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Technology – San Fran http://socialinsanfrancisco.com Join the Fun! Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:57:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 5 Easy SEO Techniques that Actually Work http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/5-easy-seo-techniques-that-actually-work/ Fri, 21 Aug 2015 05:32:00 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/5-easy-seo-techniques-that-actually-work/

by Jenny Hansen

Google SEO

 

SEO is a catchphrase that makes most of my writing pals shudder. But SEO doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, some of the best techniques are the easiest for those of us who like to write, because they involve writing.

What is SEO?

A quick definition from Wikipedia: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.” What it really means to people who blog, write or work on social media is:

  • How do I help people find me?
  • How do I stand out?
  • How do I get to Google’s first page?

Good SEO can go really deep, down into the programming and structure of your website, but what if you’re a newbie and all that stuff scares you?

Here are 5 easy SEO methods you can implement NOW.

 

1. Research the keywords that apply to you.

Search engine optimization is rooted in keywords. But what about your words? You want to find the words that readers will use to search for YOU. Help your readers find you by tagging your posts and videos with 3-10 keywords that really describe you and your work.

Remember, you will almost always be at the top of the search results for keywords you create. That’s a pretty big deal. You can be on page 3 on search engine results for “great YA reads,” or teach your readers how to search for you with your words. You’re likely to be on page one with those.

Most people just piggyback off other people’s keywords. You could spend hours looking these words up, but you can minimize the time spent by doing some brainstorming and mind mapping. Or you might want to go the other direction and find out which key words will take you to readers.

Two ways to do this is by searching in Google (for “keyword” + “forum” or “keyword” + “board”) or going to a site like BoardReader that will search the boards for you.

SEO for Writers

Ex: BoardReader search for romance-focused book clubs.

 

Or try an advanced search if you’d like to get more specific. SEO for writers

Backlinko, a site full of great SEO info, provides  a comprehensive article on keyword searching and ways to identify the key words that define your markets (called Niche Cloud Maps) if you want to study this in more depth.  

 

2. Make your titles work for you.

Do you see that title up there? It starts with the entire point of this post: “Easy SEO Techniques.” The easiest tip for great titles is to keep them direct and to the point and focused around your keywords. 

Amber Kemmis at SmartBug Media wrote a great article with SEO tips for titles that emphasizes “the big stuff”:

  • The best link structure is short, descriptive and helps categorize your site. Did you know you can customize your URLs, especially in WordPress? It’s a great way to help the search engines find you.
  • Put keywords or topics towards the front of the title. Whatever’s first wins, at least for search engines.
  • Optimize Page Titles. SmartBug recommends you use title tags, which tell search engines and searchers about your page.

 

3. Use a mobile-ready theme for your website or blog.

Okay, this point has the potential to be a bit technical, but I promise you — it’s worth it! In 2014, almost 40 percent of organic search traffic was done on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

If your site’s design isn’t mobile-friendly, many searchers won’t be back. If you aren’t in charge of this, ask your web designer. If you are a DIY-er, be sure you pick a mobile-ready theme for all your marketing, whether it’s your site or your email newsletter.

Neil Patel put up a great graphic to illustrate the importance of mobile-friendly sites in his article, Advanced SEO Techniques that Will Double Your Traffic.

Neil Patel_MobileBrowsers  

 

4. Write descriptive mini-blog posts for your YouTube videos.

This was an excellent piece of advice from 21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now that I LOVED.

Note: YouTube is owned by Google, another reason they run high in search rankings. The article states: 

Using 200+ words in your video’s description will push you up the rankings for both YouTube and Google.

“Don’t mindlessly toss a few words into the description box. Instead, [let Google] rely on your video’s text-based title and description to determine what your video is about. Not only does this extra text-based information help you rank better for your target keyword…it also ranks your video to any closely related long tail keywords.”

Here’s that author’s guide to great SEO strategy for YouTube videos.  

 

5. Create posts and pages with at least 1,000 words.

This requires more work on your part, but it is the reason why “slow bloggers” like Anne R. Allen and social media Jedi Kristen Lamb often crush the competition in terms of social sharing and backlinks to their blogs. Yes, they are both great writers, but they also write long posts filled with useful information.

Brian Dean at Backlinko says this about why long posts work.

“First off, long posts show Google that you’re providing in-depth information for searchers. But that’s not all: In-depth content flips an important emotional switch that pushes people to share online content: awe.

University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Jonah Berger found that content that elicited awe made people 30% more likely to share it.”

