I run into this with nearly every project I do, so I thought it’d be handy to have a quick little video tutorial up on the blog to refer people to, and to share with the world.
Here’s the scenario: Your web/elearning/interactive developer sends you a link to an updated version of your website/elearning course/interactive element. You launch said element in your browser and it looks just like it did before. What’s going on? Well, before you make the seemingly reasonable assumption that your developer didn’t really make the changes, you should understand a little something about internet browser’s and temporary internet files.
The reason this can cause problems is that when you visit a site often, your browser doesn’t always check to see if the files you have temporarily stored on your computer are the most current versions of those files, and instead displays the ones it had downloaded on a prior visit. So you may not be looking at the most current version of the website when you visit it. Crazy neh?
“So how do I fix this?” you ask.
There are several ways, but for those of you with Firefox as your browser, give the below steps a go (I’ll try to post how-tos for other browsers at a later date).
1. Go to your menu bar at the top of the window and click Tools > Clear Recent History (Or you can just Press CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE on your keyboard).
2. This popup will appear:
3. In the “Time range to clear:” drop-down menu, select “Today”.
4. Click “OK”. This will delete temporary internet files that have been stored on your computer so that the next time you visit a site you will
5. Your browser will slow for a few seconds while it completes this action.
6. Navigate to the page that wasn’t working for you, and you should now see the new content on it.
Hope that’s helpful.
As consultants and small business owners, it’s really easy to get behind on a lot of the administrative pieces of our businesses; finances, marketing, operations, etc. Once we reach that nirvana of regular projects and heaps of billable hours, the time we need to manage our own business seems to shrink into nothingness.
What’s a busy entrepreneur to do?
Here are some tools that will not only get your day-to-day operations back on track, but will give you invaluable data for planning and goal setting for years to come.
If you’re like me, you’re not exactly brimming with glee to balance your checkbook, track expenses, and manage a regular budget for both your home and business. With Mint.com, I’ve actually come to enjoy these tasks. Mint’s ability to track all your loans, bank accounts, credit cards, debts, and assets in one location takes a lot of the time and effort out of managing finances. That, and its interactive graphs and tools provide you with a clear view of the current state, as well as the past and future trends of your finances.
Tracking project hours can be a real pain, but Paymo makes it easy. Up to three people can use a single account for free to track all their tasks and hours spent on all of their projects. All you need to do is setup your project tasks and hit the stop and start button as you work. Tracking my time in this way has been immensely helpful for estimating and budgeting project time.
Find out how many people visit your site, where they come from, how long they stay, what they’re interested in on your site, what they’re not, how they found you, and a myriad of other things. Google Analytics is a fast, easy, visual, and free way to gain insights about your customers and your marketing initiatives.
HootSuite is a one-stop-shop for social media management and tracking. Who has time to login to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and their blog separately to send updates and posts? HootSuite not only allows you to manage all these applications in one location, but also allows you to schedule future posts to be released at a later date – an extremely handy feature for social media management.
Regular use of these tools, and others, has enabled me to not only keep up with my day-to-day business operations, but has given me critical data for how to best invest my business’s time and money.
There’s much more that could be said and shared about these tools, but that’s all the space we should use for a humble blog post. Perhaps I'll delve a bit deeper into each tool in some of my upcoming meanderings.
I've been doing a bit of recording work recently so I decided to compile a handy how-to guide for audio recording for elearning. The guide walks your through finding and setting up a recording space all the way through compressing the final audio files into MP3 format. Just follow the below link and click on the "Audio Recording for eLearning Guide" link.
Hope you find it useful. I'd love any additions or feedback on it for improvement so do share.
Before cruising down the road to developing an elearning lesson, it's important to answer some key questions about it. This will help you avoid pitfalls further down the road, and help match what you create with the needs and expectations of your client.
The below link takes you to a template I use to scope new projects. Whether you're a developer or a project manager, answering all the questions within it will give you a very good idea of what and how you need to complete your project. Keep in mind though that this is only an initial list of questions. You'll need to answer more questions as you proceed through your project, but I've found this to be an excellent resource when working on elearning projects. I hope you will too.
Please feel free to take this template, redesign it, add to it, and otherwise do what you like with it. Also, if you have any comments, improvements, or additions for it, I'd love to hear about them. Always looking to improve my process.
Something spectacular happened about 2 months ago now - our coffee maker broke. After the initial shock and horror wore off, we decided to pursue the brewing of a better cup of coffee. We were aiming for something both flavorful and low acidity, since my wife has a highly sensitive stomach and we both love our morning cup of joe. This is what we landed on.
- 1 x Half pound bag of Guatemalan French Roast (whole beans) from Dunn Bros. ($10-$14)
- 2 x 5 liter glass jugs. These can be oddly expensive to buy, but you can get a cheap table wine in a 5L jug for $15 and just reuse the jugs. Also, the wine jugs come with a cap, which helps for shaking things up without a horrible mess.
- 1 x Aerobie Aeropress. ($22 on Amazon) Perhaps there's another way to filter coffee as effectively, but we found using the Aeropress works a whole lot better than anything else we tried.
- 1 x funnel
- Grind 1/2 pound (8 oz.) of beans and funnel them into the 5L jug.
- Fill remainder of jug w/ filtered water.
- Cap the jug and place it in a dark place at room temperature for 20-24 hours.
- After the 20-24 hours is up, filter the entire coffee mixture with the Aeropress into a new jug. Replace the filter every 3rd load. The coffee gets a bit acidic if you overuse the filters.
- Store the filtered coffee in your fridge.
- Drink at your leisure.
Give it a shot. It definitely adds a notch or two to your quality of life in the early morning.
Tired of that logo you rushed to create when you first got your business going? Not happy with the Microsoft template you based it off of? Green with envy when you see your business partners' shiny new cards complete with reflective-drop-shadowed, glow-enhanced logo goodness?
Well, you're in luck my friend. Here's a few easy steps for updating that pre-millenial embarrassment you've come to loathe.
Step 1: Find Some Inspiration.
One of my favorite places to visit for up-to-date web 2.0 logos is www.go2web20.net. Not only is it chocked full of brand spanking new logos, it's also a fantastic site for keeping up with cool new web applications. Now you can be the guy who knows about every new thing on the internet before your friends do. Fancy.
Another great site for inspiration is The Art of the Business Card. This sites got some great logos, but it also has some killer business card examples so you can see things in context.
Step 2: Pick 5-10 Logos You *Really* Like
Let's face it, if you were a designer you wouldn't be reading this far down in the post so your next step is to cull down the list of logos you love to 5-10 examples. This way you can give that new intern you're trying out a good idea of what you're looking for. This also works great for website designs, by the by.
Step 3: Hire a Designer
If there's one thing you need to actually spend a buck on in terms of graphic design, it's your logo. Your logo is the cornerstone of your brand. It determines your color scheme, limits your font choices, and narrows the look and feel of every bit of online and offline content you'll ever have made for your business because your logo's going to be on all of it.
That said, if you really want to do something on the cheap, get your hands on a burgeoning art student looking for some internship hours and something to expand their portfolio with.
And with that, I'm off to bed.