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KASS JOHNS • Print & Web Publishing — tech writing :: copywriting :: content creation :: design

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Presentation Topics for Your Seminar

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I prefer a loose informal presentation. I trip on canned speeches. I am good extemporaneously. I like panel discussions best, they get more opinions on the table to trigger ideas. Here are a few sessions I specialize in. Contact me if you wish to vary one of these themes or come up with a new session.

Web Site Decisions

You have decided you need to do a web site for your business, but you don't know where to start. What sorts of things should you look for in hiring someone to help you or even by having someone in-house do it. Where do you find the time?
  • How do you get started?
  • What equipment and personnel or skills are needed?
  • Can I hire some (or all) of it out?
  • What do I look for in a web site service?
  • If my target audience is "x", then what sort of web site should I have?
  • Help me to be savvy enough to interview prospective web site consultants and developers
  • Help me keep from being taken advantage of by fast talking consultants

HTML 101 and Web Marketing

How can your business tap into this new media? What are some of the concerns you may have with this media versus traditional ink on paper delivery of information?
  • The pitfalls of HTML--what can and cannot be done?
  • How to optimize images for better viewer response
  • NetScape HTML versus "legitimate" HTML tags
  • What do viewers/clients look for in a page?
  • Do I need an HTML editor? Which one?
  • How about reference materials for Web Design?
  • Tips for page creation and the global market
  • What you should NOT do
  • The culture of the Web and styles

Mac Buying Tips

Heavily focused toward freelance, small design studios, home office.
This is my favorite and very best topic. (I really have a good background, since I was the buyer for a network of over 100 Macs! Not only that, but I am tight with my money! I consider myself the "Consumer advocate" for Macs!)

Need to buy a new Mac system? Need savvy tips to help you prevent "the attack of the used-computer-salesman?" What do you need when you buy an external SCSI device? What are important features to watch for? Printers & proofers--Adobe PostScript(tm) only--to clones, just say NO! How to get software at bargain basement prices. How to get hi-quality fonts from major foundries at bargain prices. What are the most important peripherals to add and when? Standards? This is the topic of my book-in-progress.

  • What hardware standards to look for (SCSI--external ID, external termination; PostScript(tm); removable media; etc.)
  • Support and Service--the two most important factors
  • Quality--warranties, cross-shipping policies
  • Speed--do you really need the fastest (most expensive)
  • Storage capacity
  • Ways to beef your hardware without going broke (accelerators, additional hard disks, memory)
  • How to get bargains on hardware (and especially software)
  • Buying used--what to look for
  • Accessories and media, where to get it cheap

Organizing your System & File Management

  • Managing your hard disk, files and folders
  • BackUp and Archive Storage--the differences
  • Keeping track of all your hardware (serial numbers, warranties, etc.)
  • Keeping track of your software (serial numbers, warranties, version numbers, tech support numbers)
  • How to organize your desktop files. Where to keep your fonts, utilities, applications and working files. Creating an organized file structure to maintain quality backups. Partitioning volumes for more efficient disk space, preventing fragmentation on the most often used volumes.
  • File management for organization and to be proactive on system troubleshooting

Font Issues

Management, legal licensing, protection, working with freelancers and output services. Who "owns" the font? What rights do you have? Review licensing agreements and legally accepted practice.

  • Legal Issues--Font Licensing, Piracy, distribution between client and service provider
  • What are the basic differences between Type1, Type3, TrueType, MultipleMaster, QuickDraw GX and what should I buy?
  • The Basic ABCs of ATM, Super ATM, Acrobat, Font Substitution
  • Design--Setting type like a professional
  • Font vendors--should I always buy mainstream or can I buy from small designers (employed out of their home)? What do I look for? Mainstream Font Foundries, Boutique Designers and the Knock-off fonts.
  • Font software utilities and tools
  • Font harmony, style merging and management

Training Issues & Solutions

Depending on budget, what can an organization do to train their staff and possibly clients? Stages, priorities? Prerequisites, reward incentives? Manuals, 3rd party books, self-guided tapes (audio & video), workshops and seminars (sponsored/developed by others), classes & workshops developed in-house. Newsletters with Information, Tips & Tricks columns to your client base, brown bag lunch "rap" sessions sponsored for your clients on-site. Participating in User Groups & professional organizations, trade publications made available (libraries, reading time allotted). In-house user group and/or shared with clients.

