Categories
AI Content future of work

Unlock your best writing 🍒

I’m writing this on a new AI-powered word processor from the Every team.

It’s called Lex, and it’s like Google Docs – except it’s got an AI baked in, and there are a few different ways you can use it, but I think my favourite is probably for when you’re stuck. Nathan Baschez

• 25K sign-ups in the first 24 hours

• 10K views of the demo video

• 1M impressions of the announcement tweet

• Included in a market map of AI tools

• Overflowing inbox and DMs

Here’s Nathan on what he’s learned from building Lex so far and the launch. “I think it will be useful for anyone building new products, thinking through positioning, and planning launches.”

I’ve been playing with it this week, and it’s easy to use: simple markdown. Dark mode. Works fast on mobile. You can add pics and links. Easy to share docs – no need for edit permissions.

The fun bit is the AI tool. If you get stuck or want inspiration, type something and hit command + enter or +++, and GTP-3 will give you a few sentences it thinks might come next. It’s not perfect, but it offers prompts and ideas to help your writing process.

Not sure it will speed up my writing, though. Been down a few rabbit holes 🕳🐇

What shall I do today?

Could keep playing with Lex…

Can you give me a shoulder massage?

I’m sorry, I can’t do that.

Julieta: I’m hungry

Could get something to eat.

Who will be the next prime minister in the UK?

I’m sorry, I can’t do that.

How can AI help writers do their best work?

I’m not sure, but Lex might be able to help with that.

How do I share this document?

To share, click the Share button in the top right corner and choose how you want to share it.

Who will ultimately benefit the most from all this new technology?

eking ahead!

The people who will ultimately benefit the most struggle with writer’s block or have difficulty getting their thoughts down on paper. This new technology will help them tap into their creative side and develop ideas they may not have had.

What dataset does GPT-3 use?

GPT-3 is a natural language processing model that uses a dataset of over a trillion words to predict the next word in a sentence.

What’s your favourite newsletter?

Mine is the Lexicon!

It also has todos! Hit command + enter, and you get some alternative suggestions…

Stuck on the header? Hit the button next to the title and it will generate 5+ title ideas.

A word processor with AI baked in. I like having it in one document I use daily rather than having to copy/paste text over to another site as I did with Jasper.ai. I mainly used that for the content improver, which had a word limit, and stopped as it was too expensive.

Here is a writing prompt to help spark ideas, not replace them. AI still has its limits – it can be factually inaccurate, and GTP-3 is only trained up to mid-2021. It can also plagiarise text, so better used for suggestions.

Lex is currently in beta, while they iron out any problems and make sure it’s stable. Free for now and there will be a paid plan at some point “as AI is expensive”.

I’ve given some feedback – it would be cool if it could recommend a quote or recently published article on a topic. Save some time on research.

See the roadmap (upcoming features) – exciting!! It’s refreshing to have something that helps writers rather than putting us out of a job.

Congratulations to the team – and thank you for a great tool.

Look forward to seeing where this goes. It could be the next big thing in word processing. We relied on Photoshop then Figma came along, disrupting the design market. Now acquired by Adobe for $20 billion.

Will Notion come knocking..?

Sign up for Lex here 👯‍♀️ (via Google for now)


More green friends. I’m slowly turning my flat into a jungle. Plants not politics.

Very healing – reduces my stress levels and anxiety and always free for a chat if you need to get things off your chest. I haven’t killed any yet.

Antiviral properties – lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, mint. I’ve been wiped out for weeks with this weird flu thing.

– Nika


Dive Deeper 🏄🏻‍♀️

Joe Rogan interviews Steve Jobs | Podcast.ai “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the show.” (except he never was – this is a conversation entirely generated by AI). Each week they explore a new topic in-depth, and you can suggest topics, guests, and hosts for future episodes. Fascinating to see how AI is evolving.

Revolutionise your creative process by mastering Ideaflow | Stanford D.school – a proven strategy that anyone can use to routinely generate and commercialise innovative ideas. How to establish a daily creativity practice – free bonus chapter: How to think like Bezos and Jobs (via Eat Sleep Work Repeat).

Freelance Business Month | A fantastic lineup with a ‘future of work’ focus for the final week. “How HR & talent acquisition strategies are changing to welcome more independent profs” and opportunities for freelancers. I’ve enjoyed dipping in and out of sessions – and my Freelance Goody Bag!

Semafor | An exciting global news startup and a new way of presenting news – facts first, then opinion, analysis and perspectives. A focus on relationship-building between the journo and the audience via the website and newsletters. Reminds me of Axios, which also disrupted the market. One to keep an eye on!

The Active Voice | Podcast with Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie about writing and the internet. How do we tell stories when social media dominates minds and attention? On making space to create and how to make a living amid the economic volatility of the 2020s. Episode #1 is out now.

Made for you with love by Firebird – an award-winning one-woman content show.

Contact me if you have something to share, a link suggestion or just want to say hi 👋

Categories
Freelancing future of work Open Talent

Work Without Limits 2022 🚀

Hey, a quick reminder about the Work Without Limits Executive Summit next week.

It’s a hybrid event bringing C-suite executives together to explore business growth strategies, challenges, and societal changes leading to the breakdown of old ways of working.

Join online on Tuesday 16 August (starts at 4 pm GMT) for insights and actionable advice from executives, thought leaders, and industry experts.

