15th Jul2014

How to Do an Instagram Takeover

by Daenel

How to Do an Instagram Takeover {Living Outside the Stacks}

Last month, I had the honor of taking over the Cape Girardeau Visitor’s Bureau Instagram account. It was quite possibly one of the most fun experiences of my time here in Cape. Imagine walking down the street and having people sayHey, you’re the girl who’s taking the pictures, aren’t you?” Just fun.

But if I had all to do over again, there are a few things I’d do differently:

  • Treat the account like my own and share the things that I’d normally share on my personal account
  • Share pictures of my family, friends, and myself
  • Post more pictures

If you ever get the chance to do an Instagram takeover, take it! It gives you the opportunity to reach a new audience and re~examine how you see the world around you.

Here are a few other tips to get you started:

How to Do an Instagram Takeover - Morning Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

Be consistent ~ if you have a routine that you follow on your own Instagram account, bring it over to the one you’re taking over. This is the first clue to who you are… My Instagram friends know that I share a cup of coffee with them every morning, so sharing a morning cup with a new group only makes sense.

How to Do an Instagram Takeover - The Glenn House {Living Outside the Stacks}

Let your personality shine through ~ people want to see the person behind the curtain. Seeing your face, your hands, some part of you in a few of the pictures puts a face to the message and makes things much more fun. Especially when people recognize you on the street.

How to Do an Instagram Takeover - Dynamite Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}

Show people in action ~ pictures should tell stories, make sure that people know what you’re telling them. Watching Katie and Robbie work behind the counter at Dynamite Coffee is so much fun, it’s like watching them dance…

Be social ~ when people comment on the pictures, make sure you respond

  • Use your voice and be authentic. Your host wouldn’t have invited you to takeover if they didn’t trust you.
  • Use a special hashtag that you set up with the host ahead of time. For example, if someone were to take over my instagram, I’d use #LOTSguestinstagrammer {for Living Outside the Stacks guest instagrammer}. Add your instagram name in parentheses, this helps people to identify {and follow} you as well.

What makes you interact with someone on Instagram?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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07th Oct2013

Five Tips for Updating Your Profile Picture {Tip Tuesday}

by Daenel

5 tips for updating your profile picture {Living Outside the Stacks}

What is it about Autumn that makes people think pumpkins belong in everything? It does not. Pumpkins are good for three things: decorating, making pies, and describing a shade of orange. That is all.

deep cleansing breath

I have issues with pumpkin mania but that has absolutely nothing to do with this post except that the insanity starts in Autumn and Autumn makes me wanna change everything…

Usually, I focus the changing on things like my closet. You know, organizing my collection of cardis, checking my tights for runs, etc. But this year, I decided to do something a little different. I decided to update my profile picture to match the season.

My previous profile picture was a shot of my face, tightly cropped to showcase my pixie haircut. You can see it by clicking here. Cute but dated. My hair has grown out, not as much as I’d like, considering the picture was taken 6 months ago but… I digress. The picture just didn’t fit my needs any longer, so it was time for an update.

Here’s my new profile pic:

Fall Profile Picture {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cute, right? It took me a couple hundred tries to get the shot just right but once I hit the sweet spot, I was beyond excited by the results. I take all of my own pictures without the benefit of a remote, so there’s a lot of running and wiping away of sweat involved in my selfies. Anyway, this will be my profile picture for the next few months. I’m planning something equally cute for Winter. ;-)

Here are five tips for updating your profile pic:

  1. Select a picture that represents you ~ I like floral skirts, funky shoes, books, and, of course, coffee
  2. Add a little whimsy ~ the “Hello!” on the coffee mug in my photo is both friendly and fun
  3. Make sure your name, symbol, or blog name is visible ~ This is especially true if you’re using a picture that doesn’t include your face, like I did. I use PicMonkey to edit my photos; it’s quick, easy to use, and many of the tools are FREE!
  4. Give people a head’s up ~ sometimes it can be a little disconcerting to people if your picture suddenly changes {that also goes for changing your name}
  5. Be consistent ~ make sure you update all of your avatars so your friends can recognize you

Will you be changing out your avatar to match the seasons?


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17th Sep2013

Share Your Instagram Photos to Your Fan Page {Tip Tuesday}

by Daenel

Tip Tuesday: Share Your Instagram Photos to Your Fan Page  {Living Outside the Stacks}I big puffy heart Instagram. In fact, I was one of those people who waited {im}patiently for Droid to get the Instagram app because *insert kids’ hand game here* “Droid and me, us never part. Droid and me, us have one heart…”

One of the things that have bugged me since I downloaded the app is the fact that I couldn’t post my pictures directly to my Facebook Fan Page. I always posted first to Instagram and then went back to my phone’s gallery and posted the picture to my page. deep sigh So redundant and so time consuming.

