Monday, March 31, 2008

client approval site

About a year ago, my friend Michael McReynolds, Kris Sheets and I talked about creating a content approval site for clients. We could get work, show concepts to the client, get their feedback - and finally client approval on the work. I mentioned this to the company I work for (, and they thought it was a great idea too - especially since we could put it to use there as well. Ben Johnson created a working interface, but this project took a backseat to paying clients. In the last couple months, we ran across 2 websites that offer these services - and they have been working on this for over 2 years now...
+ Website Review
(Launch Demo)
+ Image Review
(Launch Demo)
+ Document Review
(Launch Demo)
+ Video Review
(Launch Demo) looks to do what we need, but the interface is not as easy to use - as one would expect - in working with clients. I mean to say - you dont want to have to educate your clients on how to use your website do ya? Ideally, it should be so easy that you dont have to explain it.
-It works and
will start using it now!
-interface is not intuitive
-no drag n drop upload of files
-no support for ai, swf
-no thumbnails of videos or other assets? seems to be more fluid in its approach, but it has its limitations as well. I recommend trying both - and seeing which works best for your needs. Now if someone could only mash them both together...UPDATE: Is FeedbackFX part of ReviewBasics? or is this video just made by the the same peeps that did their video?

Friday, March 28, 2008


Some Q/A from the website:
As we grow older (and hopefully wiser), I think that we come to understand the complexities - and appreciate the uniqueness of people. We want to label things and people, to be able to easily describe and communicate the association of a character or trait. I think that this is fine - in general. But you have to take the broad assertions in context. And that is where we mostly fail.

1. What do you see as substantial differences in how the Boomer generation learns from other generations? The tools being used, cultural environment, amount of people in classrooms, and newer technologies (may refer to tools).

2. Is there enough difference between those born 1946 to around 1955 and those born from 1955 through 1964 to warrant different discussions? I dont think so. I think its less about age groups, and more based around the environment of the learners (see above (tools, technology, etc.)).

What are the range of costs of producing a PodCast -- both internally and through an external vendor? First, I think that developing just for audio (a PodCast) is limiting your audience. If you develop for video (like youtube), you will have a greater opportunity for an audience, and more options as a medium. From that video, you can create a seperate audio file - and serve it up to users that want just that. Internal: $75 per hour (pc, webcam or mic $60, recording time, editing time (free editing apps are out there), review, changes, posting on server). (does not include user tracking). External: $200 per hour" _joinprompttext=""> What are the range of costs of producing a PodCast -- both internally and through an external vendor? First, I think that developing just for audio (a PodCast) is limiting your audience. If you develop for video (like youtube), you will have a greater opportunity for an audience, and more options as a medium. From that video, you can create a seperate audio file - and serve it up to users that want just that. Internal: $75 per hour (pc, webcam or mic $60, recording time, editing time (free editing apps are out there), review, changes, posting on server). (does not include user tracking). External: $200 per hour

What circumstances make a virtual world appropriate/beneficial to the learning space? Directly, where aspects of the environment is what your are trying to learn or understand. Preparing for a crisis, emergencies, or disasters... dealing with a garden(plants), animals(zoo)... creating a road, working in a nuclear plant, working in space, and more...
Why is Second Life always so empty? Because it is so involved (complex). Its not something that you can easily get in and out of like a phonecall. You have to prepare yourself to be immersed into the 3D world.

Do we, as a professional body subscribe to academic validation versus real life experience? I think both are valid - and have a place.
As to the question of "papers", you have to look at who controls the power. Just because a college or university give/require degrees, just furthers their business. A popular misconception is that they have the final say on whether a person is qualified.

As an employer, they want a fast route in the interview process to know that you are trustworthy. Hence "papers" from a college can help in this - but a good portfolio of work, in combo with many testimonials will work just as well.

As for small phones/PDAs? The market is still so new - but rapidly forming into groups. In creating for these, you have to look at the leaders (and new technologies) of the industry: Blackberry, Apples iPhone, and the (possibly this fall) Google Android. Consider the audience, portability, and future paths of that technology.

PS. I can only hope that all generations have the trait - the challenging of convention.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the future of education

I have been questioning our current schooling system for some time - as well as the value of college (what is the real value for most people)? And this article has brought even more questions to the table. So I shared it with several friends to get their thoughts on it as well.

