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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).

Facebook 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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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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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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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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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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