Fun With PowToon

Summary: The following article tells of a great (but time-limited) deal for making animated videos.  At the bottom, there is a video demo of the results I got with my first try.


I got a great deal from AppSumo yesterday on the Pro version of PowToon. is an online service that lets you make very quick animated videos. You can use it for explainer-videos, marketing and just plain entertainment. You can publish what you do as a movie or a slide show. PowToon will even put it directly into YouTube, Facebook and/or other media.

And, if you take the PowToon upgrade offer in the already fabulously discounted Pro deal from AppSumo, you’ll be able to use your creations commercially. It usually costs $228 for a year’s subscription to PowToon, but AppSumo is offering it for $49.  And the upgrade offered after you register at PowToon is another $49 for the commercial license.  Apparently the usual cost for the commercial upgrade is over $600.

In addition to the ways you can use it on your website, you could also make entertaining slides for some serious presentations.  After all, one of the most-given pieces of advice to educators and speakers is to add humor or something that is entertaining and engaging to presentations.

These days, it isn’t just content that is king, it’s video content that is king.  And video (or slideshow) content is king for speaking, training and educational professionals as well.

I have no relationship to either or other than being a customer.  If you want to try before committing any money, they have a free version.  But don’t wait too long.  This is only good for a few days.

As a brand-new user of PowToon, I took the opportunity to try it out by making a demo of what can be done in a matter of minutes with their system.  It ain’t polished, but it is my first attempt.  Have a look.

Have A Heart On Valentine’s Day

fancyheartballoonsOn Valentine’s day we think more of romantic love than other kinds.  But, when you were a kid in elementary school, you probably participated in Valentine’s card exchanges with all the other kids in your classroom.

When we were young we were taught to think of Valentine’s cards as sort of friendship cards.

Let me add another kind of love — another kind of friendship — to the mix.  I want to encourage you to think of the kind of caring for your fellow man that leads to supporting everyone’s well-being.  Most of us call it charity.

The “Great Recession” has been hard on everyone. And it has affected organizations that depend on private donations and public funding to a greater extent than most others.  Maybe while you’re buying a nice card for your sweetheart, you could take a moment to think of others who need a great deal more than a simple card.

I’m not proposing any particular organization. I’m proposing that you send a little caring “something” to support a cause you believe in.  You can support the hungry.  You can support the arts.  You can support a little league team.  Whatever.

If you can afford a fancy card, a box of chocolates and some flowers, perhaps you can also afford a $5.00 donation to a worthy cause.  You have friends who could use a little love on Valentine’s day.


Happy Birthday to All My Macs

I’m a die-hard Mac fan. You do not want to get me started on the virtues of Mac. Especially if there’s another Mac enthusiast nearby who can join me. I could go on for hours, with someone else to share the enthusiasm, I could go on for days.

I got my first Mac in March 1985. It was called a “Fat Mac” or a Mac 512K. Not to brag too much about the durability of Macs, I have to tell you that the last time I powered it up to see if it still worked was in 1995. It did. I still have it, for sentimental reasons. Having used other computers of the era — including the Commodore 64(!) and, of course, IBM’s idea of a computer — I found it to be revolutionary. I still find Macs to be revolutionary. I’ve had a number of Macs as my primary computers over the years, both desktops and laptops. I’ve had to use PC’s for various reasons and generally find them a “I’m going to pull my hair out” experience, comparatively speaking. Macs still leave PC’s eating their dust.

In honor of the 30th birthday celebrations still going on, I thought I’d share this beautiful video from Apple’s YouTube channel. (By the way, would you believe me if I said I was only 3 years old when I got my first Mac? Didn’t think so.)