Final Exam

Content Strategy for the Web Strengths

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It helps you create meaningful content for your website. The book is very easy to read, she writes like she is talking to the reader. The way her book is broken up into sections its a lot nicer to read and easier to understand. To start I will provide strengths of each chapter in Content Strategy for the Web.

  • Reality: Less not more is a really great strategy, and its easy to fix if you can look at your website from a users perspective. This strategy reminds me of Apple products and how easy they are to use.
  • Discovery: “Identifying your stakeholders by how they impact the project and not by their areas of expertise will help you understand how to involve them going forward” this is a good point; how they impact your project is more important. When she talks programs that can audit your website for you she says, “Technology doesn’t replace the context provided by human review”. This is such a good point when using tools.  From just doing a basic content audit myself I learned a lot about the website and the thought processes users must go through when using this website. The channel map from “Awesome Co” was really helpful to see when reading about channels.
    • About users: “No matter how they find you, your users almost always have very specific goals and expectations” This is so true.
  • Content: Factors to consider including in content: Audience, Messaging, Topics, Purpose, Voice & Home and Sources. Developing personas to figure out who your users are is a good idea. The Topic map looks very useful, and efficient.  The tip to not create a ton of content is a good idea, it sounds like it is easy to get in over your head.  When deciding what content to keep consider these tips: requirements, reach, relevance, richness and revenue.
  • Success: Having a plan and a budget is a good idea, especially when you are trying to get other people to invest in your idea. “Regardless of the size of the project you’re proposing, when you ask for money . . .Ask in person, Know your current budget and understand the organization’s fiscal year.

 

 

Content Strategy for the Web Weaknesses

Before looking at content I would suggest have a user use the website and figuring out what is confusing to a user, what is works, and what content works great. This way before you start getting rid of content you know what your looking to change, it would give you something to focus on directly. Its not clear what the author means by alignment? Visually or?

In Chapter 6 midway through the chapter she talks about “Factors that Matter” the first one she lists is “Target Audiences”. While I agree that targeting your audience matters I think that this step should happen sooner than after you do content analysis. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you be sure you are picking your content correctly?   I may just not familiar with the terms used in this book but I am really not sure what she means by “messaging” this could use some clarification. I am picturing instant messaging on Facebook but that does not seem like that’s what she is talking about.

“Original content” section on page 113 should probably be shown sooner in the book or in the chapter. Defining ownership, and roles seems like a good thing to point out but it seems as though a lot of people might already be past that point when they are reading this book. The following section of the different areas that people should be in charge of is a good idea and it is thoroughly in depth so that would make things easier. She says “leave a copy of this book on your bosses desk, which is a little presumptuous”. She is pretty repetitive in the last chapter.

 

 

The Networked Nonprofit Strengths

 

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This book is directed specifically towards non-profits specifically. The example of the “Surfrider Network” was a good way to show a network that non-profits can eventually aspire to.

  • It’s important to note that they define social media as “the array of digital tools such as instant messaging, text messaging, blogs, videos, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace” (4)
  • Social media tools make nonprofits complete and fall into three categories of use
    • “Conversation starters like blogs, YouTube, and Twitter”
    • “Collaboration tools including wikis and Google Groups”
    • “Network builders like social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter” (5).
  • It is really easy to read because the book gives you a story to read while you are learning tools to help non-profits

 

Below I will give a bullet proof list of the content I felt helpful in the book

  • Myths about social media
    • Myth 1: “Our constituents aren’t online” Non profits should train for a future where everyone is using social media.
    • Myth 2: “Face to face isn’t important anymore” meeting with people and talking to them is more effective than contacting them online or over social media
    • Myth3: “Social media is not core to our work” social media can help strengthen relationships and connections
    • Myth 4: “Using social media is hard” not so sure I agree with this one
    • Myth 5: “Using social media is time consuming” eventually you can distribute the weight of social media and then it is not time consuming, but like he says “this one is actually true” is quite accurate
  • Social networks have two main components
    • “nodes” people or organizations
      • “Hubs” larger nodes- people or organizations that have a lot connections
    • “ties” connections between them
    • “networks also have cores. The core is the inner cluster of people who do most of the work on any project or effort.” (28)
    • Clusters: Groups of people who are connected to each other
  • An interesting term to note:   Ambient intimacy- “ ‘about being able to keep in touch with people at a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to because time and space conspire against it’”
  • “Social capital”- what makes relationships meaningful and resilient, trust and reciprocity are usually seen in these relationships
  • This is important to note, when nonprofits work with crowds they should answer 3 questions
    • “What should the crowd do?”
    • “Who needs to be included in this crowd?”
    • “What will we do with the crowd’s input?”
  • Crowdsourcing Cautions
    • “Crowds are unpredictable”
    • “Crowds can become angry mobs”- maybe not for a nonprofit organization though?
    • “Crowd contributions are 90 percent useless” maybe so, but crowds do attract attention
    • “Crowds and organizations may be done”

 

The Networked Nonprofit Weaknesses

In chapter one they gave myths about social media and one of them was “Using social media is hard”. Understanding how to use social media is not that hard I would agree with that, but learning how to use social media is hard work and it takes a lot of time and effort to gain a strong network and strengthen relationships on social media.  The way that they explain networks could have been categorized better, or different with bullet points.

