Managing Social Media


Hootsuite posted this to their blog and made it available on December 29.

Managing Your Social Media Profiles While On Holiday

I suppose that it could, or should, be posted/reposted during any holiday period as a way to remind folks that there is a great deal of power available in the tools that you use.  In this case, Alyssa Kritsch is pointing to some of the strengths of their product which has become the social media browser of choice for me.

As I read her article, I realized that I was using the features that she talks about on a daily basis – not just when I’m on holidays.  Also, in the reading, I detect that perhaps her intended audience was for business but it all rang true for me and I’ll bet it does for you.  After all, we’re all selling something – ideas, concepts, promotions, friendships, learning opportunities, …

I recall a comment I heard from an edtech “leader” once and he was running down the concept of a Twitter workshop.  “Who needs a workshop on Twitter?”  I suppose that there may be some merit to the concept if all that a workshop did was cover signing up, sending a Twitter message, replying, favouriting, and sending a direct message.

Is that all there is to it?

Absolutely not.  Hopefully, by the time you get to this line in my blog you’ll have opened the link above in a new tab and read it.  Effective Social Media use does involve using the tools for more than sending a simple message or reading a couple of others.

Under the hood of the tool that you’re using, there are many features that will empower your presence.  Even something as simple as scheduling a message or a post to your blog or a picture to Facebook at the time of your choosing lets you take control.  Another simple technique of sharing an article the moment you read it helps feed the community of learners of which you’re a part.

One feature of Hootsuite that I use all the time is access to my Twitter Lists.  My Ontario Educators and Ontario Educators 2 lists are invaluable for keeping focus on Ontario things.  (And it makes #FollowFridays easier too!)  I also realized that I have a particular sleeping pattern.  Basically, I sleep at night.  There’s a whole other group of people who are busy tweeting and sharing while I’m asleep.  My way of coping is to create a special list for them – Over There – so that I can catch up when I get up.  Any list that you create would have to be done to meet your needs, but why not do it and increase the value of being connected?

The power of sharing cannot be underestimated – the more you share, the more people share back.  Consequently, you and your community of learners have the potential of being just that much more informed and, ultimately, smarter.

And isn’t that what we’re all here for?

If you care to share, what tools do you use to manage your social media presence?

OTR Links 12/31/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The End of a Technology?


We all know that it’s a lie when we say “this is the last __” that we’ll ever need to buy.  You can insert computer, washing machine, television, couch, bed, car, house, or whatever into that blank and the sentence is true.

It turns out that “football stadium” also fits.

As I type this post, it’s Sunday morning and I’m gearing up for a day of football like any other Sunday.  Only, on this day it will be a little different.  It’s the last day of football for the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

It’s kind of funny to be a Vikings fan in this border town.  I remember the first “football day” during my first year of teaching.  Students were encouraged to wear their colours and it was almost 50-50 between the bright orange of the school and the Honolulu Blue of the Detroit Lions.  To keep decorum, I wore a suit jacket over my purple Vikings shirt and was the laughing stock of my classes!

It wasn’t until later that I found out that I wasn’t the only Vikings fan in the school.

I coached the offence for the Senior football team and the defensive coach and I would have a routine that we played on the bus to games.  I would draw up a play on a notepad and he would counter it.  In the seat behind us, our quarterback and middle linebacker would lend their advice.  One play that I drew up got a comment “Hey, the Vikes played that last week!”  It started a conversation that made me realize that I wasn’t as alone as I thought.

For years, the Vikings have played in the Metrodome.  It has a wonderful history and a great story of longevity.  But things can’t last forever and we knew that there were things afoot when the dome collapsed!  Things like this can’t last forever.

Photo Credit: Mr. Jincks via Compfight cc

Given our proximity to Detroit, we were always up for a game or two at the Pontiac Silverdome and the “fun” of entering and leaving a pressurized building in December!  It’s far more convenient to now attend a game at Ford Field.  I’m a fan of architecture and, to the chagrin of my wife, like to get to the stadium early and just walk around and take it all in.  The layout of Ford Field is certainly different and just feels more modern.

It’s also a statement that design is modernized.  This article from the Scientific American does make you think that the designed of a pressurized stadium to support the roof is dated.

Like anything else, things get old and need to be replaced.  At a glance, the new stadium looks like it’s going to be spectacular.  I like the trend in design toward natural lighting and it will be interesting to follow to see if the new stadium opens on time!

But for today, it’s the end of an era.  It would have been exciting to have Minnesota and Detroit battle for the championship in the NFC North.  Sadly, that’s not going to happen.  Ever the optimistic fan, maybe a new stadium is what it’s going to take!

OTR Links 12/30/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The British Library Image Collection


It was with real interest here that I read that the British Library was donating millions of images to Flickr.  People are encouraged to explore and reuse as needed.

Flickr image, courtesy of the British Library

In my case, “reuse” meant just wandering through the collection, bringing back memories of history classes long forgotten.  With a million images, it’s going to take a while to enjoy them all!

As an aside, WordPress offers additional related articles to supplement the original post.  You might find the “15 of the Weirdest Images” interesting.  I found it after posting this and checking out the related articles.

What a wonderful way to bring history alive!  Behind every image there’s a story.  I hope that this move inspires other organizations with huge historical collections to make their content available as well.

OTR Links 12/29/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Games On Your Computer


y$=inkey$

If you don’t understand the above, you might not necessarily appreciate the website Kanogames.

There was, indeed, gaming before Xbox, PS4, etc.

All that you needed to play was a keyboard and a monitor.  Sounds were generated by the single tones of you computer and navigation controlled by scanning your keyboard looking for an arrow key to be pressed to move one step to the left or to the right or up for a jump.

If you are in search of a less violent, simple gaming experience, then you might appreciate the efforts here.

My fascination was Hard Hat Hustle.

Oddly, these games reminded me of some of the efforts of my Grade 11 and 12 students.  All that was needed was to understand how inkey$ scanned the keyboard, how to erase and draw an image on the screen, how to detect a collision, and finally keep score.

The rest was just coding fun.  You can learn a great deal by coding your own game.