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Agriculture Communication

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Liking Your Page's Post on Facebook

Over the years, Facebook has continued to make it easier for a Facebook page administrator to like or comment, as themselves or as another page they admin, on a post from a Page they administer. Confused? Let's walk through how to do it, and hopefully it will become clearer.

I am an administrator of the Nourishing Boomers and Beyond Facebook page. I also liked that page using my personal Facebook profile, so the posts from Nourishing Boomers and Beyond show up in my newsfeed.

If I see a Nourishing Boomers post in my newsfeed and want to like it or comment on it, I need to know whether I am liking/commenting as Bob Bertsch or as Nourishing Boomers and Beyond.

Shows a post from a Facebook page I am an administrator of, indicating the icon in the lower right which shows which page or profile I am using to like or comment on the post.

In the image above, the arrow shows you where to look to tell which profile or page you would be using if you clicked "Like," "Comment" or "Share" on the post. Because I see the image associated with the Nourishing Boomers and Beyond page, I would be liking, commenting or sharing as Nourishing Boomers. To change that, I just need to click that image.

Shows you can change the page or profile you are using to like or comment on a Facebook post by clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the post and selecting another page or profile.

Once I click the image, I can choose my Facebook profile or any of the Facebook pages I administer. Once I have made the selection, I can like, comment on or share the post from my Facebook page as the profile or page I've selected.

Facebook Page Post Commenting

That's it. Liking or commenting on the posts from Facebook pages you administer is a great way to reach new audiences. Give it a try and see if it improves your reach and engagement.

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

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Screencasting with Skype for Business

A couple of weeks ago, Amelia Doll, NDSU Extension Service - Burleigh County, asked me about a tool to use for screencasting. She was looking for a way to show families how to complete various 4-H forms.

I suggested she use Skype for Business (formerly Lync), since she already had it on her computer. Here's one of the screencasts she did using Skype for Business and posted to Facebook. It's a great example of meeting client needs in an innovative way!

Check out the short video below to learn how you can record your own screencast using Skype for Business.

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

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Use Headings on Web Pages for Better Results

I just finished listening to “The Great Paragraph Hoax” in which a marketing pro says web sentences should number no more than three per paragraph because readers are looking for an excuse not to continue reading with all of the distractions around us.

Writing concisely can be hard, especially in Extension and Research where there’s often a need for proof and citation.

In Ag CMS, word count per page is unlimited but that doesn’t mean you have to fill up a page just to fill it up. The quality of your content is most important but when you just can’t cut it down, a good idea is to break it up into smaller, more digestible reading. An easy way to do this is to use headings in Ag CMS.

Here’s an example from North Carolina State University that shows how much more the page page on the right is appealing  because it uses headings (and images) to break up the content. 


Without Headings

With Headings


Images are from  Mike Vysocka’s “Building the Web Backwards” presentation on Slideshare.

Get more tips on writing for the web.

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

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Write the Right Word: Bullets or Numbers?

If you are providing several pieces of advice, describing multiple but related items or announcing award winners, turn the advice, items or award winners into a list to make them easier for your readers to grasp.

Separating them into lists makes each one stand out. If you cram all that information into one paragraph, the readers’ eyes likely will skip over parts of it.

However, use bullets to indicate each item, not numbers. The only time you would use numbers is when you provide step-by-step instructions that must be followed in the order given.

Here are a couple of examples:

Everyone working around cattle needs to be vigilant about safety. Here are some things to consider if you handle cattle:

  • Cattle that have interacted with humans, such as through daily feeding, are more tolerant of people and let people get closer to them.
  • Cattle have huge eyes that are positioned on the sides of their head. They can see a lot but have poor depth perception unless you are standing directly in front of their nose.
  • Cattle can hurt you when they feel crowded. Kicking is one of their favorite defense mechanisms. Others include bunting and running over you.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation has awarded scholarships to 4-H members.

The scholarships and recipients are:

  • Eleanor R. Schultz Memorial Scholarship ($300) - Hannah Nordby, Slope County
  • Jerome Striegel Memorial Scholarship ($150) - Abby Zikmund, Walsh County
  • Rosevold Memorial Scholarship ($400) - Cassie Podliska, Richland County
  • Farm & Ranch Guide ($500) - Joanna Larson, Eddy County


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

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Office 365 Offers Collaborative Workspace, Cloud Computing, More

Office365LogoOffice 365 is NDSU’s cloud computing platform for faculty and staff. It’s webmail, but much more.

After logging in (from the NDSU home page under Online Services then Webmail), NDSU faculty and staff can access a variety of resources. The login defaults to:

Mail – You can access all your folders (click on More under Folders); read, send, delete or file messages.

Click on the blue square icon in the upper left to access other options:

Calendar, People and Tasks – These are similar to the Outlook client on your computer.

OneDrive – This is similar to your U drive -- a personal storage drive. You may choose to keep your documents here rather than on a desktop or laptop so you can access them from anywhere.