 

 

5 Different Knits to Donate

There are many different places and organizations you can knit items to be donated. I do not know about you guys but volunteering my own time to make someone a hand knit item just makes me feel good. Not only am I doing something that I love, but I am also helping other people at the same time. In this blog I will list five items that you can knit and donate and where to donate them.

 

  1.  Lovable Bear

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This bear is adorable, and the pattern is free. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/teddy-bear-3You can knit this bear for a non-profit organization called “Mother Bear Project”. The bear would be given to a child in a developing country, primarily to one who has been affected by HIV or AIDS. This knit bear is meant to give a child comfort and hope.   Just think if a child is enduring that much devastation, and something as little as a knitted bear could give them a shred of hope or comfort it is worth it. I have not donated a knitted bear yet to this organization but I plan to in the future.

 

2.  Blankets

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Here is a picture off of Christine’s blog “theiknits.com”. I have made this same blanket and it is incredibly easy, and adorable. The one that I made was for my mom and it was in blue. You can find a description of a pattern of this blanket on her blog under “crochet”. There are a number of charities that you can donate blankets to. The one that I am recommending is “Project Linus-Fargo/Eastern ND chapter”.   On there website they have a list of places you can drop off your hand knit blankets.

 

3.  Chemo Caps

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Here is a beautiful knitted chemo cap. I found the free pattern on headhuggers.org. The pattern for this beautiful cap as well as a number of others is for free. There are a variety of different places where you can donate chemo caps. The website that I found is http://www.knotsoflove.org. This organization donates a range of knitted gifts to a range of people in need. They give caps to people going through chemo, burn victims and even veterans. This is an amazing organization, and it would be an honor to donate knitted creations to them. There are a few restrictions on the types of yarn they permit, so its best to check out there website before you get started.

 

4.  A Square

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These square knits are eventually made into a blanket that helps warm a child in need.  These blankets are donated to kids in South Africa that has been affected by AIDS and poverty.  To find out more information on this organization visit http://www.knit-a-square.com.  There are many different patterns of squares that you can knit and there are different free patterns that you can find on their website.

 

5. Prayer Shawl

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This prayer shawl pattern is free and can be found on lionbrand.com.  Prayer shawls can be donated to a number of organizations.  You can donate prayer shawls to cancer patients, or other causes such as Alzheimer’s.  The organization that I found is called ” Alice’s Embrace”.  This is an organization that donates prayer shawls to people with Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is an awful disease and donating a prayer shawl could really comfort someone who is devastated by this disease.

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5 Fun Useful Summer Knits

Every season of the year I absolutely love to knit. In the summer time though sometimes it is hard to find things to knit that would be useful for that season. When someone thinks about knitting they may think about scarves, or hats or mittens. These are great items to be able to knit but no one wants to knit a scarf in 80-degree weather. Below are 5 different items you can knit during the summer.

Market/Beach Tote

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Not only is this item adorable but it is useful as well. Switch colors or make it all one color. You will never have your hands full on your way to the beach with a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel. Throw all of your beach items in this bag, swing it over your shoulder and you’re good to go. Weather you use this at the beach or on your way to the market, you will be sure you knit something useful and cute! In order to make this gorgeous tote check out this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt4HP8Lc39k

 

Fedora Hat

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This adorable fedora hat will help you keep your face away from the sun in style. With the brim on this hat you will be able to see without squinting, and your face wont get burned. You can make this hat classic with one color yarn or funky and stripe it with two colors, either way you will look amazing! To learn how to make this hat watch Christine’s YouTube video    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb4Qmz1Bouk

 

Lace Top

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This top keeps you cool and styling. Wear a tank top underneath it, or a swimsuit, one this is for sure you will look amazing in this top this summer. This top is easy to knit, and you can adjust the size to fit the person. Wear it at the beach, or wear it at the mall. You can make this top short like featured in the picture above or knit it longer! To learn how to make this top watch Christine’s YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwrCTXWc3Gk

 

Bottle Holder 

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This bottle holder will keep your drinks chilled for longer in the hot summer sun. You can make this bottle holder smaller to accommodate a beer or larger to fit a bottle of wine. Do not be afraid to set your chilled beverage down on a wooden surface because the holder will protect it. Your hands will stay dry and your beverage will look classy. I have not been able to find a pattern for this yet, but it does not look too hard to knit.

