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Wicked awesome tool monetizes your unused leads

(TECH NEWS) New startup aimed toward freelancers wants to help you monetize leads you’re not going to be able to help (or don’t want to)

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working freelance entrepreneur

Something about balance

Look up “fatal freelancing fails” and I’m pretty sure you’ll find “work overload” as one of the top results. You don’t want to feel like you’re mismanaging your workload, but you also don’t want to miss a good opportunity: one of the many burdens of a gig economy.

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of personal assistant that knew exactly what you wanted that you could assign to take on some of the extra work, kind of like Michael Keaton in Multiplicity? You’d have so much more free time to do the things that you wanted to focus on. No doubt there’s projects that have been sitting around you’re not too keen on starting or maybe you’re worried you won’t be able to get around to them.

Well we’re not at the point of being able to clone ourselves, but one company offers a way for you to monetize those leads you’re dragging your feet on so that you never have to turn down freelance work.

Introductions

Meet Mitch.

Think of Mitch as an assistant who monetizes the extra leads you either don’t want or don’t have time for. There’s nothing to download, so all you have to do is email Mitch and then he processes what you want done. Mitch basically establishes a payout for the team based on the percentage that you indicate you want to earn for each project.

Mitch checks in with you for approval for leads before work has started along with any final approvals before work is ever sent to the client.

So you can be assured Mitch isn’t making questionable decisions on your behalf without your knowledge.

Mitch comes complete with a team

It’s fun to think of Mitch as a modernized Johnny 5 that acts as your right-hand, but on the backend there are skilled designers and engineers who are properly vetted; reviewing projects and stepping in when needed. You also have the ability to approve of the team that was assigned to you, look through their previous work history so that you’re able to determine if they’re a good fit for your project before any work gets started.

Mitch is intended to be thought of as both an extension of yourself and a team leader that you can trust to handle the projects you are not personally working on.

Batteries not included

Beyond this, Mitch is a bit of a mystery. Cameron Sadler, Founder of TrapFi Technologies, has not provided any other details regarding “how it works” or what many of the features should look like but states there should be a case study available “soon” as stated by Cameron here (refer to comments). So far, it’s been stated that Mitch has helped some clients “build out some API endpoints, debug some JS, automatic deployment, and more.”

Currently the only type of freelancers this would benefit at the moment are those that have engineering and design leads, but I’m sure there will be more to come in the future.

Mitch isn’t available yet, so you’ll have to Join the Waitlist on the website for more updates, but if it does all it says it can, I think it would be a resource worth trying out for anyone with a lot on their plate.

#meetmitch

Ashe Segovia is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southwestern University. A huge film nerd with a passion for acting and 80's movies and synthpop; the pop-cultural references are never-ending.

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Tech News

How to opt out of Google’s robots calling your business phone

(TECH) Google’s robots now call businesses to set appointments, but not all companies are okay with talking to an artificial intelligence tool like a person. Here’s how to opt out.

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You know what’s not hard? Calling a restaurant and making a reservation. You know what’s even easier? Making that reservation though OpenTable. You know what we really don’t need, but it’s here so we have to deal with it? Google Duplex.

Falling under “just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should do it,” Duplex, Google’s eerily human-sounding AI chat agent that can arrange appointments for Pixel users via Google Assistant has rolled out in several cities including New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco which now means you can have a robot do menial tasks for you.

There’s even a demo video of someone using Google Duplex to find an area restaurant and make a reservation and in the time it took him to tell the robot what to do, he could’ve called and booked a reservation himself.

Aside from booking the reservation for you, Duplex can also offer you updates on your reservation or even cancel it. Big whoop. What’s difficult to understand is the need or even demand for Duplex. If you’re already asking Google Assistant to make the reservation, what’s stopping you from making it yourself? And the most unsettling thing about Duplex? It’s too human.

It’s unethical to imply human interaction. We should feel squeamish about a robo-middleman making our calls and setting our appointments when we’re perfectly capable of doing these things.

