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Anyone Up for a Little Jing?

6 Jun

Did you know the word, “desserts,” is just “stressed” spelled backward?

That’s one of the first things Beth Ziesenis taught me when she sent cookies our way after signing a contract to be TSTC Publishing’s newest author, and she’s been teaching me ever since. With her first book, Upgrade to Free: The Best Free & Low-Cost Online Tools & Apps, I’ve learned about Jing, Kuku Klok, dafont.com, FlipMyText, Font Squirrel, and much more.

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Web-Based Applications: Formspring.me

24 Mar

Social media. Social media. Social media. Nine times out of ten I want to scream, Enough already! Every day new apps are coming out . . . and while most of them are at least moderately interesting, who has the time (or energy) to incorporate all these applications springing up like mushrooms? Between blogging, Facebook, and Twitter alone (plus the concomitant bit.ly, Statcounter, Feedburner, Flickr, Twitpic, and more), it’s not exactly the best return on investment to spend even more time gathering, sending, and responding to content flying around the Internet. I mean, unless you’re a social media manager who’s paid to develop carpal tunnel syndrome and have eyes as watery and red as a hamster’s, we really all do have our regular jobs to do!

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No Money for Books? No Problem!

2 Mar

No money for actual books? There are multiple sources that can help overcome that obstacle, without having to deal with finding a library that has a specific book available, and it can be done from the comfort of the home. There are a couple Web sites that allow readers to exchange books for books, as well as sites that have books accessible online.

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Web-Based Applications: Issuu vs. Scribd Deathmatch

11 Apr

Just as soon as I did my last post about Issuu, a documenting sharing Web site that we’ve started doing some book previews on, I almost immediately came across Scribd, another site that provides the same basic kinds of online publishing services. I haven’t been able to find exact user/member/subscriber figures for Issuu, but supposedly Scribd is the largest of these sites with +50 million users and 50K documents being uploaded every day. So, I thought I would upload some of the same materials we’d put on Issuu and then track the results to see which one was generating the most views/traffic.

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Web-Based Applications: Issuu

14 Mar

issuu-logo1One of the things that we’ve been looking for lately is a good online book previewer to integrate into the individual product pages at our e-commerce site (as well as using elsewhere as applicable). The first good application I remember coming across like this was Amazon.com’s system. Another one is used by National Academies Press. Both these systems, though, are proprietary and what we needed was a system that was robust enough for our purposes and, because we don’t have tons of money for a new stand-alone application or one off the shelf, at the right price.

Thankfully, I think we’ve finally found what we’re looking for with Issuu.

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Web 2.0 Social Networking: The Texas RV Professor Rides the Twitter Wave

6 Mar

cooper_headshot_resizedI’ll be the first to admit that personally I’m a pretty slow adopter of new technologies. I finally broke down and bought a cell phone barely two years ago (if it was even that far back). Until last year ago I still had my $9.95 a month dial-up Internet service. I’ve yet to hold a Kindle, much less read a book on one. A big part of it is that it’s hard to tell exactly what the Next Big Thing is vs. just the Next Big Hype and what’s worth your time vs. just being a waste of time. Plus, when talking about tech gadgets or Web-based applications, you have the tech geeks who love anything as long as it’s the absolutely newest thing around however impractical, convoluted, and/or nonsensical it may be. (In fact, they’ll love it all the more for being exactly those things.) Then you have your average (that is, normal) person who likes new applications/gadgets that are both simple and powerful.

Falling into this latter category, I will happily admit, is Twitter, which we got one of our authors, Terry Cooper (better known as The Texas RV Professor), set up on this week.

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Book Publishing Operations: Somebody Get Me A Webcam!

14 Jan

abilene-tripSo, I finally had one of those moments of clarity that Jules Winnfield talked about in Pulp Fiction and have decided, you know, that there may be something to web video conferencing after all. I think it all occurred last Friday as I left the house at 6:30 in the morning to drive the three hours out to Abilene, be in meetings until about 2:30 and then head back to Waco. Or maybe it was on Saturday as I was making a YouTube video out of Flip camera footage I shot during the drive.

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