Tag Archives: free

ZURB – Interaction Design and Design Strategy

Welcome to the ZURBplayground where we share creative interaction design tools and experiments from the design and engineering teams here at ZURB. We create tools, implementation examples, and other interesting projects that help people design for people.

via ZURB – Interaction Design and Design Strategy.

Lots of fun and useful tools for web developers to play with – or work with.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: free, tools, web development, zurb

One way or another, organizations have to pay for their social media presence

One of the great things about the clients I’ve been lucky enough to work with is how smart they are. Case in point: BC Hydro’s Deb LeRose, who – among many other things – helps the company’s many departments and business units understand social media.

She likes to start presentations off with a slide showing a free puppy and a baby. Both of them, she says, come without a price tag. So does a Twitter account, Facebook profile or WordPress.com blog… but don’t kid yourself. You’d better know what you’re getting into before you click on the “submit” button. (Or take hold of the leash. Or make a baby.)

She’s right. Price tag or no price tag, you’ll be paying: in time, attention and energy. (Mercifully, nobody’s come up with a social media presence that requires you to take it to the vet to get neutered.)

You’ll need to…

  • Plan before you launch: You need to know just what you’re hoping to accomplish. Just want to learn a little about YouTube? Hoping to create a new channel for customer service on Twitter? Whether your ambitions are modest or audacious, taking the time to clarify your goals and exactly how you plan to achieve them is critical to social media success.
  • Keep posting regularly: Status updates for Twitter, posts for your blog, photos, videos, notes or links for Facebook… it all adds up quickly.
  • Respond to comments: Social media is conversational, and you’ll want to stay engaged in the discussions you spark – both on your own presence and out in the larger web.
  • Tend to your community: As your online community grows, you’ll want to encourage participation, make introductions, extinguish flame wars and keep things moving productively.
  • Promote your presence: You don’t want to go to the effort of creating and maintaining a social media presence without having it count for something, right? So you’ll want to let the world know about it – which can involve everything from advertising to guest-blogging.
  • Monitor the social web: You need to know what’s being said about your organization and the issues that matter to you. That can be as simple as searches set up on a tool like Technorati or Google Blog Search, or as sophisticated as commercial tools.
  • Track metrics: Since you’re investing this much effort, you want to make sure it’s giving your organization some benefit. Actually measuring those results can become more or less automated, but analyzing them and deciding on actions to take: that requires time and energy.

Organizations that have had social media success will tell you it involved real effort, but yielded great results — just as dog owners and parents know it’s sometimes tough work but tremendously rewarding. You end up with someone who, yes, chews up your most prized possessions and covers you with slobber, but is also a loyal, loving friend. (And with children, they grow out of the chewing and slobbering phase. I’m told.)

So what if you don’t know whether you’re ready for the responsibilities of raising a child, owning a dog or tending a wiki? That’s next week’s post.

High-speed presentation creation: free webinar by Cliff Atkinson

Cliff Atkinson is one of the few reasons that I haven’t unleashed a presentation-software-deletion virus on the world (the fact that I lack the programming chops to pull it off is another one) (this free e-book is a third) (the lovely Keynote is a fourth). His book and companion web site are two must-reads for anyone hoping to break free of delivering boring, godawful slide shows.

Now you can get a little of that Cliff Atkinson goodness in a free one-hour webinar over at Microsoft’s site, starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow. You’ll need to register here:

Invite your friends and join me tomorrow for this week’s webinar, a special no-cost public event sponsored by Microsoft Office Online. The webinar takes place at 9am Pacific Time on June 12, 2008 and is titled “How to Create a 15-Minute Presentation (with Graphics!) in One Hour.”  Inspired by member webinars at BBP Online, here’s the session description:

If you are in a time crunch and have to get a presentation done, you need an approach that will get you results quickly. Join us for this advanced-level webcast with bestselling author Cliff Atkinson, and learn the tips and tricks you need to complete a Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 presentation in record time. As the clock ticks down from 60 to zero minutes, see how you can use Cliff’s book Beyond Bullet Points (Microsoft Press, 2007) to structure your story, identify your key points, and create the slides you need to get amazing results.

A lorem ipsum generator for the 21st century

Corporate Ipsum widget for OS X Dashboard

Oh, very nice: a handy little device for whipping up reams of dummy copy at the click of a button. And not just your basic lorem ipsum greek text, either (although that’s an option). This puppy happily spits out a screed of utterly baffling corporatespeak for your next annual report design job. Here’s an example:

Competently expedite standardized services vis-a-vis multifunctional interfaces. Dramatically communicate distributed ideas whereas exceptional solutions. Competently provide access to state of the art action items after business technology.

