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Cool new feature with WordTwit Update

I stumbled across a new feature in WordTwit 2.0 today, which has been there for quite a while… but since I missed it I didn’t want anyone else to miss out any longer…

Incase your not familiar with WordTwit, its the WordPress Application that can be used to push updates from your blog to your twitter account.  This nice little application simply tweets what ever you want (140 characters or less obviously) with several variables like title and a link to the post.

WordTwit has always been able to provide a shortened url via TinyURL but now you can provide a shortened url branded with your domain name.

While those services work well for URL shortening, they have the disadvantage of not being branded to your site or your Twitter account. To that end, we’ve added the ability in WordTwit for your own WordPress installation to act as a URL shortener. So if you had a website with an address of www.domain.org, WordTwit will let you generate short URLs of the form domain.org/Xa.

Since you are using your own domain shortening tool you now have the ability to track the number of times the shortened URL is clicked all within the WordPress Admin.

screenshot-2

 

Cool new features on an already cool tool.


WordPress to Tweets to a Facebook Fan Page

Recently our Communications and Technology initiative has been working to navigate how we as an organization are using / will use some of the social media tools… we are calling this our social media experiment (an experiment because we don’t know the outcome nor really the steps we’ll use to get to stated outcome).

As part of experiment we were wanted to reuse the content that was already being created by several of our blogs on our wordpress.mu server we host.  These blogs can push to our @NwoodsChurch twitter account and since that is already happening we wanted to consume the twitter content on Facebook as well.

The are are several Facebook applications that claim to work for consuming a twitter feed and posting it on Facebook, but we quickly learned that what works on a normal Facebook profile doesn’t always work for a Facebook Page for an organization.

So after a bit of time of trial and error and ignoring the step by step instructions for each application that just didn’t work, we found a solution (which i am documenting here for your use as well as my recollection should I ever need to recreate the process).

There were two main apps we tried: the “official” Twitter Application and Selective Twitter Status.  Both claim they can push updates into a Fan Page Wall but we found only Selective Twitter to work.

The one major drawback to Selective Twitter is the requirement of using #fb (hash tag) in each tweet.  Since our twitter account is a branded account for our organization and not someone’s personal account all tweets are applicable to go to Facebook… but this application requires the hash tag.

When installing either application if you are already using one of these apps to post to your profile’s wall your not going to have great success trying to push those updates or another twitter accounts updates to your Fan Page’s wall.

Solution, create a company alias (profile) account and make that new account an admin for the page in addition to your profile (or other Admins for your fan page).

1. With the company account login to Facebook and navigate to the editor for your Fan Page.
2. Choose Browse More in the More Applications tool.
3. Search for Twitter and choose Selective Twitter Status
4. Choose the option Add to my Page.

twitteronFB
5. In the “Add Selective Twitter Status to your Page” window Select the your Fan Page you are configuring.
    – Don’t choose “Application” unless you would like to also install the App for your profile as well.
6. The next time you browse your applications on the Edit page for your Fan Page you will see Selective Twitter.  Choose Edit to configure the Application.
7. On the Edit page you will see 4 tabs select the tab “Your Fan Pages”

twitteronFB2
8. Select the page you would like to have the tweets display (if you manage only one page you won’t need to choose a selection)
9. Enter your Twitter Username
10. Check has permission and then Save.

Now all tweets for the username entered above will appear as updates to the wall of your Fan Page when they are tagged with #fb.

When using WordPress Plugin “WordTwit” you can add #fb to the message field in the general options so all tweets from the blog are pushed into twitter then consumed by Selective Twitter Status to display on your Fan Page Wall.  Below we configured the faith stimulus stories blog to push all posts to twitter with the hash tag #fb.

twitteronFBwp


vmware Midwest Users Group

For those in central Indiana or the Midwest this is a FREE event you might want to plan to take in.

Midwest-Vmware

The Indianapolis VMUG invites you to join us for our 2nd Annual Midwest "Back to School" Demo Days 2009 on Thursday, August 6th at the University Place Conference Center and Hotel (on the campus of IUPUI).

Join other VMware users for this FREE knowledge-packed day as we network, share ideas and learn how to get the most out of your VMware solutions. There will be live demos and presentations throughout the day!

