24 January 2013

ESC To Dissolve

After more than 20 years of operation, the Educational Software Cooperative will be dissolved.

Since its establishment in 1992, ESC has welcomed software developers, publishers, teachers, parents, students, webmasters, and other supporters of educational software.

ESC offered its members online forums where they could discuss issues ranging from educational technology to building a software business. The association featured a printed newsletter, a 17-year Member of the Month recognition program, annual meetings held at the Software Industry Conference (SIC), annual awards for outstanding educational software, a download site featuring members' software applications, and many other special projects that benefited the educational software community.

At a special meeting held in January, 2013 a majority of ESC's members voted to shut down the corporation. All ESC members are to be provided with a one-year membership in the Association of Software Professionals where they will have the opportunity to work together to further educational technology.

Although the ESC corporation will longer exist, ESC's blog at http://www.education-software.org will continue to be available to the public.

04 January 2013

Notice of Special Meeting

The ESC Board of Directors has called a Special Meeting to be held online in the ESC forum between January 14 and January 18, 2013. The ESC forum is at http://www.edu-soft.org/forum/index.php If you do not recall your username or password, or if you are unable to see the Members-only section of the forum, please contact webmaster Rosemary West or treasurer Richard Hart. Details of the meeting agenda will be sent via email to all current members within the next few days.

02 January 2013

Save the Date - Special Meeting

The ESC Board of Directors has called a Special Meeting to be held online in the ESC forum between January 14 and January 18, 2013. Official notice and details of the agenda will be sent via email to all current members within the next few days.

If you are an ESC member, please make sure we have your current email address. In case you do not receive the official notice, you are still entitled to participate in the meeting.

14 December 2012

High-Logic B.V.'s MainType Wins
2012 Epsilon Award for Software Excellence

High-Logic B.V.'s MainType was named the winner of the 2012 Epsilon Award at the 12th annual European Software Conference. Each year, The Epsilon Award recognizes the best software application from the European software and microISV community.

MainType takes the frustration out of managing your Windows fonts. Using drag and drop, MainType lets you find, preview, organize, install, and print your fonts. Unlike simple font preview applications, MainType is designed for graphic artists, typographers, and other power users who demand high-end functionality such as network support, plug-ins, advanced categorizing and searching capabilities, and fast searches for the fonts that they need.

The new database structure allows MainType to start processing fonts immediately, and results in substantially improved processing speed, even on systems with tens of thousands of fonts. The database design makes it simple to back up and restore your font library. Network support allows access to fonts that are stored on a network drive.

MainType 5 runs under Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2003/2000, and costs $39(US) for a single-user license of the Standard Edition and $79 for the Professional Edition. For more information, contact High-Logic B.V., Tuinstraat 60, 3732 VM De Bilt, The Netherlands.

The Epsilon Award's second-place winner was Cosmin Unguru's BatchPhoto.

The 13th annual European Software Conference will be held November 2nd and 3rd, 2013 in Venice, Italy. Additional information about the Epsilon Award, and about the European Software Conference, can be found on www.euroconference.org

06 December 2012

Create and Keep Software Customers

Michael LeBoeuf, the author of the book "How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life," talks about selling products and services.

Many people believe that the main job of employees in general - and salespeople in particular - is to make sales. In reality, LeBoeuf tells us, the most important task of everybody in the company is to create and keep customers.

LeBoeuf makes a strong distinction between selling and helping people to buy. He says that traditional selling is manipulative - we try to persuade prospects to purchase the products or services that we happen to sell. Helping people to buy, on the other hand, means finding out what people really need and want, and helping them find these things.

People love to buy. They like to own things, and they feel empowered by spending money and acquiring stuff. But people don't like to be sold.

We take pride in the purchases that we're happy with, and we blame other people - typically, salespeople - for the purchases that we ultimately don't care for.

LeBoeuf tells us to find out what prospects want and need, help them buy these products and services, and make them feel good about their purchases.

   - by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

01 December 2012

Member of the Month, December 2012

Member of the MonthCongratulations to Tom Bodine of Bodine Training Games, our newest Member of the Month! For details, please see the page at edusoft-mom.blogspot.com.

26 November 2012

Do Users Like to Click Links?

Krug's Second Law of Usability says that it doesn't matter if users have to click a lot, as long as they don't have to think about what they're clicking. That's what Steve Krug said in his book "Don't Make Me Think - A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability."

I think Krug means that your website visitors will eventually find what they want because they'll keep clicking things on your site. I'm not at all sure that Krug is correct. My experience has been that website visitors give up quickly if they don't find what they're looking for after just a few seconds. So I believe that you'll sell more software if you make sure people understand what they're clicking.

Your website visitors won't understand much of the tech talk that appears on so many developers' sites. And they won't understand some of the abbreviations and acronyms that many microISVs use.

My advice is that you take the time required to carefully design and write a sales presentation that provides a straightforward pathway for all of the groups of end-users that you're targeting.

- by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy