Monday, April 26, 2010

“Who’s best?” It’s a matter of opinion.

It’s the fodder of sports talk on TV, Radio and Internet. Who’s the best?

I heard it on the radio today with one pundit describing Tiger Woods as the best golfer ever. Based on what? They used to say the same thing about Jack Nicklaus when he played. Ditto for Arnold Palmer. It would be great through some magical way to have all of them play each other in their prime. We could throw in “Slammin’” Sammy Snead to round out the foursome.

But we can’t, so we won’t find out. Well, maybe on a computer game.

Tim Tebow has been described by more than a few as the best college football player ever. So-o-o-o what about Roger Staubach when he played at Navy? Or Vince Young at Texas? I guess one measure will/would be at the next level, the NFL. Roger Staubach certainly is deserving of his Hall of Fame credentials. Vince Young is a work in progress and we’ll wait and see how Tim Tebow does playing for the Denver Broncos,  who drafted him last week. It would be great to see Staubach and that 1963 Navy team play the Florida 2008 team.

But we can’t, so we won’t find out. Well, maybe on a computer game.

Then there’s baseball. Oh boy, baseball. Wouldn’t it be cool to see the Yankees teams of Ruth, Mantle, or DiMaggio take on today’s Yankees?

But we can’t, so we won’t find out.

So why engage in the conversation in the first place? The answer is easy. It’s such great fun. It’s what sports is all about. Measuring who’s best today is easy. Just look at the win-loss column. Measuring then and now however, is pure conjecture, which is the point of this lecture.

But the conjecture part is such great fun. As Yogi Berra said, "Take it with a grin of salt."

Who’s best? Too bad Abbot and Costello aren’t around to do a reprise of “Who’s on First?”

John W. Scherer
John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John Scherer on Twitter: @VidProf

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look Ma! No CD's!

I'm writing this from the road and prepping for a cover story interview with an industry publication. These sorts of interviews always give me pause to reflect on what we've accomplished the past 23 years at Video Professor.

Our first lessons "back in the day" were produced on VHS tape. You set up your VCR and TV next to your computer. Clunky, but it worked very well. People sure liked our 'What you see is what you do" type of learning.

So when we started using CD-ROM lessons it was a big step forward. You just popped the lessons into your computer and started learning. The lessons played right on your computer screen like a DVR. By this time the Video Professor Library had grown with the ever expanding number of productivity software programs becoming available both at home and in the office. Computing had arrived.

The Internet existed but most folks accessed it via a dial-up modem. Some of you may remember that awful sound when your computer connected to the Internet. But something called Broadband came along, aka High Speed Internet. It was the beginning of a communications revolution.

We quietly began providing lessons via the Internet to stream directly to your computer. We dubbed it "Video Professor Online."

We are quiet no more. Now with High Speed Internet the norm, Video Professor Online becomes our new norm. It's win-win. You as a customer get access to our entire learning library of over 65 lessons. Because we don't have to manufacture, package and ship lessons to your house we save money which means you save money.

Check out a 7 day trial of Video Professor Online at It's an ideal learning opportunity for the entire family regardless of whether you're looking to learn or enhance computer skills so important in today's job market, or maybe start turning cash into clutter with our popular Learn eBay learning series.

All streamed directly to your computer. Click and learn.

So, Try My Product!’ (Online)

John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
Follow John on Twitter: @VidProf

Monday, April 19, 2010

“Cloudy” future for 4th Amendment?

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”-4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

So…does this apply equally to desk drawers, or what’s inside the computer on your desk which at the same time is posted on numerous social websites?

It’s a point raised in an article by Bob Sullivan about Cloud Computing on the “Red Tape Chronicles” website.

The whole idea of the 4th Amendment is to prevent the authorities from just walking into your house and rummaging through your private papers without cause. But in today’s world of Twitter ® to Facebook®, just what’s private and what isn’t?

As I’ve posted before, once you post something online, it’s “out there.” As the article points out, “Technology has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, but the law has not.” That gap continues to widen.
Is a letter written to a friend then stuffed in a drawer any different than a Facebook posting sent to that same friend for everyone to see? Akin I would guess, to simply leaving the letter on the public sidewalk outside your friend’s house.

Here’s another problem, and one some Congressional friends have agreed with me on. Despite laws being crafted to keep up with progress, there’s a significant chunk of legislators that frankly should “Try my product!” As hard as it is to believe, some legislators actually don’t vote for what they don’t understand.

Writer Bob Sullivan shares some interesting thoughts about all this which I wanted to share with you.

John W. Scherer
John Scherer is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John on Twitter: @VidProf

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clicking beats Flipping

A new survey by Arbitron, Inc and Edison Media Research shows people, by a slight margin, prefer to surf the web for video instead of watching television.

I’m not surprised and it’s not too much of a stretch to believe the gap will widen.

Bottom line? 49% of the people surveyed say given the choice, they’d drop TV in favor of the Internet. 48% said they’d stick with the tube.

With so much video content available on the Internet, your computer or PDA is becoming a one-stop location for just about everything you need. Add devices like the iPadTM into the mix and you’ll have more and more people choosing to click (or tap) then flip through television channels.

The folks who produce the shows you watch online are of course very aware of this and make their product available through multiple platforms.

The study also points out that people multi-task watching content online, watching shows and posting comments on pages like Facebook® or Twitter®.

One thing to keep in mind is the launch this year of 3D HD television. Will that lure more people back to traditional television than online? The new 3D sets are expensive, so are the glasses you’ll need. Thousands for the set and around $150 for just one set of 3D glasses will make for a slow start. But it will take off once prices come down.

Unless of course, online providers provide 3D video. Which they will, sooner than later.

