Gmail's "Smart Compose" feature is terrible at helping freelancers negotiate

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I hate that “what’s your budget” question. When you answer that, you think you’re telling the opposite party how much you can afford to pay, but they think you’re setting the floor for the negotiation. As the buyer, you typically have a total information deficit, so don’t start throwing numbers around.


As a Jamaica Plain resident (“the Brooklyn of Boston”) , I look forward to seeing you on St. Patrick’s Day and enjoying an Orange Line IPA at Turtle Swamp.

And I will happily pay many dollars for the enjoyment. Thanks.


What’s the AI equivalent of a Freudian slip? :thinking:

Perhaps “Free” is just a reflection of how Google does things, exploiting the things we let it collect for free to get what it wants.

Kinda like Manhattan was obtained for “free” (well, OK, about $1000, the cost of a night in a hotel there now in high season) from folks who failed to realize the actual value. Yeah, OK, there’s more to that story…

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Yeah it’s not the best way for anyone to approach it. I’ve done some copywriting work for some big universities in the past, and I’ll sometimes ask them what their budget, then tell them what I can provide for that. In my experience, the most, erm, well-endowed universities like to pay per-project fees, and don’t really know when to stop asking for edits. So I’ll say, pay me X amount per hour, or Y amount overall including 3 rounds of edits, and that’ll fill your budget.


For all the vast hordes using Gmail, I’ll have to consider myself a luddite. I’ve hated the interface since forever, hate the way it threads email conversations. But I have the luxury of owning my own domain and running my own email system, so I can avoid it for the most part (though I do have an account I use for making purchases… the spammers can all send their shit there when the retailer sells my info).


What’s most terrifying for me is that with that sort of automated response, a butt dialed email response could cost you money, whereas a normal butt dial of sfopji! is recognizable as unrecognizable. At least gmail didn’t have a response where you offered to pay the venue for the “exposure”.


Given “Great!” is also offered, I’m wondering if there’s some wires being crossed and google’s AI is thinking the question is maybe asking “how is your schedule looking for St. Patrick’s Day?”

I don’t actually believe anyone answers this question with “Free!”


Speaking of value, people need to take a helicopter perspective: What’s my ENTIRE worth. Will I prioritize to pay around $50 per year for using an e-mail service (assuming using own domain) which isn’t based on harvesting the highly personal data of my me and my friends?


Protonmail looks fantastic. I’m going to check that one out.

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I’m honestly a bit ashamed that I haven’t made the paid switch over to Protonmail. I should probably get on that.

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Respect. I left email tools (Thunderbird, Eudora, GoldEd, our time was but too brief!) and got suckered in by webmail, then the email app, and that age of control over my email is gone.

First and most important, to my fellow Irish-American…


I’ve noticed this with gmail too, but not just that. I have outlook for work, and they do the same thing, with suggestions for what I should say to my students when they email me about their projects… always entirely useless. I can imagine that’s doubly so if you’re attempting to negotiate pay for your work.

Good luck with the performances this coming St. Patrick’s Day! Post any youtube videos of it for those of us not up there.


I still use Thunderbird, although my domain email system has a web interface as well. But I’d totally forgotten about Eudora. Memories, man… memories.

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My rate is 10% of your wealth, or the 10 years labor of your first born child.

Honestly if there are different prices, just list them as packages with cliché names like “gold” and “silver”. Even if “gold” means you stay for 4 hours and run a number of sets, and “silver” means you stay for an hour.


This is a nice alternative to AlternativeTo:
Focused mostly on opensource software.

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Yes, that’s exactly how I interpret it. “My rates vary based on how much money I think I can get out of you.”

The counter argument would be that it’s helpful to qualify a customer. But a super easy way to qualify a customer is to tell them how much something costs up front…

Now if Outlook would auto-reply to your students’ questions with “The answer to your question is on the syllabus,” now that would be useful.


9 times out of 10, that WOULD be useful! Sadly, that’s never an option.

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