Agriculture Communication


Ask an Expert

Let's Communicate RSS Feeds

RSS Feed IconComplete Feed

RSS Feed IconWrite the Right Word Feed

Agriculture Communication

| Share

Write the Right Word: Both and Either

“Both” and “either” often get overused. That’s especially the case in sentences where an “and” or an “or” makes them unnecessary.

For example: “Mary and John went to the store.” The “and” clearly indicates the two of them went to the store. You don’t need to say “Mary and John both went to the store.” However, if you do not use their names, then “both” is OK: “Both also went to the movies.”

You don’t need to use “either” when you give two options and connect them with an “or.” For example: “The producer had a choice of planting corn or soybeans” (not either corn or soybeans).

One additional note on “either:” Use it to mean one or the other, not both. For example: “You can use either door.” However, “The woman placed planters on both sides of her front door.”

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

| Share

Multiple Admins for Facebook Pages Are a Must

It's important to have at least one backup "admin" for you office or department Facebook (FB) Page.

Facebook Pages are created through individual Facebook profiles. The person who creates the FB Page becomes the first, and sometimes only, "admin." If a FB Page has only one admin and that person leaves NDSU or deletes their personal Facebook profile, the page may be lost to your department, taking with it all the posts, likes and comments the page has gathered.

To avoid an unfortunate end to your Facebook Page, you just need to make sure your page has multiple admins. Any admin of a FB Page can add an additional admin as long as the new admin has a Facebook account, and they are friends with the original admin on Facebook or the original admin knows the email address associated with the new admin's Facebook account.

If there is no one in your office who can be made an admin for your FB Page, you can add me as an admin for your page using my email address,

Just login to your Facebook profile and visit the FB Page you want to add an admin to.

Once there, click on the "Settings" tab.
Click "settings" on your facebook page to add admins.

Next, click "Page Roles" in the "Settings" menu.
Click "Page Roles"

Add an admin by beginning to type their name or by typing in the email address associated with their Facebook account. If you are friends with the person you are adding, their Facebook profile should pop-up when you start typing their name. If you are using their email address, just type the full email address.

You will want to set their page role to "Admin." FB Page admins have the same permissions to edit a page as the person who created the page. If you want a true backup in case you leave NDSU or cannot access the FB Page, you'll need to assign someone the role of "Admin." Click "Save" when you are done.
Type in the person's name or email address and assign them the role of Admin.

Once you've added someone to your Facebook Page, they will receive a Facebook notification to let them know.

If you are interested in using the other page roles Facebook provides for giving people access to your page, check out the chart below or visit the Facebook Help Center's "Page Roles" article.
Facebook Page Roles

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

| Share

Think Mobile When Writing for Web Pages

At Fall Conference I presented "Building Better Web Pages" . A component of that is remembering to write for people who are accessing your information on smartphone. Although only 11% of all views of Ag CMS came from a mobile device last year, that was a 94% increase from 2012. More and more people will be using our sites from mobile devices. Here's five great tips on what to consider when writing for mobile audiences. I would add that testing is an important last step.

Ag cms mobile stats

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

| Share

Write the Right Word: Colons and Capitalization

Writers frequently use colons in a sentence to introduce lists, tabulations or text.

Just remember to capitalize the first word after the colon if it’s a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence. For example: “Note: Make sure you turn off the lights when you leave the room.” Or this: “The winners of the 4-H poster contest were three local youth: Joe Smith, John Anderson and Judy Larson, all of Minot.”

Colons also can be effective in emphasizing a word or phrase. For example: “The farmer always has grown two crops: soybeans and sugar beets.” Note that soybeans is not capitalized because it is not a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence.

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

| Share

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

The livestock team from the May 2014 Communication Camp works on their project.NDSU 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.

| Share

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

| Share

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

| Share

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 instead of the correct email address ending in In the next 30 days or so, messages sent to addresses will be forwarded to the correct email address, but after forwarding is discontinued, replying to a message with 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 address. If it is, you should delete that address from the "To:" field of your reply and replace it with the person's correct 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

| Share

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

| Share

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

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.