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4th Communication Camp Scheduled for Nov. 4 - 6

"This has probably been the best training I’ve been to for takeaways." - Pembina County Extension agent, Samantha Lahman

Comm Camp 2014NDSU Agriculture Communication’s Communication Camp is a chance for your team to gain valuable communication skills, better understand communication and education in the digital age, and produce text, images and video that you can use in your educational programs.

The next Communication Camp is scheduled for Nov. 4 - 6 , 2014 at the NDSU Alumni Center in Fargo.

Interested? Contact Bob Bertsch, (701) 231-7381

This is a three-day intensive camp dealing with a broad range of communication planning and tools. Participating teams consist of 3 – 5 members. One Ag Comm staff member or past camp participant is assigned to each team as a liaison. Teams are formed around a specific issue or program.

If your team puts in the work necessary, you will leave camp with:

  • 1-2 Web content items
  • a draft news release for a topic or event
  • several images for use in online and print content
  • a short video on YouTube and embedded into an Ag CMS web page

Contact Bob Bertsch, (701) 231-7381, if you're interested in having a Communication Camp team.

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How To Get Fresh Content From Websites

When you visit a website, you might think all the content you see is coming directly from that site's web server, but that may not always be the true. Some of that content may be coming from a web cache (\ˈkash\).

What is hiding in your cache?A web cache temporarily stores web documents, images and other files to help the site load faster and reduce the bandwidth required to view the site. For example, when you are viewing most NDSU websites, you will see the NDSU logo at the top-left of each page. Your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) will often store image files, like the NDSU logo, in the browser cache, rather than downloading that image file every time you visit another NDSU web page.

Temporarily storing web content in the cache can save you time and bandwidth, but sometimes you might return to a site and see content stored in your browser's cache rather than new content that has been added to that site.

You can make sure you are getting the freshest content from a website by bypassing your browser's cache. You can get a fresh reload of a site by hitting Ctrl+F5 on your keyboard, forcing all the files from a website to be directly downloaded from the web server.

If you want to learn more about your browser cache, check out this article from gHacks Technology News.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Write the Right Word: Punctuation and Quotation Marks

Does punctuation go inside or outside of quotation marks? The answer is: It depends.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. For example: “I am going to the store,” he said. Or this: “Producers say crops will be very good this year.”

  • Hyphens, colons, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go inside the quotations marks only when they apply to the quoted material. These go outside the quotation marks if they apply to the whole sentence. For example: Who wrote “Gone With the Wind”? (outside because the whole sentence is the question) Or this: “I’ve had it with this project!” she exclaimed. (inside because just the part in quotes is what is being exclaimed) And this: The following students should report to the room marked “Musicians”: horn players, guitarists and trombonists. (outside because the colon applies to the entire first part of the sentence)

Also, if a quotation continues from one paragraph to the next, do not use a close-quote mark at the end of the first paragraph. However, do use an open-quote mark at the beginning of the second paragraph. For example:

“A lot of work goes into planning these conferences,” Johnson says. “We pull the conference committee together in March and hold weekly meetings to determine a budget, find speakers and decide what we’re serving at meals.

“However, we also try to have some fun,” he adds.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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NDSU Email Migration Tips

NDSU Information Technology Services (ITS) has created a collection of Web resources for dealing with issues arising from the July 18 migration of NDSU employee email accounts to the NDSU student email system.

Many of the email migration issues affect a relatively small number of accounts, but there are a few resources on the NDSU Email Migration - Employees Web page that most everyone will want to check out.

Address Book - After the migration, names in the Global Address List are organized by Firstname Lastname rather than by Lastname, Firstname as they used to be. As a result, you may not get any search results at all if you search for someone by last name only.

Searching the address book may be further complicated because, after the migration, your Microsoft Outlook client may be set to search the "Offline Global Address List." ITS recommends setting your default address book to "Global Address List" and switching your address book from "Name only" view to "More columns." Instructions for both tasks are on the NDSU Email Migration - Employees Web page under "Address Book."

Calendar - The privacy settings of your Outlook Calendar were not part of the migration. As part of the migration, all calendar privacy settings were set to "Free/Busy" by default. That means anyone in the NDSU email system can view your calendar and see when you are free and when you have an appointment scheduled. They cannot see the details of any of your appointments.

