Monday, August 24, 2009

Washington gets an earful.

Attend any of the “Town halls” during the past couple of weeks? They’re certainly more raucous than the staged campaign-like appearances by the President, attendees by invitation only.

Listening to the level of “enthusiasm” of many of the attendees it’s clear the anger and anxiety being felt by us folks living on Main Street extends well beyond healthcare reform.

Most polls indicate that by a Americans are turning their backs on the Administration’s reform efforts, albeit by a small margin. But the margin grows daily. It’s no wonder, never has any initiative been more poorly articulated, with mixed messages galore.

Then there’s the stimulus plan. A USA Today poll last week indicated 57% of us feel that it’s flat-out not working. The feel the $787 Billion plan has not worked as advertised, has not created new jobs, has done nothing to truly stimulate the economy and would much rather simply have the money returned to them.

Don’t hold your breath.

The real issue is that the majority of Americans simply don’t trust government anymore. It doesn’t help when the Speaker of the House calls those who exercise their 1st Amendment Rights "un-American".

It doesn’t help when Congress votes $500 Million for luxury jets when a lot of folks are simply trying to pay the bills.

Unemployment goes up, the debt does up, our confidence in government as a problem solver goes in the opposite direction.

All this started well before the current Administration. The inherited a mess but sweeping it all under a rug doesn’t get rid of the dirt. That will take a big broom and it appears the mood of the American people will be every bi-partisan next year to sweep everyone out and simply start all over again.

Washington has gotten an earful because simply put, we’ve had a belly full of petty partisanship and a total lack of leadership from both parties.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

What do you think? Contact John at

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pizza Goes High Tech.

You might recall the PR hit the good folks at Domino's Pizza® took a few months ago. A couple of employees posted an absurd, make that obscene, video spitting and other things on a pizza apparently set for home delivery.

Then they posted it on YouTube. Millions saw it. Unfair to Domino's? You bet. The good news comes twofold.

First, the employees are charged with food tampering, which is against the law. Nothing like having a felony on your resume.

The real good news is what Domino's did next, and because it involves computers, hence today’s blog.

Let’s face it, ordering a pizza for home delivery is one of life’s simple pleasures. Now when you order a pizza from Domino's for home delivery, you can order it online, then track it from the time it enters the oven, who made it and when to expect to have it delivered.

As I’ve said so many times before when we first started out teaching people how to use their computers, it’s always fun to see how things have evolved the past 22 years.

From MS-DOS to tracking your pizza.

Extra sausage please.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, August 10, 2009

What happened to R-E-S-P-E-C-T (and privacy)?

You might have read about a female ESPN™ sports reporter who had her hotel room infiltrated by a tiny spy camera. No need to go into what was seen; she was a victim of the worst kind of intrusion. No one has been caught yet. Sadly, some of the images turned up on the Internet and elsewhere.

Then there was the story last week where someone set up a fake ATM machine at a Las Vegas hotel while a security convention, of all things, was going on. More than a few people swiped their cards for some cash, and instead had personal data stolen, pin codes, etc.

An anonymous blogger posts that Sarah Palin is getting a divorce and moving with the kids to Montana. Sadly, some mainstream media actually picked up the story. Only problem is, it wasn’t true.

There was a time when people respected privacy, and something Aretha Franklin so grandly sung about, respect.

Society has always had its share of bad people, but technology is aiding and abetting the worst of them. Anyone can buy a tiny spy cam and simply use the peephole in your hotel door to peep at you. How does someone get away with such a thing at a high-end hotel? The fact is that they do.

Planting a fake ATM machine at a ‘Vegas hotel during a security convention is akin to walking unannounced into the Oval Office. Somehow, someone figured out a way to beat the system.

And of course, we all know that anyone can post about anything they want anonymously on the Net. But when some traditional media start to “run with it” you have to scratch your head. Sadly, Walter Cronkite has passed away, but one would hope that solid journalism didn’t die with him.

It just isn’t right when, after checking into your hotel room, you have to check for hidden cameras. It just isn’t right when you need to use an ATM and you wonder if it’s real or the work of some high-tech crook. It just isn’t right when people simply make up rubbish, post it and then the story gets a life of its own. Even if it isn’t true.

I hope all of the above are caught. I hope that all of the above are punished or exposed for what they are.

Is simple respect out of date? I hope not.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Video Professor-ESPN SportsNation spots posted.

Just got the links to all the spots I told you about earlier with ESPNTM. Thanks again to ESPN for making it a memorable day in Bristol. Hope you enjoy the spots as much as I did making them.

To view the Video Professor spots, click a link below.
SportsNation: Not Everyone Can Talk Sports
Bonus Content
Screen Test


John W. Scherer

John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at

Monday, August 03, 2009

Interactive is empowering.

I blogged last week about shooting a promotional spot for SportsNation on ESPN2 hosted by Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle. The show really empowers sports fans who can e-mail, Tweet, Skype™, etc. into the show. In essence, the viewers are the show and Colin and Michelle the “Ringmasters.”

Look also at your local news. Here in Colorado we’ve had a very stormy summer season. There isn’t a station in town that doesn’t provide an opportunity for you to post pictures and videos of spectacular lightning or storm damage. I’m sure you see the same thing where you live.

Viewers are now news gatherers as well.

What makes it all possible is your laptop, desktop or PDA. To be honest, when we produced our first lesson here at Video Professor on MS-DOS, this was the furthest thing from our minds. What we did realize was that people wanted to learn how to operate their computers. They saw the potential that the machines had.

Almost 22 years and 20 million customers later, we’ve seen for a long time that potential being realized.

It’s why it’s especially gratifying to us when we work with non-profits like Global Outreach in Tanzania or Serving Our World in Thailand who include computer literacy as part of their programs. They came to Video Professor as the best way for their students to learn how to operate a computer.

They’ll be able to learn more about the world around them, and at the same time share their world with the rest of us.

It is empowering. It’s great. It shows that regardless of where you live, you can be involved, that you can communicate, that you can be part of the process.

Your voice can be heard.

I like that.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at