Avoid the "Add a Syllable" Approach...
Today, a blog post and podcast tutorial I published last year ended up in the top ten at Google for the phrase naming your website. As you might imagine, this generated a few visitors!
One visitor wrote me to ask:
I came across your podcasts about branding and thought they were really good info. One branding issue that I would like to know your opinion is regarding the use of "i" and "e" names. (i.e. iSlompo.com , eSlompo.com) My feeling is that being in the internet business they seem a little dated and maybe should be avoided. However, I'm not sure about how they are perceived by the general public. Even if I feel that these names may be a little cheesy, if it works with my customers, then I would use them. Any feedback about this would be appreciated.
Here is what I wrote (mostly) in response:
I agree with you on adding the "i" and the "e" -- aside from being dated and cheesy, it shows an enormous breakdown in brainstorming and creative thinking.
The same goes for adding "my" or "go" in front of names that the company really wanted. What do these "add a short syllable" approaches to the URL actually communicate? To me, they say:
"We didn't get there in time. We were too late. And we don't have enough creative energy to come up with anything that reflects our company or web content in an optimal light."
If you're not a firm in the technology, marketing, or creative sector -- or one that has timeliness or promptness as a core value -- then simply adding a "go" or an "e" or an "i" to the front of your domain might work for you. But this opens up a bigger set of problems....
Whatever you name your URL, why, that's the perceived name of your company. As any Marketing 101 student knows, it's much more effective to promote one name, not two! So what's a company to do -- change an established company name to reflect a less-than-optimal URL...or risk customer confusion and rapidly spiraling marketing budgets to ineffectively market two names?
Clearly, the best choice to have a great company name with a matching URL. No name confusion. More effective marketing. Better branding. It's better to go through a company naming exercise right away than to throw marketing money away trying to promote two names.
But there is yet another reason to avoid the whole "add a little syllable" syndrome -- it lacks uniqueness. There are thousands of other little companies that didn't step up to the plate in time or use their creative brainpower to come up with a winning company name and matching URL -- and they all have an "e" or an "i" or a "go" or a "my", too. The "add a little syllable" name reeks of marketing, business, and creative incompetence.
So unless you're eloans.com or myspace.com and have either a) selected the name strategically or b) dropped millions into developing name brand recognition -- that self-conscious little "e" or "i" or "go" or "my" name is lumped in with a lot of half-hearted, "we don't know how to successfully integrate online/offline marketing, either" competition.
ps -- true story -- I know of a marketing firm that added "2000" to the end of its domain name in 1997, because the year 2000 was "the future with a capital F!"
And as we all know now, there is no longer much of a future in the year 2000!
Same with i, e, go, and my! There's a better name out there, waiting to be discovered!
What do you think?
Podcast: How to Name Your Website
The Proust Questionnaire
Like the TV commercial says, "Life comes at you fast!"
So don't be totally surprised when you find yourself re-writing your biography every couple of years. New jobs, new projects, new life experiences...and suddenly, everything old is all but forgetten.
And while I often find myself writing biographies and PR boilerplates for other people and other businesses, I find that writing my own bio is a dreadful experience. Most often, I hire someone else to write my bio or resume. When pressed, I write it myself and beg an editor to criticize it ruthlessly.
When it comes to me and my life, I like to hear -- and read -- someone else's perspective.
If you find yourself writing a bio, try answering -- or asking -- some questions from the infamous Proust questionnaire
as a creative thought starter. After flippantly answering the Proust questionnaire as quickly as I could, I actually found myself musing that all resumes should be merely name, contact information, and answers to the Proust Questionnaire.
HR departments and "About Me" pages would never be the same!
Written Content Rules.
I love this quote from Anne Holland, President over at Marketing Sherpa
Content rules. In fact, if your marketing budget were to expand by say $60,000 this year, instead of investing in an ad campaign, a trade show booth, a DM mailing or more paid search clicks … hire another writer for your staff. Get someone who can kick out content — must-read white papers, keyword-heavy blog entries, compelling PowerPoint presentations, email newsletter articles, etc. Content is your best marketing investment for 2006 and beyond.