If you want certain individuals to be able to see the details of your appointments, you need to give them that level of access to your calendar. If you want to hide your calendar completely from everyone in the NDSU email system, you need to change your calendar permissions and visibility. Instructions for both tasks are on the NDSU Email Migration - Employees Web page under "Delegate access for calendar."

Incorrect email addresses on older messages - Some of the email messages you received from NDSU employees prior the email migration might have incorrect email addresses associated with them now. If you reply to a message from before the migration, your reply may go to an email address ending in @ndusbpos.onmicrosoft.com instead of the correct email address ending in @ndsu.edu. In the next 30 days or so, messages sent to @ndusbpos.onmicrosoft.com addresses will be forwarded to the correct @ndsu.edu email address, but after forwarding is discontinued, replying to a message with @ndusbpos.onmicrosoft.com address will result in a lost message.

When replying to messages received before the email migration, take a look at the sender's name. If it is formatted Lastname, Firstname it is probably from an @ndusbpos.onmicrosoft.com address. If it is, you should delete that address from the "To:" field of your reply and replace it with the person's correct @ndsu.edu email address.

Missing older email - If you use Outlook 2013, you may have noticed that your older email messages seem to have disappeared. This is due to the offline mail setting in Outlook 2013. By default, when a new account is setup in Outlook 2013, it will automatically only pull in the last year of email. To get all the mail back, change this setting to tell Outlook you want all of your email.

Re-creating old contact lists - If your local contact lists did not move across and the Help Desk is unable to assist, you will need to re-create them from old email messages. If you have a message remaining in your sent items folder to a contact list you no longer have, use that message to re-create the list

Profile photo - Profile photos were lost in the migration, so you can personalize Microsoft Office (including Outlook and Lync) by adding a photo to your Microsoft Office 365 account.

If you are having any trouble resulting from the email migration, please check out the NDSU Email Migration - Employees Web page or the Ag Communication Computer Services email migration Web page. If you need additional assistance, contact the NDSU ITS Help Desk at (701) 231-7875.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381; Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialist; NDSU ITS Help Desk; (701) 231-7875

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Personalize Microsoft Office with a Profile Picture

You can personalize Microsoft Office (including Lync) by adding a photo to your Microsoft Office 365 account.

1. Go to the Microsoft Office 365 portal and sign in. If you forgot your password, contact the ITS Help Desk.

2. In the upper right on your desktop screen, click on the silhouette icon:

office 265 silhouette


3. Then click on "change" under the icon:
change photo in office 365

 


4. Click the "Browse" button to find the photo on your computer. After selecting the photo, click save at the bottom of this screen:
change photo in office 365

 

5. Now you'll see that the photo has been added to Microsoft 365:
add ap hoto to office 365

 

6. That means your photo will display in emails and in Lync
lync with photo


and in email:

picture in outlook email

If you need any help adding a photo to your Microsoft Office 365 profile, please contact me or Bob Bertsch

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Create a Custom Google Map

Maps make it easy to digest information, vs. having a bunch of links. Plus, they can be used in GPS on smartphones. Check out Google map examples on the County Extension Offices page and the REC homepage. All you need is a gmail address and a spreadsheet. Check out this video:

If you need help with Google Custom Maps, please contact me or Web Technology Specialist  Bob Bertsch at (701) 231-7381.

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Protect Your Computer

What’s this on my computer? Here's how to keep your computer free of adware (software that automatically displays or downloads advertising) and malware (software that is intended to damage or disable your computer).

Adware and malware generally are installed on computers through your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) and sometimes through your email (clicking on an attachment).

This can occur when you inadvertently click on something (a link or a pop-up) that appears and without examining details.  One click (just to get something out of the way) can result in a computer being infected.

When you are checking email, you could be curious about an attachment and infect your computer when opening the file.

So, how can you prevent having these kinds of problems on your computer? While nothing is 100 percent foolproof, your eyes are your best defense. If anything looks funny or out of place, don’t click. Close your browser rather than take a chance on getting some little bug.

If you receive an email with an attachment, look at the details. Who is this from? What is the subject line stating? Can I see the file extension of the attachment? Stay away from anything that has an .exe, .com, .bat or .zip extension. Our email system tries to block these files, but some get through. If the email is from someone you might know, does the subject line reflect that person's personality? Is this an email as a follow-up to a discussion you had earlier?

What to do if you get infected

If you have something pop up that you do not recognize and it is preventing you from continuing your work, shut down your computer by holding the power button down until your screen goes dark.

