Is Your Company Using Web Conferencing?

After talking with a colleague who is considering purchasing a web conferencing service for their small 20 person company, I realized that he had no idea of the capabilities of a web conferencing service. Most people think of web conferencing as a simple collaboration tool. However, with the convergence of technology and widely adopted broadband, web conferencing services have expanded to include things like lead generation, training, remote support and IT, and sales demonstrations.

I recently wrote a whitepaper on all of the ways a company can use a web conferencing service and I invite you to take a look at it.

Web Conferencing has become a critical resource for companies in their quest to cut costs, improve efficiencies and connect increasingly diverse work spaces. In my next post, I will show you how to choose a web conferencing provider.

Office Humor with a Holiday Spin

I’m switching it up this month in honor of the impending, or rather already bustling Holiday madness, and sending out a bit of Yuletide humor. Please feel free to sing out loud to the tune of Silent Night. You'll likely get so caught up in the festiveness of the song, your co-workers may start to sing along. See – the rhyming has already begun.

 

 


From the ReadyTalk Crew to You!

Silent night, late work night
All is calm now, I just might
Wrap it up at the office for now
These to-do’s seem fairly mild
I’ll sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

(…two hours later)
What a night, crazy night!
I start to quake at the sight
These papers are slowly piling up,
I need a larger coffee cup!
My Outlook box is cursed
Outlook is certainly cursed!

(…three hours later)
Infinite night, eternal night!
Son of a gun, is that morning light?!
Eyes are bulging out of my face
A shot of RedBull – my redeeming grace
I should have just walked away
Put that dang laptop away!

8 hours, 12 hours, 24…a blur
How in the world did this mayhem occur??
I must not check inbox ‘one last time’,
I must get some rest, I’m starting to rhyme!
Closing and shutting down
Just have to write one last thing down…

My Trip To Nepal (part 5)

Nepal-622-2As I sit here and reflect about this experience 2 weeks later a few key things come to mind. The first one is “just do it”. Say it out loud, make that reservation, buy that ticket, climb that mountain. People ask me “how do you do these special things?” I just did them—no magic involved, just go do it.

Secondly, find a workplace that matches who you are as a person. It may sound corny, but I finally found an employer who not only respects who I am as a person but who also wants to see me lead a fulfilling life. I used to feel like a fish out of water at so many places I used to work. The people who make up ReadyTalk exemplify the way I want to live my life—work to live, not live to work. I would like to take this space to truly thank ReadyTalk for letting me accomplish one of my life's goals – break 20,000 feet.
 

My Trip to Nepal (part 4)

Nepal---YakIt finally came time to summit. I was lucky and got the typical altitude-related health problems out of the way early—others on my team weren’t so lucky. With 4 of the 5 of us suffering a nasty respiratory infection, we woke up at 2:00 a.m. on summit day, coughing and hacking be damned. I was giddy and glad to hike in the darkness. One hour into the hike, one team member had to turn around. We pressed on and were treated to a sunrise I’ll never forget. Before I knew it, I was roped up and on the headwall approach to the summit ridge. This is what I’ve been focusing on for months. I have to say it felt good to stand at 19,000 ft. and look up a 45 degree pitch and say “I can do that. Just a 100 ft. from the top, my climbing partner, John was pulling on my rope and was flying up the last pitch. I had to overextend myself and take huge steps to keep up. I was toast. What’s it feel like at 20,000 ft.? Try 30 minutes on a Stairmaster with your mouth and half your nose taped shut.

After a short rest on the summit ridge, we had one more hill to climb and we’d have the summit all to ourselves. Island Peak sees about 1,200 summits a year, so during October it can be busy. Fifteen minutes later, I looked up at John and he was snapping photos of Ang Nuru, our climbing Sherpa, and just like that, I was on the summit!!! I MADE IT! 20,305 ft…CHECK!

The weather was clear and windy. I was finally there. I hooted, hollered and hugged my teammates. I took some snaps of the traveling ReadyTalk water bottle, made a few movie clips and hollered some more. I also spent a few moments to honor the memory of my sister who passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. It was 2 days past the 4th anniversary of her death. I carried some of her items with me and knew that her spirit was with me high in the Himalayas.


It was time to get off the mountain—we were only half way there. Luckily, we had an uneventful decent to base camp–a 15 hour day in total. I fell to the ground outside my tent exhausted but totally fulfilled. I did it. The first thing that popped into my mind was “What’s next? What did I discover on the summit? I want to go higher!”

 

My Trip to Nepal (part 3)

Nepal-443After six months of preparation, the time finally came to leave. After many well wishes and sad goodbyes to my family (oh, my wife is now 6 months pregnant with boy #2), I’m set for 2.5 days of traveling. I arrive in Kathmandu and meet my teammates, 7 climbers, 1 guide, 4 Sherpas and 5 yaks.

Kathmandu is as real as a city gets – busy, dirty, colorful, full of life. We toured Hindu and Buddhist temples, but I could not keep my mind off of the climbing that I actually came to do. We finally started our adventure on day three. The Nepalese, specifically the Sherpa people, are the most gentle and truly happy people I’ve ever come across. They even out charm the Fijians. If you’ve been there, you know it hard to out-nice Fijians.

Island Peak is roughly 30 miles and 12,000 vertical feet from our starting point, Lukla. But first, we’re going to hike to Everest Base camp (17,400 ft.) and climb a bump called Kala Pattar (18,500 ft) to get the best views of Everest (29,028 ft.) and Nuptse (25,801 ft.). It takes roughly 16 days to hike this circuit, mostly due to the elevation gain and lack of oxygen. By day three, the giant peaks started to show themselves. My personal favorite was Ama Dablam (22,349 ft.). A stunning chunk of rock and snow. We followed the normal route to Everest base camp from Lukla:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Phadking (9,000 ft.),
  • Khumjung (12,100 ft.),
  • Tengboche (12,350 ft.),
  • Pheriche (14,000 ft.),
  • Lobuche (16,100 ft.),
  • Gorak Shep (16,900 ft.),
  • Kala Pattar (18,500 ft.),
  • down to Dingboche (14,100 ft.),
  • up to Chukkung (15,000 ft.),
  • finishing at Island Peak Base Camp (16,700 ft.).

 

 

The one exception to following the normal route was a detour to the small village of Thame. Thame is a special place as it’s home to some of the strongest and most famous Sherpa climbers. There we met Lapka Rita Sherpa, he’s done Everest twelve times. We were honored to have tea with his parents.

Along the way our group became great friends, stepped in yak dung, got sick, sat with chanting Buddhist monks, got a special blessing from the Lama Gieshe, played hacky sack and cards. We visited the hospital and the school built by Sir Edmond Hilary and were continually awed by sights of new peaks around every corner.