The EMWA autumn conference is always so well placed in November, giving us the chance to meet friends and colleagues before the onslaught of traditional end of year festivities. Barcelona's conference was no exception. We were pleased to welcome new and old friends alike to the Barcelona Freelance Business Forum (FBF). The FBF minutes are now on the EMWA website (www.emwa.org) in the Freelance Resource Centre (FRC), so do take a look if you missed the meeting. Remember that the FRC is your resource. Log in to the ‘members only’ section, click ‘Resources’ then ‘Freelance Resource Centre’ and browse – you may be surprised at the range of business- and medical writing-related content available. Do spread the word to your non-freelance colleagues; the content is open to all EMWA members.
In this year-end issue of Out On Our Own, Anne tells us about her first experience of taking a free (yes, free!) ‘Massive Online Open Course’ (MOOC). With content relevant to our profession, as well as plenty of alternative material to choose from, the sky (or probably more realistically, our available time) could be the limit to our learning. Perhaps MOOC will find its way onto a few New Year's resolution lists…
Jane's second article in her series on Social Media (SoME) develops the theme of using SoME as a business and marketing tool. Jane's practical use of SoME platforms to maintain continuity of workflow illustrates the intelligent side of SoME use and balances out the side we are more used to reading about in the papers!
Hurray – Tool Box is back after Raquel took a well-earned rest in September 2013. This time, Raquel tells us about ORCID – an authorship attribution platform that gets around the problems of authors moving jobs or changing their names. From those of us who published material before marrying, chose to take our partner's name, and continued to publish afterwards, we salute you!
We close for 2013, but not before asking you to add another resolution to your list:
Contact us with any material or ideas you'd like to contribute to OOOO. More varied content and a wider pool of authors is good for us all. Remember that the exposure is particularly good for freelancers and your business.
We thank all our contributors for the wonderful material you have sent us in 2013. You know who you are, but we love you so much for getting involved, that we'd like to mention you again:
Ann Bless, Amy Whereat, Aylsia Battersby, Claudia Frumento, Jane Tricker, Anne McDonough, Paul Woolley, Anne Cunningham, and Raquel Billiones.
Hmmm – strange – not many men! Come on guys, get involved in 2014…
All the best to you all for the seasonal holidays, and we'll be back in March 2014.
Is a MOOC for you?
I am, by nature, a late adopter when it comes to technology, but as a freelancer I know I need to keep up with important innovations. Fortunately I have tech-savvy friends, and when one of them blogged last year about taking a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC), I knew this must be the next big thing. She was ahead even of the New York Times, which in November 2012 deemed that year ‘The Year of the MOOC’.
What's a MOOC?
A MOOC is a class (usually at the university or advanced degree level) that is available over the internet and into which anyone can enrol. Over the last year or so, several providers of MOOCs have started up – both for-profit and not-for-profit. Coursera (www.coursera.org) seems to be the most established and offers a wide variety of courses from prestigious American universities such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Stanford and from universities in many other countries such a
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