Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I've moved!

Good afternoon everyone!

I wanted to let you know that I am moving my blog to my own personal website. Please see all future blog posts and subscribe to my email list at

Thanks everyone, see you on my new site!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Breaking it Down: Twitter

After writing my blog two weeks ago on Pinterest lingo, I have had several requests to do the same for Twitter. Using 140 characters to get your message across and not knowing the language would make it difficult, but that's where I come in!

Since it's launch in 2006, Twitter has grown substantially in popularity. By 2007, there was an average of 60,000 tweets per day. In March of 2013, the Washington Post reported an incredible 400 million tweets per day enter the internet. This is not a market you want to miss out on!

So, let's breakdown the lingo so you can get started in this tweeting world...

-A Tweet: A tweet is a 140 character message that you as the user sends out. Each tweet is visible to anyone, whether they are following you or not. All tweets are public and stay on the internet for pretty much the rest of eternity (as far as we know).
-User Handle: The user handle is how other users can find you (along with searching your email address) and how you will be recognized on Twitter. You can see my handle above is @MOpitzMarketing. You can search people's or business's handles to follow them and/or look at their tweets.
-Private Account: Although all tweets and the profile page of a private account are visible to everyone and anyone, the account holder approves each follower. A private account cannot be followed until the account holder says it is okay. 
-Public Account: The tweets and profile page are visible to the public and anyone may follow that type of account.
-Your Profile: Your profile consists of a profile picture, background picture, handle, short description, location, and even a URL. The profile is everything in the dark colored box in the image above.
-Followers: Once a user follows you, all of the tweets you put out will appear in their Home Page news feed. Same goes for once you follow someone; every tweet they put out will appear in your Home Page news feed.
-Mention: To mention someone in a tweet, simply place the '@' sign before you type their handle. Twitter will automatically pull up your options once you start typing. When a user mentions someone, that tweet is viewable to all of their followers, but not to the followers of the company or person they mentioned (unless they happen to be following both!).
-#Hashtags: Just like with Pinterest, hashtags increase the likelihood that your tweet will be found and interacted with.
-Direct Message: There is an option to Direct Message (DM) someone you follow or for someone you follow to do the same to you. This shows up in a personal inbox. These messages are only visible to the user who was DM'd.
-@Connect page: The @Connect page is the user's 'personal' new feed. This let's them know if they've been mentioned, retweeted, favorited, or followed. These are not visible to your followers.
-Retweet, Reply, Favorite: If a user likes what another user has tweeted, they have three options: Retweet, Reply, or Favorite.
  • Retweet: If a user retweets your tweet, it makes your tweet visible to all of the people that follow that user. It also does the same for things you retweet; now all of your followers will see it as well. *If the account is private there is no option to retweet
  • Reply: This means you tweet directly back to someone who tweeted at you. This tweet is only visible on that user's personal "connect" page. The tweet is, however, visible to everyone that follows you.
  • Favorite: If a user enjoys what they see and want to "bookmark" its place, they can favorite a tweet. Favorites are not visible to anyone except the user that favorited it. 
Now that you know the lingo, let's talk about a little How To:

-Look at the most recent tweets: Simply click on the 'Home' button on the top navigation bar to go to your news feed. As it automatically updates, the feed will let you know how many more tweets came in since you've last refreshed your page.
-Interact with another user's tweet: If you hover over a tweet, the green words Reply, Retweet, and Favorite show up. Just click the action you are looking to use!
-Edit profile: To edit your profile, simply go to your 'Me' page and click 'Edit Profile'. This is where you need to go to change your pictures, your handle, your name, your location, and more.
-Check Direct Messages: This also needs to be done from your 'Me' page. Once you are on that page, just click on the little envelope next to where it says 'Edit Profile'
-Follow another user: Simply click on the handle of the user you want to follow. This will pull up a window within your screen (so you don't loose your spot!) with a white 'Follow' button on the page. If the account is private, the button will turn to the word 'Pending' once clicked. If the account is public, the button will turn blue and the word 'Following' will be visible.

I hope you found this blog to be useful! Please let me know if I missed any lingo or how-to instructions that you'd like to know.

Also, this will be my last blog on this site. I will now be blogging on my personal website! It's been a long, drawn-out project that I work on in my non-existent spare time and I can't wait to show you all! You will have to enter your email and subscribe from my new site, even if you are already subscribed to this site. If you enter in, it will automatically redirect you to my new site soon!

Thanks so much everyone, see you on my new site!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Trello: Review

As a company with many part-time employees, Michigan Creative needed to find a way to organize ideas, thoughts, tasks, and to-do lists. It needed to be all in one place, easy to access, and easy to use.

After doing some research, we came across an online system called Trello. Never heard of it before? Neither had we, but we are sure glad we came upon it!

In short, Trello is a free online organization system, where you can create boards, lists, and cards, and assign them to users. You can also assign due dates, categories, and a priority order to each of those cards.

My blog today is not going to be so much on how to use Trello, but what we like and dislike about the system. I've polled the office and we've come up with a complete pro and con list--just for you!

Our favorite pieces:
1) It's easy to create tasks and lists and keep them organized: In our office, we have one board for each client. Within that board we have three lists: To Do, Doing, and Done. It's easy to click and drag cards as projects are moved from step to step and as they change in priority.

2) You can assign cards to users and tag them in comments: By doing this, we can keep tabs on users and see who is doing what and when they are doing it. It helps limit the notifications the user receives to just the boards they are assigned to or tagged in.

3) You can view it from anywhere: Not only can you login from any computer, they also have an app. It makes it easy for the part-time employees to be able to keep up on what happens in the office while they are gone.

4) It makes it easy to delegate big projects: With each employee having their own specialty, large projects are never handled by just one person. Trello makes it easy to assign different parts of each project to individual users.

What we really wish it could do:

1) We wish it could organize cards by assigned user, not just by board: It would be great if one user could pull up their cards to see all of the tasks that need to be completed. The only way to view cards is by board; this doesn't always prove useful when dealing with a business. This is by far the wish we want the most!

*Update: This can be done! By clicking on your avatar in the upper right hand corner you can select how you’d like to view the page-by boards or cards. Thanks to Michael P on Twitter for the tips!

2) It'd be nice if it included a schedule: For business use, it'd be helpful if we had a spot where employees could put up their schedules for each week. This could be either internally or possibly link to something like Google Calendar. They, just yesterday, added a calendar where you can see what tasks are due when. There is no way to see a staff schedule without adding a card for each staff member on each day.

3) Since there is the option to categorize cards, it'd be nice if we could sort the cards by category, not just by board: Let's say an employee wants to view all video project categorized cards. To do that, you currently need to go into each board and look through the cards to find what you are looking for.

4) When you create a new account, it'd be nice if the system prompted you to change your password: Although it's nice you can get started right away, the system will lock you out if you don't change your password before logging out. We had this happen when two of our employees created an account and didn't reset their password right away.

Of course no system will be perfect, but we think Trello really does a great job for the most part. It wasn't created for businesses originally, but it definitely can be used that way!

'Till next time

"The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual"
~Vince Lombardi

*The opinions written here are of my own and no one else. I was not paid by Trello or any of its affiliates to complete this review. I also welcome comments on updates or features that I am incorrect about or am unaware of.*