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Old 16-01-2008, 18:26   #1
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My plan for making extra $$ while cruising

I've come up with a way that I can make some extra money while cruising as long as I have an internet connection somewhere. I've started doing transcription work as an independent contractor even though we haven't cast off the docklines yet. You have to be a fast typist and have good English grammar and spelling skills.

There are a number of transcription companies out there, and once you have a contract with one of them, you just download an audio file (MP3 or whatever) Then you transcribe what's on the file. This can be interviews, focus groups, presentations, meetings, etc. The pay is not great, maybe $10 - $15 per hour, but even working 10 hours per week will bring in a little cash. What could be better than sitting in your cockpit and earning money by playing on the computer! Plus, most transcription companies pay by Paypal or direct deposit, and no worries about taking jobs away from locals. You can take as much or as little work as you can handle.

Of course, this all depends on having access to an internet connection, so it might still be sporadic work, but it's better than nothing!

Anyway, that's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.
Any comments or advice?

Iris
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Old 16-01-2008, 18:37   #2
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I've come up with a way that I can make some extra money while cruising as long as I have an internet connection somewhere. I've started doing transcription work as an independent contractor even though we haven't cast off the docklines yet. You have to be a fast typist and have good English grammar and spelling skills.

There are a number of transcription companies out there, and once you have a contract with one of them, you just download an audio file (MP3 or whatever) Then you transcribe what's on the file. This can be interviews, focus groups, presentations, meetings, etc. The pay is not great, maybe $10 - $15 per hour, but even working 10 hours per week will bring in a little cash. What could be better than sitting in your cockpit and earning money by playing on the computer! Plus, most transcription companies pay by Paypal or direct deposit, and no worries about taking jobs away from locals. You can take as much or as little work as you can handle.

Of course, this all depends on having access to an internet connection, so it might still be sporadic work, but it's better than nothing!

Anyway, that's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.
Any comments or advice?

Iris
What area do you plan on cruising in?? Internet connection could be a real challenge, especially if you plan on downloading files.
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Old 16-01-2008, 18:41   #3
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I'd invest in a 4GB or better USB drive. Wouldn't be too hard to find an Internet cafe, download to your thumb drive, and go from there. For speech (not music) quality music, figure 1MB per minute on the high side.

More than even this, it sounds like you're being creative, flexible, and willing to work for less than you're used to. You're set.
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Old 16-01-2008, 19:08   #4
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This can be interviews, focus groups, presentations, meetings, etc.
Any comments or advice?

Iris
Yes, Don't be pedantic about what you hear!
My fruitcake mate was doing this 3 hour interview that was paid at a rate that would take him 7 hours to transcribe.... but it took him a week. Why??????? Because the moron put in every "ummmmm" "eeeeeerrrrrr, well, yes, you (cough) say that. Yes I'd love some more water, what was the question again?"

And then everytime a reference was mentioned he looked it up on the internet and annoted it in the footer!
"Romeo and Juliet" * Shakespeare 1584-1624 Author to whit a playright, UK (England) etc etc etc

So, Iris, just knock it out, fast

If you can do a 7 hour job in 3 1/2 hours the rate is then $30 per hour! That sounds better


mark
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Old 16-01-2008, 19:22   #5
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Sounds great and why not?!? If you can make any extra cash at your own pace and location, then even better!! Good luck with that and keep us posted on how it is really working out!
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Old 16-01-2008, 19:47   #6
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Back-up

I would not ignore the advice in Rebel's post: Back-up your data. Whatever way you choose to do it, back it. And if you can use multiple formats all the better (i.,e flashdrives, micro-drives). Secondly, back up your data consistently and on schedule. If you have no work that week, back up your data anyway. Be as rigorous about adhering to your back-up schedule as you are with anything else critical to your survival.

Michael
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Old 16-01-2008, 20:16   #7
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Hi and thanks for the feedback. My plan is that I'd download the files at an internet cafe and then either work on the boat or even sit at the cafe and do some of the work. Downloading the audio files would be the tricky part. It's usually done by FTP. After they are downloaded, I type them in MS Word and email back the completed MS Word file. Usually you get 2 to 3 days to complete a file, so there is some flexibility.

I'm already doing this type of work part time to put some money into the cruising kitty, but we're not actually cruising yet.

Yes, backing up everything is important. I'll have a couple of flash drives and other means of backup and file transport.

As for pay for this type of work, it can vary from a low of $30 per "audio hour" which is quite low, to a high of $70 or $80 or more depending on what type of work and the complexity. For a person who is really good at this, it can take anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 hours to transcribe one "audio hour" depending on the quality of the file and if they want every "um and uh" or if they want it "cleaned up". My contract pays $15 per "work hour" and that will go up as I get more experience.

Anyway, this is just one suggestion for anyone that has some typing skills and has internet access. I know many people are looking for ways to earn some extra money using the internet while cruising. This is one way. I'm sure that internet connectivity will only improve in the future.

Fair Winds.
Iris
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Old 16-01-2008, 20:57   #8
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It's usually done by FTP. After they are downloaded, I type them in MS Word and email back the completed MS Word file.
If it possible to have an ftp program on your USB Drive and run it that way?
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Old 29-01-2008, 11:53   #9
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sounds like a great idea. How did you find the transcription companies?
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Old 29-01-2008, 12:11   #10
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Just a thought , would using something like “Dragon Naturally Speaking” voice recognition program speed up the work for you?
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Old 29-01-2008, 13:03   #11
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I found a website about a year ago that someone on this forum posted. I can't find the post, but it was a site for working at home moms

WAHM.com The Online Magazine for Work at Home Moms

They have a lot of opportunities for different type of jobs and I got on the forum for transcription. From there, I found an even better website for transcriptionists

Transcription Forum - Index

There are several transcription companies listed along with other great tips.

As for using the Dragon Naturally Speaking software -- from what I understand, there are many problems with this software. I think you have to "train" it to your voice and speaking patterns. This won't work with transcription because every file you get has a different speaker, and sometimes many speakers. You'd spend more time making corrections than just typing it yourself.

Anyway, I like doing this type of work in my spare time now to make extra $$ for the future cruising kitty, so I can see doing it on a boat for a few hours a day/week. What's great is that you can do as much or as little as you like depending on $$$ needs and time available.

Cheers
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Old 29-01-2008, 13:29   #12
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Sailorgal,

You're right about the Dragon software and similar products. They have improved tremendously, but they require training to the speaker's voice in order to achieve reasonable accuracy. That's why they still have court stenographers.

Good luck, fast Internet, and fair winds.
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Old 29-01-2008, 17:26   #13
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When still working, I used Dragon a lot and you do train it to recognize your voice. You first initialise by reading to it for about an hour on a selection of chosen text within the program. (Both technical and descriptive text). I used it from build specifications and contracts to faxes home. Provided you kept training it with unrecognized words rather than just editing after it was about 85% accurate and very fast.
My thought was, that while listening to the client on headphones you speak into the Dragon mike, that is trained to your voice.
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Old 29-01-2008, 22:18   #14
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My thought was, that while listening to the client on headphones you speak into the Dragon mike, that is trained to your voice.
Damn good idea.

So, Sailorgal, when you are signed up do you just look at the site and pick what you want to do for the week or do you have to take the next one in the que?

BTW great idea!!!!!
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Old 30-01-2008, 08:40   #15
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If it possible to have an ftp program on your USB Drive and run it that way?
Browsers support ftp too, (so shouldn't really need a seperate program) but more a problem will be whether or not the internet cafe blocks downloads, access to the local disk, external media, etc.
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