OneDrive folders can be shared, and people it’s shared with can edit the documents. However, if the person who created the folder leaves NDSU and his or her account is retired, the shared folders disappear.

Sites – Though the icon is titled Sites, the software is SharePoint. As its name implies, this program is designed for shared files and collaborative work. To create a SharePoint site for any group to work together, go to Request a SharePoint Team Site on the ITS website, complete the information and submit the request. You’ll receive a message from the NDUS Help Desk with a link to your site in

Be sure to click on Share in the upper right and enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the documents with. They each may select Alert Me to get an email every time someone makes a change to a document or adds a comment in the Newsfeed in the site.

Completed documents may be added to the site with the Upload feature, or documents may be created as New. Documents can be edited, and people can leave comments.

The Newsfeed provides for an online conversation.

Learn more about SharePoint on the Microsoft training site or contact Cj Johnson with ITS Instructional Services at (701) 231-6245. Or ask a member of the Extension branding committee or innovation team since those groups are using SharePoint extensively.

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

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Apply for eXtension Innovation Grant by April 17

eXtensionThe NDSU Extension Service has joined the new eXtension at the premium membership level. With a focus on professional development and innovative opportunities, this gives our Extension faculty and staff access to special opportunities, including the chance to apply for innovation project funding.

The RFP website suggests ideas for projects, but the sky is the limit with the goal to have proposals that truly carry out Extension education innovatively.

The one-year grants will range from $25,000 to $150,000. No match is required, and no indirects are allowed.

When eXtension staffers Anne Adrian and Jerry Thomas visited NDSU in March, they said projects that involved multiple states and that try innovations that could then be used by others probably would be looked upon favorably.

Applications are due April 17 so plan now to leave enough time to get your proposal through the NDSU process.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875; and Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specailist, (701) 231-7381

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Print & Copy Now Provides Mailing Services

Print and Copy Services now will process mailings previously completed by the Ag Communication Distribution Center. This means that newsletters, postcards and other mailed pieces will be addressed, sorted and shipped by Print and Copy Services (PCS).

In addition to the piece to be reproduced and mailed, PCS needs the address list in an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is run through an official software program that makes sure each is a complete and accurate address. A report will be sent to you of addresses that need to be corrected.

For postcards and some simple documents, the address can be merged with the document itself, requiring only one pass through the copier. However, some documents require separate addressing by either inkjetting or labeling the pieces.

Costs for these services are $40 per hour for address certification and addressing. However, there’s no addressing charge if the address can be merged onto the document. Often, the postage savings make up for this cost. Also, your office's labor costs are reduced because your staff will not have to print and apply labels and sort each mailing.

Please contact one of us for guidelines on address placement on the document before sending it because the post office requires very specific spacing.

Diane Ness, Print and Copy Services Customer Service Manager, (701) 231-9467; Dawn Long, PCS Customer Service Representative, (701) 231-2000

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Using the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

When you click on a session or recording link, Blackboard Collaborate checks to see if you have the launcher installed. If you don't, you're prompted to download it.

When the launcher is installed, clicking a session or recording link triggers the download of a .collab file (replaces the current .jnlp file). This .collab file is used to launch your session or recording, and you will not need to download the launcher again.

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

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Change Spreadsheet into a Document

Have you ever needed to convert a spreadsheet into a document? I know a lot of us are using Google Forms to collect registrations, feedback, and more. Sometimes answers to open-ended questions can produce lengthy responses that require you to scroll, scroll, scroll in the spreadsheet. This is not reader-friendly.

In another situation, a state specialist was collecting registrations and wanted the registrants to get a copy of the information they registered for. Some of the responses were lengthy and it was a chore to copy and paste from a spreadsheet into a document.

There’s an easy way to convert a spreadsheet into a document by using the “Save as Doc” add-on in Chrome. Before I get to the How-To, there are some things you must do first.

1. Use Google’s Chrome browser.

2. Login in with your Google account.

3. If your spreadsheet is in Excel and not a Google “sheet”, convert it by uploading it to your Google Drive and then opening as a Google Sheet, which is Google’s version of Microsoft Excel.

4. Add the “Save as Doc” add on to your Google Drive

Follow the video below to see how to convert your data in your spreadsheet into a document.

Save as Doc Demo on YouTube (2:33)

Save as Doc add-in in the Chrome Store

Contact me if you need help with this or want to test it out.

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 371-6403

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Write the Right Word: All Right!

Leaving letters out of words or running words together is OK for texting, as long as the meaning is clear. But that’s not OK when writing news releases or educational materials such as publications, newsletters or brochures.

“All right” is a phrase that commonly is misspelled. It’s never all right to spell it “alright.” Also, do not hyphenate it unless it’s used as a compound modifier. For example: “He’s an all-right guy.”

Another commonly misused phrase is “a lot.” That also always is two words. “She spent a lot of time trying to decide which dress to wear to the prom.” If you mean to say “give or apportion something,” then the word is “allot.”

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

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