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Online Scams - Red Flags to Look For

Online fraud is alive and well. Check out my blog post Job Scams - What to Look for in Online Postings. My friend almost fell for it.

online scams


Image credit: Don Hankins on Flickr "Online Fraud"

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

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Getting Your Voicemail Via Email

There are many features of Avaya Aura Messaging, the system we use for voicemail and unified communication on the NDSU campus, that go well beyond just leaving and retrieving messages.

One feature I have found especially useful when I am out of the office is the ability to get an email and/or text message when someone leaves you a voicemail message. Here's how to set it up.

You can control many of Aura's features by logging in to your account. Just go to and log in with your 5-digit mailbox number (e.g. 17381 for my phone number 231-7381) and your messaging password.

Aura Messaging Notify Me ScreenIf you want to get notifications of your voicemail messages with a call or text message to your mobile phone, you will need to enter your mobile phone number under "Mobile Phone or Pager" on the "General" screen (that's the 1st screen you will see when you log in). Click the "Save" button to save your changes.

Next click the "Notify Me" button in the left-side menu and choose how you would like to be notified. If you choose to receive a text message alerting you to new voicemail messages, you will need to select your wireless carrier.

Email Message for VoicemailIf you choose to be notified through an email message, just select that option and enter your email address. Be sure to check the box for "Include recording" if you want to receive an audio file of your voicemail messages attached to the email alert. Don't forget to click the "Save" button!

That's it! Now you will now when someone leaves you a voicemail message, even if you are out of the office.

This is a feature of the Aura Messaging service which, as far as I know, if only available to those with offices on the NDSU campus.

Bob Bertsch, 701-231-7381

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Send a YouTube Video by Text Message

Someone asked me the other day how to share a YouTube video via text messaging on a smartphone. This is a handy tip for those who work with youth, who frequently view YouTube videos and use text messaging.

First, download the YouTube app through the Google Play Store or App Store- both are free.

Find the video you want on YouTube. Tap the “share” icon in the upper right.













You should get options to share the video through (text) “Messaging” on Android or "Message" on iPhone. Other apps you have downloaded will also be included as sharing options.

send video through test














Sharing options on my son's iPhone:

share from iphone













Android: just add the text recipients name/number and a link to the video will be sent via text.
text on Android














Same with iPhone, just enter the text recipient's name
send text on iphone














The recipient(s) will get the text with the link to the video and be able to view it.

If you need help sharing videos from your phone, please contact me or Web Technology Specialist Bob Bertsch.

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

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Write the Right Word: Rein or Reign

“Rein” and “reign” are more examples of words that sound alike but can’t be used interchangeably.

A reign is the period a ruler is on the throne. It also can refer to authority or rule. For example: “Queen Victoria’s reign lasted from 1837 to 1901.” Or this: “Which sport reigns supreme in the U.S.?”

A rein is a leather strap used to control a horse. It also refers to keeping someone or something under control, or someone receiving or taking control. For example: “The rider shortened the reins before getting on her horse.” Or this: “The board gave the new chief executive officer free rein to make changes in the company.” “The prince seized the reins of power when the king died.”

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

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Staff Get Hands-on Experience at Communication Camp

The 3rd Ag Comm Communication Camp wrapped up on May 23, 2014 with very positive comments from camp participants.

The livestock team from the May 2014 Communication Camp works on their project.One participant commented that Communication Camp "changed the way I think about communication." Others praised the opportunity to try new tools and learn things they can use in their work. Pembina County Extension agent, Samantha Lahman said, "This has probably been the best training I’ve been to for takeaways."

Communication Camp is a three-day intensive experience dealing with a broad range of communication planning and tools. Participants 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.

At the most recent camp 4 teams worked to define their target audience, develop key messages, and create communication pieces, including a video (see videos created at Communication Camp).

Linda Kuster, Sue Millender and Jean Noland created content to help young mothers save money using coupons.

Sean Brotherson, Kim Bushaw and Cindy Selstedt created communication materials for Gearing Up for Kindergarten.

Craig Askim, Samantha Lahman and Cole Rupprecht created content to get ranchers to use Expected Progeny Differences when buying bulls.

Kim Braulick, Marietta Good and Mary Jean Hunter created content to get people to cook meat to a safe temperature when grilling.

The next Communication Camp will be offered this fall. You can see the full Communication Camp agenda and access many of the camp resources on our website.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Bob Bertsch, 701-231-7381.

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Payments Due to Ag Comm When Work Completed

Ag Communication cannot accept payments for work that has not been performed. If a large project crosses fiscal years, a progress billing can be requested for work completed in the fiscal year that is ending. This especially applies to graphics, video and printing.

In preparation for the end of the fiscal year, Print and Copy Services jobs submitted after June 13 will be billed in FY15.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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Blackboard Collaborate Includes Phone Option

If you have scheduled a Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing meeting that someone now can’t attend or if you are having difficulty scheduling one because someone won't be in the office, don’t worry. Blackboard Collaborate now has a phone option that allows people to call in and have their phone work like a computer headset.

When a session is created, the organizer can click on the phone option to get a phone number and PIN. The same phone number and PIN (in addition to same URL) can be used for multiple meetings in a "session." For example, a conference planning committee doesn't have to change URLs and phone numbers each meeting.

Contact me if you need help setting up a Blackboard Collaborate web conference.

Lync has similar tools as Blackboard Collaborate, but the N.D. University System has not purchased the phone option for Lync web conferencing.

Scott Swanson, Electronic Media Specialist, (701) 231-7086

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Computer Support Moving Back to Ag

Effective July 1, 2014, the memorandum of understanding that Agriculture has had with ITS to provide desktop support for NDSU Agriculture will end.

Jon Fry, Blair Johnson and Jerry Ranum will return to Ag Communication to focus on the diverse needs of Agriculture faculty and staff, including desktop support, training, support for mobile tablets and smartphones, and other needs and projects that arise.

A project team is being pulled together to work through the details of the transition. Information about what services Jon, Blair and Jerry will provide and how to reach them will be shared closer to July 1. For now, please continue to call the help desk at (701) 231-8685.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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Disability Accommodation Statement is Required

Remember to add a disability accommodation statement to your event materials and publications. This is required by federal law and NDSU Policy. NDSU events and publications must reasonably accommodate those who have diminished access.  

Look on the back of NDSU Extension publications and you should see:
This publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities upon request, (701) 231-7881.

For example, to comply with this alternative format accommodation, Ag Comm once made a publication in larger print so the requester with diminished vision could view it. Another time, a meeting attendee with diminished hearing requested a sign-language interpreter, which was provided.

When promoting your event, include a phrase like this in your print and online materials:
Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable ac­commodations to participate in NDSU-sponsored programs and events. To request an accommodation(s), please contact (office) at (xxx) by (deadline) to make arrangements.

If you have a sign-up form (online or hard copy) for events, include a space for attendees to request accommodation.

If you receive a request for accommodation, you may work with NDSU Disability Services to ensure reasonable accommodations are met.

For more information about accommodating people with disabilities, refer to Ag Comm's Required Statements on Printed Materials.

Image credit:

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

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Write the Right Word: Forego vs. Forgo

“Forego” and “forgo” are not different spellings of the same word. They have different meanings, so they can’t be used interchangeably.

“Forgo” means to do without something or pass up something voluntarily. For example: “I will forgo a trip to the mall to go to the movie with my friends.”

“Forego” means to go before or precede something. However, it’s not used much in this form. The more common form is “foregone.” For example: “That Suzie Smith would win the race was a foregone conclusion.” The “foregone conclusion” phrase refers to an outcome that is assured in advance.

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

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