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helpstuff blog - Last comments

helpstuff blog

Helping end-users since 1981

Last comments

In response to: Author-it: Creating a list of topics in a book

Dfrancis [Member]
Hi Char,
Would you mind if we reproduced this post on the official Author-it blog?

Thanks :0)
Permalink 11/09/08 @ 19:43

In response to: Read "Anatomy of a Malware Scam"

rhonda [Member] · http://www.cybertext.com.au
This is nasty stuff. My husband got infected a month or two ago (read the LONG story here: http://cybertext.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/this-is-not-funny/). We had to reformat the hard drive and reinstall everything. Since then, I've had two narrow escapes on my own PC. Both times I got a popup message similar to the one Jesper talks about. Each time the popup closed Firefox immediately. I shut down the computer WITHOUT clicking ANYWHERE on the popup (it seems that may activate it - even if you click the close [X] button).

Only my husband's experience (my experience really, as it was four lost days for me trying to fix it) prevented me from getting the same malware as I was able to recognise the popup. In both cases I clicked on an innocent looking link, not an ad - one in Google, one in cuil.com, and the effect was immediate.

This is nasty stuff, and can strike anywhere. I'm REALLY hesitant about clicking links to sites I don't already know now. And I now run SpyBot regularly.
Permalink 08/27/08 @ 11:18

In response to: Upcoming conferences...

Char [Member]
Thanks, Brenda :-) I knew that you had mentioned that one, but I couldn't remember the name.

Any others that need to be added?
Permalink 08/18/08 @ 18:22

In response to: Upcoming conferences...

bphuettner [Member]
there is also the Practical Conference on Communication (PCOC) in Chattanooga, TN October 10th & 11th - though it's my first time attending, this will be the 25th PCOC!
Permalink 08/18/08 @ 16:13

In response to: Michael Hughes explains why he hates PDFs...

Char [Member]
LOL picky, picky ;-) Except I don't want to loathe people, just the output that I have to work with (or worse, create). (Which means that I'd have to loathe myself, something I prefer not to do ;-) )
Permalink 08/13/08 @ 15:29

In response to: Michael Hughes explains why he hates PDFs...

techcommdood [Member]
Fair advice, but that justifies loathing for those who do not create proper PDFs, not PDF itself. ;-)
Permalink 08/13/08 @ 15:07

In response to: David Pogue posts about copyright concerns (again)

annegentle [Member]
Great post, Char! I can't help but think that sometimes blog entries are like giving away content for free. Since I've always given away blog entries for free, but am now considering selling an ebook about designing conversation into documentation, it feels weird to do so.

But, if someone forwarded the PDF, or copied it onto a server for coworkers to read, I would consider it flattery more than lost revenue. Sounds odd, but I think the more attention you can get for your content, the more potential for income to come your way.

I recently read Chris Anderson’s excellent essay on free as a business model and I think that giving away chapters from an ebook to selected readers aligns with his thinking about "Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business." Read it and see what you think - I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)
Permalink 06/08/08 @ 16:55

In response to: Technical Communication Summit (STC2008)

Char [Member]
dood, I wasn't in charge of scheduling ;-) And in addition to the reception (with free beer), someone organized a pub crawl at about the same time that had 50+ folks.
Permalink 06/05/08 @ 22:27

In response to: Technical Communication Summit (STC2008)

kirstymt [Member]
Another Andrea comment from opening (all TW's raise your hand):
"Excuse Me. What you're designing will take a lot of words to explain. Can we please re-think it?"
Permalink 06/05/08 @ 19:22

In response to: Technical Communication Summit (STC2008)

techcommdood [Member]
Next time, put a larger buffer of time between the beer blast and the annual meeting. ;)
Permalink 06/05/08 @ 13:38

In response to: David Pogue posts about copyright concerns (again)

Ron Miller [Member] · http://byronmiller.typepad.com
Very interesting post, Char. If you want to see someone who handles this really well, check out David M. Scott's site (http://www.webinknow.com). He has several successful books along with several free ebooks available for download. He uses these free ebooks as an effective marketing tool to sell his pay works. His pay books are available for download or the old fashioned way at Amazon.com. I can put you in touch with David if you want to learn more about to deal with this for your books.
Permalink 06/04/08 @ 07:18

In response to: David Pogue posts about copyright concerns (again)

nzsteved [Member]
Hi Char,

Interesting. I suspect that people are not very honest about what they do and don't do that breaches copyright.

