It should come as no surprise to folks who’ve read this column over the months that I love technology, and have chosen to make my living helping people gain a better understanding of how it can help their businesses compete, thrive, and survive. And in the Internet era that means creating large amounts of content. So here are two tech tools I can honestly say I can’t live without.
Name of the Product: Box.net
What it does: Online storage
Why I can’t live without it:Trying to reach prospects and build stronger ties with customers is unbelievably important, and the Web can be the ultimate platform to meet these two challenges. Now more than ever people are Google-ing for information and expecting to find it in various formats, including audio, video, PowerPoint, and Flash files. Files are getting bigger in order to create interesting content, so I need a service like Box.net to help me make my content accessible. Box.net allows you to store all kinds of content on their servers, making them available to be downloaded to the public, or by invitation only. The basic service is free allowing you to store 1GB of content and transfer up to 10GB content a month. I use the premium service which costs a few dollars a month but allows for 15GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth for downloading my content.
Box.net also makes it easy to create Web pages and blog entries that include my radio show recording clips. I can also take the bits of code created by Box.net and give it to other people to include in their Web pages, giving my content an even wider distribution and expanding my presence on the Web. Box.net even has a Facebook widget that allows me to share files with my network.
Name of the Product: Adobe Audition 3.0
What it does: Audio editing software
Why I can’t live without it:I host and produce a weekly radio show in Atlanta. I also take the recording of the show and turn it into a podcast that people can listen to on the Web or download onto their iPods from the iTunes store. There is no way I could do the show or the podcast without Adobe Audition. Audition allows me to clean up and enhance the sound quality of interviews I do for the show. It’s easy to do with the wide variety of audio restoration tools available. Audition also comes with a host of sound effects I can apply to create fun ways to spice up my recordings to give them that professional sound. Plus, the software comes with thousands of royalty-free audio loops I incorporate into the mix-down. Now I could use other tools that are less expensive, but Audition lets me create professional sounding shows that people look forward to listening to.
So if LL Cool J couldn’t live without his radio (dating myself for sure here), I feel the same way about my Box.net … and Audition.
Brent Leary is Co-founder and Partner of CRM