That is until I looked at the Instagram settings and realized that there really is an option to share to directly to my fan page. Cue groovy disco music.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Go to your profile
  3. From the menu bar select “Share Settings”
  4. Select “Facebook”
  5. Under “Choose a Page”, select the page you’d like to share to

When you’re ready to post your picture to Instagram, you’ll see where you have the option to share on other social media sites, simply pick Facebook and there ya go.

Now there’s no more toggling back to your camera’s gallery, finding the picture and then sharing to your Facebook Fan Page. Yay!

Are you on Instagram? Give me a yell at 4daenelt.

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13th Mar2013

Google Reader is Disappearing {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Ya know, it seems like every time I start using a product or get hooked on a TV show, Jericho, anyone? it gets discontinued and I’m left scrambling to find a replacement… And so it is with my favorite feed reader, Google Reader.
Thursday Likes {Living Outside the Stacks}

Last week’s 365 Project: 2013 Edition theme was “Double Exposure”; this was my submission. If you’d like to see my daily pictures, click here.

It was announced on 13 March that Google Reader will retire on 1 July 2013. What? Who made that decision? And how come they didn’t talk to me first? That gives us three months to find a new reader. If you’d like to keep your Google Reader data, you can do so through Google Takeout.

Once you download your data, you should easily be able to transfer your files to a new RSS feeder.

I’m not sure what I’ll use yet. If you have any ideas, leave them in the comments below.

In the meantime, remember, you can always follow me on Facebook or talk with me on Twitter

How will you keep up with your favorite bloggers?



01st Mar2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. I big puffy heart social media; it has allowed me the opportunity to chat with you on Facebook, see your lives on Instagram, and hoard on Pinterest but ~ and this is a big BUT ~ there are a lot of things that are inappropriate for social media. Things like breaking up, drunk texting, and notifying people of a family member’s death. It happened. As in a Georgia police department notified a mother of the death of her 30~year~old son via Facebook.  Shaking my head The police department’s Facebook page isn’t even identified as being run by or affiliated with the police department {a picture of a rapper is being used for the avatar and the name on the account is one that is used for investigative purposes ~ “Misty Hancock”}. Seriously The family thought the email was a cruel joke {1. It had ended up in their “other” box on Facebook and 2. The message looked unofficial}

The department stated that they’d tried to contact the family using traditional means but couldn’t so they used Facebook as a last resort. Blank stare OK, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say they couldn’t contact the family using the telephone or a physical address, are they seriously trying to say that it never occurred to anyone to set up an official Facebook account for the police department so that people wouldn’t receive messages from a “Misty Hancock”?

2. And speaking of Facebook, a friend of mine reposted a video of some kids, roughly aged 8 to 12, “twerking”. If you don’t know what that is, look it up, I’ll wait. The first part of the video showed young boys dancing with each other and then a group of young girls were added to the dance party. Do you need a mental scrubbing? I know I do. This posting came just after I’d read an article about a 9~year~old rapper’s family being investigated by protective services because of some sexually suggestive videos in which the boy appears. There are so many things wrong with these two stories:

  • It is never appropriate to sexualize children; dancing in a sexually suggestive manner or pretending to smack the butt of a woman is neither cute nor funny. Parents, you can’t wonder why people see kids as sexual playthings when you’re encouraging them to shake their behinds while being taped.
  • Adults are laughing and cheering these kids on like they’re doing something special and/or unique but how many of these adults would be cheering as wildly if their kid won a Spelling Bee or was a Mathlete? It’s about priorities and these adults/parents have theirs in the wrong places.
  • Drug use is not a playing matter. Too many people have lost their lives to drugs, so phrases like “Coke ain’t a bad word” is irresponsible and stupid. What parent wants their kid to grow up to be a user?

We need to be encouraging our children to:

  1. live a Christ~centered life ~ enough said
  2. get an education ~ education is the key to escaping poverty
  3. make life enhancing decisions ~ be wise and use good judgement
  4. be healthy ~ eating right and being physically active is important throughout all phases of life; dance is a great form of exercise but keep it appropriate
  5. create and maintain wealth ~ I’m not talking about a couple of dollars to get you from the beginning to the end of the month, I’m talking about the kind of wealth that is passed from generation to generation. The kind of wealth that gets a family off welfare and into a position of self sustainability.

Parents need to do better. We as a society need to do better.

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

08th Feb2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. As many of you know, I have a twin sister and I also have a set of twins, so I read the story about the Belgian twins who chose to end their lives with the assistance of a doctor with a mix of sadness and whoa that’s intense. Usually, when people choose euthanasia it’s because they’re terminally ill and can no longer bear the pain. This was not the case with these twin brothers.

Both were deaf and had learned that they were going blind; faced with the knowledge that they would no longer be able to hear or see each other, they chose to end their lives.

