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Do you guys mind if I brag about something? #projects

 

HI again,  

I have mentioned at the past several meetings that technical writing wasn't really working out for me.  I could find projects and I could even do them successfully - meaning that the customer liked the end results, but I was not able to find a way to do them _profitably_.   I bid them too low and worked so long that on some projects I was probably working below minimum wage.   For that reason, I decided to try to get some training in database management and actually got some training funds to pay for a tutor on the subject.   This got delayed several times, and recruiting the right person proved to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be.   I did find someone really good though and if finally seems to be moving forward.  I can't say who this person is just yet because he is in a highly visible job with a government agency and hasn't told anyone that he will be quitting that job soon to start his own business.  

I wanted to get a little practice working with data before this starts though - sort of like stretching before you play a volley ball game or something, and found this page on the City of San Diego website.  It has two CSV (comma separated values) files that contain information about all the business license holders in San Diego.  Without using code and instead just hacking at some open source tools I was able to put together a rather simple directory of all the business license holders in San Diego.   This is not yet complete..  It is organized by NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) codes.   That is a six level structure, and after I got the 56,000 records uploaded (not a small task with a dog computer) I started organizing the categories by hand and as you can see I sort of petered out and didn't finish.  Since I will likely have to tear this down and start over I thought I would show it to you in the current form - it is at this link:

http://SDCA.directory

It does work - mostly.  I tried it by looking for "dentists" in my zip code - 92109 - and found a neighbor whose apartment is just 20 feet from mine.  She has a dental hygienist practice that she administers out of her apartment.  That brings up a question though - I am wondering how many of you are licensed with the City of San Diego.  Full disclosure - I am not - mostly because I see no real advantage to it so why pay money and get nothing in return?  Apparently the rocket scientists in the City of San Diego have decided to call this "a tax" rather than a license - probably because they wanted to emphasize that this is legally required.  In the "carrot and stick" analogy that is a "stick" - i.e. "you might get in trouble if you don't do this".   I would rather they did this with a carrot - something like this directory where everyone can register but people who do it "by the book" and get the license get top billing.  I haven't spoken with any at the city about this idea yet. 

What do you guys think?  Do you do everything "by the book" and have your city business license and county fictitious name statements filings completed, or are you like me and that is one of those "one of these days" things?

Rob

amydmonroe
 

That is seriously cool, man!  I'd love to see that fully fleshed out.  And you're right... local governments have on idea the types of services they could provide, or the ways they could leverage the massive data they collect.

Well done.  Looking forward to what comes next for you in this venture!

~ Amy

Amy Monroe
858.414.8331 mobile


From: sdibp@groups.io <sdibp@groups.io> on behalf of Rob Gordon <rob@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:42 PM
To: sdibp@groups.io
Subject: [SDIBP] Do you guys mind if I brag about something? #projects
 
HI again,  

I have mentioned at the past several meetings that technical writing wasn't really working out for me.  I could find projects and I could even do them successfully - meaning that the customer liked the end results, but I was not able to find a way to do them _profitably_.   I bid them too low and worked so long that on some projects I was probably working below minimum wage.   For that reason, I decided to try to get some training in database management and actually got some training funds to pay for a tutor on the subject.   This got delayed several times, and recruiting the right person proved to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be.   I did find someone really good though and if finally seems to be moving forward.  I can't say who this person is just yet because he is in a highly visible job with a government agency and hasn't told anyone that he will be quitting that job soon to start his own business.  

I wanted to get a little practice working with data before this starts though - sort of like stretching before you play a volley ball game or something, and found this page on the City of San Diego website.  It has two CSV (comma separated values) files that contain information about all the business license holders in San Diego.  Without using code and instead just hacking at some open source tools I was able to put together a rather simple directory of all the business license holders in San Diego.   This is not yet complete..  It is organized by NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) codes.   That is a six level structure, and after I got the 56,000 records uploaded (not a small task with a dog computer) I started organizing the categories by hand and as you can see I sort of petered out and didn't finish.  Since I will likely have to tear this down and start over I thought I would show it to you in the current form - it is at this link:

http://SDCA.directory

It does work - mostly.  I tried it by looking for "dentists" in my zip code - 92109 - and found a neighbor whose apartment is just 20 feet from mine.  She has a dental hygienist practice that she administers out of her apartment.  That brings up a question though - I am wondering how many of you are licensed with the City of San Diego.  Full disclosure - I am not - mostly because I see no real advantage to it so why pay money and get nothing in return?  Apparently the rocket scientists in the City of San Diego have decided to call this "a tax" rather than a license - probably because they wanted to emphasize that this is legally required.  In the "carrot and stick" analogy that is a "stick" - i.e. "you might get in trouble if you don't do this".   I would rather they did this with a carrot - something like this directory where everyone can register but people who do it "by the book" and get the license get top billing.  I haven't spoken with any at the city about this idea yet. 

What do you guys think?  Do you do everything "by the book" and have your city business license and county fictitious name statements filings completed, or are you like me and that is one of those "one of these days" things?

Rob

CJ Gilbert
 

Wow, Rob!  This is really amazing!

Great work!!

