Just Getting Started
The idea of running a blog or online publication has always been daunting for me. Maybe it’s the idea that I have to be online all the time, track numbers, and keep myself interesting in everything I write that scares me. I’m not particularly a good writer or a person with a lot of interesting stories to share, quite honestly I’m pretty ordinary. The only thing I’ve been very good at is “starting”. Sometimes it’s a bit blurry the border between sheer stupidity and courage for me. Entrepreneurs can definitely relate to that feeling. You know the one that you know is financially crippling and you’ll likely be berated for a while for, but deep down you know it’s a good idea? Yea, that one. I’ve started several organizations while in college and countless startup ideas left and right. So why does the idea of starting a publication really scares me? Because this time I don’t have anyone to support me or the idea.
I’ve had this idea for some time now but unfortunately have showed it aside to better focus on my career and future. Recently I struck a conversation with a complete stranger on Facebook and nonchalantly brought up the idea of a publication to her. A part of me pretty much expected some form of discouragement or just complete lack of interests. Strangely enough, this complete stranger actually encouraged me to do it. She didn’t exactly light fire on my ass or inspire the rocky in me, actually it was very subtle encouragement, but that was enough for me to get started.
24 hours later, here we are…a complete website, with domain, and a first post. Chances are this post in particular won’t see the light of day (it really shouldn’t, I hardly gave a shit about grammar in this post), but I am compelled to write my first as my unrefined self instead of pretending I’m more eloquent than I really am.
This website will grow and one day (6 months) have 100K visitors a month. If you’re reading this post now, chances are you’re me or a spam bot. If you’re actually a person, congratulations on witnessing the birth of something potentially great.
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8 Best Word Processing Software to Use in 2023
The amount of documents written in an organization comes in large volumes. Managers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and individuals jot down quick notes or write long-form content daily. With the help of word processing software, this mundane and time-consuming task is made easier and faster. Here are free and paid word-processing software tools you can try.
1. Google Docs
Everyone has undeniably heard of Google Docs. This cloud-based word-processing program is a team’s go-to for collaborating on documents. It has a clean interface packed with many helpful features when editing your document. Since it’s cloud-based, you can access it anywhere and from any device with a Google Doc app.
- Templates for faster writing
- Table of content for easy navigation
- Work in offline mode
- Personal dictionary
- Voice typing to enter text
- Bookmarks for quick reference
- Version history to monitor changes
- E-signature tool
- Business Starter $5.40/user/month
- Business Standard $10.80/user/month
- Business Plus $18/user/month
- Enterprise (Contact sales)
2. Microsoft Word
Image Credit: TechRepublic
Microsoft Word was one of the first-ever word-processing platforms before the cloud-based online tools took over. It’s a powerful word processor that anyone can use, from jotting down notes and writing meeting minutes to creating blog posts and reports.
- Check grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, and more
- Share documents with anyone
- Add comments and suggest changes in real-time
- Save documents to OneDrive so that anyone can access them from any device
- Offers customizable templates and content
- Microsoft 365 Apps for Business $8.25/user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard $10/user/month
Image Credit: UIT
Writers, editors, entrepreneurs, and marketers have used Grammarly to proofread and edit write-ups. The best thing about this word-processing software is it provides fantastic integrations with many other apps. It can be downloaded as a browser extension to ensure everything is error-free.
- Catch grammatical errors, typos, insufficient punctuation, etc.
- Full-sentence rewrites for hard-to-read sentences
- Custom style guides to ensure a unified voice within the team
- Available in more than 500,000 web, desktop, and mobile applications
- Premium $12/month
- Business $15/month
With versatility at its core, Scrivener caters to all kinds of writers. This word-processing program is tailored for long-form writing projects and fits lawyers, novelists, and blog writers. Users love this tool because it helps you compose thoughts and ideas by allowing you to scribble anything that comes up and squeeze it into the right place later.
- Powerful software that lets you gather writing materials and browse various parts
- Familiar text editing
- Use Styles to indent block quotes and make texts smaller at the same time
- Import writing projects from other apps to Scrivener projects
- Use the Corkboard to work with synopses you’ve written
- Check the overview of your manuscripts through Outliner
- Create templates and icons for new sections
- Keep track of progress like word count or writing history
- Take a snapshot before revising your docs so you can return to the former version
- 30-day free trial
- Standard License for macOS $59.99
- Educational License for macOS $50.99
5. Dropbox Paper
Image Credit: Capterra
Dropbox is one of the leading cloud-based services online, and Dropbox Paper is nothing new in companies worldwide. This is where you can keep everything on the same page by gathering all your meetings, docs, minutes, agenda, and task assignments in one place. This co-editing tool is also free, which makes it an even better alternative for startups!