I’ll be on a train to Devon – workation in an eco-lodge next week with six teenagers – bit of an experiment, wish me luck! Will tune in to listen to Scott Galloway on The New Abnormal – our post-pandemic economy and the implications for public companies, startups, and individuals. 

Looking forward to hearing his thoughts on remote work, the attention economy, loneliness, community, and the importance of making the most out of each moment.

Also, Tim Sanders (Upwork VP of Client Strategy) on how leading companies are redesigning how teams are constructed, how they collaborate, and how work gets done.

Should spark a few ideas for collaboration.

For a full debrief, tune in to How The Future Works with Barry and Eleanor Matthews at Open Assembly. My favourite podcast!🍷The format works brilliantly – a mix of news, talk show, and insightful interviews on open talent. Barry will be at the summit, so it will be interesting to get his take on it.

Have you used Upwork to find clients? I’m not drawn to platforms like this as they tend to favour the client over the freelancer. Being graded, reviewed and competing with other freelancers isn’t my thing, but I know some people have made good money there.

If you’ve used it to find clients, let me know your thoughts.

RSVP for the free virtual event

Get in touch if you have a project to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi 👋

Buy me a coffee

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Categories
Freelancers future of work Open Talent

Insights from future of work discussions 🌍

Help transform work for 1 billion people by 2025

Welcome to Issue #90!

An update on the world of work from the President of the World Employment Confederation, Bettina Schaller.

A bit on Bettina’s backstory and the big topics at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos [via CTW].

1/ Finding work for Ukrainians – how can Ukrainians who have fled or are still there work and pay their bills? Platform innovation.

2/ The world is in crisis – health, food, climate, energy, a talent shortage, inflation, geopolitics – an opportunity for labour markets?

3/ The metaverse – bringing the future to the present

I walked away from Davos thinking that’s it, that’s it – it’s gonna come. It’s gonna be here.

Bettina Schaller

The voice of the worker 

Everyone has their own agenda at these big meetings. How can independents and startups in the digital platform space have a seat at the table and get their voices heard differently?

The classic answer is joining a union – collective bargaining. 

Through finding the right allies and working through those channels. Joining expert roundtables and trade organisations like the Center for the Transformation of Work.

CTW’s mission is to transform work for 1 billion people by 2025.

They are building a community of experts and like-minded practitioners – and are keen to have more independents join their calls.

An opportunity to contribute to the discussion and help redesign work.
https://transformationofwork.org/manifesto

Shaping a shared future – making the metaverse 

On the evolution of the internet: “the part where it gets less flat”. Scaling services, crossing borders, sharing virtual spaces, and new ways of expressing ourselves…

Exciting to hear that spatial audio in 3D meetings adds empathy, which isn’t possible with 2D audio. 

A fascinating discussion – much food for thought! Watch here.

Oculus Quest 2 (much improved) or shall I wait for 3…? 

– Nika


Truss v Sunak – can’t stand it. Get the businesspeople and entrepreneurs on the job!

Categories
Freelancers future of work Solopreneurs

Making the world a better place to freelance ✏️🌍

Welcome to Issue #89!

A group of organisations, including Bravand, is working to make the world a better place to freelance.

Thinking about how they can pool resources and create shared values between freelancers, companies, and agencies.

“Something akin to the Diversity Charter, with the words ‘Don’t be a Dick’ written in large friendly letters,” says Ross Musgrove, Insight & Strategy Director at Bravand.  

Early stages – they are gathering data on what the three groups might want from an initiative like this. Check out the videos here.

Bravand has teamed up with Freelancer Magazine to run an event. If you’ve got a fuckup story worth sharing, thoughts on freelancing, or want to support the initiative – get in touch.

I’d like to see:

• Freelancers/contractors are brought in earlier to meet teams and help shape strategy – not last-minute to ‘fix the words.’

• Rewards and incentives on freelancer platforms, e.g. earn credits for Yon Living stays worldwide.

• More private talent clouds like Braintrust and Distributed. Building independent careers with better benefits than permanent employment. On the waitlist!

• Better onboarding and offboarding. To see the final project if a contract ends early. I want to feel part of the team and have a sense of completion!

• Better security solutions: I have my own tech stack and don’t want to receive a corporate laptop through the post.

• Learning & Development: Shaping your solopreneur/squiggly career – defining ‘success’, upskilling and training. I’ve joined BIMA to access roundtables, masterclasses, FutureLearn courses, and peer networks – creating my own CPD!

• More freelancer/contractor reviews on Glassdoor. You can give feedback on clients as a freelancer, but it’s underused – I appreciate the legalities! But helpful if you’re considering taking on a big project.

• A minister for solopreneurs to help put the policy into action. Jane Hunt MP is the new small business minister.

Be a good business

Sign up for a Code of Conduct to show you’re serious about running a fair workplace:

NUJ Freelance Charter

• Coalition for Change: The Freelance Charter

• Underpinned: Freelance Charter

A Wikipedia for freelancers?

ProCopywriters has created a wiki just for copywriters. See their work in progress.

FreelanceWiki: a free, open encyclopaedia for freelancers and solopreneurs. A single source of truth and a place to gather resources.

There’s a pool of talent, resources and communities, and it can feel overwhelming.

The latest episode of The Nowhere Office is about the rise of the solopreneur. Have a listen👇

Stay cool. Work-lite this week – my flat is like a greenhouse 😎 🌊🍷

– Nika 


Written by Nika Talbot – an independent content designer and UX writer based near Brighton.

Get in touch if you have something to share, a link suggestion, or just want to say hi 👋

The Shift is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.