This post is to let everyone know that I’ve moved to a WordPress.org blog at http://www.virtualassist.net/blog

See you over there!

Andrea Kalli

Podcasting workshops available through the University of Virtual Assistants, starting in January 2007  

To be presented by Podcasting Expert Penny Haynes of 1st Podcast Publishing. These podcasting workshops are available for all interested parties, not only virtual assistants. For more information contact Cheryl at cheryl@uofvas.com

The NEW Podcasting Handbook for Busy EntrepreneursTuesdays beginning January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, PLUS Individual Bonus Sessions on February 20; 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. MST (1 – 2:30 pm EST)The NEW Podcasting Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs – 9+ Hour Course: 
How To Add Podcast Production, Podcast Marketing and Podcast Administration to Your Arsenal of Virtual Services.
Virtual Assistants are only as valuable as their arsenal of skills.  Offer something other Virtual Assistants do not, and you increase your clientele reach exponentially. How valuable would your services be if you could:·         Place entrepreneurs in front of millions of pre-qualified clients in their target market?·         Increase their search engine ranking and internet visibility at very little expense?  Take this course, and you will be able to offer these powerful marketing services to any of your clients!FACTS:

  • There are 60+ million iPod and MP3 players as of 2006.
  • That number will DOUBLE to 132 million by 2009.
  • 70%+ of 2007 model vehicles will be compatible with iPods.
  • Podcasts will soon be deliverable to cell phones, and
  • almost 1 BILLION cell phones will be sold in 2006.
  • 75% of THESE Portable Player Owners will download Podcasts.
  • Who will these people be listening to?  Your Client?  Or his COMPETITION?

The Podcasting Handbook 7 Week (9+ hour) Course will not only teach you how to Podcast for your own business, but will give you all of the tools necessary to offer Podcasting services to every client.  Most Coaches and Speakers love to talk, but don’t want to spend their very valuable time editing audios to make them sound professional.  That’s where YOU come in.  You will learn (and with practice, be able to teach interested clients) ·        How to record audio, ·        How to edit audio, ·        How to mix music with vocals (great for Coaches who want to offer affirmation and meditation CDs), ·        How to add ID3 Tags (important keyword feature)·        How to upload the file to a webhost, ·        How to create an RSS feed·        How to create the Podcast/Blog post (in a way to increase a business’ search engine ranking)·        What peripheral administrative functions you can perform to assist existing and potential Podcasters, from internet research to website statistics to listing podcasts in online directories.Best of all, you will be able to introduce clients to a very inexpensive but extremely efficient way of gaining search engine ranking and internet visibility WITHOUT having to spend money on advertising!You will receive – ·         The Podcasting Handbook Multi-Media Ebook (Course Outline), including screen print tutorials, audio and video recordings, Checklists and Homework assignments·         A Free Recording and Editing Program for PCs (a free program for Mac users is available)·         A Free Mixing Program for PCs·         Six (6) weeks of 90-minute group training sessions·         Assistance with weekly assignments via online private Forum.·         Bonus Seventh week includes one-on-one ½ hour sessions for personalized business and marketing planning.·         All public sessions are recorded and made accessible for download after each class.·         Private sessions are also recorded and sent to the individual Student for later review.·         Access to a Continuing Education Forum for all class alumni.  This provides Students access to the teacher beyond the class term for any technical podcasting assistance.This course will provide you with a second virtual business that serves clientele in every type of career.Length: 90 minutes per class beginning at 11 a.m. MST.  Last week of class is reserved for one-on-one coaching throughout the day (or week, depending on the number of students).
Cost: $600.00 per participant
Limit of 10 participants
(minimum of 3)

Smooth Speaking: Eliminating Ums, Ahs, Likes, etc. from Your Speech.  Wednesdays beginning January 10, 17, 24; 10 a.m. MST (12pm EST) Smooth Speaking teaches you how to take control over your speech to eliminate extraneous and distracting verbal habits. Most people have no idea what they sound like in everyday conversation, much less in business meetings and seminar presentations. They’re speech is filled with meaningless words, broken sentences, stuttering and repeating. Particularly in the virtual business realm, when people first meet you, they rate your professionalism not only by your resume, but predominantly according to your speech.  Clear, precise communication can make or break your business.  I guarantee that by the end of the 3rd class, you will no longer be controlled (or limited) by your speech.  Instead, your speech will be one of your greatest selling points. ***BONUS: Students who have completed the course and proven proficiency in their own speech will be eligible to offer private Smooth Speaking seminars, utilizing this curriculum, for your private clients.You will receive – ·         Three (3) 60 minute sessions:o        Session #1:  Introduction to Smooth Speaking:  What’s YOUR Challenge?o        Session #2:  Learn The Secrets of Smooth Speaking: Working One on Oneo        Session #3:  Practicing Impromptu Speaking: The Proof is in the Pudding·         Recordings of every class to be available for review and evaluation·         Eligible Students will receive a License and Curriculum to offer the Smooth Speaking Seminar to your own clients.Length: 60 minutes per class beginning at 10 a.m. MST. 
Cost: $200.00 per participant
Limit of 10 participants
(minimum of 3)

Now, I’m not sure if this is the absolute best way to handle this, but so far it has worked great for me and others that I have set this up for. If anyone has a better idea, I am all ears.