- Enjoy task management tools that let you add due dates, assign tasks, and mention people
- Use annotations and emojis to add comments to any part of an image
- Integrates with your meeting calendar so you can easily find the particular document for a meeting
- Drop a link from your Pinterest board, YouTube channel, SoundCloud, or Google Map
- Capture inspiration on tablets and phones
- Transform docs into presentations
ProWritingAid is a robust word processor that offers unique features you won’t find elsewhere. It is built for every writer, and this tool dramatically improves your writing.
- Over thousands of spelling, grammar, and readability improvements
- 20 in-depth writing reports
- Use hand-coded rules to help you with your writing style and strength
- Enjoy in-app suggestions, videos, quizzes, and explanations
- Find the right words through Word Explorer and contextual Thesaurus
- Integrate with other apps, such as Open Office, Google Docs, Scrivener, etc.
- Install as browser extensions
- Use data visualization for an in-depth understanding of writing projects
- Premium $6.58/month
7. Evernote Web
The genius behind Evernote was aware of the growing amount of information online and how the human brain couldn’t contain it. And this is why Evernote was born. It is meant to save your quick notes, schedules, and tasks in one place.
- Create a space for your essential ideas and information
- Quickly search your notes via keyword tags
- Add images, files, and to-do lists to notes
- Flexible organization
- Annotate and save images, web pages, and PDFs via the Web Clipper feature
- App integrations, including Slack, Outlook, Zapier, Google Drive, Gmail, Zapier, etc.
- Premium $7.99/month
- Premium Professional $9.99/month
Image Credit: Android Community
Android users can make JotterPad their writing assistant. It lets you format your texts into MLA or APA papers, articles, mindmaps, screenplays, books, presentation slides, and more. This word-processing application is convenient as you can access it from any device, allowing ideas to flow.
- Simple text formatting via Lightweight Markup
- Seamless integration with Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
- Powerful integrated plugins
- Brainstorm and generate content with Wizard A.I.
- Embed images to markdown files
- Quick Research lets you search words
- Export to multiple formats
- Create formatted eBooks
- Over 100 beautiful-designed templates
- Monthly plan costs $6.99
- Annual plan costs $29.99
FN Meka, the world’s first AI rapper, gets booted out by record label
It’s not unusual for companies to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create artist personas. In the 2022 VMAs, Eminem and Snoop Dogg performed in the metaverse with their digital alter egos. And AI rappers are no different. In April 2019, FN Meka debuted as the world’s first AI-powered rapper.
Soon enough, he gained a huge following on Tiktok for his Hypebeast aesthetic and larger-than-life personality. In 2021, his Tiktok ballooned to 10 million followers. His popularity prompted Capital Records to sign him on August 14 this year. But, internet users began pulling up records of his questionable online behavior. Ten days later, his label booted him out.
Here’s how it happened.
Apparently, AI rappers exist.
FN Meka’s concept isn’t a true original. In fact, when it comes to virtual rap avatars, you’d probably think of British rap group Gorillaz first.
Brandon Le created the AI rapper avatar to sell non-fungible tokens. However, executive Anthony Martini led the avatar to new heights. Martini signed the rapper to Factory New, a record label he made for virtual artists.
His first single, “Florida Water,” features Gunna and Cody “Cix” Conrod, a Fortnite player. On the day FN Meka signed the deal, the single was released.
The rapper is the first artist to sign in Factory New.
A few days after his new record deal, Industry Blackout, an online activist group, called out FN Meka over his questionable actions.
For one, the AI rapper had used the N-word in several of his songs, including his first single. He also mocked police brutality and posted a picture of himself being beaten up by the police.
Plus, FN Meka was criticized for racially stereotyping Black people because of his appearance and aesthetic. Furthermore, rumors began circulating that no actual Black people were involved in his creation in the first place.
Other news outlets also criticized the AI rapper for collaborating with Gunna, who is in jail for racketeering.