My friend Julie sent me a response: I wonder what percentage of generation z (is that what's next?) will want to (or be able to) read an article of this nature. Over 1400 words, man that guy is long winded. Just kidding. I like the idea of free education but I'm with the MIT grad that commented about the unquantifyable value of interacting with professors and peers, not only for the reasons that he mentioned, but also for the sense of "humanity" that interaction creates. Isolation creates ignorance, ignorance creates fear, and we all know where the path of fear leads. Having lived in rather varied environments, I can say first hand, that living in environments where you are forced to interact with individuals that are not like yourself (race, color, religion, sexual preference, etc.. ) imbues you with understanding, tolerance, and ultimately a greater sense of compassion. I am excited to see where technology can bring us as a species.. but I have my reservations. -Julie

I think we are finding - the more people that are on earth - the more our current systems seem to break down - or not work. Im not sure its solely because of the amount of people, or that society is also degrading as well. Either way, our current school systems probably have a shelf life of 10 years or less (my prediction) - so we need to be proactive in testing new systems - new ways of education. I dont think that 1 solution will work best for all - but we definitely need to develop many ways - because education is so much more important than how we deliver it. And now "Public Schools Expand Curriculum Online".

On a side note, I have had many thoughts - about whether or not technology is evil - or the workings of the devil (seriously). I havent really been able to formulate a meaningful opinion on this, but I do think on it from time to time. What I do know is that the internet is a tool, and can be used for good or evil. It kinda depends on the person(s) using/viewing/creating...

UPDATE: So forget about personal computers: the future of education probably lies with digital games.

Worst Case Scenario (the boardgame)

Do you know how to escape from the trunk of a car? In this game, your pessimism and/or terrifying life experiences can make you a winner! You’re given a worst-case scenario and three choices. You must pick the best choice. It's up to you to get out of your Worst-Case scenario. Give your best answer if you're right move on; if you're not, your situation only gets worse.

From the hair-raising (how to cross a piranha-infested river) to the humorous (how to scratch an itch in a cast), you’ll be challenged to overcome the outrageous and show off your survival instincts. And you’ll learn a lot of interesting information in the process! Comes with a game board, four playing pieces, 300 Worst-Case Scenario cards and one die. For 2 or more players.

I've just heard about the game this week - and we plan to get it. They also have more: handbook, dating & sex, life, extreme, travel... and more facts about scenarios here.

another option for writers...

Graphic Novels. Heard an good story on NPR about 3 very different people - that have done Graphic Novels. Even if you're not interested in that line of work - it seems like it would be a good test for your writing skills... Three Writers Feel the Lure of Comics

Monday, March 24, 2008

what i've clicked on recently...

3D book -$320$240
In researching information for the new performance strategies i am planning for our organization, i came across this site that provides a quick way to get some insight into how you may or may deal with things.
mobile application development IDE -
A single photo can be reconstructed into a 3-D scene with Make3D.
Born from Seadragon?
Photosynth on PBS
Improved Photosynth Installer
Wired Science videos
3d charts, maps, planning/scheduling, treemap, radar/spider charts -
Managed Learning Environment
boujou -
PFTracK, the video production tool used for tracking and match-moving (i.e. inserting special effects into real footage video), has released the Personal Learning Edition of its latest version. The PLE of PFTrack is a fully function edition that will allows students and professionals to evaluate and master PFTrack without the need to purchase a license. You can learn more about this video production tool from its official website here:
Tagging files in Windows XP (and why you'll ditch Google Desktop) -
IBM releases mashup wiki - qedwiki -
cell location
Vyew: Free Live Web Conferencing -
VMukti - Collaborative Conferencing -
dimdim web meeting -
total video converter even does divx conversion
video cam -
Elliott Masie's Learning TRENDS -
Tips for Trainers -
12 Wishes for Our LMS and LCMS-
serious help with creating your startup - Do you have an plan for a web 2.0 company?
Windbelt: elegant non-turbine wind generator
video here:
"the best way to protect your privacy is to give it away"
10 reasons why you should never get a job
LEARNING GAMES - i have recommended this to several people and seen success from 6-12 year olds... its used in schools all over the world and really relates to the real world.
The KDE Edutainment Project -
50 States flash games -
Educational Games
Loosing Your Keys? -
bump keys -

Friday, March 21, 2008

Brief personal profile

I just took the short quiz at Here are the results:
Greatest Potential Strength: High-energy multi-tasker produces many projects valued by others. Potential Blind Spot: Constant multi-tasking can lead to disorganization and indecision. When pressured can become distant, dismissive and alienate others.

Greatest Potential Strength: Innate understanding of the feelings and needs of others. Potential Blind Spot: If feelings not reciprocated appropriately, can focus on personal shortcomings and withdraw. Can’t avoid negative feelings and becomes manipulative.