However, there is hope. Google Duplex is here, but you don’t have to get used to it.

Your company can opt out of accepting calls by changing the setting in your Google My Business accounts. If robots are already calling restaurants and businesses in your city, give your staff a heads-up. While they may receive reservations via Duplex, at least they’ll be prepared to talk to a robot.

And if you plan on not opting out, at least train your staff on what to do when the Google robots call.

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Tech News

Bose launches headphone-less headphones for your face

(TECHNOLOGY) Bose is using augmented reality in a fascinating new way (even if we’re poking fun at it).

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bose frames

Just in time for the holidays, Bose releases Frames, their new breakthrough sunglasses that combine the protection and style of premium sunglasses, the functionality and performance of wireless headphones, and the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.

At $199 per pair, they’re the perfect gift for the person who has everything and who will eventually lose them in a lake, leave them in a fitting room, or crush them in a car seat.

Frames have the ability to stream music and information, take and make calls, and access virtual assistants. Bose promises that your playlists, entertainment, and conversations will stay private, although how your conversations will remain private is unclear. Expect confusion from every stranger within earshot.

Bose is calling Frames a revolutionary wearable, but aren’t these just headphones for your face? Very cool headphones for your face?

Bose is pushing the AR functionality hard.

Although they can’t change what you see, they know what you’re seeing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android. Once they know what you see, the AR automatically tunes you into audio commentary for that place, opening users to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, and gaming.

They claim Frames are hands-free and clear-eyed, but even if that’s the case, do we really need more people walking around under the influence of distraction? As if it weren’t enough to have people’s eyes glued to their phones, now we can have people in matching sunglasses wandering around talking to themselves. Now who looks bonkers?

Frames are available for preorder now and are expected to ship in January 2019. Look for Bose to release updates to their AR at SXSW in March.

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Tech News

What’s TikTok, why’s it so huge, and why is Facebook scared of it?

(TECH) TikTok has taken the internet by storm – you’ve probably seen the videos floating around, so here’s the context your business needs to know.

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Jimmy Fallon recently challenged his viewers to his version of a #sharpiechallenge. That’s where you toss a sharpie into the air, catch it, take the cap off and draw a mustache on yourself with it. He requested that viewers use TikTok to record it and upload it.

As of this writing, the hashtag boasts 8.2 million views in TikTok alone – if it wasn’t big before it gained Fallon as a fan, it is now.

What Is TikTok?

The TikTok app is the brainchild of Bytedance, a Chinese company that once owned Muscal.ly, and it launched in September 2016 as Douyin (it’s Chinese moniker). When it launched internationally, a year later, they branded the social media app TikTok. When Musical.ly shut down, users had to switch.

The app lets users view, create and share 15-second videos (kind of like Vine, RIP). It’s estimated that there are over 500 million users worldwide. The app has been highly ranked in the charts for number of downloads over the past few months, with a spike when Fallon had his first challenge, #tumbleweedchallenge. (For the record, Fallon and The Tonight Show do not have a business relationship with Bytedance.)

Users can lip-sync, do duets, record a reactions video and has some excellent tech in the app for video editing. Users can comment on videos and create video memes. It’s pretty fascinating. And wildly appealing to the masses.

One of the best things about TikTok is that the app doesn’t have advertising or monetization capabilities, even though it has a broad audience. With an estimated 500 million users, it’s just a matter of time.

Facebook launches a TikTok-clone.

Facebook doesn’t want to be late to the game. In classic follower fashion, they have launched their own short-video app, Lasso.

I played with both apps, and Lasso just doesn’t have comparable content.

What Facebook does have is its user base. By integrating with Facebook itself, Lasso may outdo TikTok eventually, but it will need to increase its capabilities.

Why should your business take notice?

Small businesses should be aware of these apps. Online videos are driving social media engagement. Content is king, and you’ve been reading here for years that video is a powerful component of any social media strategy.

TikTok and Lasso give you video-making and video-sharing tools that could increase your online presence.

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