Who should you train? Management, sales/customer service reps, clients, technicians/users? How often? Does it pay to have a classroom and facilities? Which brand of canned training materials? Does Authorized status matter?

  • Is "DeskTop" all really that "user-friendly?" Do I need training?
  • Where do I get training?
  • What about self guided training (books, audio tapes, video tapes)?
  • How do I pick a good trainer?
  • Are "Authorized" trainers really the best or is it just a title that can be bought?

Contracting With Freelancers and Service Providers:
Legal, Technical & Practical Issues

Review licensing agreements and legally accepted practice. Using the clients fonts or the freelancer's fonts. Who owns the digital files? Which version of software to use (service provider's or the client's). What rights do you have? Transport media. A checklist of items to be discussed.

  • Media (and platform)
  • Software brands and versions, file formats
  • Fonts--theirs or mine, proprietary/custom
  • Who owns the files? What is expected--camera-ready/plate-ready output or editable digital files?
  • Communication between all parties. Taking responsibility for files--with use of features comes the responsibility.

Preparing your files for Service Bureaus

  • Did you make sure you include all the necessary parts with your files?
  • Working up-front ahead of time with your SB for font and application harmony
  • Making sure your SB is in-sync with your printer
  • How hot is HOT!
  • Loyalty to your service provider--your responsibility as a good client

Managing a Large Graphics Network

Learn to quickly install applications on the network (including the serialized biggies from Quark, Adobe & Aldus)--not piracy, just efficient installer time. Keeping consistent systems for minimum down-time. SyQuest drives for all make it easier to install and upgrade. Keep troubleshooting easier with large capacity removable media. Organization is my middle name! Many who have seen my systems are amazed and impressed by my dedication to production efficiency! Maximize that install time.

I once timed my install of a Mac IIci. (FYI--I have custom preferences for many of my apps.) I had the IIci out of the box with a 24-bit accelerated video card, reformatting the hard drive with Silverlining, installed: System 6.05, 600 harmonized fonts, QXP3, AI3, FreeHand3, Photoshop2, Painter, Word5, various utilities (SAM, Suitcase, ADark, Tempo, DiskTop, SCSI Probe), printing it's first page to the laser printer and walking out finished--in under 23 minutes! I have this stuff down to a science! I am spread too thin to waste time waiting for installers! BTW--my users rarely see a bomb (maybe once a year!). Not only does it go in quick, correct & legal--it works (and well!). (Yes, the needed installer resources get installed.)

Keeping it all inventoried, registered and up-to-date. I always have to update Quark (and now Aldus) on my correct serial numbers and registration dates! They never get it right. I have everything on record to prove all licenses!

This compilation is...
© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
The opinions and recommendations stated here are solely those of the author and are not the responsibility of anyone else. This is an independent publication not affiliated or otherwise associated with, sponsored by, or sanctioned by any vendor. We state here that we have used trademark names in this publication for editorial purposes only, with no intent to infringe on those trademarks. Permission is granted to copy this document for personal use only for *non-commercial* purposes, in electronic or printed form, provided that this copyright notice is not removed. This work may not be used on another Web site or online service, sold for profit, included within commercial works, or altered or changed in any way without the express written permission of the author.



© Copyright 1996-2001 v.7.5.00
Kass Johns
Technical Writer & Consultant to the Publishing & Telecommunications Industries
Colorado Springs, CO • www.kassj.com • 719/635-1306 (vc)
kass at kassj dot com

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