Scrivener: Great Software for Writers, Speakers and Composers

For anyone who writes or speaks, the task of preparation is part science and part art ... with lots of prayer and perspiration mixed in. Some people think more intuitively. I know one speaker who prepares all of their messages in their head - never writing anything down. Others write out their ideas, sometimes word for word - on paper or by typing into a word processor. I have always used a note pad to scribble down ideas for messages, often creating a bit of a pathway or 'story board' to outline my flow of thoughts and the direction of... Read more →

My Favourite iPhone Apps

I recently changed my mobile phone from a Nokia E71 to an iPhone 3GS. I really liked the Nokia, especially the keyboard, which was so easy to use. The iPhone is pretty cool but I am taking a while to get used to the touch screen ... and the automatic word correction. I can't tell you how many times I have finished a text message with 'Nark' instead of 'Mark!' Anyway, change takes time. The iPhone application store has over 200,000 programs and sometimes its hard to know what is any good (all accessed via iTunes). I purchased a book... Read more →

Will Social Media Lead a Revolution?

You probably noticed that Facebook and Twitter are all the rage nowadays. Social media seems to be changing how we relate to one another and could possibly affect the future of society. Many are saying it is a revolution. Or it is all a bit over-rated? Malcolm Gladwell, popular speaker, blogger and author of the best-selling book The Tipping Point, seems to think so. He recently wrote an insightful article in The New Yorker called "Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted." Click here to read it. Read more →

Learning on the Web with iTunes U

The world wide web provides a wealth of information for learning and growing in any area of life. One place I have recently discovered is iTunes U. It contains over 350,000 free lectures, videos, films and other resources from some of the leading universities and educational institutions in the world. Read all about it here. Once you have downloaded iTunes (a free program that works in either a MAC or Windows software environment, as well as on most mobile phones) you are ready to go. Most people who have used iTunes are aware of the availability of music, podcasts, movies,... Read more →

Are iPad Users Selfish?

Speaking of technology ... the uptake on the newly released iPad has been quite phenomenal. Apple is struggling to keep up with orders for its latest cool toy, now taking the marketplace by storm. What do those without iPads think of those who have one? What iPad users really like? One consumer research group believes that iPad users are 'selfish elites' (read the full article here). Others question the basis of the research. I think it's most important that we keep our priorities in place. After all, live is about 'loving people and using things' not the other way around. Read more →

My Favorite MAC Programs

I have been a PC computer user most of my adult life. I started with a desktop and eventually moving to a laptop then a netbook. I have managed to find my way around a host of Microsoft Windows based software programs. They have been tremendously helpful to all sorts of tasks and aspects of work and personal life. [Click here to read about my current technology] Of course, our young adult children and heaps of our other friends (mostly the creative types) are into MACs. What is it about PC and MAC users - they don't really like each... Read more →

The iPad

Okay, confession time ... I have an iPad ... and it is really cool. It hasn't replaced my phone or my laptop ... yet ... but it does a lot of things really well. It is brilliant for browsing the internet, doing email and checking your calendar. The eBook reader on it is much better than the Kindle. It is colour and turning pages is much more intuitive and you can load all your Kindle books on to it, plus 1000s of other eBooks (one application alone gives you access to over 23,000 free public domain classic books). The touch... Read more →

A New Online Bible

LifeChurch.tv has launched a free online Bible called YouVersion. YouVersion has been growing by hundreds of thousands of users each month. Almost 7 million people are reading the Bible through one of their mobile apps, including the iPhone and the newly released iPad. Check out their BLOG here. In addition to multiple translations being available, you can put together your own personal reading plan, create journal notes, and interact with other people about their learnings. Worth checking out! Read more →


This month, the number of people using Facebook will pass the 500 million mark. This is astounding when you consider that it was only six ago that years after Harvard graduate Mark Zuckerberg helped found Facebook in his dorm room as a way for students to keep tabs on one another. If Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world (even bigger than the USA). It could be nothing short of a social media revolution. Facebook enables you to connect with your friends wherever they live anywhere in the world. You can let them... Read more →

The Social Media Revolution

Click here to watch an educational video on the growing impact of social media. Here are just a few statistics: By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers 96% of them have joined a social network 1 out of 8 couples married in the US last year have met via social media Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months If Facebook would be a country, it would be the world's 4th largest 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what... Read more →

Web Wonders – December 2009

Today we continue with our web wonders recommendations. Check out October and November's lists if you missed them. Here are some more: CHRISTMAS. Tired of the commericalism of Christmas? Check out Advent Conspiracy for some creative alternative ideas about spending less and giving more. PARCEL DELIVERY. Want to send something across town, interstate or overseas? Check out Interparcel for excellent rates via their online web site. They'll pick up from your house and even send you the labels ready to print out and attach. REAL ESTATE. Interesting in buying, selling, renting or investing in property? Realestate.com.au is the place to... Read more →


