Linkage Love: The Internet is for Entertainment!

By Kathryn Magura

Over the years, I have found a number of sites on the great interwebs that have either kept me informed or entertained (or both). Today I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you:

  1. Feedly: When I heard Google Reader was going away, I went into a sort of panic as to how on earth I’d keep all the sites I follow tracked. Thankfully, Feedly seems to be doing the trick. What’s nice is that they use cloud technology, so you can pick up where you leave off on mobile devices, laptops, and tablets.
  2. Buzzfeed: I’m sure you’ve seen some the various posts on Facebook like, “20 reasons you know you’re an 80s kid” or “best of goat duets with artists.” All those posts come from the brilliant minds over at Buzzfeed. I frequently get lost in the nostalgic trap that is one of those lists. Be careful going down that rabbit hole though, because you’re guaranteed to lose a few hours!
  3. Greatist: Looking for ways to improve your health, fitness, or happiness? Want to find a healthy and creative recipe? Then I recommend signing up for a free account at Greatist.
  4. Bonus Link: Leave it to Reddit to have a page devoted to all things sloths. 🙂

Those are just a few sites that keep me occupied on the internet. What are some of your favorites?

 

Linkage Love: The Internet is for Entertainment!

Linkage Love: Upcoming Trends in Social Media

By Anitra Cottledge

I had a great conversation recently with some colleagues about ways to utilize technology and social media to communicate about your office or department. This is one of my favorite topics, so I had plenty to say. We talked about topics and strategies that have probably been mentioned before: create a social media policy for your office (building upon your institution’s policy if they have one), be strategic about what you post, develop a social media schedule, and track your engagement via social media, i.e., make a monthly note of how many followers, hits, likes you have. Pay attention to what’s working and what’s not working and be willing to evolve. Remember that social media and technology are just new(er) mechanisms of outreach.

The other thing that we talked about was deciding which social media platforms to use and why. I went through our usage of particular platforms (at this point, we are utilizing a lot of social media with the exception of Tumblr, because we don’t have a need for it. This past year, we started using Pinterest, and are playing with some different ways to use it and integrate it with our other communication vehicles.

What came up is that technology moves so quickly, and before you can blink, there’s a new platform on the horizon. Here are a few upcoming trends and/or platforms to watch out for:

  • (The Incredible) Shrinking Videos – Are you using Vine to make short, 6-minute, looping videos that you can share with friends via a mobile app? Wired Mag on how Vine is the next (current?) thing.
  • Embracing the Visual – I don’t know how this is necessarily new, because it seems to me (in an anecdotal way) that people already utilize visual imagery to engage audiences via things like Instagram, Pinterest, infographics, and using more photo and video on Facebook. Nonetheless, if you haven’t given this idea some thought in relation to your social media strategy, now is the time to reframe and rethink.
  • Going Mobile – I am starting to see more mobile versions of websites, and have recently gotten involved in trying to optimize a site’s information for mobile use.  Considering the large amounts of people who access the web via smartphone, considering mobile design or responsive design is important.

These are just a few things that I’m thinking and reading about. What are trends that you’re noticing?

Linkage Love: Upcoming Trends in Social Media

Linkage Love: The End of the Year Love

By Valerie Heruska

It’s been a stressful last few weeks for student affairs professionals. With finals and closing… and everything in between, the stress has been there and is possibly still there. Here are a few links that I like to share with my students and colleagues, just in case they need a good creative outlet or an “awwww” moment:

CuteOverload.com – How could one not love pictures of cute animals. There’s no such thing as cute overload. Seriously. They’re so fluffy!

Build Your own Kaleidoscope – remember kaleidoscopes? Remember all the pretty colors? Now, remember when someone would put dust on the rim and then you would walk away with a circle around your eye? Yeah not cool, but this virtual kaleidoscope won’t let you down. It’s pretty rad and you can put the shapes where ever you want to create beautiful patterns.

Make your own flower – Yes, I know we all have paint on our PCs and other photoshop type of programs, but this one is simple, and pretty nifty.

Cutest of the Cute – The cutest of the cute, eh? I’ll let you decide, though they are pretty adorable animals. 🙂

Linkage Love: The End of the Year Love

Linkage Love: Help for Boston

By Valerie Heruska

As someone who lived what pretty much seemed to be the longest/most tragic week in Boston, I’ve been scouring the web to find ways that I can help others. Boston has been my home for the past two years, and I couldn’t just sit here and do nothing. There are some great resources on the web that anyone can reference, just not in times of tragedy. Special thanks to @richdecapua for sending this list to Mass NASPA members.