When I started Video Professor 23 years ago, the Internet was more concept than reality and certainly not mainstream. So while I could not have predicted the explosion the Internet has become, at the same time I’m not the least bit surprised.

Another reason why so many of you bought our “Learn the Internet” lessons!

John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John on Twitter: @VidProf

Monday, April 12, 2010

“K” is truly Special.

He’s known as “Coach K.” I’m talking about Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He won his 4th NCAA Basketball Championship last Monday, sneaking by Butler 61-59 in a classic.

Oh yeah, he also coached the “Redeem Team” to Olympic Gold.

Coach Krzyzewski (Pronounced “Sha-Shef-ski”) is at the top of the list of people I hope to meet some day. He’s right up there with my hero Muhammad Ali. (Who I did have the honor of meeting).

Here’s the link to his home page which tells an extraordinary story of accomplishment. Not the least of which he’s a graduate of West Point and served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969-1974. But like another service academy graduate, Roger Staubach (Annapolis ’64) the country was/is well served by the class both brought to the field of play or in the case of Coach K, the hardwood of college basketball.

He makes a lot of money coaching for Duke (Every penny of it deserved and then some) and he’s had more than a few opportunities to double or triple his salary coaching in the NBA.

But Duke is home and as long as it is, NCAA College Basketball has an anchor, a foundation of integrity and setting the bar for excellence.

Out of many quotes he’s given over the years, this one stands out:

“When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles. Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit. You believe that nothing can stop you!”

Coach, I love your product!

John Scherer is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John Scherer on Twitter: @VidProf

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Opening Day!

Tomorrow is the Colorado Rockies Home Opener at Coors Field in Denver. The team started the season on the road arriving home with a 1 and 2  record. Hurry back Jeff and Huston! The weather forecast is excellent.

There’s something special about Opening Day in baseball. Even fans of the worst teams in the sport arrive at the ball park with a renewed sense of optimism. Those hopes of course can be quickly dashed with a loss. But there’s at least a moment where anything is possible.

I’m one baseball fan who is happy that the sport is straightening up its act, however slowly. “Performance Enhancement” drugs and the like really hurt the game and a lot of player reputations.  Players we applauded for heroic performances on the field were actually getting a little chemical assistance. We had to go through the ordeal of watching these players “Take the 5th” in front of Congress. Ultimately it was the fans that got hurt worst of all.

We almost took a pass, on America’s Pastime.

But let’s get back to the season at hand. There are big expectations for the Rockies this year, as fans are getting used to the idea of the team making the playoffs and that’s where the bar is set for sure.

So with excitement comes high expectations; just like in every other MLB city and for their fans. 162 games is a lot. Just how fast the season goes is measured by the all important win-loss record. Because when it comes to baseball, October is where it’s at.

Play ball!

John W. Scherer
John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John Scherer on Twitter: @VidProf

Monday, April 05, 2010

Why I love Twitter!

I’m a recent convert to Twitter but sure glad I am. Everyone has a “proof of performance” story about social media so here’s mine.

David Pogue is the guru of all things tech and his column in the New York Times is a must-read along with his weekly segments on CNBC’s Power Lunch. David is also hugely popular as a speaker at events across the country.

David makes tech fun. One of the first people I opted to follow on Twitter was David. The other day he put out a “talent” call for a segment he was doing about the Apple iPad. With tongue firmly in cheek, I tweeted him that I’d be interested and that I have a “little” experience in television.

He’s such a nice guy and Tweeted back to me almost immediately and so we taped my segments of the video with the result you can watch here. A "Bit Part" granted, but better than no part at all.

Like the ESPN spots I did last summer, it’s great fun and a break from the regular routine. And having your “face” out there in one way or the other is good for business.

All because of Twitter.

So my first real success story in social media. You can have one to. The great thing about social media is one size doesn’t fit all, and your success story will be as unique to you as mine was to me.

By the way, David Pogue used to be a Twitter skeptic. Now he’s a true believer and you can bet he made one out of me!

John W. Scherer
John is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
And yes, you can follow him on Twitter! @VidProf

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Seeds are for planting.

The NCAA Final Four is set. Just one #1 seed is left in the tourney, the Duke Blue Devils. When all this started, there were three other #1 seeds. Kentucky, Kansas and Syracuse. They’ll be watching from home this weekend.

Butler, Michigan State and West Virginia U. will be in Indianapolis with Duke.

Of course, just about everyone is picking Duke, if for no other reason than they’re DUKE. Having Mike Krzyzewski as your coach doesn’t hurt either. The Final Four is his second home.

I heard at least one pundit this morning raising the question if they should re-seed the Final Four. Re-seeding is good for lawns, but the Final Four, not so much.

I have no idea who decides who is seeded where and when the tournament starts. I’m sure statistics, records, strength of schedule blah blah blah all factor into it. But all that goes out the window when two teams hit the floor. That’s the magic and beauty of the best three weeks in sports.

Part of the fun is watching teams like Northern Iowa make it to the Sweet 16. They went from “Who?” to a solid place on the basketball map. A bunch of “Cinderfellas” for sure. Then you have 11th seed Tennessee knocking off #2 Ohio State. Say what??

Neither made the Final Four, but they sure felt “Sweet” about this year’s tournament.

So when it comes to seeds, they’re for planting. When it comes to College Basketball and the annual three-week fan fest, it’s all about team, desire and the thrill of sending a #1 seed home.

The Final Four opens with Duke taking on Butler. Will the “Butler do it” again? It wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

Seeds, schmeeds. Give me teamwork any day.

John Scherer is CEO and Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at
Follow John Scherer on Twitter: @VidProf