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10 Tips to Help Master Prezi

Last week, I spent two days teaching Prezi at the Langley Center for New Media. As the event came to a close, a few attendees asked if I could sum up more than 16 hours of teaching in a top 10 list. Well, here’s my first stab at 10 things that should help you become a better Prezi presenter and publisher.

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Are you experienced?

At Tippingpoint Labs, we have an entire group dedicated to “Experience”. This encompasses visual design, user experience and technology, because the three are inextricable. What you experience online is inherently about what you see, how you interact with it and the systems upon which it is built. Our Experience team, whether engineers focused on “building” things or designers and UI experts focused on what you “see” and “feel”, are focused on that entire spectrum.

So how do we take a business goal and translate that into an online experience with impact?

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Elevating Boston as Business Innovators Through Content

There is an overriding lack of confidence in Boston about its place in the world of innovation and business. Why is this? What is the solution for it? Is this a real issue or just a perception? Should it matter? I would argue that this is purely perception and that, therefore, Boston has a content problem.

We Have a History of Innovation…
Boston has an undeniable history of innovation dating back to colonial times. This city (well, let’s talk about Massachusetts more broadly) is responsible for Thanksgiving, the American Revolution, the typewriter, sewing machines, frozen food, Fig Newtons, microwave ovens, mutual funds, email and thousands of other innovations that affect everyone’s daily life. Some even claim Yoga was invented here (though not clearly an April Fools’ joke, we couldn’t find much evidence to support this one.)

…And We’re Disgruntled
Despite this irrefutable tradition of changing history, innovating in technology, medicine, education, religion and probably every other discipline, Boston seems to have a perpetual chip on its shoulder. This stems from a variety contributing factors, of which here are a few:

* Boston lost its position as the hub for business in America (to New York) by the 19th century
* The near endless dominance of the New York Yankees over the Red Sox since a fateful trade in 1918 until 2004
* Boston led (or tied for the lead) the world in technology and then lost that position to Silicon Valley

Boston spent a long time wondering “What happened?” In fact, we spent 86 years annually fretting about our Red Sox until one fine October when we were finally able to imagine a new story. Maybe that’s the spark we needed to start thinking that we’re worthy of excelling in other areas again too? It’s high time we allowed ourselves to be convinced that we are as capable of leading innovation, building great companies, and driving the future as we have historically been able to be. What we need is to elevate Boston – both to the world, as well as to ourselves.

I recently attended one of many conferences where a key topic of conversation on panels as well as during networking breaks centered around the questions:

1. “How can we make Boston a great center of entrepreneurship again?”
2. “How can we build and keep innovative companies in Boston?”
3. “How can we compete with Silicon Vallley?”

That last question is sometimes unstated but it’s always right beneath the surface, even when it’s not said out loud.

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Why Magento should be your eCommerce Platform

I’m here to tell you that Magento ROCKS! I’ve been in the ecommerce trenches for many years and have had the opportunity to explore many open and closed source ecommerce platforms. Here at Tippingpoint Labs we highly recommend Magento for all your ecommerce needs and here’s why:

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Using Scrum Company-wide

I’ve been an advocate of Agile Development and SCRUM for a long time. SCRUM is all about iterative development and maintaining forward momentum. I’ve also found that it keeps everyone involved, and on the same-page in the least intrusive way possible.

Here at Tippingpoint Labs, we’ve embraced SCRUM for both engineering and non-engineering projects alike. We are working on a hybrid model that best matches our abilities and resource while doing our best not to get bogged down with process issues.

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Your Site is a Startup

The first step in product-tizing your website is a site audit. Ask yourself what you want your users to do. Do you want them to come away with a feel for your corporate culture? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to create content? Boil it down to one sentence, then ask yourself if your site accommodates that now. If not, it’s time for a re-do.

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2010: The Year of Common Sense User Experience

Nothing like a good dose of history repeating itself, because it’s nothing new. Before there was the AJAX libraries of Web 2.0, there was Flash sliding interfaces, pop-up dialogues and multiple clicks. Seems like we’ve landed right back on the same old Flash paradigms of the turn-of-the-century. No need to have history repeat itself, let’s make 2010 the year of common sense user experience.

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Apples to Oranges: The Food Thinkers Platform

The best way to start any platform discussion is with the baseline features. What does this platform need to accomplish? At its core, Food Thinkers had to have the ability to create stories that were categorized by the features that our content calendar laid out and it had to engage the reader by allowing them to comment on the stories.

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Open Source, Open Sesame

Online content and, by extension, the platforms delivering it, should be constantly evolving and improving. That’s why open source software, in addition to being incredibly affordable, can be more effective at producing and delivering content than “professionally” developed equivalents.

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TippingpointLabs.com: New Look, More Changes to Come

You’ve probably noticed that the TippingpointLabs.com interface has changed. This current deployment is part of our perpetual makeover. Please let us know what you think by commenting below. Design, navigation, user experience, feature enhancements, whatever tickles your fancy. Or comment on where the … Continued

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