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Creating Images With Canva

Creating images is an important part of online communication. Images make webpages and blog posts more attractive, engaging and shareable. Even creating a social media presence requires Facebook Covers, Twitter Headers and more.

Canva offers an easy to use, drag-and-drop interface for creating all kinds of images. Using their website or iPad app, you can use their templates, design themes, photos and fonts to create your own image.

Here's one I created with one of my own photos and a Canva layout.

An Image Created in Canva

Canva features templates for Facebook Covers, Instagram Posts, photo collages and much more. Once you choose a template, you can build on a blank slate or choose one of Canva's layouts. Like Canva's photos and fonts, some layouts are free and some are available for a small charge, usually $1. If you use elements that aren't free in your design, you'll be asked to pay for them before you can download the image you've created.

There are plenty of elements that are free, allowing you to create some really interesting images at no cost.

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

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Don’t Fall for the Latest Facebook Hoax

A Facebook hoax from 2012 is being recirculated in reaction to recently-announced changes to its privacy settings. You may have seen people posting a “legal” notice that disallows Facebook to use your information or posts.

A snippet:

“By this statement, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and or its content.”

According to snopes.com, this declaration is meaningless:

“While (Facebook) does not technically own its members content, it has the right to use anything that is not protected with Facebook's privacy and applications settings. For instance, photos, videos and status updates set to public are fair game.”

The best way to protect your privacy on Facebook is to adjust your Privacy Settings to your comfort level. You can adjust who sees what, and even what ads you see. For the basics, see the Facebook Privacy page.

So if you see that Facebook post, be sure not to share it. Remember to apply the CRAAP test if you’re not sure about the accuracy of a post.

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

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Mobile-Friendly Sites are Favored by Google

Google recently announced that mobile-friendly websites will stand out in search with labels and possibly, rank.

I tested this out by searching “ndsu ag comm”. Sure enough, mobile-friendly versions ranked higher than the non-mobile-friendly result.

 Screenshot of mobile-friendly search

Ag CMS sites have been mobile-friendly since March 2013. Roger did all the work designing the mobile template and had the foresight to know that more and more users are using the Mobile Web.  

Just take a look at our most recent Google Analytics for all Ag CMS sites:

Mobile analytics table

 

Note that desktop sessions have only grown by 3.67% so far in 2014, but our overall number of sessions is up by 22.5%, mainly due to mobile traffic. We have had nearly 5 times as many mobile sessions already this year than we did all of last year.

Without having to worry about design, you can concentrate on the content. Here’s some tips on writing for the Mobile Web.  

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

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Get notified when somone submits your Google form

More and more Extension and REC staff are using Google forms to collect registrations, evaluations, email addresses for newsletter sign up, and more. Sometimes staff would like to know right away when someone completes a form. For instance, Bob and I have a simple Google form on the Ag CMS homepage that collects information for people who need an Ag CMS login. We like to get these people signed up right away so they are still enthused and also for good customer service. When someone fills out the form, Bob and I get an email notification and we can take the information the person provided and get them set up in ag CMS right away.

Not only can you get email notifications for when a user submits a form, but also changes to your form like if a collaborator was added or if any changes to the spreadsheet were made. You can set the alerts up to come into your inbox once a day, or as-it-happens.

Here's a quick video on how to set up email notifications for Google Forms.

If you need help with setting up notifications, please contact Bob Bertsch or myself.

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

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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, rjbertsch@gmail.com.

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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