I can’t imagine being so distraught that death is my only option. Furthermore, I think euthanasia is wrong. I view it as murder. And murder is wrong. For the record, I view suicide as murder as well.

2. A high school student  in Scranton, Pennsylvania is facing 14 years in prison for a tweet he posted during a high school sporting event. His tweet, which read:

If there is a facebook or twitter fight tonight over the HC MV game I will just blow up the schools and the students involved #GOON SQUAD

prompted an evacuation during the game and a series of security sweeps throughout the school. The student has since apologized and said he thought only his friends were able to read the tweet.

My first reaction was Seriously? Are there really teens out there who don’t realize the stuff they put online can be viewed by any and everyone? And then I thought about it and the answer is a resounding YES! I think we assume that teens have this innate tech knowledge because they were born during the digital era. Knowing how to use something is very different from understanding how something is used.

Kids today, while they’re living in the most globally connected age ever, have no concept of the greater world out there. Because things like Facebook, Twitter, and its like have always existed, they never had to learn that once they put something out there it’s out there for everyone to see.

As an educator and a parent, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stress to our children the importance of responsible usage of social media. It’s also as an educator and a parent that I think this kid needs to realize the impact of his “joke”. I’m just not sure what that punishment should be.

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

04th Jan2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}Hi, if you’re a regular reader you know that on Fridays I write a little post that I like to call “Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head”. It’s all about the crazy stuff that  I’ve read on the web or heard about on TV during the week. After writing that post for a year, I’ve learned one thing: there is a never ending stream of bizarre among the human race. And I love us for that.

With the new year I’ve decided to do a little revamping of these posts. The only things I’ve changed are the title and the picture. I like to think of these posts as if they’re conversations you and I would have over coffee. So I hope you’ll continue to join me each Friday for a cuppa and some head scratchin’…

1. Rape isn’t funny. And those who commit it, regardless of their age or athletic ability should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This past week a young lady who was gang raped in India died from her injuries. In Ohio an underaged girl was raped by members of a football team who videotaped the incident and then texted and tweeted about the incident. Reportedly members of the football boosters and others in the town helped to cover up the incident to protect the reputations of the football players. This is why Penn State happened. Stop giving athletes carte blanche to be jerks. Social media activists, the victims parents, and Anonymous are collecting information to help prosecute the rapists. I applaud them and the others who’re helping to bring this young lady’s rapists to justice.

2. I didn’t watch CNN’s New Year’s Eve show. I never watch it. And I’m glad I didn’t as it seems the big drop was Kathy Griffin falling to her knees and kissing Anderson Cooper’s crotch. Seriously. I don’t know who keeps telling her that she’s funny, she’s not. I don’t know who keeps telling her that she’s edgy, she’s not. I don’t know who keeps putting her on television, stop! This is one of  the reasons teens don’t appreciate the intimacy of sex.

3. When I was a kid I suffered from the ugly trifecta: thick glasses, braces, and freckles. I remember when I was about 15 years old a guy actually said to me “Someday you’re going to be irresistible.” I wanted to throat punch him. After nearly 5 years in braces and promises of all sorts of good things, my parents bought me contact lenses and I came into my own. But those braces were hard. And they hurt. That’s why I find it so mind boggling that there are people who’re wearing fake braces. Apparently, fake braces are all the rage in Asia and kids are dying from them. Black market braces I can’t believe I just typed that cost about $100 and can contain lead. Some teens are even putting them on themselves and then choking on the pieces when they come lose and slide down their throats. Hey, teens, you know what’s really cool and fashionable? Sending me your $100!

4. Another college student has nearly died because of hazing. deep sigh How many stories are we going to read like this before students get it through their heads that being whipped with a paddle, drinking as much alcohol as quickly as possible, or any of the other stupid stuff they do is not the way to acceptance? Of course, the parents are planning to sue the school because they didn’t watch their kid close enough; but my question is, Mom and Dad, what’re you planning to do to your kid? When are parents going to make their kids take a little responsibility for the dumb things they do? Theoretically, your kid is an adult meaning they’re supposed to be making smart decisions, and on some level they have to know that hurting themselves to join a sorority or a fraternity is ridiculous.

So what had you scratchin’ your head this week?

28th Nov2011

Let’s Stay Together, Even After Google Friend Connect is Gone

by Daenel
Facebook: Living Outside the Stacks

To join me on Facebook, click the picture

I love that song by Al Green, whenever I hear it on the radio, I just start singing and swaying… But, lately, I’ve been thinking about it in relationship to you, my readers. You see, I’ve heard that Google Friend Connect will be going by way of the cassette tape real soon. A moment of silence for all the songs that were recorded from the radio with a big ol’ pause while you tried to skip the DJ’s voice overs. According to my stats, there’s about 236 of y’all who follow this blog via GFC and I don’t wanna lose nary one of y’all.

