Digital Communications Strategy: Your Input Wanted!

Basecraft recently created TV and radio ads for the 2015 Ohio State Fair. The company is based out of Columbus and New York City.

Basecraft recently created TV and radio ads for the 2015 Ohio State Fair. The company is based out of Columbus and New York City.

CFAES College Communications has engaged with the Basecraft agency to help us improve and/or develop strategy around digital communications.  As part of the process, the agency is seeking input from a large group of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, media, and industry professionals.  This is where OSU Extension professionals like you come in, your input matters! To assist with this effort and provide Basecraft with sufficient input, we are asking two things:

(1)  Please complete this short questionnaire.

(2)  Share this opportunity, widely, with your colleagues, peers and stakeholder groups.

Only aggregate data will be seen and individual responses will be compiled by the staff at Basecraft as they utilize the data to formulate recommendations.

Why would I fill out this questionnaire? 

Digital communication strategy is incredibly important. It better connects us with our clients and encompasses much more than just web design (mobile strategy, user experience, content strategy, trend analysis, to name a few.) Your input helps Basecraft understand who we are, what we do, and what possibilities lie in our future. It’s a critical piece to completing the digital communication strategy puzzle. Once completed, this strategy has the potential to impact many facets of OSU Extension.

Questions? Contact Jamie Seger or Ryan Schmiesing.

2015 Video Creation Workshops: Save the Dates!

Back by popular demand! Our video workshops were a hit last year, and they’re back for 2015! Hold the date for whichever workshop location you prefer:

Dayton | September 10th

OSU South Centers / Piketon | October 15th

OSU Marion Campus | October 21st

Mahoning County Extension Office | November 5th

Registration is now open!  These workshops reached capacity last year, so make sure you register for a seat before they “sell out!”

Image Design for Teaching Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

For OSU Extension program staff or anyone else interested in learning how to edit and create images for teaching purposes, OSU’s Office of Distance Education and e-Learning is offering a Photoshop bootcamp on August 19th. You have the option of registering separately for each topic covered during the bootcamp if you are already proficient in Photoshop basics, or you can feel free to register for each topic! More information on what will be covered during the bootcamp is included on their blog where you can also register for each topic during the bootcamp.


Questions? Leave a comment or send Jamie an email!

So You Want to Make an App? Decision Chart!

A collaboration between OSU Extension’s Ed Techs and professionals from New Mexico State University’s Learning Games Lab and Media Productions over the past year has produced a handy decision chart for Extension professionals who are interested in developing mobile apps. NMSU’s Barbara Chamberlin, who directs the Learning Games Lab, developed the large majority of this flowchart which walks individuals and teams through the (very involved) decision-making process that may or may not lead to the creation of an app.

PDF version for printing: so-you-want-to-make-an-app-flow-chart-with-color-v6-ugrxmt.pdf

If you or your program / project team are interested in creating a mobile app, walk through the various steps of the flowchart. If you feel an app is still appropriate and worth the time / monetary commitments, contact Jamie or Heather to discuss how to move forward.

Questions or comments about mobile apps or the decision chart? Let us know in the comments!

Digital Scholarship is Getting the Attention it Deserves

Eric Stafne, Extension Professor from Mississippi State University, has posted a very interesting and thought-provoking 5-part series on the eXtension Educational Technology Learning Network’s blog this week. In this series, he discusses his favorite definition of digital scholarship, how digital technology and scholarship best connect, outlines barriers to digital scholarship and offers solutions to how Extension can address these barriers.

I encourage everyone in Extension who is interested in traditional media, digital media, and scholarship, as well as the future of academic content, to read this series and offer your input on the digital scholarship blog posts. You can also Tweet your reaction and thoughts using the #EdTechLN hashtag and be part of the conversation.

Click here to access the entire digital scholarship blog post series by Eric Stafne. 

During the entire month of May, the #EdTechLN is shining the spotlight on digital scholarship and its impact on Extension. Next week’s #EdTechLN TweetUp (May 7th at 2:00pm EST) will focus on this topic. You can join and follow the TweetUp by going to:  If you’d like to take a look at the last TweetUp discussing digital scholarship, which focused on “Traditional Pubs. vs. Digital Content” you can access the summary here.

It should also be noted that we’re addressing digital scholarship questions and issues here in Ohio. The Extension Promotion and Tenure Committee is working hard to discuss solutions to how we define quality digital media and content.  A handout presented to the P&T Committee to begin this discussion is below:


How to Write for Online Audiences

The Ed Techs have shared several examples of online writing best practices in the past couple of years, including one created by CommTech and one from the CDC. This morning, I came across another one. Below is a Slidedeck from Jennifer Chilek (Ed Tech for eXtension’s Network Literacy CoP) on writing for online audiences.

