Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Toby as Online Tutor

Moving into the hills, and not driving, has made me think of what I could do with myself, not only to pass the time, but to earn some money without having to commute all the time.

I don't kid myself about writing for a living. Sure, if you get really lucky, but I don't have the popular touch at the best of times. Most online writing jobs that I stumble over involve either writing "Readers' Letters" and winning a tenner, or working in the writing equivalent of a call centre - trolling around in forums, posting hype for products as if it was your word-of-mouth recommendation, or creating click-through lenses, or dense webs of self-referential websites, etc. All modern equivalents of ancient scams (pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing, chain letters, etc). The casual mention of a product is a kind of viral marketing - or do they call it guerilla marketing - either way, it would prove as soul-destroying to me as cold calling trying to sell insurance.

Although I understand the insurance concept (everyone chips into the kitty, so that the few unlucky - some would say lucky - people to whom the unexpected happens get helped by the community). I like Bucky's definition of an insurance firm as a bunch of people who are betting something will not happen to you, but try to convince you to bet that it will!

Anyway - looking at my limited talents and resources, I decided to consider online tutoring. I have just compiled a list of my relevant experience, and suddenly that seemed at least feasible, and with a least a possibility of working.
Notes on websites and writing

I have used a Google Lab website to list what I have done, and what I might prove capable of...I felt quite impressed myself! Did I really do all that AND the performing? Amazing.

If you have any comments or connections for finding online work, please add notes in the Comments field.


These pix? The top two date from 2000, when I was training staff remotely, and trying to liven up the forum, 'humanise the tutor', silly poses, etc. So was the bottom one, although the pic dates from 1986, when I had just hit 40...with my City Lights T-shirt on (after visit to The States) and sitting in Spain, taking a picture of myself....ah, those were the days, with film earnings!

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