Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Last fall I presented a “Life After PowerPoint” workshop for my pals at the GCASTD conference (Greater Cincinnati chapter of American Society for Training and Development). Since I typically see a lot of presentations, it was something very much enjoyed doing.

One of the participants contacted me recently and asked me to update it for a group of project managers who use PowerPoint a lot. Since I’m now in Wilmington, I’ll have to do it long-distance. My first webinar!

Anyhoo, in researching for the update, I ran across an interesting comparison between presentations given by Steve Jobs of Apple and Michael Dell of Dell Computers. Here’s a screen shot from a Jobs presentation:

and here’s one from Dell:

The blog where I found this notes that “Steve wants the audience to listen to him tell the story, rather than read the slides…Michael’s would work well if it were designed to be send to someone who would not have the benefit of hearing the story live, but next to Steve’s slides, they just seem cluttered.”

Yes, I’m a Mac guy. Doesn’t change the fact that he’s right.

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Greg Ross’s Futility Closet is full of interesting tidbits. Here’s part of “Medley of Poems“, from Westminster Monthly, April 1910. A sample:

The boy stood on the burning deck,
His fleece was white as snow,
He stuck a feather in his hat,
John Anderson, my Jo!

“Come back, come back,” he cried in grief,
“From India’s coral strands,
The frost is on the pumpkin, and
The village smithy stands.

Full post here.

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Mennonite farm from Wikimedia Commons. Mennonites are good guys, not spammers

I have a Google Alert watch for ‘WHQR’. I was curious when I saw this notice in my email:

What Are the Benefits of Donating My Car to WHQR?. Although the option has been around for a number of years, many charitable organizations, such as WHQR-FM …

The notice provides a link to an article on the site ‘eHow.com’. I’m not going to provide that link here, for reasons which I hope will become clear.

This struck me as odd: why would a 3rd party bother to write about donating cars to WHQR? The article itself is pretty generic and the information isn’t essentially wrong; we do receive, and value, donations of cars.

I Googled eHow.com and started seeing messages about “content farms” — a new term for me. eHow is apparently owned by Demand Media. Their business model is to churn out thousands of pages per day of mostly recycled press releases from all kinds of businesses and organizations.

The purpose is to get a lot of page views, move to the top of Google rankings, and make tons of money from ads. Google has moved to quarantine some of the more flagrant ones, but it’s hard to see how this can be stopped completely.

Some of the sites writing about this refer to it as spam. But some of them appear to be possibly a little spammy themselves. I am going to link to this one, which is useful but essentially recycles material from an earlier post at the same location.

Maybe everyone knows about this. I didn’t. Another example of crappy stuff beating out useful stuff on the web. Sigh.

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I received several questions following my presentation on Blogging today at the Cincinnati Job Search Focus Group. Here’s some more information:

What presentation software did you use?

Neat, huh? That was created at the Prezi.com site. This is a web-based software application that is definitely not PowerPoint. Where PP is linear and ultimately text-based (with some graphics and bells and whistles), Prezi.com aims to be intuitive and graphically-based. It is usually created on-line, and can be run either on-line (not recommended in critical situations in case connectivity is lost), or as a downloadable Flash animation, which is what I used.

Because I work part-time for Miami University, I was able to get a free educational account with 500 Mb of server space, and I’ve hardly used any of it. Other free accounts are possible. There is a paid version which allows you to do content creation on a local machine, but I haven’t tried that.

Prezi would have you believe that you can get going in just a few minutes, but that hasn’t been my experience. I spent a LOT of time creating this, far more than a Keynote or PowerPoint would have taken. With time I’m sure I can work faster, but I’m not there yet. I doubt if I will use it for run-of-the-mill presentations.

There are definitely some drawbacks. The backgrounds and font styles are limited to those that Prezi offers, and there are not many. Some things that are easy in PowerPoint really can’t be done well in Prezi. They’d probably say that such things, such as lists, shouldn’t be done at all.

I learned about Prezi from Dean Carine Feyten of the Miami U. School of Education, Health & Society, where I’m doing some work. Check it out.

Is the presentation available on-line?

Yes, but not for download. Go to http://prezi.com/o4l-3l2hlplu. In case of utter failure at JSFG, I also created a backup version in PowerPoint that has much of the same material, so you could compare the differences if you really have time on your hands.

What are the URLs for the websites you showed?

Here they are:

See more of my presentations (including earlier versions of this one) on my Presentations Page.

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Still another (let’s hope final) update: the revised PowerPoint of this presentation is now online.

I’m presenting Part Two of a blogging workshop Thursday, May 13th, 10 am at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center. It’s based in large part on my experiences with this blog and another I maintain and sometimes contribute to. It’s aimed at newbies and those contemplating starting a blog. The focus of part one was on starting a blog; this one will look at what should go in it.

Thanks to Lisa Slutsky and the helpful gang at the Return to Work Center for asking me back.

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MacSE from Wikimedia Commons

This morning I presented the blogging workshop I wrote about in a previous post. Amazingly, not one of the folks who showed up at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center were blogging right now, but several of them seemed eager to try (possibly today!). So I definitely hit the target audience.

I had several requests to make available the PowerPoint from the session. It’s a little more information-oriented than some presentations I’ve done, so it’s probably a good candidate. Not every presentation makes sense without commentary, but I guess this one does. There’s no audio — I guess you had to be there.

I’m also trying to post this on my LinkedIn profile via SlideShare. SlideShare tells me the presentation exists, but I’m not seeing it in my profile. Hmmm.

Like all my presentations, I created this in Keynote on a Mac. But I don’t have a fast laptop these days, and because of concerns that the room might be set up only for PCs, I made up a PowerPoint version which is pretty close. That’s what’s linked here.

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A blog can lead to bigger and better things.
–Personal Branding guru Dan Schawbel

I‘m presenting a blogging workshop Wednesday, April 14th, 10 am at Cincinnati’s Return to Work Center. It’s based in large part on my experiences with this blog and another I maintain and sometimes contribute to. It’s aimed at newbies and those contemplating starting a blog. The focus will be on blogging as a component of your personal brand, with an eye to job seekers.

I’d love to hear from bloggers who can share experiences; specifically:

  1. What motivated you to start a blog?
  2. Was it more or less difficult than you expected? Why?
  3. Has it made a positive difference in your job search? (examples would be great.)

You can use the Comment section below to write or post a link. Thanks.

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