According to TechCrunch, GFC is being replaced with Google+ in the near future so all of us bloggers have to figure out another way to keep connected. I’ve created a Google+ page for this blog but I’m not sure how or if I’ll use it just yet. If you’re using Google+ already I’d be interested to know how you set it up and if you’ve found it useful or overwhelming. I already have a Facebook page for this blog and, well, we have a pretty good thing going on over there and I don’t want to disrupt it.  Besides, I think trying to manage this blog, Facebook and Twitter are enough without adding anything else to the mix.

Anyway, I’d love for you to join me on Facebook ~ you can keep up with my blog posts, join in the conversations, share pictures and just have a real good time. You can also continue to get my blog posts in your reader of choice by clicking here. But whatever you do, let’s stay together… See how I brought that back around, I’m clever like that.

27th Nov2011

Random Thoughts

by Daenel

Wrought Iron Gate

  1. How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was pretty good, we spent it with the parentals. My dad had knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago and is using a walker, this has provided endless amusement for me. Yesterday, I decorated it with ribbons and bells ~ you can check out the picture by clicking here.
  2. Last night, I heard a story on CNN about pastors who encourage their members to tweet during services and I thought Hmmmm, I dunno how I feel about this… I know some people tweet during conferences and things like that but tweeting during church? It annoys me to see people with their earpieces in during the services ~ Seriously, unless you’re getting direct calls from Heaven, why? So I don’t know how I’d feel about seeing folks tweeting on phones, tablets and notebooks during church. I guess it’s just a new way of reaching the masses and I can see how the outreach would be beneficial but I hope people aren’t using Twitter as a replacement for church.
  3. What is with these crazy kids going off to these Middle Eastern countries to go hiking or study abroad and then getting caught up in stuff? Stop going to those places, people, and then you don’t have to worry about getting arrested, beat up and bailed out by the American government. Wanna know if you belong there? Watch the news ~ if people are throwing molotov cocktails, stay your butt at home.
  4. I finally found the perfect pair of jeans. They have the perfect amount of stretch and the inseam allows for heels or flats. Y’all don’t know how hard it is to find a good pair of jeans and they didn’t cost an arm and a leg ($19.99). I bought ‘em down here in Mississippi, so yay for road trips.
  5. I’m in desperate need of a cup of coffee, so I’m off…

14th Nov2011

Facing My Fear of Sharing My Faith #NaBloPoMo

by Daenel

I was terrified to go on DWTS, but facing my fear and overcoming it has been an incredible experience. Have you faced fears and overcome them. ~ Ricki Lake {Guest Prompt}

Holy BibleBy nature, I’m a relatively shy person. I don’t mind speaking in front of a crowd, I teach American History and I work as a librarian, so speaking before crowds doesn’t bother me; but speaking to people one~on~one scares the living daylights out of me. And going to social gatherings? That totally freaks me out. I actually spend days preparing myself for the event and will often cancel out at the last minute if I feel too overwhelmed.

But more than that, my biggest fear has always been confessing the Lord as my savior and declaring it boldly because I was afraid of what my friends would say. I thought they’d disown me or, worse, talk about me. I feel silly even typing this now because it just sounds so juvenile but that’s how I genuinely felt. But then I started to really pay attention to the tweets of some of my friends and the status updates of others and it occurred to me that they weren’t concerned about offending me, they weren’t worried about hurting my feelings, they didn’t think about me unfriending them, so why was I worrying about hurting them?

Jesus says that we are to expect to be rejected for His namesake, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” (John 15:18), but more than that He says in Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” I don’t want Him to deny before His father in heaven. I want Him to embrace me and say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

God knows our talents and I believe that He uses those talents to draw people in, it’s just up to us to allow Him to use us. My talent is writing and taking pictures ~ these are things that I enjoy doing. I also like interacting with people online, so I believe that God gave me this blog to share His word and I don’t want to waste the opportunity. I want people to leave my blog wanting to know more about my Lord and Savior. I want them to ask the question, “What must I do to be saved?”

National Blog Posting MonthSo I’ve started being bolder about sharing my faith on Facebook, Twitter and my blog through Word Filled Wednesday and the sharing of music with a message. I know this may cause some folks to unfollow me or to talk about me but I’m OK with that because I know that His word does not return void, someone out there is being touched…

Today’s post was written in response to the writing prompt for National Blog Posting Month. For more information, go here.

24th Sep2011

Who Has Two Thumbs, Is Pretty Cool and Has the New Facebook Timeline?

by Daenel

This girl.

Yep, I took the plunge and decided to give the new Facebook Timeline a whirl.  As much as I complain about the changes to Facebook and as much as I hate waking up to find that ol’ Zuckerberg has tweaked the settings, I admit to being perversely curious about the new Timeline format.  To get the new Facebook, I followed the directions provided here by TechCrunch.