Greatest Potential Strength: Use perception to “walk in the shoes” of others and understand their needs – make excellent facilitators to bring a group together. Potential Blind Spot: Can become lost in other people’s needs and ignore their own needs. Avoid negative feedback.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tracy Gary sent me yet another opportunity to help others. For each word that you get right this site donates 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. We may not all have monies to send other countries, but we can give our brains some exercise while helping someone else at the same time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SlideRocket (presetnations) (beta)

Looking to rival the features of Keynote and PowerPoint, SlideRocket
is a new web-based presentation tool. If you didnt get to signup for their private beta before it closed - just email me - and I will sendya my username and password. When SlideRocket launches publicly, there will be a free version for single users and two business versions that satisfy the needs of small and large corporations. Some features include: community clipart, import video & images from youtube/flickr, viewing stats. Via Other links: 01 | 02

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

another opportunity to help others... - You can sponsor a child or you can give to a general need (clean water, medicine for kids, clothing for kids, etc.) - things we can take for granted every day in America. We picked children to sponsor that shared the same birthdays as our kids. Seemed to make it less random and also gave us a good idea of how old the kids are at any given time.

As my friend Robert Thompson put it...
It is an organization that helps people in third world countries - not a loan but you can donate money. It is amazing to see what $75 or $100 can buy elsewhere. He is also a member of "I spent more than $25 for breakfast for me and my wife last saturday - american dollars really make a huge difference in some of these other countries. We see $2000 as a new TV - They see $2000 as a way to buy more cows so they can feed their family or stop living in a house with a dirt floor. Im a member of and

Monday, March 17, 2008

a searchable 3D view of our world (inside & out)

A single photo can be reconstructed into a 3-D scene with Make3D (article). Very soon, we should be able to reconstruct, view, and explore the entire world(inside & out(potentially)) in 3D. And the kicker is - you could view the same locations over time - or time lapse? My question is, can Google make it searchable (changes to the environment with dates/times/related history)? So you take the Make3D concept, and combine it with Photosynth + (my previous blog article). And more: Born from Seadragon? Photosynth on PBS . More Wired Science videos.

Friday, March 14, 2008

links of the week

carbon fueled nanites will overtake us all
a nice youtube video explaining their video services
Wordpress plugins & reviews
google health?!?
free online file conversion (upto 100MB free)
google gadget
gadget awards
google talk badge
How to Embed RSS Feeds into HTML Web Pages - The Easy Way
why not create a user configurable flex version?
save lives - donate a gift
Race row as actor Robert Downey Jr 'blacks up' for new film
Mike Doughty Gets Relaxed, Joyful - on NPR
You Know You're A Redneck If...
illustrator vector gel button tutorial
the release of Watchmen on 03.06.09
test web & email, with trial option
google account multi-login
new design websites/trix
good powerpoint
be aware - the instructions assume you know how to use jquery - it's not that tricky..
Google funds Photoshop-on-Linux work,39001469,62037989,00.htm
just went to Office Depot and picked up some self-adhesive plastic laminate to make the stencil out of
AppJet Makes Simple Web Apps A Breeze
photo shufflers/slideshow
too cool
sketchup for dummies
Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles
free apps
One-to-One Investing
a brain fitness program
Tweako A Social News Site For Tutorials
Could we create characters for our courseware or our website with this?,en&camera=245
Gizmoz Launches - Create Your Talking 3D Avatar
interesting question
-cellphone info -
here crooks and swindlers work together to scam everyone else -020207,72628-0.html?tw=rss.index
Video Distribution
Video Codecs
Wireless Portable Cell Phone Drive Unveiled -020207
MapMyEvent is a portal that delivers map information for any event along with information about hotels and landmarks around it. You can use Mapmyevent to generate customized link for your own events.
tokbox chat

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Costa Rica in June (for 2.5 months)

(video is from CNBC Costa Rica 5-4-06) Ok, so the rumor is true. Joy, Candler and I are going to Costa Rica June 4th - August 12 2008. If we all like it down there, we may decide to try and live there. But before we can, there are many details to work out before we know if that is possible. Joy has given notice to her job, Candler will be out of school, and I hope to continue to work for from Costa Rica. We already have tickets and passports for our summer trip. The question on everyones mind is - Why? I have been, and its super friendly, just a 4 hour flight from ATL, and is beautiful. My question is, why wouldnt YOU want to move there? One persons personal experience.

voiceless phonecalls?

Wireless neckband allows first voiceless phone call. (So you dont have to listen to others blabbing on their cellphone in public). Also could be used for crimes or the military. This technology seems along the same lines as those guys playing video games - using only there minds:

Thanks to Julie Best for the links

Marketing 2.0

Interesting rundown of various Web tools used for their product launch. Including the ad above, which is similar to the offering by sprout. May help others with their marketing direction... Links: Leveraging Social Media and Web 2.0 in a Product Launch | Virtual, Viral, Visual...
Thanks to Rob Wong for the links

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dell, the funky homosapien

This is allegedly an "actual leaked phone conversation" between a customer and Dell sales rep. That authenticity can be debated all you want, but I'm posting it anyways. Mostly because Roberto, the sales rep, calls the customer a little girl -- repeatedly -- because the dude backs out of a sale.