Should you get paid for the time you spend on Facebook?

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

With the news that 47% of all US jobs might cease to exist as jobs in the next 10 years, I bet you’re wondering what kinds of jobs are most likely to be automated. Managers, looks like you can breathe easy, at least for a little while. Telemarketers & seamstresses? Time for a career change.

Should you get paid for the contributions you make to Facebook? If we’re all about to lose our jobs, it’s something to think about.

Google, Apple, Intel & others conspired to keep wages down for 100s of 1000s of engineers, in the early 21st century. And with that, my Apple fangirldom died.

More and more people are ending up in non-traditional work—including working freelance. Here’s a good post with tips to survive your first year as a freelancer, from the Freelancers’ Union.

Wearable tech might make it easier for firefighters to find their way around inside burning buildings. Here, a Google Glass developer and firefighter shows how he uses that tech on the job.

Geeking Out

3D printed pizza. Watch, and live the dream.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

If Facebook adoption was disease-like in its vitality, are we all about to be cured? These Princeton researchers say yes. Facebook fought back by investigating the theory that Princeton itself is on the verge of extinction.

Do you want fries with that? I bet your car knows

From Partners

H/T to @usilive for pointing this one out: “…the storytellers that got the most attention were not necessarily the funniest or wittiest. Instead, they were the ones that were most prepared to put their skin in the game…” We all know the story of self moves people—but how often do we use it to full effect?

Organizing Theory

It’s hard to mobilize activists into the streets. Imagine how much harder it is, when the government texts everyone at a protest to announce they’ve been labeled dissidents?  “All of this puts to lie the lately-popular mythology that technology is inherently a liberating force–with the right hack, it can oppress just as easily.”

Greenpeace makes their internal processes for decision-making, collaboration transparent. Check out this toolkit that describes how teams work in different countries around the world. Argentina, I’m totes jealous of that 2 Hour Window!

Alt-labor groups, other organizations using NLRB charges more than ever before.

The 47% Solution?

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

“…jobs are at high risk of being automated in 47% of the occupational categories into which work is customarily sorted.” What’s going to happen after that?, the Economist wonders. If only we lived on widgets alone…

More and more of us are going to need to figure out how to work best in distributed environments. Here’s a great post from the folks at web-hosting company Mongo on how they make it work for them.

In a new take on “non-traditional worker” organizing, Canadian clergy are organizing with a chapter of Canada’s largest private-sector union, Unifor.

It often seems like there’s an unresolvable tension between utopians (tech will bring us happiness & prosperity!) and dystopians (tech will wipe out wealth & through us into poverty!)—and not just on my to-be-read shelf. Erik Brynjolfsson talks a little bit here, about why he’s a mindful optimist on this.

Tired of getting the side-eye from your local barista, and yet not quite willing to plunk down the coin for a co-working space? How about a cafe where you pay for the time you spend there, not the number of cups of coffee you drink?

Geeking Out

So you wanna build a car from a kit? Say hi to Tabby, the Ikea of cars.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“…if the lower cost is because the formerly unionized employees are now freelancers, or because there’s no minimum wage, or because tips are hidden from the customer and the employee, the cost of these apps can be pricier than they look.” The perils of the “share washing” economy.

In a sure sign that the “sharing” economy is here to stay, its had its first Congressional hearing.

Organizing Theory

If you’re in charge of figuring out how to incorporate online activism in campaigns, you’re really going to want to read this new report by Greenpeace Mobilisation Lab on online petition campaigns. Key takeaway for me? Online petitions that target high-level elected officials or major corporations are less likely to win than those that target small businesses or local electeds. And as with anything, wins matter.

Last month, I went to my first-ever Rootscamp in DC, and the people who sent chills down my spine talking about their work were the online organizers of OUR Walmart. Sarah Jaffe profiles their organizing techniques, here.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

In the UK, the right of unions to protect their confidential membership data from the government is under attack.

If big retailers have their way, “discriminatory pricing” could be coming to a Target near you. Interested in how that works? Try searching for the same flights on a MacBookPro, and then from a cheap netbook.

It’s not just the driverless car that will be able to track your every move—today’s cars store data about where & when you travel. Do we need a privacy policy for our cars?

From Partners

Lots of us spend time figuring out how to win campaigns—the folks from the Freelancers’ Movement have laid out their analysis of a successful campaign website here. Bonus points for its in-depth look at the structure of Peers’ website.

