Interested in building your own business?

I found a link to this blog from the blog site. The site belongs to Mr. Martin Zwilling, CEO and Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc. Mr. Zwilling also holds many other titles and has been published in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Huffington Post, all of which signify reliability, credibility, and trust (for me).

The name of his blog is “Startup Professionals Musings.” He offers advice and “how-to’s” for entrepreneurs, writing a new article each and every day. All of the articles that I reviewed feedback on was positive, but I did find one man that didn’t necessarily disagree but wanted to add some of his own thoughts. All-in-all this blog is one I will definitely enjoy reading and will likely follow myself. I immediately added it to my Google Pages.

I had to finally choose an article to fully read and evaluate – it was titled “Manage Your Online Reputation Before It Goes Bad,” written on August 30, 2012. Mr. Zwilling discusses six important key factors about your online reputation and gives detailed information on how to correct existing problems and how to turn negative feedback into positive feedback.

He also follows a number of other similar blogs, with the links easy to identify from his page should you want to read what others are saying about this form of business.

Please visit his site at the following link:


Daily Shoot: Shooting to Share

I thought I would capture how I am bringing together the images of the Daily Shoot that I am sharing. Jim Groom has described how he is pulling together the images. I am using something similar in the sidebar here (a plugin called FlickrRSS – which works for one tag but hasn’t been updated in a long while so I want to play with FlickrTag as well) to capture all of the Flickr images tagged with “ds106” AND “section0” so it is just the images from the open course showing up there.

However, in a spasm of narcissism, I decided that I also wanted to capture just my images. I am doing that on a page here (called -creatively – My Daily Shoot). To do that, I am using a plugin enabled on all blogs here at Pellissippi State called EmbedIt. This plugin was really really helpful back when WPMU would strip out all embed codes so I used this to get around that issue so we could embed videos from YouTube and so on. Now that WordPress makes embedding from a bunch of sites much, much easier (thanks developers!), the use of EmbedIt is much less but it does still come in handly on occasion.

Using it is pretty simply. I have a handout prepared on our Help/Support page. But, in a nutshell, in the Editor, you will put in the brackets and HTML1 for where you want the embed code to go. Then, create a Custom Field called HTML1 and paste in the embed code there. Need a second embed? Go with and do the same thing.

Here is what the code looks like in the editor:

screenshot of WYSIWYG editor

The Custom Field looks something like this:

Custom Fields for EmbedIt

Assignment 2: A Personal Cyberinfrastructure

Hey! Look at me, I made it to Assignment 2!

After reading the article and watching the presentation, I have been thinking about two things:

  • My own personal cyberinfrastructure
  • Our students and how they could use one

My own personal cyberinfrastructure is more of a cyber-in-fracture-structure as I am ALL over the place. For seven years, I held monthly sessions in my role as the Instructional Technology Specialist where I demonstrated and explored all of these new and foreign worlds like Flickr, Twitter, Remember the Milk and more. I always joked that it was my job to sacrifice myself on the altar of the internet gods and create accounts everywhere to see what tools would work and what would not work so well for faculty, staff and students, both for educational and for personal uses. Because of that, I do have accounts everywhere from Posterous to Tumblr to to 30Boxes to Pageflakes and so on. Many of these sites are stagnant now but I use those experiments to help guide faculty to the best tool for the job (if a technology tool is indeed the best for their need)

I bought my own domain name over four years ago and installed WordPress on it because I knew I needed to learn how it worked from the backend and I couldn’t do that with a account. Then, I started hosting some friend’s sites and blogs. Then, I decided that I needed my vanity URL so I bought that domain as well. The four years have been a great learning experience about how blogs work, how server management and database management work, etc. It was a great primer for when I was sucked into Jim Groom’s work with WPMU at UMW and decided that we needed that here at Pellissippi State.

So, my thinking for our students is that WPMU gives them a primer for getting started with their personal cyberinfrastructure. We are a community college. Many of our students are here for a shorter amount of time. Many will transfer to a four-year school, others get their certificate or degree and head off to the workforce and, for many, life happens and they have to drop out for a long or short while. I agree with the vision of Gardner and Jim that the student needs to be a curator of their work or work of others that have influence and importance to them as well as narrators and sharers of their own work. The Pellissippi Blogs site tries to help with that. It is open to all faculty, staff and students and once you sign in, you have a blog created. I am the curator of the site and collected plugins that I thought would help make their sharing, writing and curating easier. Of course, I would love to have more but baby steps….baby steps. I do encourage them to understand how to export the WP files and to use other sites like Flickr, Vimeo, Photobucket, etc to host their media rather than rely on the measly 25 MB I can offer each blog.

Three notions from Gardner’s words that pricked up my ears….

I am really taken by the notion of being a producer and a consumer. Much like Gardner’s example of the LittleBigPlanet levels, I see YouTube and even social bookmarking like Delicious as ways to get this kind of thinking started with our students, who often come to college not quite ready to be producers and having been consumers of a much more stagnant variety than we want. As an example, even just adding the concept of tagging to an assignment of collecting links in Delicious has helped both the student understand a vital aspect of curation as well as provide the faculty member with an organic, always refreshing list of URLs to resources relevant to her class.

The second is the notion of “decorating the locker”. I have over 90 templates in our WPMU site. I do not go into detail about themes in our introductory training. I just mention that it is there and that they can go “theme shopping”. It is always delights me when I see a student’s blog and it has a theme that is not only NOT the default but also not even on the first three pages of the theme area.  I am hoping that having it open for the school bloggers to choose their own look for their site as well as how they want to use or not use plugins provide for a locker that is truly theirs.