 

Sun Hat 

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keep your face cool and protected under this hat. Forget buying expensive hats at the store, and make this one. You can make it all one color, or add stripes. This hat will protect your face, and keep you from squinting. You can add a chinstrap to it in case it is windy at the beach that day. Make it for yourself or make it for a friend either way it is guaranteed to be used a lot this summer!

 

 

Midterm 2: Powerful Non-profit Characteristics

Leading

Short form content to use in tweets and posts is easy to find. For non-profits the administrators of the page should always keep social media in the back of their mind. Whether it’s a conversation they had, or a funny story they heard, they can use that content on their social media pages. According to 140 Characters there are “three active principles: describe, simplify, and avoid”. The more non-profits pay attention to the world around them, the easier it will be for them to use short form. You do have to be careful when you are using the short form because you cannot take it back. For instance a text message or a tweet.   By keeping these strategies in mind it will be easier for a non-profit to find short form content to tweet about that shows that they are unique, and create their own path by leading. According to 140 Characters “leadership is doing” and I agree with this completely. Non-profits could lead by doing something as simple by tweeting what they are doing, or what their goals are.

 

Voice

It is important for each non-profit to have their own voice to stand out from others. According to 140 Characters you should “Inherit a ‘literary accent’ from casual speech, verbal sound effects, and likely places like the great opening sentences of books”. To find their voice the administrator of a social media page could do a number of things to help. One of them is to keep up their physical strength according to 140 Characters by doing this it will be easier to have come up with short forms to use because you will be less stressed, and the mind needs a break to be able to come up with worthy ideas. “Investigate how you are being retweeted and when”. By observing this you can learn a lot about your followers and how dedicated they are, as well as take into consideration what you could do better with the feedback you are getting.

 

Cultivate Content

It can help with twitter when you pretend you are tweeting to a specific “audience member”. New administrators of social media pages for non-profits might find this helpful when finding content to tweet about. Good content may be emotional content because it grabs attention, and it is strong and inspires action. By being curious about other organization non-profits can expand their social network as well as become inspired to create new posts on their own. When finding new content it might be easier for administrators to carry a small notebook around to store their ideas to eventually post or tweet about. Have fun when finding content to post about, enjoy yourself; ideas may come easier to you then. By learning from others non-profits can find content to post about as well as gaining wisdom and learning from their own mistakes. According to 140 Characters you should also “be open to new [social media] platforms”.

 

Evolve

Non-profits need to evolve with social media. Technology is constantly changing and it is very important for administrators of social media pages to stay on top the latest improvements in that world. As stated above according to 140 Characters you should “never limit yourself to one platform”. Non-profits should be open to expanding their horizons and learning how to use other platforms. Practice writing where ever you go. You can use the same caption for different photos, posts, or links and each time it means something different. With social media “you give what you get”. The writer of a social media page should constantly be trying to engage their followers or friends.

Midterm 1 FB & Twitter for Jail Chaplains

Facebook

According to SMSG when a Non-profit creates a Facebook page it is important for them to select the category “Nonprofit Organization” When selecting the category of institution or organization while creating the Facebook page. Jail Chaplains has done this correctly, so I would like to congratulate them on that because that can be tricky.

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Jail Chaplains has most likely not found their “Facebook voice” yet because when they do post it is rare and they get few likes or comments. In the past some of their posts have been pictures of bible verses, or inspirational Christian quotes. I applaud them on using a photo, because it grabs your attention more than just a writing post, but these pictures of quotes are not getting very many likes or much attention. Since this strategy has not generated a lot of attention of Facebook it may be time to approach this is a new way. The maximum number of likes they seem to be getting on these posts are less than 10 likes.

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In the past when Jail Chaplains posted this this photo they received 21 likes , 1 share and two comments. This is a high number for them, and a lot more involvement from their Facebook community so I would advise them to post more posts like this and see if the numbers of likes, shares, and comments increase. I would also advise them to write back to people when they comment. I would not know what they would have said to the first commenter because that comment seems more personal, but to the second commenter they could have responded with something like “ We look forward to sharing future events with you, God Bless!”  Although this strategy is good to try and to keep up its also important to “mix it up” they could breaking news or links from their YouTube page if they have one or always including a photo with posts.

