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Agriculture Communication

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Use Notifications to Respond to Facebook Comments and Messages

You’ve set up a Facebook Page and have been posting away, gaining Likes along the way. “Likes” are one thing, but they don’t necessarily mean engagement. When someone takes the time to “Comment” on your Post or directly “Message” you, Facebook sees this as engagement and will get you in their News Feed more prominently.  

What happens when someone posts on your Page or directly messages you? It’s important to respond as soon as you can, as
83% of Facebook users expect a response within a day. This sends out the message that you care about what you are posting about and what people’s reactions are. You care about the community you’ve built. If it takes awhile to respond or you don’t respond at all, trust is loss.

To be sure you’re not missing an opportunity to engage with your followers, make sure you have your “Notifications” set up. You can modify your notifications by either logging into Facebook or having them sent to your email. No matter which notification method you choose, you should check them at least once a day and respond if necessary.

Getting Notifications Through Facebook

When you log into Facebook, you will clearly see any notifications or messages that have been sent to you. They will be called out in red in two spots - in the notifications tab above your cover photo and in the globe icon in the upper right. You can choose to get notifications as they come in, or two to 4 times a day. In the example below there are two notifications. This is the same with messages. Some people prefer to use (direct) messages when they want to ask you something privately vs. putting it out on your public Page.


Getting Notifications Through Email

If you don’t log on to Facebook every day and are more easily accessible by email, you can get notifications and message that way instead of through Facebook. But be sure to check the email you use to sign in to Facebook, not necessarily your work email.

A Note About Pages with More than One Admin

If there’s more than one Facebook Admin on your Page, all of you would get the notification. If another Admin replied to the comment or message, you would also see that so there’s no need to worry about duplication.

Other Notifications

Many Notification types are available, as you can see below. You can choose which ones you want to be notified of.


Here’s an example of when you have all Notifications turned on. In this case, Shares, Page Likes, Photo Likes and Photo Comments display.

Notifications_002 pixelated.png

It’s important to stay part of the conversation on your Page and interact with your customers when they ask questions. This is what Facebook engagement is all about. Using notifications will ensure you’re not missing out. For more information about Facebook Notifications, see their Help Center or contact me.

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

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Printing PowerPoint Presentations to a Black and White Printer

Have you had trouble printing your PowerPoint presentation to a black and white printer? If you are using a dark background with white or a light-colored text, you can run into trouble getting a good result when printing.

Below is an example of printing to Pure Black and White - the Extension Service text will not print.

Example of poor printing when printing pure black and white

Below is an example of printing to Grayscale - in this case the text or copy will get lost in the dark background.

Example of printing using grayscale setting

Go to print (“File,” “Print”) and select the printer to which you will be sending the file. Now look under “Settings.” Select how many slides you want printed and how many you want to print on a page.

The last item under “Settings” will give you the opportunity to select how you want them printed (Color, Grayscale or Pure Black and White). For best results when printing slides with white or light text on a dark background, select “Color” from this drop-down menu, even if you’re printing to a black and white printer.

If you want a clean black text on a white background printout of your slides, select “Pure Black and White” from the drop-down menu. However, to get this function to work, you first must go to Microsoft Support . Click on the “Fix it” button and then click on “Run” in the File Download dialog box. Follow the steps in the “Fix it” wizard.

Once you have installed this fix successfully, you will need to restart PowerPoint. Open your presentation and go to Print again. This time, select “Pure Black and White” from the “Settings” drop-down menu. This setting now will drop the dark background and convert your light-colored text to black. However, there is a drawback to printing this way. If you have logos or other graphics that are light-colored, they still will print as a light color. For instance, a white NDSU Extension Service logo will print white and therefore not be visible in the printout.

David Haasser, Graphic Designer, (701) 231-8620

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Ag Comm Hiring Instructional Designer for Virtual Communication Camp

The NDSU Extension Service and Agriculture Communication are searching for an experienced instructional designer to lead transitioning an in-person Communication Camp into a distance program for Extension educators across the country.

Learn more about the Instructional Designer opportunity

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Check Closed Captioning on YouTube videos

YouTube uses speech recognition technology to automatically make captions available. If you upload videos to YouTube, take some time to check the closed captioning and fix the incorrect words. YouTube’s translator software does not always do the best job, and it sometimes can be comical.YouTube logo

It’s really easy to do. Follow the written instructions or watch the video instructions

You also can upload a script or other text and create your own captions and subtitles. Again, written and video instructions are available.

Captioning makes your content available to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, plus the text can be translated into multiple languages to reach an even larger audience. 

Also, transcribed videos rank higher in searches since they allow access to information in multiple formats.

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

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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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