In the slides below, she includes examples of best practices as well as succinct info that’s usable and to-the-point. If you have questions about converting content that’s currently in a traditional pub or curriculum into quality content more suited to an online audience, please let us know in the comments below or don’t hesitate to send me an email (seger.23).

Ohio State Mobile Video Hands-On Training

Have an iPad or iPhone and want to learn how to quickly capture and edit video on the go? Ohio State’s Office of Distance Education and e-Learning (ODEE) is offering a brief hands-on workshop April 10th at 9:00am in Stillman Hall. The workshop will focus on using the iMovie app for Apple devices.

Click here for more information.


If you are interested in one of the day-long video creation workshops the Ed Techs offered last year, you’re in luck! We’re currently in the process of scheduling three more workshops around the state in 2015 that will feature two software tools: one for Windows and one for iOS. We’ll announce the workshop dates sometime in April – stay tuned to the blog!

What Can Live Smart Ohio do for You?

LSO announcement

Today, the new Live Smart Ohio blogsite will be rolled out during the Family & Consumer Sciences annual in-service. FCS Staff will have the opportunity to hear about how and why a new FCS content hub was needed and how the concept of Live Smart Ohio was born. New features of the site will be discussed, as well as the updated FCS social media strategy. One topic that we will not have time to cover in detail however, is how program staff can utilize Live Smart Ohio to showcase and promote their expertise, events, programs, and other efforts. The info below highlights how Live Smart Ohio was created with our program staff’s best interest in mind and that in the end, it really is all about them; showcasing their expertise and the good work they do to a much broader audience while simultaneously streamlining our online efforts.

So, what can Live Smart Ohio do for you? And how will it promote your work?

Live Smart Ohio site:

Become an author of Live Smart Ohio and share your expertise in the area of Food, Money, Mind & Body, or Family & Relationships. Interested individuals (from any program area) can contact Carmen Irving.

Social Media:

“Like” the new Live Smart Ohio social media pages for Food, Money, Mind & Body, Family & Relationships; as well as the main FCS Facebook page and the Live Smart Ohio Twitter account.

By following various Live Smart Ohio social media pages, you can share posts that are relevant to your area of expertise or to the programs you teach on both your personal and professional social media pages. This expands our total FCS online reach and engagement exponentially. Program staff can also post to all of the Live Smart Ohio pages with information regarding events, programs, etc.

Why are there so many Facebook pages?

The updated FCS social media strategy separates our Facebook presence by topic area, which allows Facebook users to like and follow the topics they’re most interested in. On Twitter, while all Tweets are tweeted out using one main Live Smart Ohio account, topics are “labeled” with different hashtags (#LSOFood, #LSOMoney, #LSOMindBody, #LSOFamily). In the coming months, with additional staff support, our social media presence will also expand to include Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. 


The creation of a new, modernized content hub allows FCS to showcase and house in one central location our new methods of educating online clientele, including webinars, Twitter Chats, and other virtual events hosted by FCS program staff. The Live Smart Ohio site will feature information on such events, while our new social media feeds will promote this information. Program staff interested in presenting webinars and other online events can contact Jamie Seger to get further information from the Ed Techs, as well as get more details about how Live Smart Ohio will help promote their events.

Programs & Resources:

As FCS fact sheets are updated, they will be posted to Live Smart Ohio and featured on the side bar of each topic area’s home page. Videos are also showcased this way (see below).

LSO Food page

Infographics created from our updated fact sheets will also be featured content, as well as program information. To share or blog about specific program information, contact Carmen Irving with a request or suggestion. Some local program information may be best to share via social media, instead of the blog.

For specific information on how program staff can promote or share Live Smart Ohio to their clientele during face to face programs or events, contact Betsy DeMatteo or Jamie Seger. 

Ed Tech in Action: FCS Talking Points Web App

Two weeks ago, FCS Specialist Betsy DeMatteo and I had a phone conversation about a request the FCS Marketing Team had for the creation of a “Talking Points Pocket Card”. We both knew a handheld pocket card would be time consuming to create and easy to lose. So a digital version was what was needed. A couple ideas were thrown out about the creation of an app. But a standalone app wasn’t ideal either… and a webpage would be easier to create and to access. I suggested to Betsy that our EHE web developers should offer their input. Within two days – was created.

The homescreen

The home screen

This beautiful webpage they created is ultra-responsive, meaning it’s formatting will change depending on the screen size of the device it’s viewed on. This allows it to function like a web app.

So what was the purpose of creating this “digital pocket card”? FCS staff, as well as County Directors, can create a shortcut or app button on their mobile devices home screen that links to this webpage. They will then have quick, convenient access to FCS talking points for different audiences (shown below).

FCS Talking Points WebApp 2

Not bad for a handful of conversations and one week! This example is the very definition of Ed Tech in Action. An Ed Tech may not be able to create a web app, but we know what concept/technology is needed and how to get people in touch with the IT staff who can make it a reality.

