Tag Archives: computer

How Can I Record High-Quality Webcast Audio?

How do I get the best sound quality for recording a webcast?


If you’re recording your own voice, pull the sound from the microphone. If you’ll also be recording the participants, you’ll need to do a bit of post-processing to get their voice to the same level as yours, remove background noise, etc.

If your webcast host offers it, let them do the recording and get the raw audio for editing. They’ll generally do this for little or no money.

Also, test it out your system ahead of time before the “big day”. It’ll let you tweak the various parameters to find something that works.

Overhauling My Website (And Why You Should Care)

Engine OverhaulPerhaps you’ve already noticed – I overhauled my website. This is my third rewrite of my site.

Originally I wrote the website using a canned template and site builder software that my web host provided for free. While that worked, it wasn’t a reflection of my business.

I then rewrote the site using Dreamweaver. This software gave me lots of control over the result, but it was a hard learning process.

As I’ve explained to many of my clients who wanted website advice – in addition to budgeting time and money to create the site, you’ll need to also keep the site up-to-date, which is an ongoing expense (since you need to pay a web designer to update the site for you).

Normally, to create a web site, you hire a web designer. A web designer combines the skills of a graphic artist with those of a computer programmer. They write your website in a language like HTML, which describes what goes where on a page on your website. The HTML is stored on your host computer. To create your website, the designer uploads the design to your host. To modify your site, the designer changes the relevant files and re-uploads them.

Recently, there’s a better way to build website, using blog (more formally called CMS = Content Management System) technology. CMS is designed to make it easy to write articles. CMS separates the design of the site from the content. So, you can have someone create the design for you (or do it yourself), and then you can change the content when you want, without the need to hire anyone, or use any special software. Only basic computer expertise is needed.

Since I’ve been answering marketing questions for a while, I realized that I could share some of this information with others. So I created a blog, and tied it into my existing site. It worked fine, but it didn’t look like the rest of the site, so I decided to rewrite my website to use CMS. You’re now looking at the result.

The biggest upside to the new look is that the site is easily searchable (by category, date, keyword, or search phrase). It’s more modern looking, and it’s also easier to change how it looks. I can update the site from anywhere in the world and people can subscribe to the RSS feed.

Overhauling your existing site isn’t for everyone. But the next time you’re planning to have your web designer update your site, you might consider CMS.

How Can I Market My Computer Basics Training?

I am looking for your ideas for marketing my computer basics training kit…This will be of use to anyone seeking basic computing and Financial accounting skills for low to mid level jobs or personal use. It is written in simple language and all menus and options are described. The cover has been designed attractive with testimonials from the current users on the back cover (this is being published as a book for the first time, earlier I had given samples to some local enthusiasts to collect their response).

The problem is though there is a demand for this type of product, there are a number of big & small players with similar product. My shoestring marketing budget restricts me from larger than life publicity.

I can’t go for net marketing because of my target audience.


As you mentioned, advertising via the web will be hard for your audience. However, many people can use a browser and read their emails, but can’t create a word processing document or spreadsheet. Also, people who help people who need training do use the web. Almost 400,000 people searched on “computer training” last month. Therefore, a net presence makes a lot of sense.

If you want to focus locally, focus on people re-entering the job market (retirees, stay-at-home moms/dads, ESL speakers). Your local SCORE, SBA, Community College, library, retirement homes, etc. may already be the focal point for these groups of people.

Does your book have an accompanying video? If not, create one. Post some lesson parts on your website & YouTube (etc.).

Since you’re a small fish in a big pond, you’ll need to create a strategy to make you stand out. You don’t want to say, “I’m just like the big players, but what I did is, umm, a little bit better.” You need something that makes you stand out. Guarantees? Phone support? Teleconference support? Videos? Seminars? Without a clear message, you’re going to have an uphill battle.

Tune In To Video Marketing

Is your product or service visually appealing? Do you offer workshops? If so, consider making videos to highlight your business on your website. It’s not as hard (or expensive) as it once was.

Video marketing can range from a clip of a seminar, a tutorial, a demonstration of your services, to a commercial.


  • Your video should fit with your business image and target market.
  • Know your niche.
  • Provide something of value (even humor has value). Just like in all marketing, you want people to pass your information around to others in their network.
  • Ensure that your website’s name is prominently displayed throughout the video. You want people to be able to find your business easily (if they aren’t watching the video on your website).
  • Offer your video in both low-fidelity and high fidelity options. Lower fidelity takes up less space on the screen (smaller), grainier, and monaural (and is quicker to download).
  • If you’ll be offering the video for viewing on your website, offer both QuickTime and Windows Media formats.
  • Allow your videos to be downloaded to your client’s computer (not just viewed in the browser).
  • Consider uploading the video to free video sites such as YouTube and Google Video.

I’ve recently been involved in two (online) video projects:

The first project was shot using a (unattended) digital camcorder on a tripod. I transferred the raw footage to a Macintosh computer using MediaFork and edited it with iMovie HD. During the editing process, I titled, compressed and reduced the high-definition video in size. Total out-of-pocket expense: $69.99 (iLife). With no marketing budget, on the first day, there were over 500 viewings of videos on YouTube alone. It has generated significant web traffic, inquiries, and sales.

Video #1

The second project was shot on a makeshift set with green screen backdrop (to insert a digital background). It was shot using a professional video camera, a stereo MP3 recorder, and 3 floor lights. Total out-of-pocket expense: over $2000 (set + rentals + camera man + director + editing). This project is still in production.

Video 2

I’m Sorry

Last month I got a personal lesson about making a public mistake. While emailing the September issue of this newsletter, I had a technology meltdown resulting in an email containing my address book being sent to everyone. I got a number of emails from people who were understandably angry/annoyed. A number of people requested to be opted-out from future emails. I responded to each email personally. It was a personal disaster for me, since I’m quite tech-savvy and such things should “never” happen to me.

When I realized the mistake, I had a couple of options: 1) ignore it and hope that if I didn’t bring someone’s attention to it then perhaps no one would notice or 2) email everyone and tell them what happened, why, and why it should never happen again. I chose #2 (but some part of me wanted to close my eyes and simply pretend it never happened) believing that if I honestly apologized people would realize that mistakes do happen and forgive me.

It seems that technology continues to be a double-edged sword in business. On one hand you can send one email to hundreds of people with a single button press, which is very efficient. However, with this power comes a responsibility to ensure care. Years ago I used an email program that allowed you to un-send emails (if they weren’t yet read) – it was a feature that allowed me to “save face” on occasion. It’s a feature sorely missing in “modern” email programs.

As a business owner, you’re very busy answering the phone, correspondence, email, etc. Your attention is split between the job at hand and the 10 more you need to do by days’ end. You’re trying to do it all, do it perfectly, and …. something slips. Perhaps it’s a small goof. Now what?

With the acceleration of modern life and prevalence of multi-tasking, the creep of imperfection increases. You can’t help it – there’s simply no way to do more in less time and still get perfect results (whatever that means).

What I’ve learned is I need to do less, not more. If you do less, you can focus better on the fewer things that need doing. But it comes at a trade-off, fewer clients, fewer phone calls, less time reading emails.

Life is about balance. So is work.