And speaking of worldwide activism, here’s a call for folks to participate in a worldwide wave of actions in 2014.

Final Thoughts

“In protest, there must never be any compromise. In politics, there is always compromise.”

Bayard Rustin

Is permatemping the new model in manufacturing?

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

Is permatemping the new model in manufacturing? Sarah Jaffe takes a look at the history of temps and how they’ve expanded in our economy—and how we’re all paying to subsidize them.

When lots of people are working from home, it’s hard to know what they’ll accomplish. Internet platform Automattic has given their hiring a lot of thought, given those circumstances.

Want to avoid buying clothing that was sewn by children in sweatshops overseas? There’s an app for that. (Well, okay, it’s really a browser extension, but still.)

Geeking Out

Internet centralization makes it easier for the NSA to spy on us. Radar O’Reilly explains how.

In much less-serious news—I’m admittedly a crazy baker. But this goes pretty far into cookie insanity. This guy hacked together a machine to make one cookie at a time, so he could test 20 recipes at once.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

Here’s an interesting video about how to use a time bank to seed a worker cooperative, for not so much money.

And while you’re thinking about co-ops, why not read this excellent look, from Truthout, on unions & worker-owned co-ops?

Wanna talk to co-op folks from around the world? The international co-op community will be in Quebec in October 2014.

How is the sharing economy changing cities? Well for one, millennials want to stick around more.

Organizing Theory

How do you get your organizational data to line up, when you’re using multiple vendors to store it? These progressive data geeks are working on a new protocol to help.

What if the sharing economy was about sharing and not profit?

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“Intangible feelings of community do not excite venture capitalists as much as profitable enterprises such as AirBnB, but that does not mean they lack value.” What if the sharing economy was really about sharing, and not at all about profit? And to that end…do you have a fruit tree in your neighborhood that always produces more fruit than anyone can use? Why not tag it on this site?

What do workers in the sharing economy have in common with domestic workers? They’re both on the cutting edge of defining what it means to work in the 21st century.

Looking for some ways that your city can promote local job growth through sharing economy solutions? It’s not all through the AirBnB model…

Journalists-do you have a story idea you want to pitch, but you’re not sure who to pitch to? Why not join Contributoria, and pitch for votes (and eventually, money), in this cooperatively organized online community.

Ed Mayo, the Secretary General for Coop UK, has some New Year’s resolutions for the co-op movement.

From Partners

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2014 Canadian Hillman Prize, for journalism in service to the common good.

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

Imagine that you’re a union organizer who works with retail or fast food employees (for many of you, this won’t take much imagination). Now imagine that Wal-Mart or McDonald’s gets to have a giant database of recognized faces, and they use it to keep you out of their stores. I’m guessing that, if they get to write the rules on acceptable uses of facial recognition, this is going to end up as an acceptable use.

So you signed up for that OKCupid account, and then had regrets. This site will tell you how difficult it is to delete your online profile from just about any web service, and tell you how to diminish yourself online. (PS—this is what anonymous email accounts are for, kids.)

And by the way—you’re not worried about NSA spying because they’re only collecting metadata? These researchers figured out the owners of 73 of 100 random phone numbers by googling, or matching them through Facebook.

Geeking Out

Do you want to mix the concept of basic income with a digital currency? Check out this beta test of an app that does just that. Sorry Androiders, it’s iOS only as of now.

You probably know that Wal-Mart lets RV owners park in their lots overnight. But have you seen who actually stays?

What’s Going On in the Workforce?

Imagine every company had a formula for figuring out salaries for everyone who worked there—and published that on their website? The social media company Buffer just did it—the comments on this post are not to be missed.

The theories about why Google is investing in robotics companies are flying fast & furious—here’s one that seems highly credible to me. “They’re working on the last mile problem. I’m working on the last inch.”

More robot restaurants—this time, in New Zealand. Get your hamburgers via pneumatic tube.

You may have read that Zappos (the online shoe seller) recently decided to adopt a flat internal structure. Here’s another look at a way to run a company without titles.

Organizing Theory

Here’s another take on “The Unbundled Union,” this one by labor policy PhD student & blogger Doug Williams.

Final Thoughts

No big thoughts for this week…just a video. Made by a Safeway employee, who was losing his job, and thought, “what would it be like if Safeway was blown up by aliens? Or monsters? Or other random action movie special effects?”