people who have my phone number that I don’t want to be disturbed by a phone call. There’s no reason why the cell companies can’t make these ring styles intelligent, and update my what-i’m-doing-now status with just a click of button on the side of my phone. This idea alone will bring Twitter like status updates directly to your cell phone. I don’t want to have to login to any settings page, I don’t want to have to open a browser, or use some widget to do this. I want a button on the daggum phone. Instant gratification, instant updates!

Phone books, or address books, would work much like your friends list like on Facebook or Myspace. Your friends’ status updates should be viewable right there on your phone’s address book. There are many companies who have developed social mobile apps, but these features should NOT be an ADDITIONAL piece of software. These features should simply be part of your phone.

To expand on this thought, if a friend or colleague were trying to call you, they would know before calling that you are “in a meeting”, “watching a movie”, “at school”, or “driving in the car”. And, your obsessive girlfriend or boyfriend would know exactly why you didn’t answer your phone, and subvert a potential argument, all by just by changing your ring style.

The next thing I want from my new phone is grouped messaging. In addition to the normal ways of retrieving messages, I want all my texts, voicemails, IM’s, and emails grouped by contact. When I scroll thru my address book on my phone to find that person I’m looking to call, I should be able to see the latest messages this person has sent me – all in the same place (ala Xobni). There are great things being done with voice mail recently (see the iPhone’s visual voice mail, and Pinger‘s new custom voice mail). There’s no reason why these features can’t be universal today. In addition to having messages grouped by contact, I should also be able to view the status of the contact I’m about to call. This way, before I even begin to call this person, I can see our most recent correspondence, and find out how busy the person may be. (think Facebook). Each contact in my address book will have the standard details, but the importance of the address book would be to see check the latest updates and messages from this person.

The other thing I want to be universally accepted is mapping by cell. Several companies like Dodgeball, Twitter, and the like have tried to make on-the-spot social events happen by cell phone. I like this idea. And 3G along with Apple’s new iPhone should make this easier. Using the ringer style what-i’m-doing-now button I described above, there should be a “broadcast my location” button which will allow others to be able to locate you if you are within a few blocks of each other. (this feature could just as easily be disabled as well with that ringer button). This way, if you are out running errands and looking for friends in the area you can share a cup of coffee with, just open your phone and locate who’s nearby. This could be creepy should the wrong person get your cell phone number, but nonetheless it’s a good idea as long as privacy filters are designed within the software – which is a simple thing to do. Note: Apple may have accomplished this with their newest iPhone release. I wouldn’t know – I’ve never owned an Apple product.

I want group texting (not via Twitter, but thru the phone itself). You can currently send text’s to multiple persons, but shouldn’t there be a “reply all”? I want group voicemail (like Pinger). I want always-on internet connections. I want unlimited use (texting too!), I want it cheap, and I want flat fees (like Sprint).

All of this is great for just a plain phone. But, this is my next generation phone, and I want more!

I want a cradle I can place my phone in, which adapts to my HDTV. When I place the phone in the cradle, it should automatically do a few things. One, it will automatically forward the cell phone to the land line. Two…

WAIT. I don’t think i want to divulge the rest of my wants. I’ll peruse the patent filings first. I think the rest of my ideas may just be THAT good.

If anyone is interested in doing a JV, is interested in mobile/HDTV platforms, and wants to know more. Please contact me. The powerful part of this, will require some software development and some financial resources. But, the market will be cutting edge!

SEO Toolbar for Opera! Better than Google Toolbar

I love Opera. I really feel Firefox is over rated. It’s bloated and a resource hog. The only problem with Opera is that it doesn’t have the developer community that Firefox does. Opera is so lightweight, surfing is so much faster with Opera, and I love how clean the browser is.

My only gripe with Opera in the past were that Google doesn’t support it for their toolbar, and there really wasn’t a good SEO plugin or toolbar. Until now! Mike Samokhvalov has created a great tool called SEObar.

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Mystere – Cirque du Soleil mastery

Mystere Cirque du Soleil
This year’s Pubcon came with a few perks. Just a few days prior to the event, Joe Morin leaked that in partnership with a few venues in Las Vegas, a few shows were leveraging the power of bloggers to promote their shows and host venues. So, basically the casinos gave a few select Pubcon attendees free tickets to their show in the hopes that we would say a few nice things about them online. I was one of the lucky ones! :D

So, let it be know. Free tickets, or not, Mystere was an incredible show. Pure entertainment from the get go, and you left with a big, wide grin on your face. If you are lucky to attend a show in Vegas, you can’t go wrong with Mystere.

To be totally honest with you, all I knew about Cirque du Soleil perfomances is from what I’ve seen on TV and heard by word of mouth. I figured there would be some acrobatics involved and that was about it. Due to my getting settled into town a little late, I wasn’t able to get to Treasure Island early enough to check out the hotel’s shops or casino. But, from the little I did see, there was a lot to do, plenty of nicely dressed people, and the decor was impressive. Nonetheless, acknowledging my lack of preparation and tardiness, I was ready to be entertained.

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