Agenda:

07:00 – 08:00am – Registration

08:00 – 08:30am – Keynote / Opening Remarks

08:45 – 11:45am – Demonstrations & Presentations

12:00 – 01:00pm – Lunch and Expo

01:00 – 04:00pm – Demonstrations & Presentations

04:00 – 05:00pm – Reception (open bar & hors d’oeuvres)

We’ll also be featuring:

  • Hands-on labs using VMware View and Wyse Thin Clients
  • Wii Lounge
  • Course Offerings Onsite by Avnet Technology Services
    (for an additional fee)

The VMUG Team

Register Now


ACS/AD Sync Conference Call

ACSAs mentioned in this previous post as well as this previous post, we have been Alpha testing a AD Sync tool to synchronize contact information from the ACS database into Outlook contacts.

Over the past 6 months we have been working with Dean Lisenby and the team at ACS thru the concepts as well as logistics of a tool to make contact info from ACS accessible thru Outlook and Exchange.

ACS has established a price-tag for this project and we have commitments to fund about half of the project. (Those committing funding to the project include Henderson Hills Church, Windsor Crossing Community Church, First Baptist Belton, and Northwoods)

Several others have asked questions like:
“Why would we sync ACS to AD?”
“Is this something that I could use?”
“when would we have to pay for it”
“will we have development input?”

We will be discussing this with other ACS Customers who might want to be contributors and collaborators on this project in a conference call Monday July 13th in the Afternoon.

If you want in on this discussion please leave a comment and we’ll get you the bridge info.

To keep the call productive we’ll probably cap the call at no more than 5-6 callers.


GCC Church IT Roundtable session 4

VOIP

  • What are you buying when you buy a SIP Trunk
    • Voice dial tone over the data connection rather than a PRI
  • Bandwidth.com
  • Many are seeing cost savings in the $1k’s
  • Make sure your PS/ALI (911) is compatible
  • Do you need to keep copper for Fire, Elevator, etc…
    • In some areas this can be done wireless
  • What about Hosted PBX
    • Bandwith.com can be trusted for this.
    • Response point is second possible solution

Gapps or Exchange or hosted exchange

Approachability – Friendly IT

  • Users have to be able to approach IT
  • How do you help your users ask questions when they should be asking question?
    • Use a Ticketing System they can ask for things they might not think to ask when chatting in conversation.
      • Zen Desk
  • Ask for meeting times be proactive don’t wait
  • Set appropriate expectations for the users when you will be able to respond.

Metrics

  • Tracking ticketing time
  • How much does a new staff member cost?
  • Do leadership make Technology a priority?

GCC Church IT RoundTable Session 3

Admin or Not to Admin cont.

What happens when they have admin rights and things go bad

  • If you allow Admin access you "Must" have standardization and images of each "flavor" of workstation.
  • What do users "need"?
  • Does Software and Hardware get purchased Centrally?
  • Some applications get un happy when they don’t have local permissions

Spyware Removal

  • Malwarebites.org

Application Deployment/Virtualization

Passwords

  • Ewallet
  • SecretServer – Multi User
  • How Frequently do the passwords change

What is the burden on IT of the "pitfalls" of Social Media

  • Leadership has to decided assisted with by the direction of IT what the orgization’s going to "Use" social media for… then IT has to come along side with the vision/mission
  • We have to digest social media for our leadership so they "get it"
  • Find an advocate for IT on staff… find someone who can digest Technology on your behalf.

GCC Church IT RoundTable Session 2

Revisit SLA of DR with Executive Team

Computer Emergency Response Team Cert – http://www.cert.org/

StorageCraft – http://www.storagecraft.com/

IM

  • Allow/Block?
  • Content Filtering -
  • Open DNS
  • Dan’s Guardian
  • Sonicwall Content Filtering
  • Untangle
  • IPCop
  • Estro

PC and Mac Solutions for Mac remote clients

  • Not Blocking IM – But Archiving it?

Why do IM?