--
.
.
.
GilbertStudios Websites and Business Marketing
.
.
.
*** Check your business listings here:
.
.
.

Andrea Schwartz
 

Dear Rob. 
You have completely missed your calling. You are a writer. Not a technical writer but a writer. You write volumes everyday; and they are all perfectly written and you seem to do this effortlessly. 

You should just start writing. Don't look for help, don't look for advice-just start sending articles to the local magazines and papers or like the rest of the world, start a blog and you will undoubtedly profit from it.  

This is just my opinion!
Andrea





On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 3:42 PM, Rob Gordon
<rob@...> wrote:
HI again,  

I have mentioned at the past several meetings that technical writing wasn't really working out for me.  I could find projects and I could even do them successfully - meaning that the customer liked the end results, but I was not able to find a way to do them _profitably_.   I bid them too low and worked so long that on some projects I was probably working below minimum wage.   For that reason, I decided to try to get some training in database management and actually got some training funds to pay for a tutor on the subject.   This got delayed several times, and recruiting the right person proved to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be.   I did find someone really good though and if finally seems to be moving forward.  I can't say who this person is just yet because he is in a highly visible job with a government agency and hasn't told anyone that he will be quitting that job soon to start his own business.  

I wanted to get a little practice working with data before this starts though - sort of like stretching before you play a volley ball game or something, and found this page on the City of San Diego website.  It has two CSV (comma separated values) files that contain information about all the business license holders in San Diego.  Without using code and instead just hacking at some open source tools I was able to put together a rather simple directory of all the business license holders in San Diego.   This is not yet complete..  It is organized by NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) codes.   That is a six level structure, and after I got the 56,000 records uploaded (not a small task with a dog computer) I started organizing the categories by hand and as you can see I sort of petered out and didn't finish.  Since I will likely have to tear this down and start over I thought I would show it to you in the current form - it is at this link:

http://SDCA.directory

It does work - mostly.  I tried it by looking for "dentists" in my zip code - 92109 - and found a neighbor whose apartment is just 20 feet from mine.  She has a dental hygienist practice that she administers out of her apartment.  That brings up a question though - I am wondering how many of you are licensed with the City of San Diego.  Full disclosure - I am not - mostly because I see no real advantage to it so why pay money and get nothing in return?  Apparently the rocket scientists in the City of San Diego have decided to call this "a tax" rather than a license - probably because they wanted to emphasize that this is legally required.  In the "carrot and stick" analogy that is a "stick" - i.e. "you might get in trouble if you don't do this".   I would rather they did this with a carrot - something like this directory where everyone can register but people who do it "by the book" and get the license get top billing.  I haven't spoken with any at the city about this idea yet. 

What do you guys think?  Do you do everything "by the book" and have your city business license and county fictitious name statements filings completed, or are you like me and that is one of those "one of these days" things?

Rob

CJ Gilbert
 

Rob,

I agree with Andrea... you have an excellent way of organizing your thoughts and communicating them.

I also support your immediate writing efforts!!

Talk soon,
__cj


--
.
.
.
GilbertStudios Websites and Business Marketing
.
.
.
*** Check your business listings here:
.
.
.

 

re: "You write volumes everyday; and they are all perfectly written and you seem to do this effortlessly"

Andrea - thank you - but you jinxed me!  As soon as you said this, I suddenly became nonprolific!  The meeting is on for Thursday - I should have the write up done in an hour or so.   Hope you can still make it.

Rob

 

re: "That is seriously cool, man!"

Thanks a bunch, Amy - I forgot to post the links in that post.  Here are the data files on the City website that I used to make this application:

https://www.sandiego.gov/treasurer/taxesfees/btax/nblactive

And more importantly, here is the link where you apply for a business license, which the City calls a "tax certificate" -  It costs $34.  Lots of home-based business in that database so I guess most people are better citizens than me. 

https://pay.sandiego.gov/BTaxApp/Login.aspx



 

Thanks CJ - 

You know you were on my list of people to contact anyway with your Wordpress practice.  I am still waiting to hear if the contract has been approved for my database training - I am getting my grant from the same source where you got yours.  I would like to learn more about the backend database functions on Wordpress and how they can be customized.  Perhaps you are already good at that.  If not, maybe we can explore ways to work together one of these days.

Rob

Wendy Lynn Kitts <info@...>
 

Thanks for the link, Rob, my tax guy shared with me that I need this license and have been putting off going downtown for a year so will check it out, thanks.

 

“You are the sky. Everything else is just weather.”

~ Pema Chodron 

 

From: sdibp@groups.io [mailto:sdibp@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Gordon
Sent: Monday, June 17, 2019 3:13 PM
To: sdibp@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDIBP] Do you guys mind if I brag about something? #projects

 

re: "That is seriously cool, man!"

Thanks a bunch, Amy - I forgot to post the links in that post.  Here are the data files on the City website that I used to make this application:

https://www.sandiego.gov/treasurer/taxesfees/btax/nblactive

And more importantly, here is the link where you apply for a business license, which the City calls a "tax certificate" -  It costs $34.  Lots of home-based business in that database so I guess most people are better citizens than me. 

https://pay.sandiego.gov/BTaxApp/Login.aspx