Archive for November, 2008

iVOTE! Election Results

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

iVOTE!

The results are in, and iVOTE! ‘08 proved to be a winner! Over 1,500 students voted in early and regular elections. But what I am most excited about its how well they did in defending their reasons why they voted the way they did. They thoughtfully considered the issues that were important to them and delivered great reasons as to why others should select their candidate.

Buzzworthy

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Buzzword

Today, I’ll be giving a short presentation to NUIT staff on Buzzword, Adobe’s online word processor. I’m sure no one thinks a word processor is all that exciting, but I totally heart Buzzword, which is why I was asked to present on it.

With Buzzword, I always have any project I’m working on at hand, because it’s online. And because it’s online, I can also collaborate with other writers on it. When I’m writing, my collaborators can’t edit, until I pass it off to them, allowing for a seamless work-flow. My collaborators can leave comments or edit (if I choose to give them that power). A history is kept, so I can return to earlier drafts if I don’t like certain changes, which means I don’t have to constantly Save As. Inserting pictures and graphs is super easy and what I get on the screen is what I get when I print out, with all the comments listed at the end of the document, being referenced like footnotes.

Also, Buzzword does a great job of organizing documents for me. I can find documents by authors, date created, date last opened, length and my role. I can also make any Buzzword document a PDF.

I also love Buzzword’s price. FREE.

Last, but in no way least, Buzzword is just plain pretty to look at and fun to work with. That might not sound like much, but for those of us who spend way too much time writing out stuff, the expereince should be as pleasurable as possible, not like using a chisel and stone tablet to hash out your ideas. I mean, wasn’t technology supposed to make our lives better? Are you listening Microsoft?! The menus look and move beautifully and are easy to find. They have great fonts available and moving between pages and document is a breeze.

Is everything awesome in Buzzword-land? Nuh-uh. Sometimes it won’t let me use certain key commands, like ctrl+z, which, as you can imagine, is SUPER annoying. So then I’ll use the menu for other commands, and it will scold me for not using the key commands. GRRR. Also, a word count for the whole document is great, but when you’re working on a large document that you have to submit in pieces (like, say, a grant), you need to have word counts for the different sections. It stinks that I have to open up Word to paste segments in there to see how many words they are. Bleargh. Also, Buzzowrd is part of Acrobat.com, which offers cool tools like file storage and sharing and ConnectNow, a net little app that lets you collaborate via live video and chat. You would think you could collaborate on a Buzzwrd document Live on ConnectNow, but you can’t, unless you share your screen. Can’t I just share it with the other two people in my ConnectNow session in the main screen, like where I have my whiteboard?

Other than that, Buzzword is the raddest, and my favorite word processor to date (sorry, Google ... I guess it was just a fling).