Book review: Evernote. Wow! I Didn’t Know It Could Do That

As a huge fan of Evernote, I am always on the search to find out how I can squeeze more out of this great program. That is why I was  pleased to find this book, Evernote. Wow! I Didn’t Know It Could Do That.: How-To Tips with Pics* by Garth Scaysbrook. He was able to introduce me to new ways of leveraging Evernote that I had not seen before. Well done! Read more

Book Review: Smart Social Media – Your Guide to Becoming a Highly Paid Social Media Manager

Just getting my new business off the ground, I thought I could benefit from all the advice I could get.  Lasse Rouhiainen’s book, Smart Social Media: Your Guide To Becoming A Highly Paid Social Media Manager*, proved to have some gems hidden in it. I will capitalize on his advice as I develop a business to help others figure out how to leverage social media. Read more

Evolution – Likes, Tweets, and Pins

Likes, Tweets, and Pins by Dr. Benjamin George
Likes, Tweets, and Pins by Dr. Benjamin George

Dr. Benjamin George from Utah State University gave a presentation  at the University of Wyoming Evolution Conference on how he uses social media in the classroom. Not only did he explain what he was doing, but he also explained the reasoning behind it. I especially enjoyed his tie into the Media Synchronicity Theory.

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How to Share a PDF to Facebook

The other day, one of the Extension educators asked me how to save a PDF to Facebook. She was planning to convert the PDF to JPG files and upload those. However, there are many other ways to get a PDF to Facebook. Most importantly, the PDF must be located on the Web. Here are the methods I am going to demonstrate:

Each of the sites listed above allows you to upload and share a file to the public. Read more

#astd2013, Social Media for Trainers by @janebozarth

The last presentation on day two was with Jane Bozarth, and it focused on using social media in a training environment both in class and supporting the class. During the presentation, she encouraged us to tweet to #astd2013 and #m209. She also provide a link to resources supporting her presentation.

Bozarth has two books on the subject: Elearning Solutions on a Shoestring and Social Media for Trainers.

To begin her presentation, she polled us about our experiences with social media: I don’t get it, I check in once in a while, I actively engage, and I engage, create content, drive discussion.

She then moved on to discussing Web 2.0. She pointed out that Web 2.0 was Web-based, more than one person was putting stuff on the server or site, it is often free, and was often user-done and not dependent on IT. Social media, specifically,  was content that invites and allows others to participate.

There are benefits to using social media for learning and teaching:

  • social learning / informal learning
  • relationship building / community crowdsourcing
  • knowledge management / transfer of learning

 “Email is a place where information goes to die.”

One bit of advise that got a chuckle out of me was “IT folks do not set policy.” However, in my experience, they certainly think they do.

Using social media to support learning can help change the traditional model of training where you have training events periodically given throughout the employee’s lifetime to continuous learning across the lifetime. Social media can be used to support classes or be used to deliver a class. We need to look for opportunities for people to use social media tools in a learning setting. For example, have class take notes in a Google doc.

We should also be using social media tools to help build learning communities.

Social Media Tools

Blog

A blog is free idiot-proof Web page. It is password protected and moderated. A blog can contain pictures, videos, and links. Participants can also post and respond to comments.

Bozarth showed some learning blogs in action:

She asked u,s how many had a mobile phone? It was almost 100%. She then asked how many of us had a camera on our phone. She wanted us to use the cameras in a learning setting.

Wiki

A wiki is a password-controlled Website where groups of individuals can collaborate and create content. Everyone can access and edit the wiki. If you are concerned about the changes, you can also be notified when a change is made. Bozarth highlighted Library Success as a great example of a learning wiki. Here is an example how I am using a wiki to support learning.

Facebook

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ are useful sites for building community because they are easy to use. Bozarth pointed out that “No one asked me how to upload a picture to Facebook.” She also noted that Facebook is block on local computers (government and schools) but not on phones. Again, why are we blocking them?

“No one asked me how to upload a picture to Facebook.”

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool to interact with learners. It is useful for quick unstructured sharing. But unfiltered, it can be like drinking from a stream. She recommended first getting involved with Twitter chats, and recommended #lrnchat, #edchat, #blogchat, #KMrs, and #PTChat.

This was another fun and informative presentation. So far, I have been very pleased with my ASTD 2013 conference sessions.

It is time to do a a social media spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning
Spring Cleaning

With spring right around the corner, it is a good time to do a little social media spring cleaning. Here is are some suggestions for knocking the cob webs from your social media sites.

Facebook

Facebook continuously adds and removes features. Here are some ideas for both your personal profile and fan pages.

