My Favorite Free Communications Tools

I am frequently amazed by how many excellent communications tools are now available for free. Just a few years ago they were either not available at all or were expensive. Now, with a little time and ingenuity you can express yourself (or promote your clients) in ways we only dreamed about.

Here are a few of my favorites.

  • WordPress: This blogging platform has now evolved into a full fledged Content Management System that rivals Drupal and Joomla but which (IMHO) is much more intuitive to use for the non-programmer. Not only is the platform itself free, but there are thousands of free templates, to give you a customized look and feel, and innumerable free plug-ins that provide a wide variety of functionality. I use both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, depending on the application. Certainly for the complete novice, the hosted platform at WordPress.com is a blessing. My 11 year old daughter set up a blog by herself in less than an hour on WordPress!
  • Freeconference.com: This free webconferencing service is easy to use and works pretty well. Only once have I had a problem with the sound quality.
  • YouTube: With a little imagination you can create your own broadcasting channel on any topic you want. While it’s helpful to provide your own content, even that’s not necessary: You can bring other people’s videos into your Channel using playlists.
  • Blog Booker: Turn your blog into a PDF book in less than five minutes. It works like a charm!
  • Self-publish your e-Book in a number of electronic formats including Amazon Digital Text Platform (DTP), Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble PubIt. While these services don’t charge you for creating your book, all do take royalties on sales.

Of course there are also platforms such as Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn for people who want to stay connected.

The hardest part is keeping track of all of the new offerings. I’ve really been enjoying the proliferation of these new digitally available platforms and products because they have allowed me to manage my own content on line and present it in visually appealing packages. I was shocked recently to find that I was able to recreate a site that in WordPress that I paid major $$ for someone to build for me in Drupal. The real kicker? Mine looks better.

Turn your blog into a book . . . in less than five minutes

If you’ve been blogging faithfully you’ve probably amassed quite a lot of content. That’s content you want to safeguard, save or maybe repackage it.

But, it’s trapped in WordPress or Blogger so what can you do that’s quick, easy and free? With http://www.blogbooker.com you can turn it into a pdf file that can then be bound into a book or edited and used in other ways!

This program is way cool and, even better, it’s free. First you export your blog files (in WordPress, that’s a tool function), then you upload them onto BlogBooker. Your PDF book is ready almost instantly.

I used it to create a PDF book of the first year of posts from http://www.equineink.com. The book ran slightly more than 450 pages and it includes the text, the images and the comments.

Some people may be able to run with the copy just like that but I’m now editing and reorganizing the files to make them work better in a linear format.

While this is fun for your personal project, think of how it can be applied to professional or client blogs . . . it has never been easier to make your blog into a book.

BlogBooker
Turn your Blog into a PDF Book/Archive.

BlogBooker