I like that number, don’t you? Long posts take more work, but they’re worth it. SEO is a huge subject for such a tiny little acronym, and things change constantly. In the past few months, the importance of Google AdWords has faded and new search engines are chomping at Google’s heels. Blah, blah, blah…

Don’t worry about all that as you’re ramping up your game. Worry about what you can control…easy tips like these that you can implement NOW. 

Do you have SEO questions you’ve been wondering about?  Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

* * * * * *

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2015 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

photo credit: Google Main Search via photopin (license)

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What Is Klout and Does It Matter? http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/what-is-klout-and-does-it-matter/ Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:54:40 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/what-is-klout-and-does-it-matter/

by Jenny Hansen

IMG_4757

Some of you have heard of Klout,  a website and app that measures social media activity and ranks social influence. This is not another social media platform, I promise you. This is something you can set up that gives others an indication of the reach and effectiveness of your current social media efforts. And by others, I mean potential bosses and people who notice such things.

Klout Left SidebarKlout is not a beast you have to keep feeding, unless you want to. Some people set it up and never visit again. Others browse the Perks and use the “give Klout +K” feature with abandon. This post sums up some key points and how-to that I share with new authors who ask about Klout.

Klout is NOT about how much time you spend on social media. Klout IS about the engagement that occurs with what you post. For example, if I post 50 Facebook updates, but no one clicks, comments or shares them, and someone else posts three that get shared to pieces, their “engagement” is higher and their Klout score will go up. It’s about quality, not quantity.

The photo to the left of the post is a snip of the navigation pane from my own Klout screen and there are some items there you need to pay attention to if you decide to get set up on Klout.

Overview

This is your “home” screen. You start here when you open the app, and Klout provides suggestions for content you might like to share. During your set-up, Klout asks you what topic you’d like to be influential in, then gives you suggestions from top influencers. I haven’t noticed that Home page sharing effects my Klout all that much.

Create

This allows you to “pick your topics.” I recommend that you do. If you let Klout choose, it might say you’re influential in some bizarre topic like cookies, based on the Facebook update you put up the last time you had late-night cravings. If a topic has gotten tons of play, Klout will think it’s an influential one for you. So if you want to be known for writing or humor or romance, go to “Create” and search those topics out. Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck with things like cookies and peanut butter and cats. Klout Expanded Profile

Schedule Giving you the opportunity to share content from Klout is their way of “throwing you some social media help.” If you’re new or not sure what to share, Klout’s trying to make your life easier by giving you the best dates, times and content for sharing.

Measure

This is where you can drive yourself insane if you don’t watch it. Klout gives you your score and shows which platforms had the most influence. I recommend you pick 2 to 3 platforms you spend the most time on to start. If you spend more time on social media for a while, or get better engagement, your score will go up. If you’re absent for a while, it will likely go down.

Don’t worry about it if your Klout score takes a while to perk up – it usually takes a month or two. Try not to measure yourself against others. Barack Obama’s Klout is 99 and he’s only really on Twitter. You’re no Barack Obama on the influence scale, so 50+ is just peachy. If you’re over 60, you’re rocking social media. 

Klout 90 Day

My 90 Day Klout score. I TOLD you it swings.

 

Also on this page, you can see which networks are contributing the most to your score. My favorite part of this screen is being able to see which topics and updates are gaining you the most ground. In other words, you can see what’s working. Above is the graph, below is what’s driving those numbers.

Klout Networks

At the very bottom of your Klout screen are the Perks and your settings, in case you’d like to add some networks, or change your information. Some of the perks are very cool and it’s up to you if you want to take advantage of them. I rarely do because I rarely go into the app. Plus, just like Facebook and Twitter, you must remember: When software or products are free, it’s because you’re the product.

Klout is happy to measure your effectiveness. In return, they’d appreciate it if you used that effectiveness to promote those perky products.

What do I use Klout for?

I use Google Chrome for my browser and I have the Klout add-in installed. I do this for a specific reason: When I’m browsing in Twitter or in a dashboard like Hootsuite, looking for sources for articles and such, I want to see who has the most influence. If I have two sources in front of me and one has a Klout Score of 42 and the other is 65, guess who I’m using for my source?

Klout has been especially helpful when I’m looking for people “on the ground” to interview for breaking news stories, or disasters. I can run a search for a specific hashtag and then comb through based on Klout. I get my sources faster and that makes me happy. Below is what it looks like in Twitter.

On #NetNeutrality

On #NetNeutrality

Do you see that wide swing in scores? Below is another screen snip, but for Breaking News.

