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Monday, February 5, 2007

At The Mercy Of My ISP

While I'm writing this, my internet connection is down - AGAIN! As a freelance writer, I depend on having a reliable internet connection. Most of my work is for websites, so I have to visit clients' websites to see what content exists, and to get a lead on the tone they might expect. This is usually a useful supplement to a client's brief, which is not always as detailed as I might like. In addition, it helps me to see the context in which people will see my writing. The internet is where I do a lot of my research. Not all of it, because then I might be regurgitating the same content as everyone else, but it's certainly where I look up information about subjects I know very little about so I can write a competent article.

I have to visit websites to bid on jobs. IFreelance is my favourite, but I also look at work on Guru (though I rarely bid) and on Deborah Ng's excellent site. Usually, this involves looking at the profiles of project providers, checking out the details of jobs and perhaps doing a quick search to see whether the person who is posting has been mentioned in connection with any scams.

I also like to keep in touch with what's going on in the freelance world. That means visiting other freelancers' sites and blogs to see what they are talking about, and perhaps to participate in the conversation. There are two reasons to do this. The first is to get me out of my work at home bubble; the second is to promote myself by creating links with other relevant freelance professionals.

My email is online, because I couldn't cope with the spam any longer. Even Thunderbird wasn't catching it all, so I moved to Gmail for domains and have not regretted it. (Note to self: the next time you think you should download an email straight away, just DO it!).

Many of my friends are online. Some of them are right here on WritingUp; others are in the many places where I have created profiles. It's nice to have a chat with them from time to time. Usually, this helps me to relax, but I may also learn something useful. Chat with people like gracepub often enough and you are bound to learn something you didn't know that you can put to practical use.

So when my ISP is down, it is a major pain in the behind. It has been down a lot recently. Last week, the ISP that my ISP uses went down for 12 hours; another day it was for four hours. Today, my ISP's DNS thingummy is down. Almost every day, I have to reboot a couple of times, because of some weird thing they have in the system. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but you shouldn't have to restart an 'always on' connection every 12 hours.) Normally, when it's just the ADSL that goes down, I can connect with dialup, but not if it's a DNS problem. Ho hum!

Today was supposed to be a relatively light day. I have a few consumer finance articles to do, a couple of home articles, a business article to start and then a rewrite project for a client and friend. I also have to do an assignment for an online course I'm doing. However, this glitch means that while today will be even lighter than I thought it would be, tomorrow will be difficult, because I will have to add most of today's work to tomorrow's.

In the meantime, every cloud has a silver lining. While I'm waiting for the internet to make a miraculous reappearance so I can post this, I'm going to take some time off, go to lunch with my hubby and enjoy the sunshine.

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