Archive for January, 2012

Brilliant “About Us” Page

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Have you seen a really cool About Us page?  Something that is really about the company, and with personality?

Look no further than GaryVee’s Vayner Media company’s About Us.

The abnormal starts off with a picture of everyone on his team.

That’s cool enough.

But it gets brilliant… mouse over each of the pictures, and you see PERSONALITY!!

I love what Vayner Media is doing here… they are showing they are normal people with all their pictures, and then showing personality just seals the deal for me.



Camille Carboneau Roberts on Screen Sharing Technology

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

One of my favorite techie colleagues is Camille Carboneau Roberts, who specializes in in resumes (and especially federal resumes).  Camille always has great insight into techno-geek stuff.  She wrote in about her favorite screen sharing software/systems, and gave me permission to repost here.

I’ve been using GoToMeeting, GoToPC, and GoToWebinar since they first came out. I’d have to say for at least 12-13 years. So long ago, that the price I pay per year is not even half of what they charge now because I set it up to renew annually. I do get my money’s worth because I use it for training-software, social media, and on occasion 1:1 with clients on their projects.

However, now, I use for the quick individual sessions. Clients don’t  always want to download the software even though it only takes about 2 minutes and is just really simple to use. I also use it to “remote” in and do computer/file/software fixes.

There are hundreds of others that work well including:


and a small drum roll:  Google+

There has been Remote Assistance built into the last few versions of Windows, but not a lot of people know about it… and it is a bit buggy if you aren’t tech savvy.

If you are looking for simple, you can’t beat

Thanks for the list Camille!

Speaking Testimonial: Not too shabby :)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

It took me three months to finally come to terms with the worst professional speaking engagement I’ve had of my life.  It was really, really bad. I blogged about it here.  I almost gave up and stopped speaking completely.

I did pretty good last year, brushing off the dust and getting back into a groove as a professional speaker.  I guess what I really did was get some confidence back.

Last month I spoke 13 times in 4 days, and it was awesome.  The 12th presentation I did was to the National Speakers Association chapter in Minneapolis.  It’s always scary to speak to professional speakers because I feel like they are critiquing my style more than listening to my message.

But I did it, and it went well.  How well?  Here’s the feedback I got from Gaye Lindfors, president of the NSA Minneapolis chapter:

You hit a home run out of the ballpark this morning.
Your content was relevant and helpful…
Your presentation style was engaging…
And you sent us home with ideas we can start using today.

It was fabulous.

Thank goodness for good people to help us know that we are doing alright!

Tool: Video Converter

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

We have format issues with our stuff – usually audio and video.

I asked a friend from my neighborhood what he uses to convert video and he said to use Convert Files. I’m guessing we’ll be using this a lot, between our Lumix camera and the Olympus voice recorder.

I Got Cheap Insurance. Yup.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

When I got laid off (six years ago this week) I sat down with some trusted advisors and went over my expenses to see what we could cut.  When they saw my insurance costs (with a company I had been with for probably two decades) they said “oh!  That seems really high!  Shop around and get something lower.”

I wasn’t really interested in shopping around, but one day I was with a guy who happened to be an insurance salesman, and before you knew it we switched.

And then we switched again, when we found a “better” deal.

I really liked who we went with the first time (trusted friend).  The second time we moved to cheaper insurance because we could get better coverage at a lower monthly cost.

Then, we had to USE our insurance.  There was a little oopsie here, and a little oopsie there.  We were told they’d be happy to replace our windshield, and that was one of the benefits.  Not to worry, they said.

Then, they keys got locked in the car in our driveway, and they came and took care of it.  Not to worry, they said.  It happened about two weeks later.  No problem, with a smile.  That was INCLUDED.

Then, my wife had a significant accident (thank goodness everyone is okay).  Our van was totalled. We were told they paid about $30,000 in damages.

And then we got The Letter.  The breakup letter.  It said as of July 1, 2011, we were going to be discontinued.

There must be some mistake, we thought.  One accident and they discontinue us?  We didn’t understand.

Our salesman, who was awesome at selling us policies, said he’d go to bat for us.  He said he made a bunch of phone calls, but ultimately someone at the corporate office said that no, we were high risk, and we had “6 incidents.”

Let me list them (in no order):

  1. The big accident. $30,000 out of their pocket, apparently.
  2. A minor accident I had in a rental car.  SO MUCH FOR NOT GETTING THE RENTAL CAR INSURANCE.  Isn’t that what everyone says?  Don’t buy it, because your insurance company will take care of it?  HOGWASH.  $700 out of their pocket, supposedly.
  3. Windshield replacement.
  4. Locksmith.
  5. Locksmith.
  6. Insurance fraud.  My wife had a super minor “fender bender.”  The other lady said “oh, there’s no damage.”  They exchanged info anyway, and our insurance company paid out around, IIRC, $3k.  We even have pictures of the no damage, and submitted them, but we’re being pinned as responsible for the “accident.”  This is what I call FRAUD, and it’s a shame that person claimed it, and it’s a shame the insurance company (a) paid it, and (b) penalized us for it.

That’s it.  6 incidents of completely different values.  But they said “6.”  So, we were too expensive, and high risk.

What I learned is that you don’t switch insurance just to save $100 or $200 per 6 months.  You don’t switch just because someone says they have better this, or better that.

I also learned that you NEVER claim simple things, like locksmith, windshield, etc.  Even though they tout it as a part of their services, they keep track of the times you use it and then you are penalized for using it.

Since then, we’ve moved back to the original insurance company we had been with forever (and our parents had been with forever).

Since then, there have been no claims, no charges, no expense.

Since then, I have heard my old insurance company’s commercials on radio, online, TV, etc. and it makes me want to puke.  They say they are awesome, but they put their money into marketing… as soon as you use them they DUMP YOU.  I’ve found this documented online from other people.

My wife described them as the paper plate insurance company.  Once you use them once you can’t use them again.  They are garbage.

What a shame.

Makes me made to just write this post.  So much for cheap auto insurance.