Month: February 2009

LinkedIn, more than an online resume

Recently I’ve become addicted to the Question & Answers section of LinkedIn.  If you haven’t checked it out and still rely on the first 10 search results from Google, then you’re missing out. The Q&A section consistently brings me insight into current tools/software that other web development and marketing professionals rely on. I’ve started to prefer it over random web forums as well because you can see more about the background and experience of the person providing the information, thus making the answer more credible.

I’ve used LinkedIn for recommendations on:
– Online printing companies
– Content Management Systems (CMS)
– Web design prototyping tools
– Email marketing services
– Email marketing integration for Microsoft CRM
– …the list goes on. So I’ll let you check it out now 🙂

Camtasia vs. Captivate, my two cents

I’ve been dealing with the same software quandary as others creating e-learning: work with Adobe Captivate or Camtasia?  And it really comes down to, what are you trying to create?  Both products offer different resources, so try to become familiar with what they offer and go from there.

I recently worked on a company orientation project that involved Powerpoint slides and screencast training of software.  At the time, I had to make a hasty decision about which software to use for the project.  I chose Camtasia for the trial, and successfully completed my project.

Once my 30-day trial with Camtasia was up and I prepared to purchase the software, I realized I should give Captivate a trial.  I’ve been playing with the trial of Captivate and reading various forums, but I’m going to stick with Camtasia (see below for links).

A quick list of the elements that swayed me to Camtasia:

– zoom-and-pan effect in screen recordings
– Powerpoint add-on to record the screen
– timeline editor (instead of slides like Captivate)
– multiple options for file formats (MOV, AVI, MP4)
– price – approx. $300

    Here are some resources I’ve found helpful in making my decision to stick with Camtasia for my purposes.

    – An extremely thorough comparison of Captivate and Camtasia by Michael Hanley

    -Summary of presentation on Captivate and Camtasia – be sure to read the comments at the end of the blog, lots of good feedback there.
    – Good example to demonstrate the zoom-and-pan effect in Camtasia

      Online printing, so many options

      I’ve used a lot of online printers over the past 7 years and these are some of my favorites.  The main deciding factors come down to price and turnaround, but the functionality of the site is becoming an influencing factor as I frequent these sites.  I’ve organized them by preference so far, and I’ll certainly update it as I change my mind

      UPDATED 12/17/2014

      Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because I want to help people quickly find quality printing that fits their turnaround and budget, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them.


      I use Print Place a lot because their online ordering system has a lot of options. You can easily adjust different factors, like turnaround or quantity, to see how it will change the final cost. I also like that they offer will-call pickup at their facility in Arlington, TX. I’ve often used them for last minute printing of business cards and booklets and they’ve always come through with great quality printing.


      I’ve used GotPrint since about 2008 and have had great experiences with every product I have ordered. The quality is good, they have great prices, but they are not always the most practical when I’m in a rush because their turnaround times can be a bit long.


      Overnight Prints also has great prices and nice quality. They also have a really nice upload tool that creates a 3D mockup that rotates so you can ensure that your postcard/business card flips correctly (Trust me, this is an awesome tool. I accidentally printed postcards where the back side was upside down and this tool will help prevent that).


      They are what their name says! If you’re in a rush, check them out, they’ve always made good on their name when I’ve worked with them. However, the last time I used them, the online checkout slightly awkward because you needed to fill out your billing info before you could see the final price. Personally I don’t like handing over my billing info before I know my final costs.