Believe Ms. Holland. Every word she says here is true. And she has the research to back it up!Hire a writer today!
Favorite Free Font Site
My new favorite free font site is Urbanfonts
. You can download and install unique fonts like Coolvetica in less than a minute.
You'll see oodles of other free fonts there, too. You don't have to give Urban Fonts any personal information, either. And you get quick and easy instructions on how to install the fonts on your PC or Mac. Plus, finding fonts by category and previewing them before you download is also a snap.
But why would you want to use any font other than Arial or Times New Roman in your presentation?
Oh, so many reasons! A unique, fresh look, adding excitement to your presentation, improving readability, matching the tone of your content -- but there are pitfalls to using unusual font faces, too!
To find out what they are, read Best Presentation Fonts Ever!
...and get a list of some of my old favorite
font sites, as well!
(Hey, just because I found a "new favorite" font site doesn't mean I still don't treasure my "old favorites!" )
Like we sing in Girl Scouts --
"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold!"
Who wrote that?
What does your phone number say about you?
I am not talking about numerology and your business phone number!
Rather, I am talking about the actual presentation
of your business phone number. Take a look online, or go through your hoard of business cards. You’ll see five basic categories of phone number presentation:
Same information. Five different approaches.
- Dashes: 616-241-5195
- Parens: (616) 241-5195
- Dots: 616.241.5195
- Nothing: 616 241 5195
- Unique: 616/241/5195 or (616) 241/5195…or some other odd hybrid.
What does each say about you and your company?
I went though a stack of 205 business cards that I started throwing in a fruit cake tin about 6 years ago. Here is what I found in my not-at-all-random sample (after all, I don’t keep every b-card in my fruitcake tin!):
- Dashes: 54
- Parens: 72
- Dots: 36
- Nothing: 15
- Unique: 28
Why did I do this? I did this because clients present their phone numbers in one of these five basic ways. As I write client direct marketing copy, I often have to think “are they parens people, or are they dash people? How do I present their phone number in the copy? Is it important to my client’s identity to remain consistent with the phone number presentation?”
So I started to wonder: which way is best for each company? Which style represents the company in the most optimal way? What should I recommend to different companies as we go through business system designs?
I have to admit, I have my own bias. I’m pragmatic about phone numbers: I want the right people to call me at the right time. So this is what I was thinking before I began my little research project:
- Dashes are the best. They are the easiest to read. It should be a standard. The phone book uses dashes, and that’s good enough for me.
- Parentheses look old-fashioned... and visually bulky and cumbersome. Clunky. They take up too much space.
- Dots look like IP addresses, and I roll my eyes whenever I see them. They look self-important and self-conscious, as if screaming “we’re trying to be all hip and fashionable and techno-trendy here”.
- Unique styles smack of desperation. They’re trying to look different for the sake of looking different. It’s a phone number, for Gawd’s sake. You want people to call you, not be impressed because you had the temerity to use a slash when a dash would have done. This company spends too much time focusing on the wrong details.
- "Nothing" looks like a printer malfunction. It looks like a lack of commitment. Incomplete. Shoddy.
But how did I come to hold such biases? Perhaps my odd assortment of business cards led me to believe what I believe. After all, I personally touched each card and each business over the past 6 years. And after a cursory review which involved sorting my 205 b-cards, here is what I found:
Parentheses might look old-fashioned….but their businesses stick around for a long time. The companies who use parentheses enjoy longevity: only 11 out of the 72 parentheses style cards in my fruitcake tin are now out of business (about 15%). And many of the out-of-business companies were small businesses that went away because the owner retired or sold the business. And most of the successful companies represented in this pile have been around for decades. Some of the big brand names in this pile include: Whirlpool, EDS, Qualcomm, and the Bank of Montreal.