Rapidiously negotiate multifunctional leadership through scalable manufactured products. Credibly leverage existing optimal total linkage before scalable meta-services. Authoritatively formulate enterprise leadership for value-added portals.

Appropriately facilitate 24/7 mindshare rather than covalent results. Proactively extend flexible portals via inexpensive outsourcing. Compellingly evisculate pandemic web services and virtual ideas.

Globally leverage existing standards compliant mindshare for pandemic infomediaries. Objectively brand cooperative leadership skills without just in time niche markets. Holisticly leverage existing equity invested web-readiness without mission-critical growth strategies.

Authoritatively impact resource maximizing processes whereas sustainable opportunities. Intrinsicly reconceptualize maintainable experiences without cooperative value.

Authoritatively impact resource maximizing processes? I swoon.

Photoshop, it’s not about you. It’s about me.

Believe me, Photoshop, you’re amazing. The things you can do with the Curves control, with channels, with compositing, with custom filters… you still take my breath away.

But lately we’ve been getting on each other’s nerves. Come on, admit it: you feel like I don’t appreciate you when I fire up the world’s most comprehensive image editing software just to crop some logo I found on the web. And I feel like you’re being too needy when you demand so much startup time, memory and processor overhead just to adjust the contrast on a photo.

Look, you need to know: there’s… there’s someone else.

Their name? Their name doesn’t matter. What matters is… okay, fine. It’s Snipshot. Are you happy?

Yes, they’re from Vancouver. But that’s not why I’ve been using them.

It’s because Snipshot lets me do the kind of simple, nimble image manipulation I so often need… and do it without opening anything but my browser. Yeah – it’s a web application, and it’s free.

You know what? I can install a little bookmarklet in my browser bar, and any time I’m on a web page with a graphic I want to use, I click on the bookmarklet, select the image and start editing. It’s fast and easy, and free.

Imagine combining that with Flickr. Do you know how liberating that is? Do you know how young and alive that makes me feel?

I’m sorry, that was cruel.

Listen, Snipshot isn’t perfect. For instance, I’d love an easier way of taking screenshots of entire web pages, and while I can use Snipshot with a service like Browsershots, it would be a lot cooler if there was something that could automatically grab whatever was on my clipboard and edit it.

And Snipshot is fast and easy, but nowhere near as smart and sophisticated as you are. I’m not even talking about your filters, type handling, layers, channels and effects – you handle far bigger pictures, with far more file formats, with far more precision than Snipshot could ever hope to. This year, anyways.

So this isn’t goodbye, Photoshop. It’s au revoir. I’ll still be bringing you out for the big and medium-sized jobs all the time. It’s just the little stuff where I’ll be using Snipshot… although granted, it’s little stuff that comes up a whole lot. And that kind of mundane work is beneath a piece of software as big and powerful as you are.

No, I’m not being patronizing. I mean it. We can still be friends, right? Good.

What, right now? Um, actually, now isn’t good for me. I have this little GIF that needs cropping, so I thought I’d, uh, use Snipshot and…

Photoshop? Hello?

SpeechList Issue #6: When NOT to give a speech

Issue 6 – May 23, 2006


  1. Opening words
  2. Feature article: Seven reasons not to give a speech
  3. Reports from Ragan
  4. Reading list
  5. This issue’s tip
  6. Subscribing, unsubscribing and passing along the news

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SpeechList Issue 4: Speech structure 101


Issue 4 – November 14, 2005
by Rob Cottingham
(c) Rob Cottingham 2005


  1. Opening words
  2. Feature article: Speech structure 101
  3. Catch Rob at the Ragan Speechwriting Conference, February 8-10
  4. Your turn
  5. Subscribing, unsubscribing and passing along the news

1. Opening words

SpeechList is back after our late-summer early-fall break. And whether you’re mulling over launching your campaign for the upcoming Canadian federal election, eyeing a U.S. Congressional seat in the 2006 cycle, or wondering how to write that speech your Grade 10 history teacher just assigned you, we’re here to help.

This issue, we’ll get down to the very basics: structure. We aren’t the first; the ancient Greeks dissected speeches into parts with names like proem and peroration. If your ears pricked up during that last sentence, good on you. (And let’s sit down sometime for coffee, and bore the daylights out of everyone within earshot.) But if your eyes glazed over, never fear; the secrets of speechwriting structure are as simple as, well, telling a story.

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