 

Coping with Disaster Resources

Explosions (section on After an Explosion) 

http://www.ready.gov/explosions  

FEMA – Ready.gov 

 

Coping with Disaster

http://www.ready.gov/coping-with-disaster  

FEMA – Ready.gov 

 

Building Your Resilience

http://www.apapracticecentral.org/outreach/building-resilience.aspx  

American Psychological Association  

 

Managing traumatic stress: Tips for recovering from disaster/traumatic events

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx 

American Psychological Association                

 

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240142_EmotionalHealth.pdf  

American Red Cross

 

Recovering Emotionally

http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery/recovering-emotionally

American Red Cross 

 

Helping Children Cope with Disaster

http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/children.pdf

American Red Cross/US Federal Emergency Management Agency

 

Disaster Distress Helpline (24/7 phone and text)

http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/about.aspx

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration

 

The One Fund (donations)

http://onefundboston.org/

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.

 

#RunforBoston 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1X5hW3F2eSZJ2bJLXIdXjwfn2yAgBGnRlXgKgozWC_ls/viewform

Thanks to @oberbecca for her fabulous contribution to the running community:

In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon we were left wanting to join together to show our support. Some of us are runners, some are joggers, some are walkers, and some are lacing up for the first time; all of us want to #RunForBoston. Go out and run your miles or walk your block, then come back here and share your run.

These miles aren’t about raising money, but about showing our support for the runners, families, rescuers, and Bostonians. They are about being a part of something bigger than ourselves and being a part of a community. Log as many runs as you like for as long as you like, I’ll keep the form active and share totals periodically.

If you want to log your miles for charity, download the Charity Miles App. For every mile you walk or run, 25 cents will be donated to a charity you select (or 10c per mile biked).

Linkage Love: Help for Boston

Linkage Love: A Few of My Favorite Student Affairs Bloggers

By Kathryn Magura

One of the things I enjoy doing is reading through my Twitter feed at the end of a day and see who in the Student Affairs community has written a new blog post via the sachat hashtag. For this week’s Linkage Love, I thought I’d discuss some of my favorite Student Affairs bloggers:

  1. Becca Obergefell: Becca is an extremely thoughtful blogger with a wonderful grasp of the English language. I frequently find myself chuckling through her posts or having to reflect on the deeper meaning afterward. Becca has an uncanny ability to speak in prose that usually leads to deeper thought, frequently through metaphor. It has been a pleasure to be on the Student Affairs journey with Becca over the last few years, and I look forward to reading along wherever she takes us next on this adventure!
  2. Chris Conzen: One of the things I appreciate most about Chris Conzen’s blog is that he isn’t afraid to be vulnerable with his readers. Chris has an incredible way leading by example through his own flaws. Not only does this build trust with the readers, it demonstrates an honesty and sense of realism that’s refreshing. Too often I read blog posts that only highlight the great things someone is doing, without taking the time to reflect on the learning that happens through failure.
  3. Kristen Abell: I know, I know, Kristen is one of our very own bloggers, why would I highlight her here? Well in her “spare” time, Kristen is often reflecting on her life via her personal blog. I am frequently humbled by Kristen’s raw honesty about everything from being a parent to struggling with depression. Kristen has overcome so much on her personal journey, and I feel fortunate to have been any part of that journey with her.
  4. Women in Student Affairs: Every week the Women in Student Affairs blog (a.k.a. WISA) posts another entry from a woman working in Student Affairs. The blogger has free reign to post about whatever topic they choose, which results in some amazing reflections upon the journey to working as a woman in our field. I look forward to these posts each week, and am frequently inspired by the bloggers to help other women on this journey.

So those are some of my favorite blogs and bloggers within the Student Affairs Community. Who did I miss? Which bloggers do you follow?

Linkage Love: A Few of My Favorite Student Affairs Bloggers

Other Professional Development Opportunities

By Valerie Heruska

Conferences are a great time for us in student affairs. You have the opportunity to learn, meet new people, and have a really enjoyable time growing professionally. For those who are able to attend, this opportunity to develop and learn is priceless.