Breaking News Klout

When it comes to freelance writing and interviewing, Klout has been a godsend for me. In the end, it’s always about the quality of our work. However, if we’re spending time “building a social media platform,” it sure is nice to have a place where we can look to see whether we’re gaining any influence.

Have you every heard of Klout? Do you plan to take advantage of it? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

* * * * * *

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2015 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

Feature photo credit: Influence – 27/365/2011 via photopin (license)

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Get “Swayed” in 2015! http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/get-swayed-in-2015/ Fri, 02 Jan 2015 07:25:00 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/get-swayed-in-2015/

by Jenny Hansen

Today I’m sharing a really fun present to help you to ring in the new year. When I started telling my pals about the new Microsoft Sway, they about lost their minds. It is extremely creative and cool, but super easy to use. Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with OneDrive and Office Online and it’s FREE. All I can say is, whether you’re a parent, an executive, or a creative type…y’all need to play with Sway

Many people are comparing Sway to PowerPoint, but I think it’s more like a digital scrapbook. Imagine being able to brainstorm and scrapbook your story/project/family in a format that could be shared via social media or embedded in a blog. Or gathering video and photos in one spot to create memories, or just spark your own creativity.

Welcome to the new world of Sway.

Here’s a Sway about The Undie Chronicles, a long-running series at More Cowbell.

[How fun is that? Scroll through and feel free to click the social links to share it!]

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about Sway.

  • The program is viable on any platform or device – Windows, Mac, tablets, etc.
  • Go to http://sway.com if you want to get signed up.
  • It’s currently by invitation only, but they accept everybody – it takes about a week for approval.
  • Sway is perfect for storytelling – whether it’s a sports recap, a camping trip, or an ad campaign.
  • Like paper scrapbooking, Sway is all about your imagination.

Current Limitations

  • You might have to wait a week to get it, and you must have a Microsoft account.
  • There are limits to the current options like layouts, colors and styles. More are coming, but Microsoft is really taking their time collecting feedback before they go live with the “full” version.
  • You need to get used to creating in the “Storyline” and then using the “Preview Pane” on the right to see the results. (But WOW, the results.)

The first thing I thought of when my friends at Microsoft showed me a demo was, “Book Trailers!” Sway is ideal for a visual pitch of any idea or creative project.

My favorite Sway features

  • You can add content from just about anywhere on the web or from your own device.
  • You can also share content in tons of places, either via social media or by sending a link. The person doesn’t even need to have Sway to view what you send.
  • It works on both Macs and PCs.
  • It integrates with Office Online, which is also free.
  • You can search the web for content from inside the app.
  • Since it integrates with OneDrive, all my photos are easy to access.
  • It’s much more user friendly than PowerPoint. Example: it took me 10 minutes to my pals the gist of Sway. It takes me at least an hour to get people up to speed on PowerPoint.
  • Sway is very kid-friendly, and I expect to see tons of Sways at future school and scouting events.
  • Microsoft actually really wants our feedback so the users have a golden opportunity to influence the direction and features of the software.

Here’s a post with “5 Things To Know About Sway.”

Demo of “How to Use Sway”

Okay, it’s your turn! Had you heard of Sway before we talked about it here at SocialIn? What ideas do you have for how this program could be used? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

Happy New Year!

~ Jenny @JennyHansenCA

* * * * * *

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2015 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

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9 Free Microsoft Products That Rock http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/9-free-microsoft-products-that-rock/ Sat, 06 Dec 2014 04:00:31 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/9-free-microsoft-products-that-rock/

by Jenny Hansen

Microsoft

Microsoft has some new, updated and FREE products that I am over the moon about. Some of them I’ve heard of because I’m in their Microsoft Office Insiders group, but many of them I’ve been using for years. I wanted to be sure y’all got to see the coolest ones all in one place so I poked around until I found this article from TechRadar on the 75 best free PC software downloads from Microsoft.

The nice part about the TechRadar article is it describes each product and provides a download button. The downside is that it’s lo-o-o-ong. So, I’ll give you my own personal favorites from their list and let you start from there.

1. Microsoft Office Web Apps (Office Online)

By simply logging in with your Microsoft ID, you get access to the core features of Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for FREE through your web browser. This is one of Microsoft’s biggest giveaways and I never hear about anyone using it. All I can say is, you’re missing out.