If you think you have gotten infected, again shut down your computer. You want to get into a diagnostic mode of your operating system (Windows 7, for example). This is a state of the operating system where only the essential programs are loaded to get it to the dekstop and a workable situation. To do this, turn your computer back on. When you see the Dell, HP or other brand splash screen, start hitting the F8 button on your keyboard. Up and down, up and down. Don’t just hold it down. You should get to a black screen with a lot of white lettering giving you start-up options. Select Safe Mode with Networking. Use the arrow keys to navigate the menu and the Enter key to make this selection.

Once in Safe Mode, close the Help window that appears. Now open Internet Explorer or Firefox so that you can get some tools to help clean your computer.

Two of the main tools we use are ComboFix and Malwarebytes. Both are free.Download ComboFix

For ComboFix, in Internet Explorer, the page will change and then you should see this image at the bottom of your screen.Run ComboFix

Left-click on Run and allow the program to configure itself. This might take a little while. Just follow the prompts and let ComboFix run. If you are asked to restart your computer, do so.Firefox ComboFix

Firefox is much the same except you might see this box appear: 

Click on Save File and then go to your Download folder and run the file from there. Again, just follow the prompts and allow the program to run.

For Malwarebytes, in Internet Explorer, left-click on Run and let the program install and run. Make sure you uncheck the Free Trial box before letting it scan your computer. IE Malwarebytes

In FireFox, save the file, go to your Downloads folder and run the program from there. Again, uncheck the Free Trial box before running the program.Firefox Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes will scan your computer and then have you click on the Results button. Be sure you click on everything in the Results window and then click on Remove. You then may have to restart your computer.

If your infection is bad enough that these tools do not help, you may want to think about reformatting your hard drive. Be sure to copy your data before starting so you have recovery disks if you must start over.

Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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Use WMF File Format for High-quality Graphics

Has this happened to you? You had an image or graphic developed that you want to use in Word or PowerPoint. Maybe you want to add your logo to that Word document. A JPG file format could work, but when you go to print, the quality just is not there. Not to mention the problem with the white background that makes your final piece look unprofessional. Want an easy fix? Start using the Windows Metafile (WMF) instead of the JPG.

The WMF file formWMFat is a vector image (image made up of points, lines, curves and shapes than are based on mathematical equations to represent images on your computer screen) that will allow you to enlarge the logo without losing quality and can have a transparent background.

When you receive the WMF file from Ag Communication, do not double-click on it or open it. The best way to use this file format is to “save the attachment” (if you received the graphic via email) to your computer where you can locate it in the future. Now, to use the file, in Word, go to “Insert” picture, then you will locate the file on your computer and insert it into your Word document. The WMF can be inserted into any Microsoft program.

David Haasser, Graphic Designer, (701) 231-8620

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Facebook Pages Get New Design

In June, Facebook rolled out a new design for all Facebook Pages. The new design has been around since March, but was only available to select Pages and those who opted-in. Now all Facebook Pages have been switched to the new look.

The most noticeable and disruptive change in the new design is the relocation of the Page name from below the cover photo to the right of the profile picture laid over the cover photo. Facebook also has added the Page category to display below the Page title. Finally, they have overlaid the "Like," "Follow" and "Share" buttons in the lower-right corner of the cover photo. If your cover photo has text or a light colored area where the Page title, category or buttons now appear, you'll want to change your cover photo (see below).

FB Design Change

Dave Haasser in Ag Comm graphics has been adjusting the custom Facebook cover photos he designed for some counties to comply with the changes. If you need a new cover photo, email Dave Haasser or call him at (701) 231-8620.

If you want to design your own cover photo, here's an infographic showing the dimensions of the new Facebook Page design.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Write the Right Word: It’s A Date!

The correct way to write a date is to use a number without the “st,” “nd,” “rd” or “th” after the number. For instance, you’d say June 27, May 1 or July 4.

If you include a year, separate the day and year with a comma. For example: June 27, 2014. Also use a comma after the year if it is not at the end of a sentence. For example: "We knew that March 10, 2011, was not the correct date."

In addition, use commas to separate the date from the specific day of the week. For instance: “The workshop will be held on Friday, July 11, and again on Friday, July 18.”

Never abbreviate March, April, May, June or July. Do abbreviate the other months if used with a date. Otherwise, spell them out. The proper abbreviations are: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Here are some examples: Jan. 10, Sept. 29, 1919, April 20.

If you do not include a date, do not separate the month and year with a comma: February 1999.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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