For those of us who aren’t able to make it to ACPA in Vegas or NASPA in Orlando, here are some links that provide alternatives to professional development.

Some of my favorite blogs:

  • This one. Okay I may be biased because it’s a great blog to read. There is information a plenty about different topics for women (and men) who are interested in tech. Go back into the archives and become inspired.
  • BostInno. I love BostInno because I think there should be a similar one in every large city. BostInno highlights the awesome tech and up and coming entrepreneurs in Boston. From faculty, deans, and students who are making an impact on our community, BostInno highlights the awesome things that they are doing.
  • Blogs by Ed Cabellon, Laura Pasquini, or Joe Sabado. These people know how to do it right. They all have a heavy focus on social media and technology in student affairs and they are seriously doing some great things to push our profession forward.

Miss the backchannel? That’s okay! Just Storify it! There is so much material coming from our national conferences, that if you’re in the office, you don’t have time to read it all. If you do have time to read it all and want to reference it back – Storify is the best way to go. Storify allows us to create “Stories” based on hashtags, users, etc. You can go back and filter out some specifics, but then you have the opportunity to share and reference the backchannel.

I hope you all find some use for these links and enjoy learning!

Other Professional Development Opportunities

On Leaning In: Pay Equity

By Anitra Cottledge

My first post in a couple of months and I’m thinking not strictly about tech, but about pay equity and salary negotiation. By now, I gather that most reading this have heard/seen the “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders” TED talk by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. But if you haven’t, here’s an opportunity to do so.

Her key messages for women in the workforce: “One, sit at the table. Two, make your partner a real partner. And three, don’t leave before you leave.”

I use this video a lot in trainings. I think it has a lot of uses; it can be a vehicle to talk about women’s leadership, women’s relationship to power and privilege, confidence, workplace climate issues, salary negotiation and by extension, pay equity. Sometimes, people love the video when I show it, and other times, people have plenty of critique. And sometimes, people have both reactions at the same time, which is wonderful for dialogue.

A few other things on my radar re: Sheryl Sandberg and pay equity:

  • She’s (Rarely) the Boss – NYT op-ed piece by Nicholas Kristof, which talks about (in part), Sandberg’s ideas about gender gaps in the boardroom. “We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives, the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet.”
  • Lest you think that Sandberg doesn’t think that men also have a responsibility to create a gender-fair workplace: “I am hoping that each woman will set her own goals and reach for them with gusto,” Sandberg writes. “And I am hoping that each man will do his part to support women in the workplace and in the home, also with gusto.” However, this article written in response really emphasizes that responsibility that men have.
  • More on the pay-equity-and-economic-justice-as-systemic-issues front: “Trickle-Down Feminism” and an earlier piece called “Paycheck Feminism.”

Thoughts? What are some other resources that you’ve found online about pay equity and women in the workplace?

On Leaning In: Pay Equity

Linkage Love: Finding Cheap Flights

By Kathryn Magura

Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or work, it seems that we are all looking for ways to travel as inexpensively as possible. I know for me, if I am going to have to pay to check luggage and to eat on my flight (and who knows what else they will decide to charge for) I want to compensate by finding the cheapest flight I can. For this week’s linkage love, I thought I would share some of my (and my Twitter friends’) favorite sites to find plane tickets:

  1. Kayak.com: The first place I usually start when looking for tickets is Kayak.com. Seems I’m not alone, because when I asked my Twitter followers where they look for tickets, the resounding consensus was Kayak. So what does Kayak have to offer? Well, here’s a few benefits:
    • The Kayak website is very easy to use, and allows you to compare flights based on a number of variables
    • Kayak aggregates your search from over 100 other websites to find you the best deals
    • You can login to Kayak via Facebook, so you don’t have to remember yet another username and password
  2. Hotwire.com: Another Twitter user recommended Hotwire because she was able to receive a full refund from their site. Here are some other benefits to Hotwire:
    • Compares purchasing flights/hotels/cars to get you the best deal
    • Also has a very easy to use interface
  3. Vayama.com: One thing I hadn’t really considered was comparing international flights. According to Shawn Brackett, Vayama is the place to find international flights. I plan to check this out the next time I am looking to travel internationally.
  4. Nerd Wallet: A coworker recently told me about the site Nerd Wallet. Apparently it is a new start-up company, and what makes them unique is how they try to factor in all the additional costs of traveling. Checking luggage? Which airline gives you the best rate? Traveling with a pet? Which airlines charge for that? I am intrigued to give Nerd Wallet a shot the next time I travel, because they seem to approach finding flights in a similar manner to how I do: as an individual.
  5. Airline websites: Before using any of these sites to book a flight, check the website for the airline itself to see if you can get the same flights for cheaper. This method has worked for me before.