I have to say, just from my initial look~see, I like it.  A lot.  I like being able to look over my history and see where I was, who I was with and what I was doing at any given time.  I know others think this may be creepy but I find it fascinating.  You can go in and edit your past so to speak by eliminating things or providing more detail through pictures and words.  As a former archivist, I find this sort of digital scrapbook of my life to be a gift for my children.

Cover

Facebook Timeline Cover

Above is what Facebook refers to as the “Cover”.  This is the picture that you choose to represent you.  You can choose any picture to serve as your cover, which is a nice change from the row of tagged photos that used to appear at the top of the page.  Honestly, I hated that people would tag me in random pictures of birds, flowers, pencils, etc and I’d have to go through and untag myself.  Yep, I’m one of those people that has their profile set so that I have to approve any tagging.  You’ll also notice that your profile picture is still in the corner, you can click on that or or on your name to go directly to your profile.

 

Timeline

Facebook Timeline ~ Time Line

On the right hand side is your timeline, you can click anywhere on that timeline to see what you were doing, feeling, reading, whatever, from the moment you signed up for Facebook to the present.  Really, it’s much cooler than it sounds.  My first status update was a very profound “Dani Vaughn-Tucker is at home.”  Yep, I’m proud.  See where it says “Born”?  That indicates the day you were, well, born.  You can go in and add pictures of yourself, interesting tidbits and other ephemera to document that oh~so~important date.  My twin sister and I were born in a car accident, I plan to add the newspaper clipping to my timeline.

 

Activity

Facebook Timeline ~ Activity

The Activity area lists all your posts and activities from your first day on Facebook to the present.  This allows you to see all your information, pictures, the apps you’re using and other information all in one place.  By clicking on “update info”, you can modify information such as job, personal information, etc.  When you select “view activity”, you can see all your actions for the day or any other specified time.  To go back to your page, all you have to do is click on your name or your avatar.  “Home” takes you to your news stream, which basically looks like the same Facebook stream that was rolled out a few days ago.

 

Top Stories

Facebook Timeline ~ Top Stories

This is where the magic happens!  All of your top stories area displays your top photos, stories and other events.  You can scroll back in time or skip around to specific dates and see where you were and what you were doing by clicking the timeline on the right hand side of the screen. So very cool.

You also have the ability to highlight (by starring) or deleting stories in your timeline by clicking the little pencil.

Other little changes:

  • Status ~ on the left hand side; features little icons that symbolize life changes (e.g. got a new job), romantic status, new living arrangements (e.g. bought a house), health and wellness (yes, seriously) and a flag for achievement (e.g. learned a new language)
  • Map ~ shows all the places you’ve ever checked in (it even breaks it down by restaurant, shopping & retail stores and county locations); this is a little creepy ’cause it narrows it down all the way to the time, date and location (I don’t even remember checking in to some of those places ~ guess that’s why this is a good thing)
  • Friends ~ You can tell each month how many friends you’ve added and what they’ve been up to
  • Albums ~ feature one prominent picture along with a couple of smaller pictures; love this, as a photography geek, I like being able to see my friends’ pictures prominently displayed and, well, I like seeing my own pictures showcased too

Right now the only way for you to see the new Facebook Timeline profile is for you to enable it as a developer.  This requires one of two things, either verifying your account using a credit card or by adding a cell phone number.  If you’re not all that gung ho about seeing the new Facebook, you can always wait until 1 October when (I believe) everyone will be getting it.

However, if you have friends who are early adopters (and I do because that’s how librarians roll), you’ll see that their page looks just like what I’ve shown you above except that it’s all about them.  The left hand corner will also display a box containing a list of people that Facebook says is “People to Subscribe to”. Ummmm, I probably won’t be following those suggestions, nothing against Snoop Dogg, but I’m not interested in subscribing to him.

For other opinions on the new Facebook Timeline, you can check out the following:

Are you excited about the new Facebook Timeline?

06th Sep2011

I’m Going to Show Me the Blog

by Daenel

Show Me the Blog AttendeeGuess who has two thumbs, a blog, a Facebook page, followers on Twitter and is going to Show Me the Blog in St. Louis?  This girl.  Yep, that’s right.  I’ve finally registered for my very first blog conference and I’m so excited.

I’ve wanted to attend a conference since I started blogging, but for a variety of reasons, I was never able to go.  Then I saw Jennifer James post called Think You Can’t Travel to Blog Conferences?  You Can on Mom Blog Magazine and I thought Why not see if it’s possible?  So I looked up some conferences to see what’s happening in my area and I found Show Me the Blog which is being hosted by Danyelle Little of The Cubicle Chick (a blogger I’ve followed and admired for a long time).

