Feb 14

Speaking engagements

I have been asked to speak at another engagement at a Master Class on the northern beaches about IT planning for small business. So far the schedule is a little hazy for me and I am just working out what the topic’s I will specifically be talking about.

Whilst speaking time is always the constraint. There is so much information that the attendees are hoping for combined with the area’s that I as a speaker think it important. Last time I was a little surprised at the way time flew plus unfortunately it got a little constrained due to the way speaking within a range of speakers has a tendency to produce inefficiency.

These sorts of issues has made me think a little differently about ways to make sure that participants get what they want. What’s my big plan? To make it a little more democratic of course!
I plan to offer the attendee’s a number of topics and they can rank them in order of importance to them rather than me arbitrarily assigning some form of importance to each topic or just following a standard procedure of start->finish / beginning->end style talk.

This got me thinking about the way current talks take users on a journey and how the best talks I have seen always end up taking a different route. They use case-studies and examples but they also do things like get attendee participation.

That, to me anyway, is how a small business owner needs to be talked to. Not taken to school.

Permanent link to this article: http://marcus.herstik.com/2012/speaking-engagements/

Feb 06

First interview by podcaster

There is a first time for everything, and tonight was my first time being interviewed for a podcast. Yep – I am not a virgin interviewee anymore, unless you count job interviews (and I haven’t had one of those for about 5 years with my last serious one being about 10 years ago). Please allow me to digress a moment.

My last “job interview” was for a bar job because I wanted to get out of the house a bit more and a friend of a friend told me that there was a job going at a pretty cool place near Rose Bay (in Sydney Australia near Bondi). Working a lot with computers, IT and the internet makes you a bit insulated if you aren’t careful. It finally hit a peak when I went to the corner store in my boxers and Ugg boots.
The store lady, who knew me quite well at that point, suggested I get fully dressed before venturing out again. At that point it occurred to me to get a job outside of the house for just a few hours a week to keep me sane.

Back to the main event.
Tonight I was interviewed for a writer friend of mine, Rob Farquhar, who works for the Cairns Post (in Cairns… who’d have guessed) and writes sometimes on PunchOnAustralia as well as his own blog. I listen to some podcasts, which is what this interview is going to be diced and spliced for (aka edited) and I found it to be a very fun and interesting activity to be involved in.

There is a certain amount of skill I believe that is required to be an interviewer and Rob definitely did well with this.  There was good little outline of about 5 points which I think worked well. It was open enough to allow some digression and free-form discussion whilst also providing a modicum of direction. In the podcasts I listen too this is far more my preferred style than a carefully crafted interview and to me is one of the reasons people like David Letterman and others in his ilk (eg. Rove McManus) have done so well.

I have always always wanted to do more with the podcasting genre, especially with some that are more controversial or even left-field in nature. So it got me thinking about doing some more speaking myself including podcasting. Last year I did a talk on Northern Beaches of Sydney for a Small Business Masters Series discussing the use of the internet for businesses including such things as websites, SEO, cloud computing and other things. It was a large topic without too much time really devoted to it, which was a little disappointing for me as well as some of the people who attended. I could have talked for about thrice the time that I did.

This got me thinking, which can be dangerous for those that know me.

What about doing a speaking series, discussing the points I both know about (handy that… huh?) as well as area’s that businesses currently seem to want to know about? That is what I would call a good match.
So, based on the e-book I have written, combined with previous discussions with both clients and friends and market requirements I will be starting to put together a speaking series.
I also would like to get more of a podcasting profile going, but may need to meditate on this a little more until I have some clear idea as to where and what I can talk about, plus it may be an idea to have more than one person on the podcast. As much as I like the sound of my own voice I am sure that others may not, and really that is who this is for.

Permanent link to this article: http://marcus.herstik.com/2012/podcast-a-first-time-for-everything/

Jan 26

Are you keeping up? Does the cloud work for you?

Over the years the subscription model has been very popular and pushed more & more by businesses. It all started with software manufacturers and was turned into a super-model by Bill Gates with his Microsoft Windows and other assorted software.

Now with “cloud” based services coming online & easier to use by the mainstream there is even more subscription services coming online every day. My latest favourite is a FREE (as in beer) model which works on an unusual affiliation/advertising model. The company is Wave Accounting and they offer their product for free but have some small amount of advertising on their page with offers that are suitable for small businesses.

It is a unique model, used successfully for a lot of other services but this is the first time I have seen a “premium” style service (accounting software) utilise this model.

Having currently looked at a number of different software for accounting, including

  • XERO which I currently have an account on but will probably be cancelling shortly;
  • FreshBooks which integrated beautifully with both systems but I found works better with Wave (funnily enough a free service appears to be better with this than a paid service) & has a great API system;
  • Saasu which I will re-look at shortly but will probably not use due to it being quite large & I like the KISS method myself.

Overall I find that there is so many different systems out there that there is much research to be done. I went with one based on what I heard from others but now may be changing shortly.

Permanent link to this article: http://marcus.herstik.com/2012/are-you-keeping-up-does-the-cloud-work-for-you/

Jan 13

What does it take to be the best?

Marcus skiing stitch

When I was younger I had a ski coach who was different. I mean really different. Most coaches were Austrian or Swiss but this was an Aussie from Wollongong.He looked as comfortable on the beach as he did on the snow & his name was Jimbo (actually James but you know…).

Continue reading “What does it take to be the best?” »

Permanent link to this article: http://marcus.herstik.com/2012/what-does-it-take-to-be-the-best/

Jan 12

Syncing multiple calendars including Facebook & Google

Like a lot of other people I have multiple places where events & calendars are getting stored. What about you – do you have Facebook, Google & maybe a third or fourth calendar location such your work or home calendar program?  FYI – I use iCal on my Mac.

Have you ever wondered how to sync events from Facebook with other systems… eg. your calender program or with Google Calendar.I did & it took me a little while but eventually I made Facebook link to Google Calendar & Google Calendar is used in my iCal program. (I could have linked my Facebook Events directly into the program.)

How about trying this. Continue reading “Syncing multiple calendars including Facebook & Google” »

Permanent link to this article: http://marcus.herstik.com/2012/syncing-multiple-calendars-including-facebook-google/

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