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Tuesday
Aug172010

How to offset the carbon footprint for a start-up

Shame on us. It took nearly a year to get this project on the road but now we're ready. Here is what we learned:

  1. Get inspired to do something (for me this helped a lot)

  2. Start mapping out your carbon usage, see the results of our estimations below.

  3. Figure out some criteria for the offset project that you like. We found many projects that we are skeptical of but we agreed on 2 criteria: a) ability to easily contact the people who were running the project b) the project should impact social change, economic development and CO2 offsetting at the same time

  4. Based on our criteria we found this stove project. It claims that: a) families who get a stove gets dramatically improved health b) local entrepreneurs and the families receiving the stoves are involved and c) each stove lasts for about 10 year and saves about 2-3 tons of CO2 / year & stove

  5. From here on doing the math is easy: 150/(2.5*10)= 6 stoves = USD 1 350



If you have experience of your own, please share below. This year is thought to become the warmest year since we stared measuring. We need to become smart at this.
Tuesday
Jul132010

Prezi: the antidote against becoming a presentation zombie

Poor presentations are like the undead. They paralyze the audience, make them fell asleep while the rubbish presenter speaks sotto voce on stage reading the speach word-for-stumbling-word. There's no presentation tool that can make a zombie speaker stand out, and a poor idea shine, but if you need a little "oomph" to make your good presentation great Prezi can make the change. These words have been written by Denna Jones, a writer, designer and consultant in a guest post (read part 1, part 2 here) for communications expert Ian Griffin's blog. Denna points out that instead of creating a linear line of slides, Prezi allows the speaker to encourage a dialoge, and visualize ideas as if you were drawing a mind map for your audience.

We have become excited about the piece and asked Denna to share her thoughts about how to become a better presenter with Prezi and never again be a dead man walking on stage.


You say many Powerpoint users don't even get through the first level of understanding the tool, that's why there are so many bad presentations.

Remember the “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” adverts? The characters could easily be switched to PPT and Prezi, and I probably don’t need to point out which one is Prezi! PPT has its virtues, but it’s not an intuitive programme, so I’m not surprised users balk at learning more than the fundamentals. My confession? I don’t know all that PPT can do either. I do two things with PPT. I import designs I’ve created in Photoshop, and I embed short video. That’s it. And maybe I should rephrase those last couple of sentences in the past tense. I *used* to do that before I upgraded to Prezi!

How do you think Prezi helps it's users to develop their skills?

Prezi shows the user their cloud of ideas, and also how to see their ideas and information in the way they think – a non-linear conversational dialogue. Here’s what I hope is an effective analogy. Before 1974 the generally accepted World map was the Mercator projection, but then along came the Gall-Peters Projection - an area accurate map. The US shrunk. Africa ballooned. Our perception of our world, ourselves, our countries and our roles changed. Gall-Peters led to a plethora of new maps with new relative values. This is how I see Prezi. It allows each user to establish their own relative values “map”.

As you put it, Prezi can provide the little "oomph" to propel your presentation from good to great. How do you think Prezi can help the audience to understand more of the topic?

The audience experience is not dissimilar from the creator’s experience. The audience may be familiar with a subject – or belive they are – but Prezi frames the material in ways that allow new insights and “a-ah!” moments.

How can prezi help to generate a dialog about ideas?

I think Prezi can work a bit like Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies card deck. The cards unleash the creative powers we all possess, but sometimes we just need a push to unlock our unconscious mind. Prezi is that powerful “push”.

In your article you agree with others who say it's all about the speaker and then comes the tool. How do you think one can be a better public speaker?

That’s an easy answer. Know your subject inside and out. And hopefully if you do know your subject inside and out it’s because you’re interested in the subject. So knowledge and enthusiasm should by default make a good speaker. I really believe most stage fright happens when presenters don’t know their subject. And if you can’t project your voice, make sure you’ve got a headpiece mic. And if possible move around a bit rather than be rooted to one spot!

You are a designer and writer. What do you use Prezi for?

Pitches! I used to do a lot of public lectures as well as lectures to students when I was Designer in Residence at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, but in the last six months my presentations are all about getting organizations to buy into my ideas and either commission me or fund the idea. I feel I’ve got almost an unfair advantage with Prezi because it has such a “wow!” factor. And I was interested in what a colleague tweeted about recently. He had an arts funding meeting with UK wealth managers. He reported they complained that creative organisations were not very dynamic or enterprising. I feel good about that negative comment because I know I’ve got great ideas AND I’ve got Prezi – a winning combination!

Monday
Jun282010

Prezi has a new dress!


Light like a sketch on a sheet of paper you create in a café, fresh colors to please your eye and more clarity when it comes to managing your prezi: Prezi's new website has arrived with the summer heat!




Behind the pretty face you'll find important fixes and upgrades. Here is our little list of changes:

Before: You had to click one of your prezi thumbnails to get the pop-up manage window to find the manage, share, and open options for a certain prezi. 

