Go Get Open Office 3.0
Open Office 3.0 is ready for you to download
. For free, of course.
When I first read about the availability of Open Office 3.0 earlier this month, I was enthusiastic. So were many others! When I went to download the new and improved version, I was turned away. Too many other people
were trying to download all at once, as well!But now, the download situation seems under control.
I was able to download and install Open Office 3.0 in less than a half hour. If you need a basic word processor, spreadsheet program, slideware, database, and drawing application -- take a look at the latest version of OO.The main reason I downloaded
the new version is that it can open Microsoft Office 2007 files like pptx and docx -- older versions of Open Office cannot. However, I noticed that even though Open Office 3.0 can open 2007 "x" files -- you can't "save as" a Microsoft 2007 file with OO 3.0. Further, Smart Art does not translate into Open Office 3.0 -- at all.
So, my main reason for wanting the new version wasn't nearly as satisfying as I thought it would be.
However, I'm glad I downloaded Open Office 3.0. I'm now able to access other dazzling features:
- New background templates that I'll probably never use
- Enhanced support for exporting to PDF, including password protection. (That's actually pretty cool!)
- And oddly enough, the new splash screen makes Open Office more pleasant to use.
(Here's a slightly more comprehensive list of new OO 3.0 features
.)I first started my Open Office experiment in June 2005.
My main reason for loving Open Office in 2005 was that it could export to PDF -- something Microsoft products could not do at the time. While I still use Open Office to some extent today, there are too many other lean and mean cloud programs that let me accomplishy many of the same tasks -- without using much of my computer's resources. And of course, you simply cannot beat the price of Open Office 3.0.Start your own experiment!
Open Office 3.0 is still a fine option -- but take a look at cloud apps
(like Google Docs
), too. You might find that you can still be lean, mean and productive -- without using Microsoft's suite of pricey "productivity" products.
Labels: Presentation Applications
Presenting to the Twitter Backchannel
“Content isn't king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you'd choose your friends - if you chose the movies, we'd call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.” - Cory Doctorow | Boing Boing
The best part of attending conferences is the people you meet. And often, the most exciting content you experience at conferences is not delivered by the keynote speaker. And it's not presented by subject matter experts in the workshops.The most exciting content is in the conference backchannels.
include conversations in the hallways. Chitchat over coffee in the morning or cocktails in the evenings. Backchannels also include gossip over lunch and deal-making on the golf courses.
In other words, you didn't really
come to the conference to hear me deliver an exciting, information-packed keynote! You really
came to meet and socialize with other people.
The conference content -- speeches and workshops -- give people something to talk about. And in the old days, people would talk with each other or go back to the office to spread the ideas generated at conferences. To a large extent, that still happens.Presenting to the Social Media backchannel.
But today, many conferences also use a Twitter backchannel to spread ideas and enhance relationships. I have to admit: there are quite a few conferences that I have NOT attended -- but I've followed the Twitter backchannel. It felt like I was there.
I was able to glean enough nuance from the real-time conversations in the Twitter backchannel during a webcast presentation -- that I didn't need to actually watch the presenter!
To double-check my intuitive abilities, only later did I watch the archived video presentation. No surprise --the presenter gave the speech I thought he did.
As a modern presenter, I learned two important lessons from listening to the backchannel:
Twitter isn't the only conference backchannel.
- You will be heckled. By listening to the backchannel, I knew when the presenter would overuse a cliche that didn't resonate with his audience. About 10 minutes into his speech, the conference attendees used Twitter to make fun of the speaker's poor word choice. As I watched the archived video, sure enough -- the presenter repeated a cliched phrase ad nauseum. By following the backchannel, I knew the exact phrase -- and how many times he would overstate it.
- Your ideas will be praised. Conversely, the speaker provided many new ideas and action items for the audience. I knew exactly when he would talk about his great ideas, too -- because those in the Twitter backchannel had been taking notes, and prefacing them with words like "cool" and "great idea".
Audience members have been known to blog about conferences they're attending. But the Twitter conference backchannel use is exploding -- chiefly because it's incredibly easy to use. Audience members don't need to write a fully-formed blog post. They don't even need computer access. They can use their phones to simply post a 140 character or less missive on what they are thinking or experiencing -- and tag their Tweet with a predetermined "conference hashtag".
Conferences planners must take the lead on Twitter use.
If conference organizers don't lead -- someone else will! A conference planner "best backchannel practice" is to define and promote a short, unique, and memorable conference hashtag for the conference attendees.
Three Hashtag How-tos.
- Short - Twitter only has 140 characters. You don't want the hashtag taking up too much of the commenting space allowed.
- Unique - People will be using Twitter Search to enter in the conference hashtag. If it's not unique, the search is going to generate an irrelevant stream of comments.
- Memorable - I went to 2 conferences where splinter groups broke out over which Twitter hashtags to use. Nerdy, yes -- but the official conference hashtag wasn't memorable, and it splintered the backchannel spread of ideas.
So, let's say the conference planner is encouraging attendees to use the hashtag #NAR_midyear
as the hashtag for the conference. It's a little long, but it is unique and memorable. What's next?
- Use the pound sign. Conference hashtags are always preceded by a pound sign.
- Promote the hashtag. Encourage conference attendees to use the hashtag in their conference-related Tweets.
- Follow the backchannel at Twitter Search. To find out what others are saying at the conference, visit Twitter Search. Enter the hashtag -- in this example #NAR_midyear -- and see what those at the conference are Twittering.
By following the backchannel, you don't need to follow all the people at the conference -- you only need to scan their hashtagged posts at Twitter Search
. These posts can be extremely helpful -- covering logistics like "where's the breakout room?" and "Snacks on 3rd floor now" to more meaningful comments about content and ideas.
As a presenter, I'm acutely interested in reviewing the Twitter backchannel. Yes, Twitter commenters can be snarky -- but what a great way to review what's NOT working in a presentation, as well as what IS. And what a great way to spread ideas!
Andy Warhol said "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.
" Today, I'm saying that in the future, every presenter will be heckled for at least 15 minutes!How do you feel about being heckled on Twitter?
And how will you use the Twitter backchannel commentary to improve your presentations and spread your ideas?
Labels: Presentation, social media