If you are FCS staff, or a County Director, you can save the link on your smartphone or other mobile device as a quick link by following the instructions in these two videos:

For iPhone & iPad:

For Android devices:


One Video: Posted 5 Ways to Social Media

When we visited the NMSU Learning Games Lab in February, their team had some questions common questions about social media. They are working on refining their social media strategy and were curious about how they should tailor their messages to fit each social media platform (i.e. What a post on Facebook should look like compared to Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.) This is such a common question, we thought a blog post was in order!

Below is the “Don’t Wash Your Chicken!” video produced by NMSU that happened to go viral. We explain why under the video – but watch it first to see if you can take a guess:

NBC News

What’s your guess? Why did it go viral?

This video is short and to the point. The video above is a simple illustration of a viral video that gives the viewer educational, fact-based information. There are some great keys to the success of this video, and small snippet animation with it. First, the message is simple. Don’t wash your chicken! Next, the video is short, but NBC news shortened it even more. It shows the animation of the chicken and bacteria being spread as the person puts it under the running water.

No matter which social media tool you’re using, you want to make sure any video you share is short and sweet. With the creation of Vine and Instagram videos, people’s attention spans continue to decrease. Some topics warrant a longer video (say, a video on how to water bath can tomatoes, for instance). But most videos need to be less than two minutes, or you’ll lose your audience.

So, how would you go about posting this video to each social media site? Would the posts need to look different?

The answer is: it depends. 

Because this is a video, there are only so many different ways you can go about changing how you post it, but it is possible. Here are some examples:

Facebook: Keyword is VISUAL

Sample Post: Keep text short and simple. Copy and paste the link to the video, but then delete the link text. You want your post to be visual and attention-getting. You can also paste the YouTube video link to allow the video to automatically play when people come across it on their newsfeed.

chicken video FB

Twitter: Keyword is INFORMATION

Sample post: Twitter is all about information and informal learning. Again, keep your post short and simple (you only have 160 characters to fit it all in!). Use a link shortener to keep the link small, and include relevant hashtags that will help people find the video. Try not to include too many hashtags… for no other reason than it’s just annoying. (Note: we probably could have included the #NBC hashtag and/or @NBC Twitter handle in this Tweet as well!)

chicken video Twitter

Instagram: Keyword is PRETTY/CREATIVE

Sample post: Instagram works as an app on your mobile device, so you’ll need to download the app from iTunes (for Apple devices) or the Google Play store (for Android devices) first. Most Instagram users are using it personally, rather than professionally. Here, the example is from my personal Instagram account, but I’m sharing an Extension-produced message. I took a screenshot of the video with my phone, then chose a cool Instagram filter to apply to the picture. And just for fun, one of my favorite quotes about Instagram is: “People of Instagram: your pictures are not cool and you are not creative.” We may feel this way (I do), but if a large chunk of young people that we’re trying to reach are in this space, then we should try to experiment with sharing information in this space so we can meet people where they are at.

chicken video Instagram


Sample post: Google+ is a safe haven at the moment for techies and nerds who have lost interest in Facebook and Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the only people using it. As more people find out the cool user-friendly features of Google+, they’re realizing it’s a much more collaborative tool than any other social media platform out there. Sharing is key on Google+, so include the source of information and why you think it’s useful. Like Twitter, many people utilize Google+ as part of their personal learning network, so they look for information to learn from and share – not necessarily to just entertain themselves. A couple of cool features that only Google+ has: 1) It automatically picks out useful hashtags to add to your post and 2) You can create circles of people you follow, and then choose to share information with specific circles, 3) Google Hangouts… enough said.

chicken video Google+

Pinterest: Keyword is INSPIRING

Sample post: Pinterest works as a digital bulletin-board of sorts. After my husband and I bought our house back in 2008, I began taking pages out of my Grandma’s “This Old House” magazines and putting them into a binder for renovation and decorating ideas. With Pinterest, I don’t have to do this anymore. I can create my own digital “binder” of sorts, and create binders (or “boards”) for as many topics as I want! So in a Pinterest post, you would include a photo of the video (or other photos that are available via the link you’re sharing), along with a message about why it’s good to have this information or idea handy.

chicken video Pinterest

Keep an eye on Instagram and Google+. As Facebook continues to decrease how many people your page reaches “organically” (which just means, without paying for ads) more and more organizations (especially non-profit ones) are jumping ship or are spending more time experimenting with sharing information on other social media sites, such as Instagram and Google+. Amy Hayes presented a great session at NeXC on how to utilize Instagram – you may want to check it out.

Now – keep in mind that even though we’ve showed you how to share the same link on 5 different social media sites – that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be using all 5. It all depends on what your audience (the people you’re trying to reach) are using. For more information on how to find out which social media platforms would be beneficial for you, click here.

~Jamie & Heather