The last notion is that of “Open = Vunerable”. I was just recently turned on to the work of Brené Brown and her research into vunerability. After watching her TEDx Houston talk earlier this week and then reading and listening to Gardner, I realize that the fear of “putting it out there” is a real one. I started recalling my own blogging path and how it took me many months before I was writing on my blog rather than just posting the results from a “What 80s movie are you” quiz or linking in my Delicious bookmarks for the day.  Doing the Project365 photo project was a great starting point for my growth in openness and I agree that being vunerable is scary and hard and can lead to “looking the fool” and that is hard for most of us, I would think. But, if this is where the learning and growth  emerges and it allows us to connect with someone else to share that growth and courage the learning among each other, I think this little techy-feely hippie can get behind that!

Web Wednesday (Summer Series 2010): Blogging for Everybody

What is a blog?

According to Wikipedia, “a blog is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.”
How Common Craft describes a blog:
[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

How can I use blogs?

  • Class (post assignments, provide additional information, etc.)
  • Clubs (events calendar, RSS feed, files for members of the group, etc.)
  • Share your interest in a topic or group of topics
  • Keep a portfolio of your work
  • Share information with friends and family

A closer look at the PSCC Blog Site

Address: (no www!)
  • Create an account by visiting the site and logging in
  • Change the look and feel by choosing a new theme
  • Control who can view and comment on your blog under Settings
  • Create/edit posts from your dashboard
  • When working with media, it’s better to use external sites for storage and link to it on your blog – Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, and others.
  • WP’s new automatic media embedding makes it SO much easier to embed videos and photos now –
  • Extend the basic functionality of your blog through plugins – some of the coolest are:
    • Flickr Manager – easily insert your Flickr images into blog posts
    • Subscribe 2 – allow users to subscribe via email to your updates
    • Share This – visitors can share posts on a variety of social bookmarking sites
    • Share This on Facebook
    • WPMU Polls
    • WordPress Mobile Edition
    • Backing up and moving your blog – check out import/export options under Tools
Tools that make your job easier!
  • Press This (bookmark) – found under the tools heading
  • Scribefire plugin for Firefox/Chrome –
  • Additional mobile blogging apps available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones
  • Create a book of your blog – BookSmart from Blurb & Anthologize plugin

Other Alternatives

If you want to have a personal blog rather than something at Pellissippi. Here are some other alternatives
You have a blog that is Hosted for you by a service. Most are free but they might have ads on them
  • – same software we use here
  • – owned by Google now
  • – very easy to post – you can post by email even!
  • – also very easy to use for microblogging or capturing videos, etc to share
  • Twitter (micro-blogging, VERY micro as you can only have 140 characters per post)
  • Yammer (much like Twitter but you can control the membership of groups by email address domain so it is good for companies, etc)
  • Edublogs – same software as here but offers free blogs for educators and students. Ads are embedded, though.
You also download blogging software and run a blog that is Self Hosted. This gives you complete control of how the site operates. Blogging software options include:
  • WordPress – what we use here
  • Joomla – a content management system
  • Drupal – another content management system
  • Expression Engine – another content management system but it is not free
  • Moveable Type – what we used to use here. Powers LiveJournal

Mobile Blogging…are you ready?

mobile phone screenshot on a laptop desktopIf you are getting into this blogging thing, then you might want to think about blogging while you are on the move. Taking and uploading (small!) images from your phone could be a great way to add to your blog very easily. These apps also allow you to write posts and work with comments right from your phone.

Have you been looking for a way to manage and update your blog when you are away from your computer?

What kind of device do you have?

iPhone – iTouch – iPad Download from iTunes App Store

BlackBerry –  Download from Blackberry Appworld

Android – Download via an Android device or go to the Android Market on your device and search for “wordpress”. Be sure to get the application provided by Automattic, Inc


HINT: If you want to set up mobile blogging,  be sure to check on your blogs settings under Writing and enable to remote publishing. It’s quick and easy! Here’s how:

  1. Login to your WordPress blog.
  2. Look in the left sidebar at the lowest grouping, click on ‘Settings’ –> ‘Writing’
  3. Enable both ‘Atom Publishing Protocol’ and ‘XML-RPC’
  4. click on ‘Save Changes’
Image Attribution: “Technology+-+%22Future+Vision%22

Bringing Pellissippi State to the world and the World to Pellissippi State

We have an exciting pilot blogging project happening soon. This spring and summer, Pellissippi will have nine Global Ambassadors participating in eight different programs through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS)to:

  • Brazil
  • France
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain

We want to capture their thoughts about their experiences as well as photos, videos and anything else they want to share. So, after installing a few choice plugins here on our WordPress Multiusers site (details on that soon), we are ready to go.

Each Ambassador has his/her own blog. Each trip has a blog that will be fed from an RSS feed based on a common tag for each trip. Instructors will have a class blog, if they choose for academic writing in the courses offered during these programs. In addition, using a common tag for the entire system, we also have a
central blog that will contain samples of posting from all of the trips in on location.

Sit back and enjoy the tour.

From our new home

Greetings from our new blogging home: Pellissippi State Blogs.

We have been hard at work trying to get all of these electrons toted and lifted to create this new multi-user and multi-blogging site. It is very exciting!!!

If you are curious about what is going on right now, you might want to look over a few pages:

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Our “About” page

Our list of current blogs on the site

Some tutorials about how this new platform works (from Hokanson’s Instructional Technology blog)