Instead of the blank page problem any author encounters before (or after) that 5 a.m. perked brew, I faced the opposite.
Too many materials gathered, digitized and sitting in desk piles on my first floor home office.
“While this should be mainly direct practice (doing rather than reading about), you will need to gather materials to guide you here.”
“This includes articles, interviews and tutorials.”
Look, I was moonlighting and running out of time I budgeted before my morning commute.
It will take me more than an hour just to figure out some sense of order with all this stuff.
Travel articles from the LA Times profiling destinations and vacations along the coast in Southern California and Northern California.
Indexed in an old Mac version of Microsoft’s “Entourage Notes” with full text of the article and linked to their file categorized by:
Listing of best places by year from 2005 – 2010 and
Tools / websites for finding the best; and
Regions – western states and Hawaii / Tropical.
And by another category – by “Do What You Love Scenarios:”
High Country Eagles,
Wealthy Influentials and
(16 Lifestyles, 4 for each).
Just then a thought bubble popped above my head.
What if somehow customers and clients could use my system for tagging the Internet sites and articles on Delicious, the social book marking site?
But, why and how?
Focus mainly on developing techniques you could actually see yourself using in client work.
1. List of online resources?
2. Seasonal comparison summaries by categories: Best Places, Green Planet, High Country Eagles and Wireless Resorters?
You should spend at least 1 hour per day just developing your skill.
Maybe I could write about how to use delicious (aka knowledge bank) for the sequence of initiating coverage of a best place community?
How to use the Internet to build a knowledge bank for finding the right place?
How would a potential reader, customer or client?
It may begin with a vacation to a favorite destination.
For the first time you’ll want to figure out your route and itinerary, right?
Usually you have a region in mind, with some ideas where you might want to visit.
You may start with a map of a region within the West or of Hawaii.
You can start saving bookmarks about potential places, to revisit later.
Or you recall a trip you took out west a few years ago.
From California to Nevada and Arizona.
Up to Colorado and back through Utah and Nevada to your return to California.
A name rings a bell when you read an article about the list of top places to retire published by AARP – Loveland, Colorado.
You spend a little time on the Internet and discover, it’s been singled out as a great place to retire on the water.
In 2009 it was singled out as a best place to live.
You recall the fun you had hiking through the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
What were the names of some of those other places you saw on the way?
You wonder if it is right for you?
After all US News & World Report ranked it 7th on their top 10 places to live in 2009;
right ahead of San Luis Obispo, California and
behind front-runner Albuquerque, New Mexico, # 3 Austin, Texas and #4 Boise, Idaho.
Now you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Here’s a way to find out.
1. I recommend beginning with Wikipedia and WikiTravel for a quick summary, local history some pictures and the zip code or zip codes. You’ll see a map of the state, a subset of that map for it’s county. WikiTravel profiles vacation attractions – directions and transportation, where to stay overnight, where you should eat and play. It gives you ideas for visiting local attractions and doing more when you consider a broader vicinity. So you can plan for a long weekend or a one or more week vacation.
2. If you aren’t interested in Loveland you can stop there and consider San Luis Obispo next. Maybe, for this time of year you want to visit the desert instead of the mountains. Or take a vacation along the coast. Or islands – like Catalina off the coast of Southern California or one of the Hawaiian Islands. If you like lakes and rivers, then Loveland may be worth further investigation.
3. For our purposes, we are assuming that you really want to move, invest in, work in and around, start a business or retire in a new community that doubles as a vacation resort and with pristine quality of lifestyle activities. Otherwise, why bother?
4. So, grab the zip code and go to Google and search on the 5 digits. You’ll find a map which will show you where this destination is in relation to its surrounding area. You see photo slide shows and videos of the area. You can switch to satellite views and hybrid map views.
5. Still believe this town maybe a keeper? Jump to Claritas to check out the types of people who already live in the neighborhoods. Birds of a Feather Flock Together. Neighborhoods change slowly. They attract the same kinds of people over time. If you plan to move, invest, work, start a business or retire, you’ll want to see if residents match your criteria.
6. We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you by identifying neighborhood characteristics by age and stage of life of their residents. Single (20-20, 25-54, or 30-44). Couple (55+ or 65+). Family (20-44, 25-54, 35-54). Empty Nests (55+). Mid-Lifers (30-44). Baby Boomers (45+ or 55+). Seniors ( 65+).
7. And, we’ve compared neighborhoods by status and density. From Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters to High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries. And from Metropolitan to Suburban to Small Cities and Country Towns. So, if you want to narrow your focus to neighborhoods with 25-54 year old families in Wireless Resorts, then you can find a list that no other top 10 magazine list can provide.
8. Let’s say you’ve compared and narrowed your search for real estate investments. Check out City-Data for in-depth demographics and regional, county and zip code statistics – including the number of registered sex offenders.
9. If you plan to move, you should search by zip code on Weather Underground to find a wealth of weather patterns including tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters for each season, but especially for January and June to determine just how inviting your new vacation resort will be. You may just decide to live there for six months and somewhere else for the other. In the mountains for skiing and snowboarding and then at the beach for surfing and sun bathing.
10. Need a job? Check the openings by zip code from two Internet sites – Indeed and Simply Hired. You’ll want to take a couple of job hunting or house hunting trips before your final decision. Make a vacation of it by returning to WikiTravel to line up the best accommodations, or visit My New Place for a listing, map and photos of rentals by zip code.
11. We know that the best positions are hidden. You find them by a chain of referrals and introductions. How do you create a new network? Use your zip code and key word description of the town in LinkedIn’s advanced search function and begin contacting the first few of 100 local introductions.
Is this really a business?
I’ve gathered boxes of stuff and identified 11 ways of working through a process.
And, I know it will take more that another 60 minutes.