I talked it over with the hubs to see if our schedules would allow me to go away for a 2 day trip without throwing everything into disarray.  Sweet man that he is, not only did he immediately put the conference into his calendar (before I had even purchased the tickets!) but he volunteered to drive me up both days and hang out til I finished.  I promised him I wouldn’t do that to him.  I just want him to feed and water the kids while I’m gone, that would be a big help.

So what am I hoping to gain from the conference?  Well, first of all, I’d like to meet people who share my interest in all things blog and social media related.  Do you know how hard it is to explain to someone who is not a blogger exactly what it is you do when they think all you do is “play” on your computer all day?  I also want to learn some tips on taking my blog to the next level.

And by “the next level”, I mean, I’d like to move beyond my sorta disjointed ramblings to something a little more focused.  But I don’t want to be a niche blogger.  Or, rather, I don’t want to be pigeon~holed, so I’m hoping this conference will help me find focus and direction.  I’d also like to find out how to better engage people using social media.  It’s one thing to toss out a thought or two and get a random comment, but I want to learn how to carry on a conversation, know what I mean?

Are you attending Show Me the Blog?  Have you ever attended a blogger conference?  What did you learn from the experience?

24th Feb2011

Facebook App Lets Commenters Easily Share Posts

by Daenel

Have you noticed the nifty little Facebook comment space located just above the comments section of my blog?  It’s a nifty little app that I created on Facebook and it allows people to comment and share your post on their Facebook page in one swoop.  This is a great way to get new readers!

WordPress users, the directions are very easy to follow:

  1. Go to Install Plugins from your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Search for “Facebook Comments for WordPress” and you’ll find step~by~step directions

However, before you get started, you’ll want to create the following:

  1. Privacy Policy (here’s mine)
  2. User Agreement Policy
  3. Avatar for your app (I just used a smaller version of my blog badge)

Once you’re finished, activate the plugin and you’ll end up with a box that looks something like this:

To see picture details, just click them

Facebook for WordPress Comment Box 1

If the commenter is logged into their Facebook account while they’re visiting your blog, they’ll have the option of commenting under their Facebook name (you do not have access to their Facebook information, although you will have the ability to send them a message through Facebook).

Facebook for WordPress Comment 2

The comment will then post to your blog and look something like this:

Facebook for WordPress Comment 3

The link to your post will then appear on their Facebook profile page and look like this:

Facebook for WordPress Comment 4

Do you think you’ll be adding this app to your blog?  What do you think will be some of the benefits?  Drawbacks?

13th Dec2010

Is Facebook Really Creepy Now?

by Daenel

Facebook Status

This question was posed by Miss 17 while we were sitting at the bus stop this morning.  “Um, yeah, it is,” I said with Misses 13 and 15 chiming in their agreement.  Miss 17 continued, “I mean it used to just say ‘…. has commented on so~and~so’s post’, now it says exactly what I’ve written.  Seriously, if I wanted everyone to know I’d just post my comments as a status update.”  I won’t give you a play~by~play of the ensuing conversation, but suffice it to say Miss 17 had thought about this a lot.  Miss 15 said she was seriously thinking about giving up on Facebook because she doesn’t like the encroachment on her privacy. They’re children of a librarian, privacy issues are a big deal for them.  Miss 13 agreed with Misses 15 and 17, but she also went a step further and said that she sometimes goes back and deletes things off her profile page ~ her one person protest against “the man.”

As I listened to my children rage against Facebook and its “flagrant violation of [their] privacy”, I started to consider why Facebook would do something that they had to have known would irritate people.  And I think the answer is that they thought this change would make the social networking site more, um, social.  Initially, I liked the new profile and I’m notorious amongst my friends for absolutely hating any and all changes to Facebook.  But when I saw the new postings on my profile page, I have to admit, I got a little irritated.  Note the status update above.

I know this is supposed to be a social networking site and the point is to share everything with your friends but I think Facebook users should be able to control what, how much and when things are posted on their profiles.  However, Facebook is probably certain that even with all of the grumblings there won’t be a mass exodus from the site ~ too many people value the connections that they have on the site and, good, bad or indifferent, it’s an excellent way to keep up with friends and family.

That being said, FACEBOOK, I STILL DON’T LIKE THE WAY YOU CONTINUE TO VIOLATE MY PRIVACY!

Do you use Facebook?  Are you concerned about the latest changes or do you think it’s one of the challenges that comes with using a free service?