Dashes say “I’m here to stay”. Of the 54 “dash” presentations, only 5 went out of business (about 9%). And tons of successful small businesses are in this pile: Realtors, car dealers, plumbers, consultants, designers and artists: but this category also contained a number of big names like Caterpillar, Nextel, and Lockheed Martin.
Nothing leads to nothing. Of the 15 business cards I had in my fruit cake tin that used the “nothing” presentation, 5 (33%) are out of business. (Think about that if you’re inclined to just use spaces in your telephone number. ) Some big companies in the “nothing” presentation pile include Arthur Andersen, H&R Block, and Cummins.
Unique seems to work for established businesses. Five of the 28 hybrid/unique style cards are also out of business; but curiously, all 5 are very small businesses. Two ad agencies, one technology consulting firm, an auto detailer, and a rent-a-car shop went out of business. The big brand names from the “unique” category include: AT&T, United Way, and Wachovia.
And the scariest presentation of all… Thirteen out of 36 “dots” style phone number presentations are now out of business. That’s a scary 36%. Four (that I know of) that are still in business are just barely hangin’ on. Most of the cards in this pile are in marketing, advertising, art, design, or new technologies, or some sort of trendy hybrid. Some of the big companies that still use “dots” successfully include Steelcase and Robert Half Technology.
My conclusion? Over the course of 7 years of collecting business cards, I have probably come across my bias for dashes subconsciously.
Dashes seem to say “call me” – which is exactly what you want customers to do if you want to stay in business. And dots seem flaky - exactly the sort of business that isn't in it for the long term.
Oddly, I didn’t think the parentheses style would be so successful. But because it looks so old fashioned, perhaps that gives people a sense of comfort and stability. The idea that a business has been around for a while tends to encourage customer phone calls.
What style of phone number presentation do you use?
Free PDF Downloads: They're Paper-iffic!
Instead of the Blackberry, I use paper and pen to plan, organize, and communicate.
In the 1990’s, I tried the electronic methods. Laptops. PDAs.
But nothing beats paper and pen for me. I am a rock, paper, scissors kind of girl...
And instead of using a Franklin Planner, I use free pdf templates that you can download at D*I*Y Planner
Lovely and luscious, these terrifically tactile paper planners are all the retro rage.
Print them on your own printer. Be cheap and use copy paper, be whimsical and use fluorescent pink, be regal and use 70 pound vellum. Your style is completely up to you.
Your Blackberry Email Diet Plan
In the 1920’s, Dorothy Parker wrote
“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”
In 2006, berevity is also at the heart of your Blackberry email copy.
And while I do not own a Blackberry, I have been seeing them everywhere.
Clients receive my emails on their tiny screens, and remark upon their preference for emails that are short and to the point...so that they can absorb an entire message in one glance.
Always design with the audience in mind, right?
So now I find that I am writing stripped-down, lean-and-mean email to satisfy my Blackberry audience -- it is much like writing the haiku-style Google Adword ads.
Far from full-figured and rich with detail, my email is much less Rubinesque and much more Keira Knightley-ish.
Be kind to your Blackberry email audience. Follow this Blackberry email guide, which I have also written in Haiku form.
Your Blackberry Email Guide
The Blackberry rules:
First line contains benefit
Second line - call me.
Benefit or Question, then the Call-to-action. That's it.
That's what my Blackberry audience wants, so that is what I give them.
Consider it my Blackberry email diet plan.
There is no plural for "Blackberry"
There are no Blackberries. There are only Blackberry devices.
I learned this when I wrote newsletter copy last week. I referred to the little wireless devices as "Blackberries". My editor corrected my mistake.
Oh. OK. Didn't know that.
So now you know, too!Research in Motion
(RIM) is the Waterloo, Ontario company that designs and manufactures the Blackberry. The device serves as sort of a combo of hand-held phone, email, text-messenging, internet access, and mobile organizational center. Buncha com tools, all in one little package.
