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Freelancing, innovation and unemployment for those 50+

Many Americans and other people around the world are finding that they are unemployed for the first time in their lives and many of them are 50+. Barbara Basler in the AARP Bulletin of 1 May 2009 wrote an article about stress and unemployment for those in their last ten years of their normal working lives. It is worth checking the AARP website to read the article.

Many of these unemployed people will have skills that they have accumulated over a lifetime of work. In many cases these skills are transferable to take on tasks on a freelance basis. It takes some time to recover from being suddenly made unemployed as it can be a deep psychological shock… Here are some books that might help you recover and look to the future:

Finding a Job After 50: Reinvent Yourself for the 21st Century

Second Careers: New Ways to Work after 50

Career Comeback: Eight steps to getting back on your feet when you’re fired, laid off, or your business ventures has failed–and finding more job satisfaction than ever before

Freelancing, web widgets and innovationThe word widget will conjure up many meanings in your mind and can lead to some confusion if you were to follow a dictionary definition. However, if you were to go to Wikipedia for clarification this is what it says:

A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation. They are derived from the idea of code reuse. Other terms used to describe web widgets include: gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini and flake. Web widgets usually but not always use DHTML, JavaScript, or Adobe Flash.
Widgets often take the form of on-screen tools (clocks, event countdowns, auction-tickers, stock market tickers, flight arrival information, daily weather etc).
Usage and criticism
Applications can be integrated within a third party website by the placement of a small snippet of code. The code brings in ‘live’ content – advertisements, links, images – from a third party site without the web site owner having to update or control.
End users can utilize Web Widgets to enhance a number of web-based hosts, or drop targets. Categories of drop targets include social networks, blogs, wikis and personal homepages. Although end users primarily use Web Widgets to enhance their personal web experiences, or the web experiences of visitors to their personal sites, corporations can potentially use Web Widgets to improve their web sites using syndicated content and functionality from third party providers.
The use of web widgets has been increasingly proposed as a marketing channel that could replace the less effective targeted banner ads and take advantage of the viral distribution in social networks. This usage has been criticized as ineffective [1] on the basis that users of a social space are not mainly in a mindset receptive to information exposition but one of content creation.
[edit] Security considerations
As any program code, widgets can be used for malicious purposes. One example is the Facebook “Secret Crush” widget, reported in early 2008 by Fortinet as luring users to install Zango adware.[2]
[edit] Widget management systems
Main article: Widget engine
Widget management systems offer a method of managing widgets that works on any web page, such as a blog or social networking home page. Many blog systems come with built in widget management systems as plug-ins. Users can obtain widgets and other widget management tools from various widget companies.

Here is an example of a widget in operation that relates to freelancing and the news from Elance.com:

Support is building for the freelance community that are aged over 50 and starting out on a second (?) career caused by an unexpected redunancy.

Around the world there are many senior workers being unexpectedly made redundant and needing to reinvent themselves and their retirement. In fact, there has been a number of books written about it Reinventing Retirement: 389 Bright Ideas About Family, Friends, Health, What to Do, and Where to Live

Jack Taggerty

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