It is important for non-profits not share too much on Facebook because people may start “hiding” them from their news feed. Four to six times a week is a good strategy. Jail Chaplains could definitely benefit from posting more frequently on Facebook, which is an easy thing to correct in the future, just a little more time consuming. Even if they could post at least twice a week they would most likely get more followers and likes.

According to SMSG you should send “updates” to people who like your page once or twice a month. “Most fans will not read your updates; however, enough will to make it worth the time to send them out once or twice a month” (Mansfield). To be honest as a Facebook reader I do not agree with this strategy because if I was getting updates once or twice a month I might be annoyed and unlike them or hide them. For me this strategy seems a little pushy, and people might be better off just posting updates four to six times a week to attract attention to their page.

According to SMSG a good goal for every Facebook update is to have three likes and one comment for every thousand fans. Their page currently has 391 likes and the average amount of likes is higher than three, but them seem to only post twice a month. They are not frequent comments on their posts either so this is something to acknowledge. If their staff posted updates more frequently they might be able to increase the amount of fans they have as well as likes on their posts, and comments. If Jail Chaplains added the favorite feature and they started “favoriting” or tagging other non-profits they could build “partnership and appreciation”.

 

Twitter

Their main goal on twitter should be to “inspire action and reaction”. I don’t know if I would say that they have been inspiring action and reaction. They were very active in the month of February, but since then activity has ceased, their last tweet was February 14.

Another effective strategy on twitter according to SMSG is to not only tweet your own content. Jail Chaplains does tweet other content not just their own content, but it is just bible verses. Not that bible verses are nothing, but if they were to retweet another non-profits tweets, or something that is interesting to their cause this might be better.

According to SMSG they should follow the 1 on 1 rule meaning they should follow the number of followers that are following them. Currently they are following 57 follower and they have 26 followers. “You are likely to get more followers if people see that you follow them in return” in addition to this there are many other benefits to follow just as many people that are following you.

Currently in their tweets they are not using hash tags so this could be improved on although they should not over use hash tags either. According to SMSG they should be tweeting four to six times a day and they haven’t tweeted in a few months so this is something that could be improved on.

My Story

One of my passions as many of you know is knitting. Knitting has helped me get through a lot of difficult times, when I needed an escape. Eventually I had made so many hats, and mittens, and blankets and scarves that I was not sure what to do with them. I would give them as gifts or keep them for myself. My mom had mentioned to me that our family friend that knits prayer shawls and donates them. I looked into that on the Internet and found a few different places in Fargo where I could donate things to the homeless, or knit for cancer. One of the places that I saw that you can bring your service projects to is Prairie Yarns in Fargo.

http://prairieyarns.com/service-projects

This last fall my godmother and aunt was diagnosed with stage four Cancer. Learning this was very hard for me, and I could not stop thinking about her and what I could do for her. I knew that eventually during chemotherapy she would lose her hair, so I knit her a chemo cap.  The style of cap that I knit her is shown below.  I also knit her a prayer shall as well. When she uses them I told her to know that she is never alone and that god is with her. I hope that when she wears her cap and uses her shall she feels comforted by these thoughts. My family has never been through anything like this, and it has been really hard watching my mom be so sad about her sister. Going through this experience gave me a taste of what it is like to have a loved one with cancer. This experience has made me want to knit more caps, and shawls to donate to people with cancer just to comfort them a little bit. When someone is going through a hard time it is just nice to show him or her that you care. By making and donating hats and shawls, I hope that I am showing cancer patients that I care, and want to give them peace.

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Giving Hearts Day 2016 Analysis of non-profits post on Facebook

Three Non-profits

Haley’s Hope

For Giving Hearts Day 2015 I will first be describing the non-profit Haley’s Hope’s interaction on Facebook. According to the book Social Media For Social Good you must “always share a link, photo, or video in status updates”. In Haley’s Hope’s posts for Giving Hearts Day 2016, they provided at least one photo or video in all of their status updates on Facebook. On Giving Hearts Day they posted on Facebook four times. According to SMSG you should not post more than one or two times a day. Since Giving Hearts Day was a major event for them, it may be more beneficial for them to provide more updates during that day. According to SMSG it is beneficial to “’tag’ other pages to build partnerships”. On Giving Hearts Day on Facebook Haley’s Hope didn’t specifically tag other pages but on different days they have tagged other pages in different posts.

Oak Grove Lutheran School 

The second non-profit I am reviewing for Giving Hearts Day is Oak Grove Lutheran School. On Giving Hearts Day Oak Grove Lutheran School posted once, and included a photo. For an event that affects them so much it may have been beneficial for them to post twice about it. Their cover photo on Facebook is about Giving Hearts Day so at least people can see that when they visit their Facebook page. In other posts they do not usually include video or posts, so if they started doing that more often that could be beneficial. Oak Grove Lutheran School also did not tag other pages in their posts either on Giving Hearts Day or any other day so that could be beneficial if they started tagging.

Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead 

The third non-profit organization I am reviewing for Giving Hearts Day is The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead. On Giving Hearts Day 2016 RACC posted three times and included photos in all of their posts. The RACC occasionally tags other pages in their posts, but if they started doing that more often that could help their organization. They post pretty regularly and provide quite a bit of information so that is good. The three organizations all have different aspects to work on when it comes to Facebook, but at least they all posted something for Giving Hearts Day!

Highs and Lows of Non-profits I’m following for Giving Hearts Day

Giving Hearts Day Non-profits Video

Listed above is my video blog Essay # 4.  This video blog lists the non-profits I followed for Giving Hearts Day 2016 and gives a brief overview of their accomplishments as well as aspects the non-profits could improve on in social media.  The non-profits I am following are Haley’s Hope, Oak Grove Lutheran School, and the Rape and Abuse crisis center of Fargo-Moorhead.  Haley’s Hope social media pages had a variety of posts including the Fargo community for Giving Hearts Day.  This really added to their success.  Oak Grove Lutheran School had a post of Facebook about Giving Hearts Day but failed to upload some content from their website that would have  helped them succeed more on Giving Hearts Day.  The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo Moorhead had a variety of posts on Facebook, and they would benefit posting on other social media sites as well.

Media Ecology

Hey Knitters!

 

Today I will be talking to you all about how the “media ecology” of blogging, tweeting and social networking seems to work. According to Wikipedia.org the “media ecology theory centers on the principles that technology profoundly influences society . . .it is a study of how media and communication processes affect human perception and understanding”. By this definition I will be incorporating how all social media accounts can be linked together and how people positively and negatively can interact with these social media sites. By reading chapter 3 in Social Media for Social Good I learned many different ways to incorporate your other social media accounts into Facebook and the most effective strategies.

 

  • When updating your Facebook status you should add photos, links, or videos. It will be more visually appealing so more people will like and view your status as well as direct traffic to your other social media accounts.
  • Don’t automatically sync Facebook with other social media sites. For example it is acceptable to tweet 6 times a day on Twitter but having that many status updates on Facebook will make you appear as a robot, and will most likely be annoying to your fans.
  • Add your Facebook link to your other social media pages, website, and email.
  • By adding shares and likes to your website or blog you can gain a lot more recognition from your fans.

 

The article “Pew Foundation’s ‘Internet and American Life’” is about how the arts are gaining recognition through social media from fans. This article ties in well with how technology is influenced by technology. By following an art group society could gain a better understanding of art and appreciation.

 

 

P.S. Check out the blanket that I made! My inspiration is from Christine, I read about the pattern she used for her blanket on her blog

http://www.theiknits.com/2015/12/easy-crochet-afghan.html

 

Long (blogs) and short (updates) forms

In week two in English 457 we are learning about Long form writing and short for writing. To learn about these two different types I am reading the book “Social Media For Social Good) by Heather Mansfield. First I read chapter 4 about twitter and I learned a few useful things

  • Twitter is the top recognized micro blogging platform
  • You are 90% less likely to be followed back if you leave your website field or bio blank because you look like a spammer
  • “Only one [out of 10 tweets] should be a direct request, such as subscribe to our e-newsletter, make a donation” etc.
  • Retweet and reply to others so they will retweet and reply to you
  • To gain followers when someone follows you, follow them back
  • “Tweet four to six times per day”

This is some of the information that I learned about Twitter that I had not known before. The book also mentions 11 Twitter apps for non-profits, which are very interesting. Now I will list some interesting tips I learned about blogging from reading Chapter 7 in Social Media for Social good.

  • Blogging increases search engine results
  • Allows you to have new material to post on other social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter
  • Provides you with valuable data
  • Use photos or videos in all blog posts
  • 5 characteristics a blogger should have: confidence, discipline, being organized, SEO knowledge, enjoying social media

Next the book lists some information about the different blog platforms and what they are used for. In addition the book also mentions blog content ideas for nonprofits. In addition to reading the books assigned in order to learn short form and long form writing, overtime through using social media pages I will gain knowledge about them. Short and long form writing are both very important skills to have. Short form requires more trial and error type of work and long form requires preparation. The author of “Social Media For Social Good” suggests going to Twitter.com/nonprofitorgs to find nonprofits to follow on twitter. After scrolling through their page for a little while I found a few organizations to follow such as world hunger, and education promotion programs.