I first heard the term "Crackberry" shortly after I first heard of the "Blackberry". "Crackberry" is a derogatory term for the Blackberry. It refers to the addictive quality of crack cocaine -- and the way that Blackberry users seem to be unnaturally attached to their little devices; hunched over, steadfastly avoiding eye contact as they press its tiny buttons. Users look and act like they are hooked.
This pejorative "Crackberry" term also reflects on how Blackberry users seem to be helpless without their Blackberry fix. Take a Blackberry away from its user, and the user freaks out.
So, if there are "users", who are the "pushers"?
And why are people getting hooked?
The At-Bat Song and the Business Presentation
The "at-bat" is the song you play (either out loud or in your head) before you give your big presentation. It's the song that psychs you up, gets you pumped, makes you motivated and rarin' to achieve.
Similarly, your at-bat song can wake you up on your next Space Shuttle mission
- Think "We are the Champions" by Queen.
- Or "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J.
- Perhaps "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner is more your style.
James Brown's classic "I Feel Good
[I Got You]" works for me.
What works for you?
(Caution! On the flip side of the at-bat song, we have the earworm
. When your at-bat crosses into earworm territory, you have troubles, my friend!)
Get that Sound Out of My Head: The Ear Worm
Outrageous! Twice this week, I have been stricken with an ear worm. An ear worm - also known as "repeat-tune-itus" is when a tune or a jingle bores its way into your brain and refuses to leave.
And the ear worm is particularly obnoxious when you don't care for the jingle.
According to WebMD
, there is no known cure but time. Last year, a colleague suggested singing the Elvis ditty "Viva Las Vegas" loudly and out of tune to crush the worm immediately.
Problem is, my singing crushes everyone else in the room! There's got to be cure that doesn't scorch the earth!
If anyone else has a family secret to curing earworms, let me know.
Beware of PowerPoint!
Darn! Just one day after Microsoft's "patch" day, we hear about a major new vulnerability in PowerPoint called "Zero Day
So be careful out there!
Symantec writes an invaluable post about this new PowerPoint Trojan
- along with helpful tips for what to look out for. As always, "don't open emailed PowerPoint files that you aren't expecting to receive, from people you don't know" -- that's pretty good advice. And keeping your virus software current is also standard safety operating procedure, too.
And while keeping your security patches up-to-date is good counsel: Microsoft won't develop a plug for this particular security hole until next month.
Free PowerPoint Templates
is a free, animated golf PowerPoint template.
Golf balls roll across a field of green.
Perfect for displaying the scores at your company's next golf outing....
And here, you will also find two more free golf scoreboard templates
Great Teachers use PowerPoint Creatively
Summertime is usually perceived as a slower time for educators...but not necessarily!
Many teachers use their summer break to relentlessly prepare for autumn. And boy, do teachers ever have a lot to study and learn about presentation technology this summer!
- Professors are interested in learning how to podcast their lectures so that students can download them to their iPods.
- Teachers are putting streaming media PowerPoint flashcards online so that students can learn new vocabularies whenever it is convenient.
- Many trainers are downloading the new and free PowerPoint 2007 beta to evaluate whether it will be a worthwhile upgrade to purchase next year.
How have all the new changes in presentation technology affected your summer "vacation"?
Power Point Ballad
For some YouTube fun, you can visit this uber-popular free online video site to listen and watch the Power(Point) Ballad.
When you visit, you will listen to three minutes of caterwauling about the power of PowerPoint...while watching a video that overuses just about every PowerPoint transition and animation.
All for comic effect, of course.
Warning: Some mild profanity within the song lyrics.
YouTube Videos are free...and finished.
YouTube is over. Finished.
