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Write the Right Word: Up and Down

“Up” and “down” generally indicate direction, so avoid the temptation to attach them to action words such as “slow,” “call,” “make, “ warm,” “cool” and “clean” unless a direction is necessary.

Here are some examples:

* “I’ll make the bed” instead of “I’ll make up the bed”

* “Warm the stew in the microwave” instead of “Warm up the stew in the microwave”

* “Slow before you get to the next intersection” instead of “Slow down (or up) before you get to the next intersection”

* “Let the soup cool a little before serving it” instead of “Let the soup cool down a little before serving it”

* “Clean the table” instead of “Clean up the table”

Tip: When in doubt, read the sentence without “up” or “down” in it. If the sentence makes sense without “up” or “down,” leave it out.

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

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How To Watch a Video Without an Internet Connection

no internet connectionWant to use video in your presentation but won't have internet access at your location? You can download videos from YouTube and Vimeo right to your computer to play later, using Keepvid to download. See the 1:53 video how to Download Online Video

Not All YouTube Videos Can Be Used in Presentations Due to Copyright Restrictions

Here's the kind of YouTube videos you can use in your presentation:

- videos that are not copyrighted all rights reserved (like NDSU Extension videos)
- videos that fall under the classroom use exception to copyright- when the performance of the video/audio is for a non-profit educational use and held in a face-to-face setting in a classroom (a place devoted to instruction), you can use a copyrighted work.

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

Image from Ben Dalton on Flickr

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Getty Images Allows Free Embedding

Getty Images, the world's largest photo service, is allowing embedding of some of their images (more than 12 million as of this writing) on websites, blogs and social media for free, as long as you do not use them for commercial purposes.

The embedded images, like the one below, link back to the Getty Images website and include a footer crediting Getty Images.

I had trouble finding images I could embed until I went to http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/embed which included a link to all embeddable images.

Using the embed code for the images can be a little tricky in Ag CMS, as you will have to navigate the HTML view of the content item you are editing. Resizing the embedded image is a manual process as well. You will need to change the "width" and "height" settings in the HTML code, making sure you maintain the image's aspect ratio.

There are many free and some right reserved images that you can use more easily and flexibly than Getty's embeddable images, but if you are looking for an image of a specific person, place or event they are a great option.

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

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Write the Right Word: Forward, Backward, Toward

Words such as “forward,” “backward” and “toward” that indicate direction do not need an “s” at the end.

For example, you would say: “The cars inched forward slowly.” Or this: “We moved toward the front of the theater.”

However, words such as “beside” may take an “s,” depending on usage.

“Beside” means at the side of or next to something or someone. For instance: “We stood beside the man wearing a cowboy hat.”

“Besides” means in addition to or furthermore. For example: “What are you studying besides algebra?” Or this: “I don’t want to take vacation now because I’m too busy; besides, I can’t afford it.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391

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Copy and paste when you have long lists in Google Forms

long list imageWhen you ask a question on a Google Form that has many response options, you don't need to enter each one manually.

For instance, if you ask the question "Which ND county do you live in?" you don't have to type in each of the county names for the response options. You can just copy and paste from a list online or in a document right into your form.

See YouTube video (3:48) about long lists in Google Forms.

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

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Like Ag Comm Web Services on Facebook

You can keep up with the latest in social media and web technology by liking NDSU Ag Comm Web Services on Facebook.

Recently we shared information on changes Facebook has been making that could affect how many people see your Facebook posts, tips on strengthening your passwords and recommendations for word processing options on iPad.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381
Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Social Shares on Ag CMS

AddThisYou may have noticed the small Facebook and Twitter icons next to a "Share" button on your Ag CMS content (see image). They are part of the social sharing bar that is automatically added to each of the main content items in the Ag CMS. The social sharing bar allows people viewing an item on your website to quickly share it on Facebook, on Twitter, by email or any one of almost 300 other ways.

Over the past year, people viewing our web content have used the social sharing bar to share 2,813 times, and those shares have led directly to 1,947 visits to our websites. That's almost 2,000 visits that would have not taken place, if someone had not shared our content with their friends, family and co-workers.

You can make your content more shareable by using a short, descriptive title; by including images that will make for a more interesting social media post; and by posting content that is timely and relevant.

Let me know if you want to learn more about the social sharing bar or about making your content more shareable.

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

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Web Services Offers 1-on-1 Meetings

Ag Communication's Web Services team will be offering "1-on-1" days February, 19, 20, 21 and 24.

Admit One"1-on-1" days are set aside for individual meetings with people who have an in-depth question, need guidance with a new tool, want some help with a project or just want to talk about technology.

You can sign up to meet with either Sonja Fuchs or Bob Bertsch about Ag CMS, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, eXtension resources, personal learning networks, online meetings, web analytics, social media metrics or anything else you want to talk about.

Just go to https://ndsuagcomm.youcanbook.me to sign up for a 30-minute block of time (or 2 if you need more time).

We look forward to talking with you!

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381
Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Write the Right Word: Possessive vs. Descriptive Phrase

The difference between a possessive and a descriptive phrase is that the first takes an apostrophe when you add an “s” and the second does not.

You must add “’s” when you are indicating that something belongs to someone or something. For example: “We found five of the neighbor’s cows in our pasture.” Or this: “The cat’s paws were very muddy.”

However, you do not need to add an apostrophe to a word ending in “s” when that word is being used in a descriptive sense. For example: “The new leaders guide will be available next month.” Or this: “We agreed to the Elks request for funding.”

Here’s a good way to determine whether you need an apostrophe: You don’t need it if you can rewrite the sentence and use the words “by” or “for.” Because you could say “the new guide for leaders” or the “request by the Elks,” you wouldn’t need an apostrophe.

Another test is whether the item belongs to someone or something. The guide doesn’t belong to the leaders and the request doesn’t belong to the Elks.

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

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