Reading on I think your need is more in terms of marketing. How do you best promote and sell your full e-Book? You may find this site of interest (www.actionplan.com). Robert Middleton provides marketing content and services for 'Independent Professionals'... sounds like you :).

He is an absolute master at dividing his content into low, medium and high value. He gives away the low value for free. This tends to be tips and tricks, articles and webinars. Who cares if you share this; in fact he hopes you do!

This leads into the medium value which is moderately priced. Medium value is longer webinars on specific subjects, tele-classes and books (password download PDFs). I guess copyright infrigement is an issue but you can make it a little harder by preventing copy/cut & paste etc.

That leads to his high value products and services which are training sessions, consulting etc. The key point is; he delivers value at every point but makes almost all of his money from the medium and high value activities.

Hope this helps, let me know if it's on the mark.
Permalink 05/28/08 @ 01:37

In response to: David Pogue posts about copyright concerns (again)

kirstymt [Member]
I don't think I'd be likely to share it. I even got very cranky at a former colleague for taking the (as yet unopened) CD out of my personal copy of the Microsoft Manual of Style and saving the CHM to their PC. It seems that person and I had very different ideas about the copyright of the CD material, let alone that they opened something of mine!
Permalink 05/25/08 @ 20:17

In response to: David Pogue posts about copyright concerns (again)

kkearns [Member]
Well, I'm honest. I've bought PDFs of things I wanted to know about. I wouldn't find them free somewhere.

I rip songs/movies that I already own, but do not share with others who have not paid. (If the manufacturer would send me a new one if I damaged or lost mine, I wouldn't, but who's gonna do that? :D)

In my opinion, I'm either buying a physical object, and the right to do what I want with it, or I'm buying a subscription to a service -- and if it is a subscription, they have the obligation to fix it if it is broken/damaged/lost. So until they decide to send me a new DVD when mine is scratched by my overzealous 5 year old, I'll make a backup. ;)

Or I'll make a copy to put on my computer to use it in flight (DVDs run the laptop batteries down faster) or to put it on my media player and serve it with my Buffalo.

But I wouldn't send a copy to my friend. Basically, I would never let it be possible for it to be used in two places at once. (Sort of like a Photoshop purchase -- at least in the old days (not sure now), you could install it on as many computers at home as you wanted, as long as it was only in use on one at a time. The convenience factor).

Most people are stupid and greedy and self serving. And have no honor.
Permalink 05/25/08 @ 17:36

In response to: Borders adds Mobile Alerts

techcommdood [Member]
Now THAT is cool!!! :-)
Permalink 05/19/08 @ 16:55

In response to: Do you Twitter?

annegentle [Member]
I, too, wrote about Twitter when I was contemplating its uses and actually found some really interesting side use cases similar to the ones you've mentioned.
- very small surveys
- status updates for you coworkers who might be looking for you in your office or trying to decide where to call you
- invites to events
- friendsourcing, asking for help or references on a particular topic
-conference coverage using Twemes (Twitter themes, like http://twemes.com/doctrainwest)
my favorite techy one is
- integrate Twitter as a cost-free SMS gateway into your own applications (Monitwitter, sadly, has stopped active development)

Check out @Zappos (4300 followers!), @SouthwestAir, @Jetblue, and @Comcastcares for really good examples of a Twittering company rep doing a nice balanced job of announcements coupled with a real human element. Customer support, collaboration, marketing, all rolled into 140-character microblog posts. Impressive.

And Twitter is just plain fun sometimes, too. :)
Permalink 05/13/08 @ 22:32

In response to: Instructions that are both good and bad

rhonda [Member] · http://www.cybertext.com.au
Sounds like they were an Author-it variable for the product name. ;-)
Permalink 05/07/08 @ 05:19

In response to: "...and walk real slow..."

rhonda [Member] · http://www.cybertext.com.au
You forgot to mention how impressed the hospital staff were that you were talking to someone in Australia via your laptop when they came to get you for another test! ;-)
Permalink 05/07/08 @ 05:17

In response to: "...and walk real slow..."

Char [Member]
Thanks, all :-)

I don't have to give up bananas...they're low in Vitamin K. It's the foods that are high that I'm going to give up (broccoli, asparagus, etc.) because it's easier to go without than to try to eat them every day.

And the swelling was completely gone this morning :-) I'm taking that as a good sign!
Permalink 05/02/08 @ 08:50

In response to: "...and walk real slow..."

kkearns [Member]
Oh no! Well, the working with the feet up sounds nice, but not so much the rest of it.
Permalink 05/01/08 @ 23:23

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