5. Free Microsoft Office Templates

I use these inside of Word and Excel, and even PowerPoint ALL THE TIME. They’re free and they give me ideas. Plus there are tons of them. Just visit the Templates section of the Office website to find scores of categories, covering all of the major Office applications. I usually get to them from inside the Office apps with File, New…

18. Microsoft OneNote 2013

OneNote 2013 is Microsoft’s answer to Evernote on the Mac, although they’ve both been around for a decade. OneNote is like combining all your Post-Its, folders, photos, links and files into one place. To-do lists are easy and it interacts with all the Office apps. It’s also available on all iOS products and on Androids. My husband and I use it for our grocery and Christmas shopping. OneNote is simple to use, and everything is synced with the cloud, letting you access and edit your notes on a variety of devices. I Heart OneNote. So, so very much.

33. Skype

Yes, Microsoft owns Skype now, and they’ve added on several improvements I really like. I adore that it ties in with Facebook now, as well as my Microsoft and old Skype contacts. that means, it’s an easy thing to pull my Facebook peeps into a chat. Skype can be access from any computer (Mac or PC), as well as phones and tablets.

35. Movie Maker

I haven’t used this program yet, but after checking out the article at the top of the post, I plan to try it out. My kid is starting to get involved in sports so you can bet there will be photos and video clips that need to be made into a movie, and I’d rather try it for free. Plus these movies can be put on YouTube or burned into a DVD. Sign me up!

54. Fresh Paint

My daughter has a grand time in this program, which is free on Windows 8. Whenever I need to keep her busy for an hour, I let her create in this program on our Surface Pro. There are choices of paints, canvas type and brushes to make originals, but she has a blast tracing over photos of herself that we can import.

57. Insomnia

One more thing I learned from the TechRadar article. I cannot WAIT to try this. Their description: “This tiny free tool does one thing, and one thing only: when you open the program, Insomnia prevents Windows from going to sleep. If you’re about to download a large file or burn a DVD and you don’t trust your computer to stay awake during the process, this is really handy. Just launch Insomnia and the problem is automatically solved.”

65. OneDrive for Windows/Mac

With 15GB of storage automatically, OneDrive completely rivals DropBox or Google Drive. The advantage to me is the interaction with Microsoft Office and the free access to create Office Online docs. If you are running the newest versions of Windows – 8.1 or above – OneDrive is integrated into the platform and can be mapped as a network location. Regardless, it can be opened on any device or web browser and I use it on my Android all the time.

Plus one more product so new you probably haven’t heard of it — Sway!

Sway is like PowerPoint with a creative designer flair. It’s free, and it’s easy – their waiting list is open right now and it takes them about a week to approve your request. Basically, Sway gives you the ability to scrapbook on the computer. Change backgrounds or layouts, add pictures or text or videos and behold…you have a Sway. Here is a “book trailer” I made for a friend of mine to show her the program that took us about 2o minutes to create. At least 10 of those minutes were because she wanted to see everything two or three different ways.

Are there any free products that you can’t live without? Share the wealth with the rest of us at at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny @JennyHansenCA

* * * * * *

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me.

Photo credit:Mike Mozart – Flickr

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A Fab Tech Tool for Students Everywhere http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/a-fab-tech-tool-for-students-everywhere/ Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:03:18 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=2987

By Jenny Hansen

technologyI’d have given a lot for a tablet and a Smartphone “back in the day.” And a Livescribe pen. And OneNote, the note-taking nirvana from Microsoft.

My pals at Microsoft invited me to take a look at OneNote and share my favorite features, and I realized…

I am completely jealous of today’s student gadgetry.

OneNote did not exist when I was going to college. Nor did iPads (or anything “i”) or Smartphones or most of the cool tech I see on college campuses. I’d have probably given up hairspray for OneNote, which is saying a lot for the time period. We were packing hair spray like today’s students pack cell phones.

This was the late-Eighties, when girls’ bangs were shellacked to their highest height with extra-hold spray. (As in, five-foot-six-with-the-hair-five-ten.) The late-Eighties, when Michael Jackson topped the charts with BAD and The Simpsons first aired on TV.

The late-Eighties, when most of us were still using typewriters.

We had to do it the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper, and the dreaded microfiche. (I bookmarked “microfiche,” for all of you who have never heard of it.) We used Post-Its for our reference points, so we could find that perfect quote for later.

I’m telling you, college was primitive “back in the day.”

The five features I’d have fawned over in my university days.

1. Searchability

I know this isn’t a real live word, but I’m telling you, OneNote’s search feature is the biggest time saver in the world.

You just tap the search box in the upper right or use the Ctrl+F (Command + F on a Mac) shortcut key and you can search through everything. That’s text, OCR images… EVERYTHING. And the results list includes your notebook and section names.