Now that I am a Kindle user (yes, I received one from some good friends for my recent birthday!), I'm starting to learn a bit more about eBooks - or 'electronic books.' True, there is nothing quite like holding a book in your hands and flipping through its pages, but eBooks can open up an entire new world. Amazon has a corner on the market for books dedicated to the Kindle, their own eBook reader. However, you can download other documents to the Kindle, as well as a variety of eBooks. You can also read eBooks on your computer via... Read more →

Web Wonders – November 2009

The World Wide Web is an amazing source of information and communication. However, it's becoming so huge and complex that you can easily get lost in it or miss out on some of spots well worth visiting. Last month I shared a variety of sites that may be if interest to you. Here are some more: GADGETS. Visit www.productwiki.com for a thorough listing and review of all sorts of gadgets. For local price comparison here in Australia, check out www.staticice.com.au GARDENING. Visit Gardening Australia at www.abc.net.au/gardening if you need help or inspiration for your garden. Also, check out www.thevegetablepatch.com, www.burkesbackyard.com.au... Read more →

Web Wonders – October 2009

The World Wide Web is an amazing source of information and communication. However, it's becoming so huge and complex that you can easily get lost in it or miss out on some of spots well worth visiting. Here are a variety of sites that may be if interest to you. BIBLE. Visit www.biblegateway.com for an excellent site with multiple Bible translations, all for free. ENCYCLOPEDIA. Visit www.wikipedia.com – the world's largest online encyclopedia with a wealth of information on just about anything. FREE IMAGES. Visit http://commons.wikimedia.org – a massive collection of more than 5 million free-to-use images. Also check out:... Read more →

New Blog Commenting Guidelines

When I began my blog just under two years ago (August 17th, 2007), I had a number of experienced bloggers advise me to not allow any comments. They had chosen to close off their blogs from any comments or to only allow approved comments to be published. Why? Because in each case, their blog had been somewhat hijacked by a few individuals who tended to dominate the conversations and/or who bullied other people. I heard their advice but decided to go with open comments on my blog. So far, it's gone pretty well with just under 2,864 comments on the... Read more →

Cool Toys - The Smart Pen

While we're talking about cool toys, I have to mention the 'smart pen.' One of my friends living in the USA has one and showed it to me. There are a variety of smart pens on the market. The one I saw was the Pulse Smart Pen created by Livescribe. It is quite amazing what it can do [for a video demo click here] I see that Office Works has the 1GB version available here in Australia. There is also some software that you can use with this smart pen to translate your notes into your computer. What will they... Read more →

Cool Toys - The Kindle

I once heard that "the difference between the men and the boys is the price they pay for their toys." It's true and of course, women have toys too :) Recently, while in the USA, I met a woman who had a 1st generation Kindle, created by Amazon. It's a really cool e-book reader. The latest version, the Kindle DX, has a bigger screen and holds up to 3,500 books. [Click here for a video demo. For a few recent reviews of the Kindle DX, click here and here] Amazon stated goal is to put every book in print into... Read more →

The Twitter Trend

Blogging, Facebook, and now Twitter, the SMS of the Internet. Technology continues to drive human interactions. Everyone seems to be getting in on the action - from news reporters to pastors to celebrities. Twitter use went up 43% after Oprah sent her first Tweet. To find out more about (or to join) Twitter, click here. Click here for an article on what makes a good tweet :) For a humorous look at the Twitter craze, check out this You Tube video clip. What do you think about it all? Can real 'community' happen over the stratosphere? Can it happen online?... Read more →

Welcome to Recent Visitors

If you've just visited my blog for the first time in recent weeks, welcome! Here are a FEW TIPS that you might find helpful ... The 50 latest posts are in the centre of the blog. You can access them by simply scrolling down. To access earlier posts you can either click a Category (these are found on the upper right hand side of the blog home page) OR you can go to previous month's Archives (these are found also on the right hand side of the blog, but a little lower down). Longer blog posts are divided into two... Read more →

Mark's BLOG Update

I entered the world of blogging on August 16th, 2007. It's been quite a journey and I've enjoyed sharing a few thoughts on most days, as well as interacting with people's opinions on a variety of topics. Here are some statistics for your interest (as of Dec.25th, 2007): Total blog posts - 147 Total page views since launch - 57,357 Average page views per day - just over 441 Total comments - 515 (an average of 3.5 per post) Feel free to give any constructive feedback about the blog, including content, frequency of posts, length of posts, and topics covered... Read more →