The record company has since dropped him. In a statement, the record label offered “their deepest apologies to the Black community.” Because of FN Meka’s actions, the label has cut ties with him “effective immediately.”
More and more problems
It doesn’t end there.
Kyle the Hooligan has come forward as the voice behind FN Meka. And the rapper has dropped new information on the issue. He alleges that the company did not pay him for the first three songs he made for the AI rapper. He also claims to have been ghosted by the creators at around 2021, when FN Meka just started gaining traction.
Of course, this comes as a surprise. Factory New claims that the AI writes the song while the humans only perform it.
Kyle doesn’t know who currently voices FN Meka, and he hasn’t probed it. What we know for sure, though, is that the rapper is based on other trendy rappers like Ice Narco, Lil Pump, and 6ix9ine.
On August 28, Kyle the Hooligan announced that he would file a lawsuit against Brandon Le and Factory New.
There’s a sort of irony in FN Meka. The AI rapper, voiced by a Black artist, is the product of white creators. And some activists and critics even call the AI rapper a new form of blackface. Here, critics argue that anyone can use and adopt Blackness without being Black. Today, a majority of FN Meka’s music and videos have been deleted from TikTok. Martini has also walked away from Factory New and FN Meka, leaving the rapper’s fate hanging in the air.
California to cover canals with solar panels
California will pilot a project covering its canals with solar panels to combat dry spells.
Project Nexus, based in the Turlock Irrigation District, is a $20 million project that will start in October. The state-funded program is a solution to Western North California’s worst drought problem in 1,200 years. It will begin at two locations: a 0.3-mile span along the town of Hickman and a mile-long canal in Ceres.
With the California solar panels, the state hopes to protect its water sources. If the project is a success, it can also pave the way to making clean energy.
California has been a historically dry region. In fact, the state’s water supply is only thanks to the 20th-century structures that delivered water from the north to the arid south. Today, the state has a network of canals that is 4,000 miles long, giving water to residents and farms.
But drought issues significantly heightened in 2015, when a primary dry spell hit the state. During this time, around 58% of residents said they were affected at least somewhat by the shortage. This event caused ex-Gov. Jerry Brown made it mandatory for cities and towns to cut water use by 25 percent.
Now, because of man-made climate change, it’s harder for people to access water. In fact, a recent poll has found that 7 in 10 Californians said California’s water shortage is ‘extremely serious.’
The California solar panels are the first project of its kind in the United States, according to Brandi McKuin, a Merced project scientist from the University of California. A paper that McKuin published in 2021 was the inspiration behind the Turlock project.
Not the first
A similar project in Gujarat, a West Indian state, inspired the California solar panels. In 2014, the pilot project erected solar panels over a 750m canal in the Vadodara district.
Here, the project used panels to supply energy for small towns. Because of the panels, the project also helped residents save water from a nearby river. Today, eight other Indian states want to adopt the solar canal project.
A plan for the future
Canal covers provide a lot of benefits. For one, it would prevent water from evaporating. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to avoid using empty land for solar farms. McKuin adds that the California solar panels can even reduce algae and weed growth in the canals.
Apart from that, the California solar panels will also help meet the state’s climate goals. The state aims to make 50 percent clean energy by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030. With this, it may be a win for California solar news.
Hence, if all 4,000 miles of canals were covered with solar panels, it would produce 13 gigawatts of clean energy. This is around half the state needs to meet its climate goals. Apart from that, a gigawatt can power 750,000 homes.
McKuin’s research also said that having solar panels will save 63 billion gallons of water. This is enough to supply water to 2 million people and irrigate 20,000 acres of cropland.
Because of California’s heat waves, it’s now more open to using solar panels in both the public sector and private homes. Solar news in California 2022 has mostly been about blackouts and power outages. Because of this, even a California solar tax has been issued.
When scaled up, the Turlock project can serve as a blueprint for future efforts across the country. It may even bring the relief that locals have been looking for.
For other stories, read more here at Owner’s Mag!
May 20, 2016 at 2:50 am
June Thanks for writing in – all of what you say makes sense to me. I still have a deeper question, however, which is "when do networks make sense and when do organizations make sense?" In other words, what are each of these &qute;soructurts" best at? For everyone who has written in here or email or twitter: Since so many of the examples I've been sent about networks making change have been temporal, my next obvious question is "when and why and how do networks transition to organizations, what kinds of organizations, and what are keys to success there?"Lucy