One thing to note: if you’re using OneNote Online, your search only extends to the open Notebook and section. However, once you open the full app, you can search across all notebooks.

2. Microsoft Office Interaction

Whether it’s a “Send To OneNote” from Outlook or the ability to link Powerpoint slides to any notebook, the push and pull between the Office Suite programs is amazing. And a huge time saver.

Tags Summary.pngNote: Here’s a link for how to import Powerpoint into OneNote, using the 2010 version (in case you don’t yet have Office 2013.

Office 2013 offers new fun with the ability to embed Microsoft Excel tables or edit OneNote’s native tables with Excel.

Also, flagging any line in OneNote allows you to turn that line into an Outlook task with a right-click. You can also email any page in your notebook and the formatting will hold in the Outlook message.

3. Tagging (and Tag Summaries)

OneNote’s ability to do Tag Summaries is rocking my world. I’m not what you’d call a neat note-taker (and I never was). I might star, arrow or tag anything on any page.

And then forget where I put it.

In OneNote, I can go to the “Find Tags” button on the Home Ribbon and search for tags. In the search results in the right sidebar, there is a button that says “Tags Summary.” (see example to the right)

If I click into the body of a notebook page, clicking this button will give me a summary of all the tags I’ve flung around everywhere.

Like I said: Rocking my world. I’d have genuflected over this feature in college.
4. Templates

There are all sorts of templates in OneNote, but the student-based ones are fantastic. Here’s a sample:

From www.free-powerpoint-templates.com

From www.free-powerpoint-templates.com

Just go to the Insert tab and explore the Templates section in the right sidebar (this is in OneNote 2013). The Academic section has groovy templates for students.

There’s also Business and Planners, or you can make anything your heart desires from a Blank template. I can think of a million uses.

5. One-stop Shopping

I love the idea of being able to make a binder for each book, or each class. Not only do I adore that the Hubs and I can share our shopping lists in OneNote, I can embed any file into my notebooks as either an attachment or a printed page.

But my favorite part, especially now that I’m doing more article writing? When OneNote is installed on a computer, Internet Explorer gets two buttons — Send to OneNote and Link to OneNote.

When I use those clippers to send to OneNote, I get the source URL, a date and time stamp, and the formatting of the original webpage. It’s been invaluable for holding my research until I’m ready to write the article.

Note: For my non-IE friends, the Send to OneNote option will show up in the Print menu of your browser after you’ve opened OneNote the first time.

P.S. If you want to hear about five MORE of my favorite features (including the magnificent “Ink to Text”), head on over to the Microsoft blog.

For those of you like me who are long-graduated, what do you wish you’d had back in your college days? If you’re currently in school, what is your best tech tool? Do you use OneNote? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me

photo credit: teachingsagittarian via photopin cc

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Does Organization Elude You? Yeah, Me Too…Until OneNote. http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/does-organization-elude-you-yeah-me-too-until-onenote/ Fri, 21 Mar 2014 12:53:09 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=2456

by Jenny Hansen

OneNoteIconAwhile back, I did a post at Writers in the Storm called 10 OneNote Features That Will Rock Your Writing World. I love this program so much, especially for disorganized souls like me. Why do I dig it so much on a personal level? I got my Hubby to take over the grocery shopping with OneNote. Now that’s power!!

I honestly didn’t think OneNote could get much better but…this week, it did.

Microsoft just unveiled several new changes to OneNote, but here are the FIVE that will make you dance with joy.

1. It’s now free.

Yep, a cool new app…available across all platforms and tablets…gratis. (Let the squeeing begin!) This is exceptional news.

Note: Everyone on the PC side has always had OneNote if they had Microsoft Office, but most of them have never launched it.

2. OneNote for the Mac.

All I hear from my Mac pals is “Evernote, Evernote, Evernote” and I’ve looked at it to see what the fuss is about. Evernote is good. OneNote is even better. However, it wasn’t available for the Mac until yesterday. (Download from iTunes)

As Microsoft says:
With this, OneNote is now available on all the platforms you care about: PC, Mac, Windows tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android and the Web. And they’re always in sync.

That’s pretty studly. More details on the Mac version here.

3. OneNote Clipper

It’s very similar to Evernote’s own clipper, with support for all the web browsers (including Safari and Firefox). You can even email web links or just notes to me@onenote.com.

To get started, visit www.onenote.com/clipper and follow the instructions to add the purple “Clip to OneNote” button to your Favorites bar.