So what are your thoughts? How do you find flights? Feel free to hit up the comments to add your travel and plane ticket purchasing tips.

Linkage Love: Finding Cheap Flights

A Little Love for Gen X

By Anitra Cottledge

I’m fascinated by conversations about generations, and how generational differences shake up and enrich the classroom, the community, the workplace and even families. In my office, we have four generations represented: Baby Boomer, Generation X, Generation Y (aka Millennials) and Generation Z. We incorporate a training about communication across generations as part of our yearly staff orientation (although I must say, I haven’t done nearly enough research into Gen Z).

I don’t think the “generations” frame is perfect, by any means. For instance, what do these generational experiences look like when viewed through lenses of race and socioeconomic background? But it can be a useful discussion starter and an entry point to understanding of how some events and moments that collectively shape large groups of people.

Here’s the thing: I am the only member of Generation X in my office. And I notice that, in some of the writing I read, Generation X is totally omitted: “Generational divides in the workplace are more evident than ever as Gen Y and baby boomers find themselves working together in a variety of new arrangements.” Hello? What happened to Generation X? Contrary to the label “slacker,” we do actually exist in the workplace.

A few months ago, a Gizmodo piece entitled, “Generation X Is Sick of Your B.S.” (NSFW) made its way to my inbox, and I totally cracked up: “This is a message from Internet, the generation that became the voice that set the tone for everything you love about the Net. And it’s pissed.” I immediately sent this to all of my Generation X friends and colleagues, and I think, for a second, there was a virtual head-nod going on en masse across the country.

I know it’s become a sort of massive inside joke to pick on Millennials in a very “these kids today” kind of way or to set up a competition between Gen X vs. Gen Y, but I’m not interested in that. The only part I want to address is the the notion that somehow being technologically savvy originated with Gen Y and beyond. Yes, I saw The Social Network, and make use of Facebook on a daily basis, but there’s a whole lot of Gen X’ers whose inventions and technology companies made things like Facebook a possibility in the first place. A few examples: Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Blogger, etc.

In the end, each generation has its strengths, and this was my opportunity to give a little love to my own beloved Gen X, and our contribution to the world of technology.

A few resources about Generation X:

A Little Love for Gen X

Linkage Love: Nerdy T-Shirt

by Kathryn Magura

Seems like everyone loves a good nerdy t-shirt (or as I call them, nerdshirts). Whether it’s a retro t-shirt that makes you reminisce about favorite pop culture memories from the past, or you just like the style, there are a number of websites that have new nerdshirts posted each day for the more pop-culture minded people. For today’s linkage love, I thought I’d share some of my favorite sites for nerdshirts. Please feel free to add your own recommendations to the comments.

  1. Think Geek – One of my favorite nerdy sites in general is Think Geek. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that some of my favorite nerdshirts have come from this site. A personal favorite I received is this gem from the Big Bang Theory.
  2. Teefury – Teefury posts a new shirt every 24 hours, and I find that I’m very proud of myself when I understand the reference for the day. Chances are if the shirt has some reference to Star Wars, the Muppets, the Goonies, or the Beatles, I’m probably going to get it.
  3. Shirt Woot – Some of you may be familiar with the daily deals posted at Woot.com, but did you know they did the same thing with t-shirts? These shirts are usually amusing, and reasonably priced. My personal issue with their nerdshirts is that they tend to be shorter, which makes them look a little awkward on some of us with longer torsos.
  4. Ript Apparel – One of my newer favorite nerdshirt sites is Ript Apparel. I find that the quality of material in the shirts is the best here, an some of the inside nerd jokes are harder for the average nerd to understand. In my opinion, you get more nerd cred if you buy from Ript Apparel.
  5. Tee Magnet – In case you don’t have time to keep up with all the changing nerdshirt deals every day, I recommend checking Tee Magnet once a day. Tee Magnet aggregates the daily deals of many of the popular nerdshirts each day, and even tells you when the next shirt for that particular site will be posted.

Enjoy, and happy shopping!

Linkage Love: Nerdy T-Shirt