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Facebook Page Set Up

We've posted a lot about Facebook Pages like how to schedule posts or adding multiple photos.

If you need to know how to get started, or need help with branding or how to add Admins, check out my recent presentation:  Facebook Page Set Up .

While you're at it, go here to Like us on Facebook

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

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Write the Right Word: There, Their, They’re

Even though “there,” “their” and “they’re” sound the same, they don't have the same meaning, and they cannot be used interchangeably.

  • There - indicates a place. For example: Are we there yet?
  • Their – a word to show something belongs to someone. For example: The cows in the small pen are their cattle.
  • They’re – a contraction for “they are.” For example: They’re going to start the wheat harvest tomorrow.

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

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New Feature in Ag CMS: Upload Multiple Files

so many filesThis new feature will save you time if you need to upload multiple items to Ag CMS. All you need to do is add a portlet and upload your files. Find out how to use the Quick Upload portlet.

Photo courtesy of Business Insider

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

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Ag Google Custom Search Explained

The Google Custom Search box on Ag CMS and some other Ag websites searches only the Web servers that Ag Comm is aware of that host content for NDSU Agriculture and Extension. It is not a full Google function that searches the entire Web. The box is in the upper right on computers and tablets, and in the black footer on mobile devices

Here are the sites the Ag Google Custom Search now includes:

If you’re aware of sites that should be added, let Roger Egeberg know.

Search is usually a quicker way to find information than navigation. Just be sure to use words that are as specific as possible. For example, searching for “mold” in our Google Custom Search will provide results on mold in homes, white mold on vegetables and mold in stored corn. But searching for “white mold soybeans” gets you right to that information.

Also, write Web documents so keywords are in headlines and subheads and at the beginning of paragraphs. Writing for the Web is much different than writing for print, so follow these guidelines.

Another useful Google Custom Search is that searches Extension websites from around the country.

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

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Resources Help You Continue Working

Here are a few handy resources you can use to continue working while out of the office:shared_drives

NDSU Departmental Drives

NDSU has implemented a way to access on-campus departmental and shared drives (sorry – no county or REC shares) from MOST Internet service providers.Follow these step-by-step instructions.

Note that the folder location (also known as he drive path) you need to enter will look the same as a secure website address (starts with https://). Entering it in a web browser will not work.

Cloud Storage

NDSU has contracted with both Google and Microsoft to provide additional storage (30GB and 25GB respectively) for each employee. However, while the services are currently available for use, they are not yet fully supported by NDSU IT. At this time, we strongly advise against storing any export-controlled data or data protected under HIPAA or FERPA on these drives as some servers may be located outside of the United States. Visit the U.S. Department of Commerce information on export restrictions.

Information about NDSU's SkyDrive and Google Drive are on the ITS collaboration and storage page.


You can access a Web version of Outlook from a computer or tablet connected to the Internet by visiting or clicking on Webmail under Online Services on the NDSU home page. All stored email, folders, contacts and calendar appointments are accessible. To log in, use your full email address and email password.

Setup of these resources can sometimes be a challenge. If you find yourself stuck, contact the Help Desk.

Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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Write the Right Word: Compared to or Compared With

How to word comparisons can be confusing. Use “compared with” when indicating the differences in two or more items by placing them together. For example: “North Dakota producers harvested 3.46 million acres of corn in 2012, compared with a little more than 2 million in 2011.” Use “compared to” when you are indicating that two or more items are similar and your comparison is understandable without elaboration. For example: “The speaker compared her work for women’s rights to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign for women’s suffrage.” Or “The author said he wouldn’t compare his work to that of a writer such as Hemingway.” You’ll find you need to use “compared with” most often because when we make comparisons, we generally point out the differences in items. Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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Easier to Categorize Content in Ag CMS

With the recent 4.1 upgrade in Ag CMS, it’s easier for you categorize or “tag” items, making it easier for your readers to get the content they’re looking for.

Why Tag Your Content?

Categorization/tags are useful in grouping entries by topic, author or date. Tag searches can get you better results than if you’re just searching for words in the title or body of an entry.

Example: a story from Food Wise magazine about the food safety of canned food is excerpted on a page on Ag CMS. Note that at the bottom of the story (whether on mobile or desktop/tablets) the “food safety” tag appears.

 Food Wise tag

When you click on the food safety tag more than 2 pages of results are displayed, so readers can get all content (videos, publications, news items, events, etc.) associated  with “food safety”.

Easy  to add tag/categories

Perhaps the hardest part of adding tags/categories is that you may forget to do it! But it’s easy to do, and you start right from the Edit menu.

Under the Edit menu is a gray banner where you can choose “Categorization”.  Just mark the box to the left of tag you want.

tags in Ag CMS
Some notes:

  • Choose as many as many as are relevant.
  • The list is compiled numerically first, alphabetically with first word capitalized, and then alphabetically with lower case.  Nine are displayed at a time.
  • There are some duplicate or similar tags. For instance, there’s “Dairy” and “dairy”. Or “Flea Beetle” and Flea Beetles”. Choose all that are relevant.
  • Your tag(s) will display to the right of the list. To remove a tag, just uncheck the box next to the tag.

If you don’t see the tag you’re looking for, you can add one in the paragraph box below the list. You can enter one tag per line. Multiple words are allowed.

Easier to add tag/categories

Before the recent 4.1 upgrade, marking categories was more tricky, having to use Ctrl + Shift keys to select multiple tags. Now you just have to check a box!

Another improvement in choosing categories is that you can jump to a selection without having to page down. Just hover over any  tag and then type the first letter you’re looking for (so “a” if you’re looking for “aphids”), and it will get you to the top of that list, starting with that letter. The new design decreases the amount of scrolling.

If you have any questions about tags/categories in Ag CMS, please contact me or Bob Bertsch/(701) 231-7381. 

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

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2 Options for Sharing & Collaboration

NDSU ITS has announced a couple of new options for saving, sharing and collaborating in the cloud.

NDSU faculty, staff and students now have access to Google Drive and Google Sites through NDSU Google Apps for Education.

Google DriveGoogle Drive provides 30 GB of space and can be used to create, share and store documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It can also be used for collaborative content authoring in real time.

To access Google Drive, set up your Google Apps account and go to to log in.

NDSU faculty and staff can also store, organize and share documents and other files in Microsoft's SkyDrive Pro with 25 GB storage space. You have the option to give others permission to review and edit content.

To access SkyDrive Pro, just log in to Office 365.

Both tools allow you to synchronize files and folders with your computer or mobile device to access content offline.

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

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Qualtrics Survey Tool Available at NDSU

You may have received the email announcement that NDSU Distance and Continuing Education’s Group Decision Center, in cooperation with the NDSU Information Technology Services Department, is offering Qualtrics, a data collection and analysis software, to the NDSU community.

You can get a Qualtrics overview, login information, and a how to get started guide, at

I also wanted to draw your attention to the Online Surveys community in Google+. This community has been discussing the use of surveys in research and Extension with special attention to Qualtrics.

You might be particularly interested in the archived webinar that kicked off the Online Surveys community, Use of surveys in Extension for program development and evaluation.

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

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Ag Comm Slides from Fall Conference

slideshows on slideshareAgriculture Communication staff presented several sessions at the 2013 NDSU Extension/REC Conference in Fargo. The slides from 6 of those presentations are available with other slideshows from the conference on Slideshare.

Check out the slides to learn more about:

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

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