  • Review your profile settings. Click on your name in the upper right corner and then on Update Info button under your cover photo.
    • This is a great time to ensure your settings are how you want them.
    • Is it time for a new profile picture?
    • Are you featuring the people you want to feature? with the right relationship?
    • Have you included your education and work information? While certainly optional, this is a nice way to find old friends.
    • You should also update your philosophy, arts and entertainment, sports, and activities and interests.
    • Finally, you should review and update your contact information. Are all your social media sites interconnected?
  • Review your profile privacy settings.  Click on the “gear”  in the upper right corner and then click on Privacy Settings.
    • Review each of the settings, and adjust them to where you feel comfortable.
    • Once you have updated your privacy settings, select Apps from the left hand menu and clean out all of the applications you no longer use.
  • Review your “friends” and lists. Click on your name in the upper right corner and then click on Friends.
    • This a great time to purge your lists of those names unfamiliar to you or individuals that you wish to drop.
    • Lists are a great way to manage your Facebook views. From the Friends link, you can create new lists by clicking on the Create a List link.
  • Review all of your Fan pages. Go to your fan page and select Edit Page from the admin panel.
    • Starting with the Update Info. Is your Basic Information Current? This is a great time to make any updates.
    • determine how you want to post to the page, and when you want to be notified of activity on your site.
    • Review and update the Manage Permissions settings.
    • Is it time for a new Profile Picture?
    • You can also identify with pages and page owners your would like to be Featured.
    • Have you considered adding additional admins to help manage the load, you can do this through Admin Roles.

If you take time to go through this list for your Facebook pages, your site will be considered spring cleaned.

Twitter

When cleaning up your Twitter accounts, yes, I have multiple accounts, I recommend attending to three basic chores: removing inactive users, create lists to manage the individuals you are following, create Twitter newsletters to keep you informed, and update your profile.

  • Removing inactive accounts. Sometimes it is time to cull the herd. There is a very useful program to identify users who are just not active with Twitter, it is called Untweeps. I personally set it for 90 days to give users the benefit of the doubt. Select the accounts you want to remove and submit the results.
  • Create a list to manage users. Lists are a great way to manage conversations on Twitter. You can create a list to follow users around a specific them. Check out this post to learn more about creating lists.
  • Create Twitter newsletters to keep you informed. I have found Twitter newsletters using paper.li to be a great way to stay informed. Here is more information about Twitter newsletters.
  • Update your profile. You should take this opportunity to update your profile.  Log into Twitter, and select Profile then Edit your profile.  At this point, you can update your account information, password, mobile phone settings, notification settings, profile information, design and connections to applications. It is always a good idea to review which applications are accessing your accounts. Naturally, revoke access to accounts you no longer use.

With four simple things to do, you can have a squeaky clean Twitter account.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an important networking tool, but like most tools it needs to be cleaned and oiled. Here are some things you can do to keep LinkedIn servicing you needs.

  • Update your profile. When is the last time you reviewed your profile? Have you changed jobs or responsibilities? Have you updated your profile picture? Have you updated the new skills feature? Have you been published? What about your education? This is also a great time to update your Web sites, Twitter accounts, and interests.
  • Examine the groups you are following. Are they serving you well? Are there some you should drop because they are inactive? This may be a good time to join some new groups.
  • This is also a good time to reach out to those you worked with and ask for a recommendation.  Speaking of recommendations, you should also review your contacts and take a moment to hand out some much deserved recommendations.
  • Update your settings. To locate the Settings link, move your cursor over your name in the top right of your home page. Here you can update your email preferences, group preferences, applications that you use, and your basic account information.
  • Update the applications you use. Under the More tab, you have an opportunity to add or delete applications you way want to use. Some applications are extremely beneficial, I personally use seven of them.
  • Finally, it is time to review your contacts. You should purge your contact list of names which you are unfamiliar or who simply do not use LinkedIn. Focus on the contacts who will help you succeed and who you help to succeed.

Diigo

Diigo is a great tool for managing favorite links… at least, in my opinion. I only have a couple of suggestions for spring cleaning Diigo: update your profile, update your tags, update your network, and update your groups.

  • Update your profile. This is a great opportunity to update you profile. Click on your name that the top of the screen and then select Profile. Review and update your information under the Basic, Interests, Privacy, Me elsewhere, and Picture tabs.
  • Update your tags.  I personally have 817 different tags. In some cases, I have a basic name and a plural of that name; it would be useful to consolidate. In other cases, I have only one or two bookmarks under a tag; again, it may be good to consolidate. To edit your tags, go to My Library and then click on Edit next to My Tags.
  • Update your network. Click on My Network and see if your network is serving your needs.  This is a good time to search through your contacts and add new ones, or look the individuals you are following and drop them if they are no longer beneficial.
  • Finally, update your groups. Look at your groups, again, are they beneficial to you. If not, enter the group and Quit group. Perhaps you have new interests, this is a great time to search out and follow new groups.

Google+

Google+ is another great tool for keeping abreast and discussion issues. I only have a couple of suggestions for spring cleaning Google+: update your profile, update your tags, update your network, and update your groups.

  • Update your profile. Take a moment to review an update your profile. Click on your name that the top of the screen and then select View Profile. Then click on the “gear” and choose settings. Review and update your information such as who can interact with you, how you will receive notifications, manage apps and circles, and profile information. Update your image as necessary.
  • Review your Circles.  Check your circles to see if you are benefiting from the individuals you are following. To do this, click on Find People button on the left hand menu, and then the Your circles tab at the top. Click on a circle to review its membership.
  • Update how much news you wish to see from each circle. Click on Home and then click on a circle name from the tabs provided at the top of the news list.  Adjust the slider to control how much news you want to have appear from that particular circle.
  • Finally, update your communities. Look at your communities, again, are they beneficial to you. If not, enter the community, Click on the Actions dropdown menu, and Leave Community. Perhaps you have new interests, this is a great time to search out and follow new communities.

If you have completed these tasks, you have gone a long way to cleaning up your social media presence. If you think I missed something important, please leave a comment.