But Mike Cassidy speculates on its rise and fall in his article "YouTube hits the big time in a short time
He states, quite rightly, that last year at this time, no one was watching YouTube -- the site where anybody can freely post their videos...and can also freely watch any video. That is the YouTube and Google Video magic: free rich media content. No bandwidth concerns.
Hurray for the mass proliferation of online video!
YouTube reports that people are watching over 80 million videos per day at its site. That's a lot of online video...
So why does Mr. Cassidy state that YouTube is dead (pardon me, "so over"?)
Because with 80 million visitors, YouTube and online video is now mainstream. YouTube is not a cult following, sub-culture phenomenon anymore. To wit: the politicians have found it and are using it to reach their constituencies. YouTube is maturing nicely.
Just how mainstream can you get?
And how are you using the power of video to connect with your customers (or audience...or students) online?
Fun with PowerPoint Smart Art
Today, I played with the PowerPoint Beta 2007 "Themes" and "Smart Art" features.
Hence: New PowerPoint Lingo for you to Know:
- "Themes" -- sort of like PowerPoint templates, only different (more on this later.)
- "Smart Art" -- a new graphic treatment to eliminate the mass proliferation of the dreaded PowerPoint bullet point.
Here's what I did:
I opened up an elderly PowerPoint presentation from 1999 -- a short, 15 slide career-day presentation to high school students about being a technical writer. Not the most exciting visual
presentation in the world -- just bullet points and old MS clip art, mostly.
Here's what it looked like in 1999 (You can download the whole 1999 PowerPoint file
here...a slim grand total of .19 MB):
I opened up this old presentation using the PowerPoint 2007 Beta. Looked exactly the same, natch.
Then, I merely touched "Design" in the new ribbon, scrolled through "themes" and selected a tannish color to complent my old-fashioned clip art graphic. A few seconds later, my red template was wiped out, and the new "theme" was instantly applied throughout my presentation. Take a look:
Now...the brown part happened instantaneously, as did the "shadowy' title. However, I went ahead and clicked on yet another new feature -- "Convert to Smart Art" -- to convert the text into what MS is calling "Smart Art" -- a new graphical treatment for text and bullet points.
Within "Smart Art", you are provided with a dizzying array of graphics to help you eliminate the loathsome bullet point from your PowerPoint presentations. I had 14 more pages of bullet points, so I went ahead and applied a bunch of "Smart Art" options to replace the bullet points.
Next, I did a side by side taste test of sorts: I showed the old PowerPoint presentation my friend Oud, and then forced him (at bullet point?) to look at the new slides.
Now, old Oud is a complete Luddite. He does not own or operate a computer. And he behaves like the small cat in the old Pepe Le Pew cartoons when he encounters PowerPoint -- he acts as if something smells, looks desperate to leave, wriggles, squirms. But today, I was a forceful speaker, and he could not resist my charms.
"Look at this old PowerPoint presentation," I commanded, flipping through the deck.
He looked at the door a few times, squirming.
"Now look at the new PowerPoint," I said.
He stopped squirming.
"Hey," he said. "Visually, it's a lot fresher."
He stopped squirming and looking at the door.
Now, that's about as much flattery for a new piece of software as anyone can expect.
If you want to see every single piece of smart art I applied to "Ye Old PowerPoint Presentation", you can download the New 3.22 MB Technical Writing PowerPoint file here.
Yup, that's right. The new PowerPoint file with themes and smart art ballooned from a svelte .19 MB to an amazingly bloated 3.22 MB.
Ouch. That's "thar she blows" tubby.
Is that the price we need to pay to temporarily keep Oud from looking at the door? Or will MS find a way to reduce bloat before the new PowerPoint hits the shelves?
I will press on...
How do you prepare PowerPoint?
In her article Necessary Tasks You May Want to Delegate
, Alicia Smith writes,
"Why be a Microsoft guru, mastering each and every one of their products? Instead, delegate the preparation of your presentations. It is far easier to critique the finished product produced by someone skilled with the software than to try to create it from scratch."