After: Most of the options to manage your prezi (like download, share, embed) have moved to the public prezi page (the page where your public prezis can be found, like this one). Please see the details on our illustration after the jump!

Before: Account settings were hard to find.

After: You can manage your account from "Your prezis" page. From here you can also download PreziDesktop (the offline editor for Pro users).

And on top of it all you can enjoy a clean, smooth layout that inspires you to create.

Please tell us what you think in the comment area and click continue for detailed description of everything new!  Please don't forget to share your thoughts on Twitter and most of all, happy zooming with Prezi!



New page for your public prezis:






Your prezi library has a nice new home too:



Friday
Jun252010

Scheduled maintenance this weekend!

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Dear Prezi Authors,


We're making important updates to prezi.com! Therefore, we’ll have to unplug prezi.com this Saturday and Sunday, June 26 - June 27 from 10-11am CET (08:00-9:00am GMT) for maintenance.

During the process, our online services will be unavailable. This means:

1. You won’t be able to reach Prezi.com, the online editor,
2. You can’t login or reach your online Prezis from PreziDesktop (offline editor available for Pro users).
3. You can still edit, and export presentations with PreziDesktop in offline mode (since the software is not necessarily connected to the internet).
4. Of course you can even show your Prezis during downtime, if you have previously downloaded them to your computer.

Once the scheduled downtime is over, we will notify you immediately on the blog and via Twitter.

Wednesday
Jun022010

Book about creating prezis will hit Dutch market soon

It all started with a tweet last summer. Hedwyg van Groenendaal -- a web education center owner and mother of three -- got the message and soon started to build her first prezi.

With years of authoring and teaching experience of web design and different titles such as (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Dreamweaver, Flash, ActionScript, PHP, SEO) Hedwyg decided to write a guide, sharing her impressions and suggestions about how to create better presentations with Prezi. Beyond the introduction, we asked how she thinks a good prezi should be made.


How did you get to know Prezi?

In the summer of 2009 I saw a tweet about Prezi , looked at Prezi.com, started an account and dove into it. The first big surprise as an author of several Flash books was the fact that the tool was made in Flash. The second surprise was the ease of Prezi which allowed me to create my first prezi in minutes! The tool was so intuitive to work with I was enthusiastic about it immediately and decided to create a prezi for my next lecture. The audience reaction was enthusiastic and my love for Prezi was born.

How did you decide to write a book about Prezi?

After I learned more about Prezi I started teaching other people about it. I began giving workshops and courses to companies and individuals. Meanwhile, I had good contact with the Prezi team and when I told them about my plans of a Prezi book they reacted enthusiastically. One nice detail is that Prezi co-founder, Adam Somlai-Fischer, has a background in building architecture -- just like me.

Lots of people started discovering Prezi and I saw lots of beautiful prezis passing by. But the use of Prezi is not obvious and simple for everyone, and not everyone knows immediately how they should use Prezi in an efficient way. I love to share my knowledge, so I called my publisher.

Beyond an introduction to Prezi, what readers can learn from your book?

The book will be a complete Prezi guide, not just an introduction. I think it is important for Prezi authors to learn about the background of Prezi. So in the first chapters I’ll explain what Prezi is and where it comes from. I talk about mind mapping in relation to Prezi and about the real strength of Prezi. I’ll show what you can use Prezi for, because you can do more with Prezi than just creating presentations. Before I started writing the book I used Prezi to create a mindmap for the book structure. It helped me enormously! I saw immediately the structure of the book, which chapters I should write and in which order. Of course I’ll explain how Prezi works with all the necessary tutorials but, maybe more importantly, I’ll show the reader how to create a good prezi. And at the end I’ll explain how to give good presentations using Prezi. Of course I’ll give lots of valuable tips for using Prezi too.

What advice would you give users to create better presentations?

Please, don’t use Prezi as a substitute for PowerPoint. Use Prezi for its real strengths: overview, hierarchy and zooming. Give your audience an overview so they won’t get lost. Give them hierarchy so they know the difference between main topics and details. And use zooming to give your audience a great experience.

Please tell a little more about your experiences!

My company, Via Milia, is an education center for the web. I’ve been building websites since 1993, actually since the first graphical browser NCSA Mosaic. In the year 2000 I opened an education center for the web. In 2001 I wrote “Flash ActionScript”, my first book. It was a book for designers and in this book I taught non-programmers all the basics of programming in Flash in quite an easy way with a lot of interesting examples and projects. In the spring of 2003 my second book was published “Webdesign, from concept to realization”. This book teaches you how to write a well considered Internet Project Plan for your website. The book is written both for webdesigners and managers and gives you in eight steps all the information you need to write an Internet Project Plan for a successful website. This book is a bestseller in the Netherlands and Belgium, and complete new editions were published in 2006 and 2009. I also wrote several other books about Flash and a book about Dreamweaver.