My Top 5 Podcasts of the Week – 5 March 2017

My Top 5 Podcasts of the WeekI am a little behind in reporting my favorite podcast episodes. At the beginning of the period, there were no really good episodes coming out. However, I recently went on some long trips and I heard a number of great episodes. So, in this post, I will share what I discovered. Topics covered include living on $25k per year with no income, working solo and surviving, mind-mapping, writing better blog posts, moving your pins around seasonally, tweet chats, waking up early, and more.
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My Top 5 Podcasts of the Week – 4 February 2017

My Top 5 Podcasts of the WeekAnother great week for podcasting. Darren Rowse discussed how to increase blog traffic after the holiday slowdown. Tim Ferriss shared two great podcast episodes: a Q&A session with Arnold Schwarzenegger and a discussion about interval training. Michael Stelzner and his guest shared insights about building a Facebook community. Finally, Kate Ahl focused a podcast episode on using keywords for Pinterest. I have shared these favorites with you. Enjoy! Read more

My Top 5 Podcasts of the Week – 28 Jan 2017

My Top 5 Podcasts of the WeekThis was another great week for podcast listening. Tim Ferris provided an insightful year in review. I learned about some interesting aspects of real estate with John Lee Dumas and Whitney Nicely. Darren Rowse shared important tips for quoting others in your blog. The team from the Productivity Show discussed deep work and creating a productivity lifestyle. All quite enjoyable. Read more

My Top 5 Podcasts of the Week

My Top 5 Podcasts of the WeekIn addition to reading books and blog posts, one of my favorite ways to get smarter is listening to podcasts. I will normally listen to podcasts while out for walks or while commuting to and from work. My listening tastes keep changing based on my needs. Presently, a number of the podcasts I listen to focus on productivity, social media, and some are for fun. While most of the podcasts are great, there are some podcast episodes that really resonate with me. I want to share those with you. Read more

Extension Is Unpopular—On the Internet, What to Do About It.

Resisted Change, chalk line of bodyIn Heidi Radar’s article Extension Is Unpopular—On the Internet, she points out that finding Extension articles on the Internet is difficult. Topical information is often drowned out by commercial sites. While I agree with most of her recommendations, I do not agree with item 7 “Encourage staff, faculty, and volunteers to write fewer articles, and ones of higher quality, that reflect current interests of clients.” I believe we should be promoting everything from radio spots to video clips as well as our articles, bulletins, and journal articles. We should be using every avenue to get the word out; we need to be found in the major search engines such as Google, Youtube, Twitter, and Flickr, as well as places such as Scribd, Facebook, and our Websites.

In a previous post, Using technology to help get the word out, I talked about using technology to help with distribution. In this post, I would like to briefly discuss reuse of content.

Recently, I discovered that five of University of Wyoming Extension educators are putting out regular radio spots. Radio spots are a great way to send out information; however, the spots are typically only a one time shot at your audience. If a member of your audience failed to tune in that day, they missed the content. Radio spots can be reused and distributed in the form of podcasts. Podcasts can then be redistributed to a wider audience, not only podcast subscribers, your Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes followers. Right now, we are redistributing our podcasts to 1,613 followers of our Facebook fan page and assorted Twitter accounts.

I believe all Extension educators should have a blog. It can be an individual blog or a community blog where county educators post to a common blog with different categories. Educators could also band together by initiative team or in a statewide collective. A blog is an excellent opportunity to reuse articles submitted to local papers or distribute thoughts otherwise not picked up by a paper. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2011 Annual Report on American Journalism more people are getting their news online compared to declining traditional sources.

If we (Extension) want to continue to exist, we need continue to be relevant. We are relevant only in the public’s eye. However, if our content is not found and used, we can easily be replaced by others who are doing a better job getting there message out.

With the number of Extension educators we have nationwide, we should have little trouble having our content appear higher in the search engines. First we must do a better job of making our content available. Radio spots should be turned into podcasts, and articles should be posted to blogs.

These are just my thoughts, what do you think?

Using technology to help get the word out

About two weeks ago, I had the privilege to present to the ACE writing special interest group. They were interested in how to use technology to help get their messages out. The group is comprised of writers, editors, and other communication professionals who write to highlight the work of cooperative extension educators and specialists. Realizing that methods for communicating with their constituents has changed and expanded, they want to reach their readers in the most efficient manner possible. You can watch the recording of this presentation with this Adobe Connect link.

The techniques I described in the presentation are the ones we are using to help the University of Wyoming Extension distribute stories and other media. UW Extension has realized that we must deliver our stories through social media because according to Pew Research Center’s 2011 Annual Report on American Journalism more people are getting their news online compared to declining traditional sources.

At the University of Wyoming Extension, we support the distribution of our news, podcasts, video, and other media using a Facebook fan page and three Twitter accounts; @skrabut, @uwcesedtech, and @uwagguy. Until recently, when we posted a story to our news page, we would manually post the story to these social media sites. This not only took time but it also was inconsistent. We are now using Twitterfeed to automatically distribute to our social media sites. We have an automatic distribution to 1,613 people who elected to receive our messages.

Twitterfeed allows you to take a RSS feed or blog URL and distribute it to multiple Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. In the case of Facebook, you can send the feed to specific Facebook fan pages. When a new story, podcast or video is added to its primary site, Twitterfeed will note the addition of the item and then distribute it to the appropriate social media sites. Our Twitterfeed account looks for new items every 30 minutes.

As the University of Wyoming Extension implements the use of Twitterfeed, we are incrementally adding more and more feeds to be automatically fed to our social media accounts. Presently, we are feeding the following accounts through Twitterfeed:

We are getting ready to add additional podcasts, blogs, and videos sites to the feed. The great thing about this approach is that we can highlight work that our extension educators and specialists are doing. Expect to see more and more great content as we identify and incorporate feeds into our stream.