In many cases, I have to agree. It is usually easier to edit than it is to write. And criticizing is easier than creating.
But do-it-yourself or delegation are not the only two options for presentation prep.
For example, co-creation and collaboration is my preferred style.
When I prepare a PowerPoint presentation for someone else, I like to begin by clarifying roles. Who will act as the project manager, the writer, the designer, the speech coach, the subject matter expert, the presenter, the audience?
And of course, identifying roles is just the start. The project leader also works with the client on defining presentation goals, responsibilities, content, style, and project milestones.
What’s your preferred approach for the process of presentation preparation: delegation, do-it-yourself, collaboration… or something else? Take the online survey below: you'll see instant results!
Who owns a PowerPoint presentation?
The way I see it, it is never “my” PowerPoint presentation…
I create PowerPoint presentations to “give” to my audiences.
I may have created the presentation, but it is not mine.
It belongs to those who choose to experience it.
If I create a PowerPoint presentation at the request of a client, the presentation clearly does not belong to me. It belongs to the client.
The client may choose to give it to an audience. The moment you give it away, it is not yours.
A presentation belongs to its audience.
PS – Copyright lawyers may disagree with me.
Take a Peek at PowerPoint 2007 UI
When I said "Wow!" about the new user interface (UI) for PowerPoint
, I am talking about ribbons. And by ribbons, here is what I mean:
The above is a screen shot of what I encountered when I first opened up the PowerPoint Beta last Friday. "The ribbon" takes up a ton of valuable screen real estate at the top and I am not sure that I like that....but....
MS claims that its usability studies show that this new ribbon approach will make PowerPoint (and other Office Suite programs) easier to use. The previous interface has a menu and toolbar system that Impress and others have "knocked-off", largely because everyone seems to be familiar with them.
But of course, experienced users are accustomed to the old approach. Will the new interface really make experienced users more productive?
I don't mind falling into the "trough of despair" part of the learning curve -- where productivity declines in the beginning -- if I feel confident that my long-term productivity will shoot through the moon after giving the new approach a decent chance. And it is quite possible that the new interface will give novice users a big productivity boost.
But it would be great if us old-timers had the option of selecting "Classic Interface" to aid us through the change...but I don't see that option. Instead, the "PowerPoint Help" section introduces the new interface in a section called "Reference: Locations of PowerPoint 2003 commands in PowerPoint 2007". This is a helpful guide that explains the major UI differences, and got me pointed in the right direction. Highly recommended reading!
Now, will the new UI really
make me more productive in the long term?
Where's the guarantee? I would love to see some sort of guarantee from MS -- something like, "We're so confident that MS Office Suite 2003 users will more than triple their productivity when they upgrade to 2007, that MS will give you TRIPLE your money back if you don't see a measureable difference in productivity within one year after you upgrade."
Or something like that.
Anybody know what MS guarantees in productivity gains with the new upgrade?
The New PowerPoint: Off to a Slow Start...
Oh my goodness. The new PowerPoint is pretty...but achingly slow.
For example: I used the PowerPoint Beta to open up a simple 12 slide presentation created in PowerPoint 2003. And by simple, I mean REALLY simple. No animation, no transitions: just small graphics and text only. That's it.
I go to slide one in slide view and it looks fine. I go to slide two...
One one thousand. Two one thousand. Three one thousand.
Eleven seconds later, I was able to get to my next slide.
Painfully, achingly slow.
I didn't have time to mess around. Deadlines were looming. So I switched back to Open Office to edit my presentation. All I wanted to do was update some text -- change the date on slide 1 and a few other words on slide 7. That's it.
The PowerPoint Beta wasn't up to that simple task!
In all fairness, Microsoft warns Beta testers that our experience may be less than perfection. On the Beta download page
, MS tells us that the Beta is "not appropriate for production use".
I'll say! Not at that speed!