12th Nov2010

The Friday Five

by Daenel
Friday Five

For More Information About Friday Five, Click the Picture

The Friday Five is hosted by Kate’s Library and provides and opportunity for bloggers to share five interesting blog posts they’ve read during the week.  To play along, do the following:

  1. Pick up the meme’s badge here
  2. Tell us about the posts or articles you want to share
  3. Share the bloggy love and make sure you link to the articles/posts
  4. Leave a comment with the author letting them know that you linked them to the Friday Five

In no particular order, here are the posts/articles I found interesting this week:

  • A week ago, I had to deal with my daughter being bullied in school, thankfully, the school handled it well but I still needed to teach my daughter how to handle bullying.  Mocha Dad had a guest post called Dealing with Bullies, that offered insightful advice.
  • Do you need a good laugh?  Read anything at Just Another Day with Mrs. TDJ.  Seriously, I can’t pick just one post ~ everything she says has me rolling on the floor.
  • I love seeing the world through other people’s eyes, so I was thrilled when I found out about this blog called A View from Your Desk.  The blog features pictures submitted by librarians showing the view from their desks.
  • I’m a big time conspiracy theorist with a big interest in privacy issues and the government (I know you can’t tell since I’m all over the webs).  But this article on TG Daily about medicine implanted with chips totally freaked me out and has all sorts of thoughts flowing through my head (some I’ll share in a later post).
  • I’ve made some amazing connections online and I’ve often wondered what would happen is something happened to them or to me, how would we find out?  So I put a plan in place that I’ve shared with my husband, here’s the post that I wrote about it called If I Died, How Would You Know?

Do you have some interesting posts or news articles that you’d like to share?

03rd Nov2010

Foursquare and Personal Safety

by Daenel

Foursquare I Voted BadgeI’m on Foursquare but I’m not really certain why.  I don’t go anywhere all that exciting, so I won’t be collecting any of those cool “Player, Please” or “Crunked” badges anytime soon.  I’m sure my kids are thrilled to know that.  However, I have to admit to desperately wanting one of those “I Voted” badges.  I know it’s nerdy but I wanted one.

In fact, it was one of the main reasons I voted.  Screw the whole civic responsibility thing, I wanted a badge, darn it!  Then I read this post on Tech Savvy Mama about why she willingly gave up the “I Voted” badge even though she’s “a Foursquare badge seeker” and it got me to thinking about geolocation and personal safety.

Leticia wrote that she gave up the coveted badge to protect the safety of her family ~ her polling location is too close to home and she has made a personal decision not to “check~in” at places that she frequents with her kids.  Wise, very wise.  I don’t check~in everywhere either, but that’s mostly because I want to spare people the whole “DaenelT is at the grocery store again” thingy, ya know?  But I do check in at my favorite coffee shop (shout out to KB’s Coffee House) and the library where I work (Keystone Library represent!), so am I putting myself at risk?

In the comments to her post, one reader indicated that she kinda sees Foursquare as a security measure.  She’s single and often rolls solo and uses Foursquare as a way to let friends and family know her whereabouts.  However, others view Foursquare as an invasion of privacy and an open invitation to danger.

I initially signed up for Foursquare because it was something new and as a librarian I try to keep up on new and emerging technologies so that I can answer any questions that patrons may have.  Really, there’s nothing worse than going to the librarian, asking for help and then having the person stand there and look at you likeWhaaaaa?”  Anyway, I’ve stayed on Foursquare because, hmmmm, I don’t have a good answer for that ~ maybe I’m hoping that the hubs will take me on a fantasy vacation to some island and I can earn an “I’m kicking it in a tankini on the beach with an umbrellaed drink while you’re shoveling snow” badge.

What about you, do you use Foursquare?  If so, why?  If you don’t, why not?  Is it a safety issue for you?

29th Oct2010

“I Voted” Badge on Foursquare

by Daenel
Foursquare:  I Voted Badge

Photo Courtesy of Foursquare

Currently, I’m teaching American National Government at Misericordia University, and this has been just as much a learning experience for me as it has been for my students.  When the class first started, I told my students that along with meeting the University’s goals, I have several outcomes for the course too.  I want them to:

  • Vote
  • Know the issues
  • Evaluate their sources of information
  • Understand the values that they bring with them to the polls

In each of my classes (I’ve taught two so far), I explain not only the foundations of the government and the political process but I also explain the origins of the Articles of Confederation and the evolution of the Constitution of the United States, with a focus on the events that lead to the right to vote for women and minorities.

This semester, one of the more interesting discussions in this course has been about how social media has changed politics.  People who were not otherwise engaged in politics have become more involved due to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and, now, Foursquare.  Foursquare is a location~based mobile application that allows users to “check in” to venues and collect virtual badges.

On Wednesday, Foursquare announced that it’s offering an “I Voted” badge for everyone who “checks in” from their polling place on Tuesday,  2 November. In order to unlock the special “I Voted” badge, users have to give a “shout out” from one of the 107,000 polling places using the “#ivoted” hashtag.

