first_img A statement from Malik revealed little else except for a heart-felt ‘goodnight.’ Gigaom, one of the top tech news sites, suddenly shut down last night. This hurts more than I can say: I was just told Gigaom is shutting down — it has run out of money. We tried our best, but it wasn’t enough. The news underscores the seeming fragility of content publishing online—especially given the suddenness and finality of the decision, and the amount of investment that backed Gigaom. The site raised an $8 million round in early 2014 led by Shea Ventures, just as founder Om Malik decided to leave the company to join True Ventures as a partner. Staffers took to Twitter to relay the news. The nature of the tweets suggest the shutdown was a surprise. Walborsky left Gigaom in September 2014.  “Our growth will never be the growth of big media companies,” then-CEO Paul Walborsky told Folio: in early 2013, describing a strategy embedded in the company from the start. “Pageviews grow exponentially, but advertising only grows with GDP. Put those together and ad revenues are limited. Given those limitations—never reaching 100 million uniques and declining ad rates—we need to do more than ad revenues. What we’re building is not pageviews, we’re building long-term relationships with the audience.”center_img The site later confirmed the news with its own post, adding that it was unable to pay its bills. Bankruptcy is not being considered as an option. “We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets,” says the statement. “The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy.” — Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) March 10, 2015 As of 5 pm today we are owned by trustees (SVB). They are in charge of our payments and our events. — Stacey Higginbotham (@gigastacey) March 10, 2015 Nevertheless, like many other sites of its scale—the site claims 6.5 million monthly visitors—Gigaom diversified from a strictly ad-supported model by launching a series of events and a subscription-based data service.last_img

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first_imgLife and disability insurance and wills are things most of us don’t like to think about–they’re too potent a reminder of our own mortality. In the New York Times business section, a freelancer shares her perspective on these issues. M. P. Dunleavey and her husband have a child, making it particularly important that they have life and disability insurance. As one financial advisor tells her, she is “many times more likely to become permanently disabled before age 65” than to use her life insurance policy. (The author gets disability coverage through Freelancers Union.) Especially with a child, a mortgage, or other other ongoing expenses, it’s important to have disability insurance.  Having health coverage is crucial, of course, in the event that you’re injured or get sick.  But disability insurance ensures you’ll be able to keep paying your health insurance premium, and maintain coverage, even if your income is interrupted.last_img

first_imgIt’s September, which means kids back in the classroom, legislators back in Albany, and Freelancers Union … turning up the heat on our Get Paid, Not Played campaign after a summer of behind-the-scenes groundwork. As you know, the Freelancer Payment Protection Act is historic, groundbreaking legislation that will give protection and legitimacy to independent workers. It will allow freelancers to file claims with the Department of Labor when their clients don’t pay, rather than being forced to sue or walk away. The support we’ve seen on this campaign from our members is exactly what we mean when we talk about creating “power in politics.” Over the past few months, Freelancers Union members have come together, contributing time, shoe leather, dollars, and ideas to ensure the bill becomes a law this fall. Where our campaign’s been so far:May: Freelancers took New York’s capitol by storm, meeting with dozens of Albany policymakers to ask for their support for the Freelancer Payment Protection Act.June: those policymakers brought our bill to a vote in the Assembly – where it passed! The Senate version didn’t come up for vote, however.July: Having learned more about our bill’s opposition, we began working on new arguments, ideas, and potential allies to help get it passed.August: Members created tools and resources to help freelancers deal with client nonpayment, and by the end of August the Client Scorecard, Contract Creator, and Get Paid, Not Played resources were all born.So what now?There’s a chance the Senate may come back to Albany before the end of this year’s session, so we want to make sure we’ve done everything we can to give our bill a chance of going up for a vote and passing.We’re reaching out to 8 key Republicans whose support can help us get a majority in favor of the bill. In fact, we’ve already won a new ally – Senator Roy McDonald signed on as a sponsor just this week.Members are phonebanking, lobbying, petitioning, and writing letters-to-the-editor to drum up support in their districts among our target policymakers.Expect to hear lots more from us in the coming weeks as we get our bill back to Albany. Help heat things up during this critical season by petitioning and postering in key neighborhoods. Sign up now to get in early on the action. Here’s to putting a stop to deadbeat clients this fall, and to the ongoing support, strength, and power of our members who are joining us on this important issue.last_img

