Suspension Balloons, originally uploaded by bristol_bound.

Bristol is such a special place.

The iconic image of the Clifton Suspension Bridge is well known, and I love this photo of taken from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta (by bristol_bound).

What makes Bristol special? It’s not just the architecture in places like Clifton and Redland, it’s not the Downs, or the sports teams.

Its a green, historic and vibrant maritime city. It’s the place that I am proud to call my birthplace and hometown.

Better Than Free

I find myself looking regularly at internet offerings and putting myself in the position of people who would be willing to pay to use them.

At Jiva we have a series of offers which adopt a freemium business model, whereby you offer some content free of charge but back this up with paid for services.

I find myself going back time and time again to the seminal article by Kevin Kelly “Better Than Free”. He describes what he terms the Eight Generatives Better Than Free. A generative thing is something that cannot be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time, and can be sold.

Confused? Well, lets look at what people pay for in turn:

  1. Immediacy: getting something you want as soon as its available
  2. Personalisation: something that is bespoke to our personal needs
  3. Interpretation: explaining and making sense of complex things
  4. Authenticity: so you know that its reliable and trustworthy
  5. Accessibility: readily findable on the web
  6. Embodiment: available online, or as a document or other physical form
  7. Patronage: people want to pay creators, we have to make it easy for them to do so
  8. Findability: no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen

Makes sense now, doesn’t it! Thank you Mr Kelly.

Could you be a tutor?

Before we launched, we undertook a series of market research sessions with tutors, and we thought that new tutors understand what is can be like being a tutor, to help them make sure that it is for them.

Tutors told us that they found tutoring fun and rewarding. They told us that what appealed to them most was:

  • Having the ability to earn extra money, at a time convenient to themselves and doing something that they enjoyed;
  • Less stressful environment, dealing with one student is much more straightforward than a large class, and allows you to try different teaching approaches that wouldn’t be possible with larger numbers;
  • One to one interaction with the students, particularly seeing the ‘lights go on’ when going through problem areas;
  • Being in someone else’s home. Some said that they were treated like a family Aunt or Uncle, and were made to feel very welcome.

But there are downsides too, and all new tutors need to be aware that sometimes they will encounter:

  • Pressure from parents, who expect rapid results;
  • Requirement to travel;
  • Little or no support / communication with the student’s School.

Being self-employed also carries responsibilities, income is taxable and a tutor needs to include this in their annual tax return.

At the end of the day though it is all about working with people. Do you have it in you to be a Tutor?