I create video tutorials using a program called Camtasia Studio. Then I produce them in a format best suited for viewing via the web. I didn’t want just anyone to have access to these videos, only people that I gave permission to. So, what I did was create a Web Part Page and added links to each section of video tutorials into a Content Editor Web Part. I’ve included a document with a screen shot with this posting (hope that works) so you can see what it looks like. I had to upload all the video files to my SharePoint site (which is a hosted site btw) using FrontPage 2003. Once you get going with the process it’s really easy to do. Based on how Camtasia Studio produces the videos for web viewing by creating several files, to include a flash file, and an html file that pulls from the flash file. You set the hyperlink in the CEWP to point to the html file, and voila! Anyway, this keeps users from downloading the video tutorials and they can only be displayed when they have access to the SharePoint site.

Andrea

What is SharePoint?

September 28, 2006

Hello everyone. I have put together a demo Sharepoint site and created a business model that includes Contact Management, Project Management, Sales Management, Employee Management, and Company Management. I based it on the Office Live sample data you get when you sign up for an Office Live account. Office Live is based on SharePoint technology and I thought they did a great job of putting things together for users. Once I had the Sharepoint site built I created some demo videos for people to see the business model and what is possible with Sharepoint Services.

This business model doesn’t use programming or anything else a regular user cannot build for themselves. Customizing the forms and views is what drives it. If you want to see an example of what Sharepoint can do for a business without the need for high cost development, check out my videos. There are three of them and each one is a succession of the other, so you’ll want to go in order. Each video is 10 to 16 minutes in length. I use Camtasia studio to create my videos and produce them in a FLASH format for web viewing.

If you get a chance, please let me know what you think about them.

Video 1:
Video 2:

Video 3:

This is a continuation of : Trumba Calendar in a SharePoint site = Event registration functionality within SharePoint environment http://www.sharepointblogs.com/akalli/archive/2006/06/08/8232.aspx

I’ve had more time to explore how this is going to work for us, and the subject came up as to how we might be able to tie the event payment process in with the Trumba event calendar and our SharePoint site. Trumba doesn’t offer the ability to take payments from people who sign up for your events. I mean, why would they? I wouldn’t expect them to.

  • In the spirit of keeping it simple, here’s what we did to work around the whole payment thing…we created customized paypal buttons for each event using the paypal button wizard on paypals website. We put those buttons next to each event description on our website and bookmarked them. We put the url (including the bookmark) into the Ticket Web Link field on the trumba form (we use the Education template) for the corresponding event item. This process seems to work like a charm.**************
    The user clicks on an event item in the calendar that is displayed on our SharePoint site,
  • they click RSVP to sign up for the event,
  • they click the link in the Ticket Web Link field which opens a new window and takes them directly to a PayPal button on our website,
  • when they click the PayPal button it has all the information for the event already there (name of event, cost of event, etc. ),
  • they finish the PayPal process,
  • they close the window and they are still on our Trumba calendar item.
  • They get a reciept for thier payment from PayPal,
  • they can put the event item on thier calendar,
  • we get notification of registration from Trumba and of payment from PayPal.

We are very happy with how this works!

*****************
For this kind of functionality in a free service, I don’t know how it could get any easier. Plus it has the added bonus of bringing visitors to our website.

I hope some of this helps those looking for a simple event registration system with a round-about way to incorporate event payments.

Andrea Kalli

When most small companies read about SharePoint Services and all it can do for them, they may be wondering how they can afford such a great tool. After all, small companies (even ones with a single person) need to collaborate with team members, partners, customers, etc. just as much as larger companies do. Usually, they don’t have the kind of infrastructure in-house that’s needed. They may not even have a server, depending on the size of the company. That’s where SharePoint hosting companies come in. For an incredibly affordable $20 a month ( a typical price, but you’ll need to shop around ), the small company and solo entrepreneur can get a SharePoint Services site with unlimited users, unlimited sub-sites, and 1GB of space. These specs and prices will vary between the different hosting companies, so again…shop around. In a nutshell, a hosted SharePoint Services site is a rented SharePoint space on someone else’s server. Your data will be there and not in-house. If you are OK with that, then it’s a great solution for the majority of folks out there needing this type of functionality. Many hosting companies offer several package options. There are limitations administratively. For example, you will not be able to install 99% of the web parts out there, free or otherwise, as the majority of web part installation usually requires installation on the server…and it’s standard that you will not have permission to do this. The hosting company that I use has already installed over 60 custom web parts for us to play with and use. They have also already installed a ton of custom templates to utilize. If you have a problem, you’ll submit a help ticket, so you will want to make sure that whatever hosting company you select has a nice support system in place for their users. I found a nice list of SharePoint hosting companies listed at http://wss.collutions.com/pages/VII%20-%20Documents%20and%20Web%20Sites.aspx. Look at FAQ 03 for the list. It’s not all encompassing, but it’s a great start. You might want to google “sharepoint hosting” to find more.

Just because you’re small, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the type of functionality that SharePoint Services can offer. The resources are out there…just waiting for you.

Andrea Kalli