4. Integration with printers and apps like Feedly and Office Lens.

It’s exceptional to be able to print right to OneNote, but I was already set up with that on the Windows side. What I’m most excited about is the integration with so many new apps.

Here’s two that might interest y’all:

When Google Reader went away last year, many of my fellow blog-readers freaked because that’s how they kept track of the blogs they followed. Most of them went over to Feedly, which now integrates with OneNote.

Microsoft also launched Office Lens for Windows Phone yesterday, an app that will take a picture of a whiteboard, document, or business card and enhance it for viewing, while automatically recognizing the text for OneNote entries.

Why am I excited about Office Lens?

I hate paper. I lose paper. A program like this, available on my phone, is practically orgasmic for me because: “YES! No more paper.” I can’t wait until they spread the Office Lens opportunity out to other platforms.

Livescribe35. One word: Livescribe

Some people simply MUST write longhand. It’s part of their job or their creative process and that’s what they do. The End.

Your time has arrived, Longhand Writers.

Currently, I write with my stylus on my Surface, then use the “Ink to Text” feature to convert my writing to searchable text, which is pretty cool. But what if I could just use special notebooks and a Livescribe 3 pen to write and make diagrams, then send all that straight to OneNote on ANY device? Oooooooh!

Here’s detailed instruction about how to use OneNote with Livescribe.

A great visual of the new OneNote:

OneNoteIntegration

If you’d like to have a class on OneNote, a two-week online course begins next Monday. The materials are geared toward creatives but it’s open to anyone.

The deets of this OneNote class:

      • Course title: OneNote: The Simple Organization Tool for Writers
      • Course time: webinar next Monday March 24th at 7 pm EST – it’s available OnDemand afterwards, so don’t worry if you can’t make it.
      • The initial webinar is followed by two weeks of online time where we cover the material and create notebooks. We finish with another quick webinar recap.
      • Use the discount code MORECOWBELL for $10 off!

Lastly, we’re going to have some special things for this kickoff class:

      1. A member of the Microsoft OneNote team will audit the class to answer questions on new technologies and features.
      2. We’ll have a drawing to give away a subscription of Office 365 to one attendee.
      3. Any interested attendees will be entered into a drawing to be a guest author for the Office blog. In return for the description of how OneNote helped you “get it done,” Microsoft will promote the winner at the bottom of the post.

Really, y’all…how can you beat that? (You can’t! This inaugural class is the only one that will have all this, since it comes so quickly on the heels of Microsoft’s rollout.) Click here to sign up!

Did you know Microsoft was doing all these cool upgrades? Are you an Evernote user? (If so, tell me your fave feature down in the comments so I can let you know how OneNote for the Mac stacks up!) What are your questions? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2014 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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Awesome new Steampunk Holmes iPad App http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/awesome-new-steampunk-holmes-ipad-app/ Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:49:01 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=1769

steampnkbottom

It’s Sherlock Holmes vs. Captain Nemo in an enhanced iPad adventure book set in a steampunk universe.

In an alternative Steampunk universe (c.1885), the plans for Captain Nemo’s mysterious Nautilus submarine have been stolen from the British Secret Service. There is only one man who can solve the case, Sherlock Holmes. With his bionic side-kick Doctor Watson, and his brilliant and lethal sister, Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock unravels a mystery that will shake the foundation of the British Empire.

Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus is an interactive book app with optional audio narrative, illustrated designs of super-steampunk devices (James Bond’s got nothing on Holmes), gorgeous painted illustrations, character profiles, an interactive map of 19th Century London, and a musical score by the fantastic steampunk band Abney Park. The app is sold for $9.99 on iTunes, exclusively for the iPad.

To buy, go to iTunes: Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus.

Steampunk Holmes has been nominated for an Airship Award for Best Fiction at Steamcon, and has been mentioned in the New York Times and complimented by Ay-leen the Peacemaker at Tor.com for “revitalizing old-fashioned storytelling in new ways.” Here are some other reviews:

“Steampunk Holmes was a joy to read!” –James Floyd Kelly, Geekdads

“This story takes all the wonders of a steampunk world, sci-fi, and Sherlock Holmes and mixes them into a immensely enjoyable action-packed story.” – Scott Wakefield, author

Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus is a fantastic combination of the classic stories from Doyle and Verne…The Steampunk world that is created in this novel is vivid and imaginative.” –Luke Benjemin Kuhns, author.

