By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Even pre-recession, before The New Normal taught us all to work smarter, my TALKERS coverage of the January 2009 Consumer Electronics Show reviewed that year’s Shiny New Object, the under-$300 netbook computer.
It was smaller/lighter than laptops/notebooks, and had longer battery life. And back when many Windows users were cursing Vista, those new machines came pre-loaded with trusty Windows XP, since netbooks’ processors couldn’t run memory hog Vista.
“But,” I cautioned, netbooks were “light on word processing, spreadsheet, and other productivity software that comes pre-installed as MS Office on notebooks and desktop computers. Even some low-end notebooks give you Works instead of higher-octane Office.” Not to worry. As I also discovered at CES2009, “before you spend for the Office upgrade, at least try out the same functionality FREE, by downloading the suite of look-alike programs from www.OpenOffice.org.”Unlike a radio industry that clings to “We’ve always done it this way”/”We’ve never done it that way,” the Consumer Electronics Industry delights in obsoleting whatever new-new-thing got all the “ooo’s and ahhh’s” at last year’s convention. And, sure enough, along came tablets, most notably iPad; as software evolves into apps.
I cover conventions for TALKERS – and now for RadioInfo – and because you can’t hit ‘em all, I try to. So I wanted to offer some highly recommended reading I found at a recent conference: Upgrade to FREE (TSTC Publishing) by witty Beth Ziesenis.
Engaging, quirky Beth now makes her living as a public speaker. Topic: Free apps you can find on the internet; and hers was the most useful session I attended at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives. When you’ve howled-through her presentation – taking notes as fast as you can type – you’ll see why she’s doing so well. The videos on her website will crack you up…and were effortlessly produced with? Yep, a free app.
WARNING: You will spend much-too-much time at www.AskBethZ.com, for three reasons:
- She’s a character, and her website conveys that. (Does YOURS, and your social media, humanize you?)
- You WILL find lots of free, useful online tools there.
- And, as Dan Rather says, “pull back and take the wide-angle shot.” Beth’s act walks-the-walk I’ve been talking-up to anyone making a living on-air who’s willing to listen: Decide what you REALLY enjoy doing, even more than your day job, and create Internet content about THAT. Do it with gusto – and employing the skill set you’ve accrued as a broadcaster – and your Internet sideline could become your day job!
See/hear/read more from consultant Holland Cooke at www.HollandCooke.com; and follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke. HC will present “Database Your Tribe…NOW” at the Talkers Los Angeles New Media Seminar on Thursday October 11.