  • Step between email and a phone call
  • Reduce Email Ping Pong

Why Not do IM

  • File Transfer conduit

Colaboration Tools

  • Live Mesh
  • Groove
  • Adobe Connect
  • Skype
  • FreeConfrencecall.com
  • Callaflower.com
  • Mobile Content Filtering
  • Convenient Eyes – Accountability Software

Spam

  • Postini – $1500 min
    • Resellers are a little more $$ but they provide support direct from Google doesn’t
  • Barracuda
  • Sonicwall
  • ExchangeDefender

Inbound and Outbound filtering

  • Catching outbound emails containing credit card information

Data (PCI) Compliance – how are you managing data on laptops etc.

  • Policy /Guidelines
  • Enabling TPM
  • Cornel Spider – Searches computer for security numbers http://www2.cit.cornell.edu/security/tools/
  • If its important enough to keep from people seeing it… its important enough to have backed up centrally
  • Make the Network Work and make the network Secure… those two are mutually Exclusive… there has to be balance.

Admin or not to Admin (locally)

  • Why Local Admin – Super rapid growth couldn’t support locked down machines

Primo Customer Service

 

In the past I have been known to write about customer service that was lacking… But this time I have to share some customer service that just left me speechless….

Natalie and I decided to do our own lawn fertilizer and weed control this year…. and yes by “we” I really mean me.  I just couldn’t pony up the $200 for someone to walk my lawn… I already owned the sprayer and spreader so we made the decision to go back to our own lawn care.

I purchased Scotts Weed-Be-Gone and Scotts Turf Builder Plus Weed Control and applied them as directly six weeks apart but still had some weeds growing… annoying.

So I called the customer service number and got a delightful representative who was very willing to listen to my concerns…

I know some of you might find it hard to believe, but I hadn’t called with the intention to get anything free or replaced… I just wanted to make sure that I was applying the products correctly and to see how soon I could re-apply the products.

So while we chatted the customer service representative assured me that I had read the instructions and followed them correctly and then says, “I am processing your refund check for both products, where should I send the refund”… I was speechless…. I had no anticipation of a refund, but Scotts was willing to stand behind the product they would send me a check even without sending a proof of purchase, just because I had to call and the product hadn’t performed as expected!

WOW an A+ to Scotts for Customer Service!  There is no wondering if I’ll switch brands next time I shop for Lawn Care products!  Kudos for good Customer Service… the Art of Caring about customers isn’t dead!


Why didn’t i think of this

So this weekend I was watching some tastily programming on the food network and I saw a little dive in Minneapolis making burgers with Cheddar-Jack cheese… which is fine except they put the cheese inside the burger then cook it… The result a gooey cheesy burger… I had to try.

My first attempt turned out much better than I anticipated. So with this Idea being so simple but good I had to try it and take photos.

 

Prepping the Burgers stuffing the cheese

burger-1

 

The Cheesy Burger on The Grill

burgergrill

 

The Cheese Oozing out of the Burger

Burger1

 

Tastes Better than I expected!

burger4


ACS Pre-Convention Day (Roundtable & Checkpoint 201)

Today we had a great crowd at the ACS Church IT Roundtable.  As always I got really jazzed and fired up from the peer learning and community that are parts of all CITRT events.  There were a lot of new people to meet, and I also enjoyed getting to know some CITRTers I had talked with but never met…. Like Jeff Suever Great to meet you!

The conversation was great and I even got to shamelessly plug CITRT.org for those who haven’t’ heard of it… thanks Dean.

The afternoon consisted of the Checkpoint 201-Launching Checkpoint Successfully in your Church pre-convention workshop… This was a great group and we had a lot of fun sharing our experience and hearing how others are planning to launch Checkpoint for their ministries.

As I noted in the workshop we are more than happy to share anything we have learned or produced during our Checkpoint launch that you might be able to use for your ministry.  Most of today’s content is now listed below but we’ll continue to add and update items as time goes on (Download Content Updated June 9th to include additional content).

If you have questions about launching Checkpoint or would like to share your story with us we would love to hear from you.

  • Workshop Power Point (PDF)
  • Registration form (PDF)
  • Program Insert (PDF)
  • Website FAQs (Web)
  • Training Documents (PDF) (DOCX)
  • Self Service Kiosk Instruction Pannel (PDF) (JPG)
  • Self Service Kiosk Instruction Pannel – Draft 1 (PDF)
  • Self Service Kiosk Signage (PDF)

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