“Amazingly enjoyable, well written read that meshed the steampunk elements with a Watsonian voice so accurately” –London Fog

 

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Help Me, Computer, For I Have Sinned… http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/help-me-computer-for-i-have-sinned/ Sat, 21 Sep 2013 04:57:58 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=1727

by Jenny Hansen

 

The above sentence is usually followed by: “It’s been 14 months since my last backup…”

Oh sure, we knooooow we’re supposed to back up our stuff. We plan to back up our files. We think about backing up our files.

Most of the people I know don’t back up their files.

Or if they do, they don’t do it regularly. They only do it when there’s “a glitch.” Trust me, I’ve been there myself. And I had to pay the $800+ for data recovery. It hurts…bad.

Because we knoooooow we were supposed to back up…

You get the picture. I can name four writing friends off the top of my head who have lost all their work due to lack of a regular backup system. Don’t put yourself in this position.

How do we make backing up a quick, easy process?

I’ve got a few ideas for you. Just think of today’s post as a nice gift from me, to save you from losing all your data.

My recommendations are in order of price since these are challenging financial times for many. That means the free stuff comes first.

If you can’t afford to buy programs or hardware to help you back up, just email yourself important files.

  • That means that each day you work on your important file, you must email it to yourself when you’re finished.
  • I recommend deleting earlier versions so you don’t get cluttered or fill up your email.
  • Caveat: Be sure that your email program doesn’t purge by date! If you purge every 60 days, this solution won’t be helpful. Chances are, if backups are a challenge for you, you will be flaky about remembering to send these emails every time. Trust me, I’ve been there!
  • Important files are things that mean enough for you to pay to recover them.

If you can afford a little backup expense, buy an external hard drive.

Why would you do this? Because you need a backup and this is about as easy as it gets. Make a folder system on the drive and plug it into your computer. If there’s a fire, grab it and get out. If your computer dies, grab it and hook it up to the new one. Easy peasy. 🙂

To summarize:

  • External hard drives allow you to take your files anywhere, quite easily.
  • Space is cheap. Most of the time, a $5-10 thumb drive is going to be enough.
  • If you have photos, videos and such, you’ll need a bigger drive. Here is a top of the line hard drive with 2 freaking Terabytes and it’s just over $100. Space is cheap these days.
  • Caveat: Always be sure to save and close the file before disconnecting the hard drive.

If you can afford a little more backup expense, get the hard drive AND a secondary software backup option. (i.e. Dropbox, Carbonite, “the Cloud”)

Let’s face it, you can spill water on a hardware device or accidentally back your car over it. (Yes, I know a salesperson who did that.)

Hardware can fail. You need a backup to your backup! In computer terms, that’s called “fault tolerance.”

Fault tolerance is something you can buy for about $50-100 a year. Some programs are even free, but I pay for Carbonite because I want to be able to yell at someone if something goes wrong. Seriously, with a free program, if your data goes poof (or gets sold), the response is often, “Well, um…it’s free.

The main thing to remember is to schedule regular automatic backups. Trust me, if you have to remember to do it yourself, you’ll forget. At least I do.

And note from my own Computer Dude…run your system updates automatically too. 🙂

Have you ever had your hard drive crash? Were you prepared? What is your current backup system (tell the truth!). Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook.

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

 

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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Cool Tool: Find Out What Your Facebook Interactions REALLY Say About You http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/cool-tool-find-out-what-your-facebook-interactions-really-say-about-you/ Fri, 24 May 2013 19:11:21 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=1166

by Jenny Hansen

 

Social Media rocks, doesn’t it? I think it’s one of the best inventions ever. I love the interaction, the variety and the community.

Most people prefer one platform over another, and I’m going to confess right up front to a bias toward Twitter. (Facebook, as fun as it is, takes up a ton of time in my opinion.)

Many of my pals have a love/hate relationship with social media and here are the complaints I hear most often on both sides of the fence.

Common Social Media Dislikes:

  • The updates whip by too fast.
  • Nobody talks to you.
  • It’s too hard to keep up.
  • It’s all sales.
  • It’s a waste of time.
  • What does all that time actually get you?

Common Social Media Likes:

  • The community is awesome.
  • You can go on when you want.
  • Increased blog traffic.
  • Tons of information.
  • It’s fun.

This post is about the last bullet point on each of those lists. I had tons of fun with a new tool I found through Dino Dogan, an online pal of mine and the co-founder of Triberr.

Zeebly’s app, SocialMe, sifts through your Facebook updates from the beginning of time and tells you what they say about you. I know…kinda spooky.

I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to know. But curiosity won and I’m glad it did so I could share all the deets with y’all.

When and What I post:

Zeebly - Topics Time Tone

My Facebook Personality:

Zeebly - Personality

(The only surprise to me above is that my updates say I lean more to the introverted side.)

