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Webinar Hosting Tools To Make Your Presentations Sizzle

My new favorite way to teach clients mad skilz is the online meetup, otherwise know as webinar hosting. As much as I love MeetUp.com for good vegan food, karaoke, family, friends, trying something new or meeting new favorite people, it doesn’t exactly cater to my passion for showing people how to grow their business. But web conferencing (or a webinar) allows anyone with a webcam to lead or attend a meeting from any location with an internet connection.

You could be in your jammies from the waste down, and as long as you’re wearing business attire from the waste up, no one is going to judge you for it as you attend host your webinar from home.  You could be in your office at work in Malibu, and speaking with a rep from Memphis, a coordinator in Philadelphia and an analyst in Toronto. Thanks, Internet!

Here are a few FREE options for your Webinar Hosting convenience. And when your boss or clients hear your proposal to NOT meet in the boring banquet hall of Hotel Superchain Express, well…they should be impressed. (If I’m not mistaken, some one might save some money, too) Webinars are the latest and greatest social-networking device to hit the business world since the Facebook “Like this!” button on webpages.

These are super-easy to use. Most require no installation (woohoo!) and work with all Internet Browser and Windows/Mac. All you need is a webcam, like the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000. If fact, you can just share your screen and talk on the phone – no need to even show your wonderful face! This is a common way I do trainings with many people.

Any Meeting

Any Meeting - Free Webinars

Any Meeting - Free Webinars

Any Meeting is a 100% free webinar service – which gives you phone – and webinar access for up to 200 participants. This is definitely the best service I’ve seen to date and your sure can’t beat the price – $0!

Koowy (formerly MeBeam) – Free
Oh, yeah, that’s right Koowy takes the coolness of the one-to-one Skype call and lets you have multi-person conferencing.

Quick tutorial on using Koowy w/Skype. Wanna record that webinar, try Pamela out.

ooVoo

ooVoo is a free video conferencing software that imports your instant messaging folk, allows up to 3 way video conference calls for free (upgrades up to 6 simultaneous video conferencing and desktop sharing for $29.95/month). Easy to use – Mobile compatible.
OoVoo Free Video Conferencing

Yugma

Yugma is quite similar in nature to GoToMeeting. It starts off with Free Edition (up to 20 users) where you can share your screen with up to 20 users. To get fancier with it and add more features, you have to start paying $$, starting at $9.95/month as of this writing. Unlike the other 3 mentioned here, each participant and the host will have to download a program. There is also a “Skype” plug in. Most unusual, this program also supports Linux in the stand alone version.

Cool Conference Live is really popular because of how easy it is to use.

You can have private chats, or if someone doesn’t have a mic or webcam, they can use teleconferencing with a phone. Also, the conference moderator is able to post/poll questions that can be responded to in real time during the conference. Results can be kept for moderator information or may be posted to the conference room.

GotoMeeting – Paid

GotoMeeting is fantastic for techies like myself to be able to use your computer from a remote location. It costs $50/month.  So instead of me asking you to open the control panel and read everything you see, I can just do it myself. You can be on the phone answering questions for me, or catching up on your filing and handwritten thank you notes  while your computer’s cursor runs around the screen and the magical keyboard re-enters an isp address for the tech on the line.

Web-ExPaid

Web-Ex works on your iPad and smartphone. They know become super price-competitive offering a basic level of service for $50/month. You can use up to 6 videocams and have up to 25 people in a meeting. They do offer a two-week trial, so if you take them up on that, please let me know!

To you, the reader

Which of these tools have you used? Which one do you recommend? We’d love to hear your experiences with webinars, web conferencing and video conferencing.

Protect Your Privacy While Surfing the Web, pt 2

Surfing the web safely with proper ad-blocking software

Surfing the web safely with proper ad-blocking software

This is the 2nd of a 2 part article on Protecting Your Privacy while Surfing the web. Yesterday, we covered Google Chrome. Today will be covering Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

There are many way companies track your information while you’re surfing the web. While they’re tracking your information, you want to protect your privacy. The main way they keep track of your information is through “cookies,” which is a small piece of code (crumb – following analogy of cookie) on your computer when you visit a site. These cookies are left when you click on ads. Every time you visit the site where you clicked an ad, they track what you click on and show you ads related to what you click on. There are HUGE tracking companies like “Doubleclick,” who consolidate data from thousands of websites, and your web surfing habits are on their servers.  None of these cookies are actually harmful to your computer, they’re just a major violation of your policy.

Following are some plug-ins you can use to customize your web browser to either erase these cookies or block them in the first place. I’ll only be covering these 3 Internet browsers – Google Chrome,  Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.  About 95% of the clients we visit use one of these browsers – whether they’re on Mac or Windows. FYI – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has plug-ins as well.

Mozilla Firefox

AdBlockPlus Blocks Ads on Firefox

AdBlockPlus Blocks Ads on Firefox

Windows/Mac: AdBlock Plus

This is one of my favorite extension of all time – it blocks ads – both the flashy kind and still kind.  It’s made by a different developer than the Google Chrome AdBlock guy. If you’re signed up with a freemail service like Hotmail, Gmail, AOLmail, Yahoo mail and hate all those ads – this will make your email viewing a lot more enjoyable. Word of warning: Occasionally it will block content you need. If you feel this is the case, click on icon of stop sign on your extension bar in upper right corner and tell it “Don’t run on this page.” It even blocks the text ads to the side of your google AND those annoying ads on Facebook!!