However, I was determined. After the deadline was over, I booted up my PC, making sure nothing but PowerPoint was running.
This time, things worked fine. No slowness. So maybe it was the fault of my machine, and not the software.
But it's funny how all my other programs -- including Impress -- worked just fine without a fresh re-boot. Curious.
Maybe it was just a fluke. I'll keep plugging away.....things should get better. Right?
Why did Microsoft do that to PowerPoint?
"Wow!" I said.
Unfortunately, I said this over the phone while I was listening to a client talk.
"Wow what?" he said.
"Er, sorry," I said. "You were talking, and I said 'Wow' because I just opened up the Beta 2 of Microsoft PowerPoint while you were speaking. Didn't mean to interrupt. Visually, it wasn't what I was expecting. Sorry. Please continue."
"Yes," he said. "I heard that they are changing the interface considerably. Why did Microsoft do that? I was just getting comfortable with the way things were. And I imagine everyone else is, too."
Bingo, I thought. That could be one reason.
Differentiation from all the other slideware out there. Every slideware interface is starting to look the same. Microsoft wants to stay competitive. Microsoft needs its products to look different.
Last month, I had very little difficulty adapting to Open Office Impress. It looked and acted almost the same as PowerPoint.
And let's reflect on the statement, "I was just getting comfortable with the way things were."
PowerPoint is often much maligned. People are bored with PowerPoint. Microsoft might want to shake things up visually.
But these are first impressions. The initial "Wow! That's different!"
But my "Wow!" is a cursory, superficial, first-glance observation. Sort of like when a bald colleague went away for a two-week vacation and came back with a full head of hair.
I said "Wow!" then, too.
Politely, I kept "You look like a mid-life catastrophe in action" to myself.
So other than a different interface, what's the big business benefit to the new PowerPoint? What makes the new PowerPoint oh-so-much better than the old?
What lies beneath?
Is this new look for PowerPoint a mid-life crisis....or is there depth of character behind this radical face-lift?
I'll have to dig deeper. Stay tuned....
Why try new presentation software?
I downloaded the new Beta 2 of Microsoft PowerPoint. It took about 50 minutes on a speedy cable connection.
Then I installed it. This took hours, because the installer informed me that I needed a number of patches for Windows XP. These were freely available at the Microsoft site, so I downloaded and installed all the patches.
Funny. Usually Windows informs me of all the patches I need every morning. I thought I was up-to-date with all the security releases. But apparently not...
So there's a reason right there to try the new Microsoft Office Beta 2. You might think that you're all up to date with your security patches, but the Beta installer might tell you otherwise.
But that's also a reason NOT to try the Beta 2. Typical of Microsoft, there's a lot of bloat. Fifty minutes for a download? A couple of hours for 30+ little-itty-bitty Windows security patches? That's not how I wanted to spend the last Friday in June!
And just how insecure was my brand new little laptop, anyway? It seems that a brand new installation of Windows XP would have been more secure than that...
Anyhoo, don't let me scare you into trying the Beta 2 of the new Microsoft Office suite by saying "You'd better do it to find out all the little Windows patches you'll need."
There's a more compelling reason to try the Beta of the new PowerPoint. In fact, it's the number one reason I tried Impress by Open Office last month, and will continue to try a number of other promising software solutions --
With the act of simply trying to do something differently than you've done previously, you're increasing your brain power. You're creating new neural connections. And you are increasing your creative potential.
Note this important distinction: The PowerPoint Beta 2 won't make you more creative.
No software will. No software can.
But -- the very act of trying something new just might.
So if you're a regular PowerPoint user, try something new this month. You have plenty of free presentation software options
to try in July: Open Office Impress and the Microsoft Office Beta are just two.
The cost of learning and experimenting with new presentation software right now is plenty low. But the ability to learn and grow your creative potential is pretty high.
Go for it! Try something new and free this month!
Let the creative experiment begin!