 

And here’s where the stats started making me laugh…

[“Jenny uses more emoticons than 95% of people” had me clutching my sides laughing.]

Zeebly - Too much punctuation

And cry…

Zeebly - Total Words

I knew I cross-posted from Twitter more than was allowed thanks to Lisa Hall-Wilson’s FAB Facebook post, but more words than the Diary of Anne Frank? That one was a bit eye-opening. I resolved to back away from the computer MUCH more often.

If you’d like to check out your own Social Me analysis, it took me about five minutes. Feel free to do it and tweet me about your results with the #SocialIn hashtag. (My Twitter link is below.)

What’s YOUR favorite social media network?

 

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

 

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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Nifty Keyboard Shortcuts and Why I Love the “Window Key” http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/nifty-keyboard-shortcuts-and-why-i-love-the-window-key/ Tue, 14 May 2013 04:37:39 +0000 http://socialinsanfrancisco.com/?p=1096

by Jenny Hansen

I’ve been a software trainer for many years and my favorite part of the day job is watching how excited people get when some nifty trick makes their lives easier.

A while back I was on Twitter when my pal, Julie Glover, sent me the following tweet:

@Julie_Glover: @JennyHansenCA, OMG! I just found out that WindowsLogo + L locks my laptop & there are other nifty Logo+ functions. Have you posted on that?

I hadn’t, but I will now, because these shortcut keys save SO much time.

Note: Don’t worry, I’ve got a gift all you Mac users too, later in this post. Oh, and p.s. Follow Julie…she’s groovy.

Just to keep us all on the same page, the “Window key” on a Windows keyboard is usually on the left side of the Spacebar, next to the Alt key. (It looks like the picture to the right, but in black and white.)

On the other side of the the Spacebar, next to the Alt key, on a Windows keyboard is what’s called the “Right Mouse Shortcut Key.” If you hit it at any time, the right mouse menu for what you’re doing will appear. I love it!

In honor of my pal Julie…here are my favorite Window key shortcuts:

    • Window (Win) key on it’s own: Displays or hides the Start menu
    • Win+BREAK: (usually “break” is in the upper right) opens the System Properties
    • Win+D: Displays the desktop, no matter where you are
    • Win+M: Minimizes all of the windows
    • Win+Shift+M: Restores the minimized windows
    • Win+E: Opens “My Computer” window
    • Win+F: Opens Windows’ Search for a file or a folder
    • Win+F1: Displays Windows Help (Remember the F1 key does this in programs)
    • Win+ L: Locks your computer
    • Win+R: Opens the “Run” dialog box

I’d like to elaborate on those last two shortcuts for a minute so you understand their magic.

Window key + “L” (you don’t type the “+” or the quotes) is what I use at work when I walk away from my computer. It’s a quick way to enforce your computer’s password. No one can start working on that computer again until they type in the password. Since I work in an accounting firm, this is important.

For those of you without a password on your computer (or at least on your computer account), I’m curious as to why not. You have a door on your house, right? You probably keep valuable or confidential items there.

I know that for many of you, your kids are your tech support team, but go with me a moment here.

  • You own the computer and it likely holds financial data you’d like to protect.
  • You’d also like to limit, particularly for younger children, the ability to download.
  • In today’s world, you want to know every place your children go on the computer.
  • You want to make sure your children cannot lock you out of your own computer.

I’m sure some of you will argue with me about this in the comments section, and swear to me that your computer’s smarter than you are, but I’m going to respectfully disagree.

Your computer is stupid and you can learn to boss it around.

OK, back to shortcuts…What about the last one: Window key + R? What is the “Run” dialog box? The tech guys in your life use it to get to the “Command Line” where they do nifty DOS stuff.

I use it to open applications like Microsoft Word or my Calculator quickly. I hate to have to browse through three menus to open my Calculator so I go to “Win + R” and type “calc.” It opens right up! Or I type “winword” to open Word or “excel” to open Excel.

Easy peasy!

I understand that this post might leave some of you Mac users a bit worried…

Fear not! Here are some of the most important buttons on a Windows keyboard, and their equivalents on a Mac keyboard:

Mac key – Windows key

  • Control – Ctrl
  • Option – Alt
  • Command (the four leaf clover) – Windows
  • Delete – Backspace
  • Return – Enter

Did you know all these shortcuts? Do you have other favorites you’d like to share? Be sure to tweet them to me!

~ Jenny
@JennyHansenCA

 

About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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