Better Privacy - Removing Long Term Cookies (LTO)s

Better Privacy - Removing Long Term Cookies (LTO)s

Windows/Mac: Better Privacy

This plug-in will delete “Long Term Cookies” (LTO)s which are put here by Flash Ads, which are the twirly ads you see. This is supposing you still get Flash Ads after implementing a version of AdBlock

Private Browsing

In Firefox, you can click on “Tools, Start Private Browsing,” Firefox won’t keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files.  However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept. This is a great way to protect your privacy while surfing on a public computer.

Safari

Windows/Mac: Adblock for Safari

This is one of my favorite extension of all time – it blocks ads as they name says so clearly 😉 – both the flashy kind and still kind (as in images). It’s one of the best ways to protect your privacy while surfing on Safari. It’s made by the same guy who does AdBlock for Google Chrome.  If you’re signed up with a freemail service like Hotmail, Gmail, AOLmail, Yahoo mail and hate all those ads – this will make your email viewing a lot more enjoyable. Word of warning: Occasionally it will block content you need. If you feel this is the case, click on icon of stop sign on your extension bar in upper right corner and tell it “Don’t run on this page.”  It even blocks the text ads to the side of your google AND those annoying ads on Facebook!! Oh, BTW, if you use this extension – give the guy $10 – it’s his full-time job keeping this program great!!

Protect Your Privacy While Surfing the Web, pt 1

Surfing the web safely with proper ad-blocking software

Surfing the web safely with proper ad-blocking software

There are many way companies track your information while you’re surfing the web. While they’re tracking your information, you want to protect your privacy. The main way they keep track of your information is through “cookies,” which is a small piece of code (crumb – following analogy of cookie) on your computer when you visit a site. These cookies are left when you click on ads. Every time you visit the site where you clicked an ad, they track what you click on and show you ads related to what you click on. There are HUGE tracking companies like “Doubleclick,” who consolidate data from thousands of websites, and your web surfing habits are on their servers.  None of these cookies are actually harmful to your computer, they’re just a major violation of your policy.

Following are some plug-ins you can use to customize your web browser to either erase these cookies or block them in the first place. I’ll only be covering these 3 Internet browsers – Google Chrome,  Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.  About 95% of the clients we visit use one of these browsers – whether they’re on Mac or Windows. FYI – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has plug-ins as well.

We’ll discuss Google Chrome in Pt. 1 and Firefox/Safari in Pt. 2.

Google Chrome

Blocks Ads on Google Chrome

Blocks Ads on Google Chrome

Windows/Mac: Ad Block

This is one of my favorite extension of all time – it blocks ads as they name says so clearly 😉 – both the flashy kind and still kind (as in images).  If you’re signed up with a freemail service like Hotmail, Gmail, AOLmail, Yahoo mail and hate all those ads – this will make your email viewing a lot more enjoyable. Word of warning: Occasionally it will block content you need. If you feel this is the case, click on icon of stop sign on your extension bar in upper right corner and tell it “Don’t run on this page.”  It even blocks the text ads to the side of your google AND those annoying ads on Facebook!! Oh, BTW, if you use this extension – give the guy $10 – it’s his full-time job keeping this program great!!

Click & Clean - Remove Cookies - Scan Malware

Click & Clean - Remove Cookies - Scan Malware

Windows Only: Click & Clean is a very powerful extension that prevents cookies as well as does malware scans. It’s extremely powerful and thorough and has tons of features.

Going Incognito on Google Chrome

Click on Wrench in the upper right corner, click “New Incognito Window,” which will give you a totally private web browsing experience. Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.

As previously mentioned, we’ll be covering Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari Browser’s tomorrow.

How to cartoon yourself – How to make an Avatar

Did you know that there are over nine websites to help you create your fantasy 2D world? I found at least that many. Lucky for you, you stumbled upon this little gem, so now you don’t have to hunt and peck through the internet to find all of them. No problem, friend!

Click the pic to get your own cartoon.

1. South Park yourself.

Clyde, in South Park

 

2. Create an original portrait from scratch with the Portrait Illustration Maker.

Portrait Illustration Maker makes delightful little avatars!

 

3. My DaVinci has an incredible variety of caricatures for a small fee.

 

4. MessDude is good, clean fun.

I’m a Mess, Dude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Get a Mii! You don’t have to have a Wii to interact with other Miis. The Mii Channel’s options are endless! And if you have a Wii, your Mii will show up in some of the games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. CartoonStylist.com – Submit your photo, and these guys will set you up with a shiny, new cartoon. $15 will get you in black and white, old Betty Boop and Steamboat Willie style. Upgrading to Fantasia colors will be $30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. You can get lost in a world of Meez. Interact with thousands of other Meez. Even your pet can have a Meez. Meez will work with other various sites, so they are also somewhat addictive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Cartoon Draw Software is FREE! You do it yourself, without even using the internet once it’s downloaded on your computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. MyWebFace claims to make cartoons just like Disney. You might not see it, but I’m sure my neice will like the idea of looking like a modern Belle (from Beauty and the Beast).

 

10. Androidify Yourself

Make a cool Android Persona of yourself. You’ll need to do this one from your Android phone. You can make several – save them – email them – post to Facebook. Fun!

Also, check back at SimpsonizeMe, WeeWorld and CartoonMe. Their services are so popular, the sites are overwhelmed!