According to the announcement, Foursquare created the badge for three reasons: “to encourage civic participation, increase transparency in the voting process and develop a replicatable system for the 2012 Presidential election.”  No matter what your political affiliation, I ask you to please take the time to vote.  Do not let the “talking heads” on television or the radio make you believe that your vote doesn’t count.  It does.  And after you vote, check in with the hashtag #ivoted so everyone knows that you made a difference.

29th Sep2010

1 October is Follow a Library Day on Twitter

by Daenel

Tips for Library Patrons

  1. Don’t just follow your library, talk to them
  2. If a librarian does something well, tweet about it
  3. Offer suggestions for material
  4. Tweet about activities that you and your family enjoy

Following your library shows that you support your library.  Talk to your librarians on Twitter, engage other library patrons, use Twitter to set up book group meetings or to share movie suggestions.  Treat Twitter as an extension of your library’s services, because that is exactly what it is ~ reference help in 140 characters or less.

Tips for Libraries

  1. Follow your patrons back
  2. Respond to their concerns
  3. Update your status often
  4. Promote your events

These may seem like no~brainer tips but I’ve seen plenty of libraries that simply follow other libraries and don’t actively engage anyone.  Twitter is a quick and easy way for libraries to keep their patrons up~to~date on what’s happening in the library.  So don’t just ask them to follow you for one day, keep them engaged forever.

For more information go to Follow a Library and follow them on Twitter.

05th Sep2010

If I Died, How Would You Know?

by Daenel

Skeleton Hand and MouseI’m a night owl.  I mean I am truly one of those people who comes to life at night. So while others are sleeping, I’m either on the computer or watching reruns of my favorite shows on TV Land.  And when I do finally crawl into bed, my brain is still going at about 200 MPH. Seriously, I have some pretty wild thoughts in the wee hours of the morning:

  • How come politicians haven’t figured out that a great cup of coffee and a red velvet cupcake  really does make things better?  Seriously, it’s impossible to stay angry when eating a cupcake, try it.
  • Why do Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna have a reality show?  Yeah, he was hawt back in his LA Law days and, well, it’s hard not to look at her for  a variety of reasons but do they really warrant a 1/2 hour of TV time?
  • Who would notify my online friends if I died?  See, I think about you guys too Or maybe I’m thinking too highly of myself, who knows?

I told you my thoughts are wild, they’re also completely random but what are you gonna do?  I figured the best thing to do is solve the one problem I can and work on the demise of global hostilities and useless reality shows later.

So the first thing I wanted to know is how would some of my favorite social sites handle my passing?   Twitter’s Deceased User Policy essentially states that a family member has to notify Twitter of the account owner’s passing and they’ll either delete the account or help the family to preserve a backup of the public tweets.  Facebook provides a form for family members to submit in order to remove the deceased users account from the public stream and turn the account into a memorial page (although relatives can opt to have the account removed).   For more information about how to close a deceased family member’s accounts, read this post on Une Belle Vie.

The company policies are good but what about the personal side?  The notification, who tells my online friends what has happened?  I assume my husband would do the notifying but the question is how? My husband doesn’t know the usernames or passwords for my accounts nor does he know everyone in my online community.  In fact, I don’t even think he knows all of the sites that I use on a regular basis (and, chances are, neither do your loved ones). I also have a host of face~to~face friends that I’m sure he’s only met in passing.

As more of our relationships with people grow and develop online, I think this is an important topic for family members to discuss.  I  talked over my social media conundrum with my husband and this is the plan we developed:

  • I’ve identified key people from each of my communities with their names, email addresses and phone numbers for him to contact
  • All of my social media sites have been listed along with the usernames and passwords for him to delete or turn into a memorial as he sees fit
  • Special friends have also been identified as people who will notify others within my social circles in both my online and face~to~face worlds

All of this information is kept where my husband can easily find it.  Excessive? Probably.  But I know that if something happened to one of my online friends I’d want to know about it, just the same as if I’d want to know if something happened to a family member or a face~to~face friend.

What about you, have you ever thought about the notification process if something happened to you?  Would your loved ones know which accounts to close?  Do they have access to passwords and usernames?

19th Aug2010

I Have Business Cards, Does That Make Me Official?

by Daenel

Living Outside the Stacks Business CardA few weeks ago I was talking to my husband about my coffee mug and how people always ask me about it whenever I’m out and that these discussions naturally lead to my blog but I don’t have a way of leaving people with information about my blog other than quickly jotting the URL down on a scrap sheet of paper only to get lost in the bottom of their purse and tossed away with the receipts.  Wow, was that the longest sentence ever or what?  Anyway, my husband suggested business cards.

Well, they’ve finally arrived, what do you think?  I chose to go with Vista Print because they were offering a good deal and I’ve ordered products from them before and was satisfied.

So now that I have my business cards, I plan to hand them out when I’m talking to people about my blog, include them in packaging when I mail out gifts or things, etc.  Do you have business cards for your blog?  Have you thought about purchasing them?

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.

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