Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prezi vs. PowerPoint

In my college career, I have been inundated with presentations. And we all know that no presentation is complete without a visual aid. Until a few months ago, the only visual aid I even knew existed was PowerPoint and is what I used for all of my presentations. I like PowerPoint because it is simple to use, although I think that the fact that we have been trained to use PowerPoint for years in school makes it seem easier. Also, because it is a Microsoft Office tool, formatting a PowerPoint presentation is very similar to something else that we have been thoroughly trained and seasoned in, and that is Microsoft Office. I always thought that PowerPoint wasn't the most visually appealing aid that you could use, but it was still a better option than using poster board so it is what I stuck with. Then along came Prezi.

I did a little research and found out that Prezi was released in 2009, and I wish that someone had told me about it sooner. It is SO much more interesting to look at than PowerPoint, and I think that it is refreshing to have a new type of presentation aid come onto the scene. The layouts and transitions between slides are more interesting and visually appealing than PowerPoint's, and they make it easier to convey your point and keep the audiences attention. This comes with a price though, as Prezi is not as simple to use as PowerPoint. Having to direct the path of the slides, and the different formatting options are more time consuming. But, once again, I will admit that my level of experience comes into play here, and once I become more seasoned with Prezi, it will begin to be easier for me to use.

All in all, I think that Prezi is a far better visual aid to PowerPoint, and I see why it is taking my college campus by storm. If you have a presentation to make, give Prezi a try and I doubt that you will be disappointed.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Twitter Etiquette

Are you on Twitter? I actually just got a Twitter account a couple of weeks ago (I'm behind the times, I know) and all I have to say is "Man do people tweet a lot!" I think you would literally have to be logged on to Twitter and staring at it for 24 hours a day to be able to keep up with all that is going on with the people I'm following. I found an article written by Margaret Mason, a writer for The Morning News, about Twitter etiquette that I think that everyone on Twitter should read. And I mean EVERYONE! It's not so much about what you should do on Twitter as it is about what you shouldn't do, and I completely agree with every point she makes. I don't need to know about every little detail of you daily life like the fact that you just ate a whole quart of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, or that you and your significant other just saw the new Twilight movie. Some parts of your life are best kept private and your friends might not want you telling everyone about their life either. So watch what you tweet because its out there for everyone to see. Permanently! Another thing that has been bothering me since I hopped on the Twitter bandwagon is that there are so many @thispersons and #whatevers. I think some people are trying to make their tweets as complicated as possible. Sometimes, and it may just be because I'm new at this, its like reading hieroglyphics. These are a few points that Ms. Mason brings up in her article along with many others. You can read the rest for yourself at this link.

Thanks for reading!

My Web Use

This semester, I have been taking a Business Communications Technologies course, and I have to say that it has opened my eyes to a lot of new things on the Web. (If you're not my professor you might have wondered why I have posted so many blogs about websites and Internet etiquette.) Before this class, I mainly used the Internet to get on Facebook or to do research for projects. Now I use Delicious to search for new recipes, I keep up with my favorite websites using Google Reader, I get on Digg to check out trending topics, and I have also used Wikispaces to collaborate with group members for group projects this semester. I've noticed that the Internet and its applications are more intertwined that I ever knew. Its been an interesting semester and it has really taught me a lot. (And I'm not just saying that because my professor is going to read this.) I think that I will continue to use the websites and tools that I mentioned in the future in my personal life, to keep up with whats new, and in my business life, to work in teams more effectively. I really suggest that you check out some of my previous blogs and look at the websites that I've discussed in them. If you've never seen them before, I think you will be delightedly surprised at what you will find.

Thanks for reading!


This is something new to me. Its called a word cloud and I made it on using this blog. It takes random words from a website (or you can also put your own words in) and puts them in a "cloud." Just by using words, it can describe you or the website that you use in an artistic manner. Pretty cool.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finding Yourself

Have you ever been bored and decided to search your name in Google to see what you would find? Most likely, unless you have a super uncommon name like Batman McStupidson, you will probably pull up hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of results. (In case you're wondering, that one actually got 40 hits. Go figure.)

If I search my name, Westley Clark, I get 1,600,000 hits, and a lot of them refer to General Wesley Clark. (No relation.)

Something a lot of people don't know, is that there are ways to make your search more specific by putting quotes around your search or adding query language syntax operators, such as >= or AND.

If I search my name with quotes, "Westley Clark", my search is narrowed down to 22,600 hits. (I still get references to General Clark, but I feel like this is an abnormal circumstance because he is a famous general that ran for president.)

Ways of narrowing down your search, like this one, can be very helpful when you are searching for something rather vague. As a college student, I know that they come in handy when I'm searching for specific information for a report.

Try it out sometime and I'm sure that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much it can help you find what you are looking for.

Here is a link to a page that explains different ways of narrowing down your search.

Thanks for reading!

Social Media Etiquette

Time for another etiquette blog! Although all of them are important, this one is becoming more and more important every day as more and more people, especially businesses, join social media sites.

I just recently gave a presentation for one of my classes about the benefits of social media marketing. From a business standpoint, social media websites are the newest, quickest, and most cost effective way to advertise and get feedback about the new products and services companies offer. But from what I have seen, many companies don't really have a grasp on the idea of marketing with social media. Many seem to think that the more they can make their name show up on a website, such as Facebook or Twitter, the more it will help their company. This is just the start. Sara Carter, a writer for Social Media Today, posted a list of social media do's and don'ts that cover many of the problems that I have seen.

Social media, even in marketing, is a two-way street. Not only should it be used to advertise, it should be used to receive feedback, should it be questions about your product(s) or suggestions to make your product(s) better. Marketers need to remember that they are not only marketing a product, but they are also marketing their company. In order to do this effectively, they need to respond to feedback, good or bad, quickly and in a positive attitude in order to keep their customers pleased and show them that they appreciate them.

Also, marketers need to stop pushing the sale so much. I know that I get on Facebook in order to communicate with my friends. I don't want to be bombarded with advertisements that say "Boy do I have a deal for you!" Sometimes less is more, and if you want me to actually pay attention to you, don't get all in my face (or all over my news feed for that matter) trying to push your business. Make me feel like you are there to help ME and not YOU.

My post briefly summarizes her article, but I urge you (especially if you are a business man or woman using social media to market yourself or your company) to read what she has to say fully. So here is the link.

Thanks for reading!

Awesome Recipe: Baked Chicken-Bacon Alfredo

I tried this recipe out the other night, and it might just be the bacon but I've got to say that I think this is some of the best chicken alfredo I've ever eaten. You can make it with store bought alfredo sauce but I made the sauce myself using the Guiltless Alfredo Sauce recipe and it turned out great. Definitely worth a try!