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Posted by Alex Vernon on

Cake, comedy and Classic FM: five days of freelancing

Here’s what I’ve learned after a week back at my CharityStory desk.

Six second videos on twitter
Six second videos on twitter

Monday: hello Vine

Thanks to forward-looking charity comms folk like CharityChap and Sound Delivery, I get an intro to twitter’s new video app, Vine. It’s all about sharing six second videos on a loop. Charities are jumping on board, producing cute, quirky, rough-and-ready Vines like the ones showcased in LondonKirsty’s Storify. I’m torn. I like the way Vine gives charities another low-budget way to breathe life and character into their work. But the six seconds thing worries me. Will it lead to even shorter attention spans, with videos of barely a minute’s duration feeling like way too much of a commitment? Time will tell. In the meantime, here’s a rave review of Vine in the Independent.

Cake. Just can't say no.
Cake. Just can’t say no.

Tuesday: freelancing could get fattening

Not only am I always just moments from my fridge, I’m busily booking in cups of tea with friends and contacts in an attempt to fight off the isolation that’s an inevitable part of freelance life. Trouble is, I’m incapable of ordering tea without cake. Just can’t do it. It seems freelancing is going to get calorific – not to mention expensive.

SARI: great logo
SARI’s distinctive logo

Wednesday: where are all the racism support charities?

Preparing for an introductory meeting with the Bristol charity SARI (Support Against Racist Incidents), I do a quick Google search for similar UK organisations. To my surprise, I can’t find many. I imagine there are numerous anti-racism initiatives out there, but they’re part of larger anti-discriminatory programmes and organisations rather than stand-alone charities. Which makes the guys at SARI pretty special. I’ll be blogging about SARI again soon I hope.

Bring on the funny women!
Bring on the funny women!

Thursday: tax will always be taxing

I have a bad habit of idealising things. Contrary to my too-high expectations, I don’t skip out of my HMRC self-employment training brimming with confidence about tackling my next self-assessment. The session leaves me particularly fuzzy about what kind of training qualifies as an ‘allowable business expense’. Apparently any training that helps you get started in your new business doesn’t. But anything that could be vaguely described as Continuing Professional Development does. Confusing. If anyone out there can shed some light, I’d appreciate it. The highlight of the session was my brief chat with Jane from the gloriously named What The Frock!. It’s a Bristol venture that’s ‘putting female comedians in the spotlight.’ Love it! I must get tickets for Upstairs Downton.

"Alex, please shut up and let me go back to sleep."
“Alex, please shut up and let me go back to sleep.”

Friday: loving the office soundtrack

From Classic FM to Radio 6 Music to the amusing snuffly snores of Rosie the dog, I’m very much enjoying my new office soundtrack. I think workplaces everywhere should welcome both radios and dogs. The former might stop people plugging themselves into their own tunes (makes colleagues really unapproachable, I think). The latter have been proven to reduce stress levels – and a dog snoring loudly from under your desk really is quite funny. Woof.

Posted by Alex Vernon on

Freelancing again!

After 18 months managing communications at the excellent Bristol disability charity Motivation, I’ve decided to start freelancing again. I’ll be back at my CharityStory desk full-time from mid February. And very excited I am about it too.

More on that a bit later – I need to get the painful jobs ticked off my list first. I’ve remembered that HMRC’s website is horribly user-unfriendly… wish me luck!