Five Things You Need to Know To Hire A Freelance Developer


photo: unsplash

There’s an acute lack of digital talent out in the wild. Every business — worm farmers to art dealers — knows it’s critical to be online. That means building a web site, creating a marketing presence and being active in social media. If you’re an employer, implementing this digital infrastructure can be confusing territory. Odds are, you don’t need a fulltime developer / web marketing expert / community manager on your team. But acquiring a freelancer means hiring and evaluating a skillset in which you may have little expertise. The internet landscape shifts so quickly, it’s hard to track exactly what is effective NOW unless you live and breathe web.

From a freelancer’s perspective, even one prepared with skills in strong demand, new clients are shrouded in uncertainty and frustration. Working productively means understanding a new brand and business goals in short order, while gently educating the client: what tools are necessary? what features are cruft? what content is useful?

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02. October 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Entrepreneurialism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Getting Social With Small Business: Content, Community and World Domination

I recently spoke at a fantastic workshop put on by Fikriyyah George – the thinker and doer behind Brooklyn’s own SUPER HARBOR.

We covered a lot of ground in this presentation:

-figuring out which channels make sense for which businesses
-how to establish metrics and track your progress
-what a content strategy looks like, and where inspiration comes from
-where to find the conversations meaningful for you!
-how to reach an influencer (and their audiences!)

The entire presentation is linked below, or follow it over on Slideshare.

Getting Social With Small Business: Content, Community and World Domination from jamesfacts

22. September 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Culture Lives On Twitter


photo: Little Visuals

Twitter is the most valuable social network for anyone who earns a living thinking or making. It’s like eavesdropping on the cultural nerve center of the internet. Twitter is where ideas are born, where public intellectuals square off, and where the most noteworthy creativity on the internet bubbles to the surface.

Everyone has heard the lame old trope that likens Twitter to a water cooler. I would posit it more closely resembles a cocktail party. On Twitter, you get to select your guests, and they speak freely, sharing a glimpse into what is going on that matters.

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11. September 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Social Media | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Show Your Junk, With Brooklyn Brainery

I’ve had the pleasure of attending many events from the Brooklyn Brainery (and teaching, too, from time to time!) but “Show Us Your Junk” was absolutely one of my favorites. Essentially, the event was an adult show, a criminally fun concept. I brought a 1864 2-cent piece to show, but there were so many fascinating objects I had a hard time settling on a favorite. A vintage 1940s ham radio QSL card (retrieved from a contemporary correspondent of the presenter’s grandfather!), a traditional Namibian knife and Ben Sisto’s Casio F-91W (pictured below) were standout objects!

Next time I’ll try to put together a notice ahead of the event… I can’t wait for the next crop of show and tell facts.


ben sisto shows off his casio f-91W

23. August 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Brooklyn | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Want to take on the Fortune 500?

Start with social media. I’ve been meaning to contribute to Medium for some time, and I’ve just written my first story on the myriad ways very large corporations botch their presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Find the full story over on Medium.


05. August 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Advertising, Social Media | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sidewalk Debates: Gentrification In Bushwick


I discovered an intriguing message outside my front door this morning. I recognize sidewalk stencils are rarely intended as a two-way dialogue, but I’ll reply anyway: you are not going to make me feel bad that I live in Bushwick.

Let’s clear a few things up:

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13. May 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Brooklyn | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Valuing Technology Fairly – Case Study In Seamless And Grubhub

seamless delivery guy on a bike

Quartz news recently posted an analysis of the commission GrubHub and Seamless charge to restaurants that participate in their advertising network. Working backward from a claimed billion dollars in delivery orders, QZ calculated that GrubHub and Seamless collected $137 million in revenue through an average commission that approaches 14 percent.

This is completely coconuts, of course, and it got me thinking about how to fairly value technology. Technology can do wonderful things to improve our lives, but most often it seems improve the fortunes of those who are already well off. In this case, technological profit seems to come at the cost of those already marginalized.

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29. April 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Startups | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Better than real-time – event-driven email marketing from J. Crew

I’ve noticed a trend with quasi-real-time marketing content. Not so spontaneous to seem slightly desperate, not so pre-planned to appear out of touch. Nice job, J. Crew. I’d be curious to learn more about how this email performed compared to non-event-triggered messaging. It certainly got my interest through a timely subject and intro line, and the event (snowstorm) ties in nicely with the purpose (ecommerce shopping).

Photo of the email blast in question after the jump.
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13. February 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Email Marketing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

There’s No Parking In Brooklyn – A Visual Study

I’m fascinated by the diverse array of “No Parking” signs that sprout behind Brooklyn curb cuts. They’re little slices of folk art hidden in plain sight.

Despite the universal need for “NO PARKING” signage, there’s little consensus on their appearance. I see old-school Brooklyn, hipster Bushwick and graffiti kids in every driveway.

Signs can be threatening or matter of fact; professional or comically childish. A ubiquitous, yet hardly uniform feature of the urban landscape.

You can find the complete collection of 2013 Brooklyn No Parking photos over on my Tumblr.

No Parking in Brooklyn

04. January 2014 by jamesfacts
Categories: Projects, Social Media | Leave a comment

I’m Looking For A Code Project

I’ve long been interested in  front-end web development, so recently I decided to set aside the time really dig in and study Javascript, CSS and HTML seriously. These studies are only as useful as the practice they’re put to, so I’d love to map out a real-life web site I can build from scratch and deploy for real users.

code project

Do you know of a project or organization who needs help building their web presence? A bit about my capabilities: I’m proficient in the usual front-end tools: CSS, JS and HTML. I don’t have significant back-end expertise, so my ideal project will not involve a database or CMS. I’m interested in taking the General Assembly FEWD course, so I may end up using this practice project as a class exercise.

Of course I plan to take a heavily discounted rate compared to what more seasoned pros might charge. For the right cause I’ll work pro bono. If you think you’ve got an idea that might interest me, please get in touch and we can chat more about what you’d like to build.

21. June 2013 by jamesfacts
Categories: Projects, Web Applications | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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