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.After my freshman year in college at the University of Massachusetts, I lived for the summer with three roommates in an Amherst apartment. I worked part-time as a bagger at a nearby supermarket from 9am to 3pm, and then would bicycle over to the college library in order to read and write poetry. The university offered something called the Juniper Prize, which (if I recall correctly) was $1,000 in cash and publication by the university press. My goal that summer was to read poetry for three hours each day, write fifty poems of my own, and win the Juniper Prize.Spending an entire summer reading and writing poetry did wonders for me as a writer—not because my poetry was good. In fact, it was juvenile and simply awful, as the poetry of teenagers so often can be. I’d write poems about the birdsong I’d hear in the morning from my bedroom window and how it made me feel. Sorry about that, Emily Dickinson. I wrote the sort of bad, navel-gazing juvenalia that every writer has written at one time or another—and hopes gets destroyed in a fire.The reason that summer was valuable was because it was my first encounter with the never-ending struggle every writer faces when trying to write something readable. I had to learn discipline. It helped to have the Juniper Prize as a goal, silly as my ambition was. I began developing an ear for words, actually listening to the sounds they made on the page as I read at the library and typed away at night. Even today, as a business writer explaining changes in the new healthcare law or how companies can reduce their tax burdens, I write with my ear as much as with my brain. This is a good thing, to be musical and conscious of the sounds that words make on the page.I also had to learn how to tell a story, for a poem is nothing if not a compressed story. Best of all, I learned to read in order to inspire my writing. I read voraciously, sitting on the eighth floor of the library in the stacks of the poetry and literature floor. I’d spend a week with e.e. cummings, enjoying his humor, his tenderness, and that wild way he has with language.Emily Dickinson would become a favorite, especially since I’d bicycle past her Amherst house each morning and wonder how she’d once been in her bedroom writing her meditative poems and listening to the birdsong outside, as I was doing a century later. I read Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” over and over—not to mention my favorite poem then and now, T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”In the middle of August that summer, I finished writing my fiftieth poem and proudly put all the pages into a manila envelope with my $20 entry fee, which I sent to the Juniper Prize Committee with hope in my heart. Did I feel like a “real” poet then, a “real” writer? Of course I did, and I’m embarrassed now at how silly that conceit was from a pimply 19-year-old undergraduate. But every writer goes through that “young poet” phase, and I certainly checked off that box and picked up the t-shirt.A few weeks later, my manila envelope came back to me in the mail, along with a one-page letter from the Juniper Committee. I remember reading the letter with initial excitement which quickly turned into deflation: “Thank you for submitting your poems, however we have decided not to grant you the Juniper Prize.” I was stunned. Had they made some epic mistake? Had they failed to recognize my precocious poetic genius or overlooked me because I was younger than other entrants?I thought for a minute and then, as if unconscious, walked out to the parking lot in front of my apartment building. There was a large dumpster there. I carefully put the letter back into the manila envelope with my 50 poems inside, my only copies of my magnum opus, and hurled the entire package into the dumpster, then turned and walked away. As literary gestures from 19-year-olds poets go, this was a fairly dramatic one.I was done with writing right there and then. I had failed as a poet, and I spent the next week brooding and confused about my “wasted” summer and the idiocy of the Juniper Committee. Needless to say, I somehow found the strength to carry on. Looking back, that was one of the best summers of my life, including “losing” the Juniper Prize. The writing life is nothing if not difficult, and dealing with rejection is the most basic tool every writer needs. As the great Irish writer Samuel Beckett once wrote: “I can’t go on; I’ll go on.” That’s how I felt then. I moved on and kept writing after all.Boston-based Chuck Leddy is a freelance B2B Brand Storyteller who connects brands and customers through engaging stories. His clients include ADP, Catalant Technologies, The Boston Globe’s BG Brand Lab, and The National Center for the Middle Market. His website is www.ChuckLeddy.comlast_img

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