Blogfolio Blogging Presentation: Links

Here are all of the websites that JW and I gathered for our “Blogfolio” presentation.

Sites that were featured in the presentation:

Blogfolio at the NASPA Western Regional

JW and I will be presenting “Blogs and Student Learning: Making Meaning and Connections through Graduate Student Portfolios” at the 2006 NASPA Western Regional Conference in San Francisco next month. We’ll be using my “blogfolio” as an example of how blogs can be used in higher education graduate programs to facilitate learning in multiple contexts.

The conference will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Union Square. I’m excited about presenting with JW. She’s been a terrific advisor and mentor to me. I wonder if she’ll mind if I place a sign that says “Eric Stoller, available for hire” on my chest… I could become a freelance student affairs techie and create blogs for colleges and universities…

Program Abstract:

Participants are invited to engage in dialogue about the use of blogs (web logs) as a unique student learning experience. Presenters will briefly discuss the phenomenon of blogs and then share examples of student blogs created as the capstone experience within Oregon State University’s student affairs master’s program. Presenters will facilitate conversation around the challenges and opportunities in using blogs and ways in which student affairs professionals may utilize blogs beyond the classroom to serve students better.

According to a program reviewer:

This well-prepared proposal effectively conveys the presenters’ knowledge, practices, and enthusiasm. The presentation has the tremendous potential of starting a blogging epidemic among faculty members and student affairs practitioners who strive to improve student learning.

I’ve never started an epidemic before. No pressure…

Ottobib and Dell Recycling

Ottobib creates citations for MLA, APA, AMA, and Chicago Style based on a book’s ISBN. I tested it out on one of my CSSA textbooks. I quickly found the ISBN (International Standard Book Number), typed it into Ottobib, and presto — instant APA Citation:

Evans N., Forney D., Guido-DiBrito F. (1998). Student Development In College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers

In other news, Dell is now allowing folks to recycle any Dell-branded product (without purchasing anything!) for FREE! Apple needs to adopt a similar policy. Apple’s current recycling policy requires the purchase of a “qualified Apple computer or monitor.” I really hope they greenmyapple.

Google Talk without Gmail

Google is now allowing users to sign up for a “Google Account” without having a Gmail address. This means that if you want to use Google’s chat application, Google Talk, you no longer need to have a Gmail account for access.

Reasons to use Google Talk:

  • anyone can use the service (Gmail accounts no longer required)
  • free and crystal clear voice calls to your friends and family anywhere in the world
  • transfer files and folders to others
  • free voicemail messages (MEEP!)
  • IM from your BlackBerry

Visit Google’s Google Talk sign-up page for more information. is now “AdSensed”

I added Google’s AdSense program to the blog yesterday. My hope is that I will earn enough money from random ad revenue that I will be able to purchase at least 2 cups of coffee ;-)

I estimate that if 1,000,000 people visit my site during the next twenty years and if 10,000 click on any of my ads, then I will earn at least enough money to buy a 16 oz. white chocolate mocha with soy!

From Google:

Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money. Because the ads are related to what your visitors are looking for on your site — or matched to the characteristics and interests of the visitors your content attracts — you’ll finally have a way to both monetize and enhance your content pages.

It’s also a way for website publishers to provide Google web and site search to their visitors, and to earn money by displaying Google ads on the search results pages.

One of the issues that I have seen so far in my quest to earn $2.75 is that content-based ads can be very incongruent with my posts. My posts on Chief Illiniwek have resulted in Google Ads featuring sports mascot costumes. I think that Google needs a social justice filter. Here’s another example of search engine/content-based advertising gone bad

Facebook: Public and Private

Facebook announced yesterday, via the Facebook Blog, that they are now allowing anyone to join their social networking scene.

From the Facebook Blog:

We started at one school, and realized over and over again that this site was useful to everyone—not just to Harvard students, not just to college students, not just to students, not just to former students.

This includes your friends who graduated pre-Facebook (yes, there was such a time), your friends who don’t have school or work email addresses, and your friends whose schools don’t give out email addresses.

This doesn’t mean that anyone can see your profile, however. Your profile is just as closed off as it ever was. Our network structure is not going away. College and work networks still require an authenticated email address to join. Only people in your networks and confirmed friends can see your profile.

If you’re uncomfortable with regional users being able to see you on Facebook, you can always change your privacy settings to prevent people from finding you in searches and communicating with you. Also, we’ve built out a bunch of tools that will help verify new users and prevent spammers from bothering you.

Some of Facebook’s new features include The Facebook Friend Game and My Notes (login required for both features). The Friend Game is a trivia game that randomly selects your friends and asks you questions driven by information from their profiles. The My Notes feature has an option that allows you to import notes (posts) from an external blog. My Facebook friends can now view posts from on their My Notes page.

Facebook is expanding and I think it will be interesting to see how students react to an “open” Facebook. The privacy features are an important part of Facebook and time will tell if this new version, I’ll call it Facebook 2.0, will be as successful as the original semi-featureless version.

I dream of Electric Sheep

Electric Sheep screenshot

Electric Sheep is the neatest screensaver that I have ever installed on any computer that I have ever logged on to. In fact, if you turn your back on me while I’m on your computer, you might just find that I’ve installed it on your machine. It’s amazing! I find myself staring at it as if it’s a virtual fireplace of fractals.

Electric Sheep screenshot

Continue reading I dream of Electric Sheep

-100 Webmaster hitpoints

I’ve been blogging for more than a year. I’ve been designing websites for almost 10 years. I create sites that are accessible, usable, and search engine friendly. Unfortunately, I recently discovered (by accident!) that my blog has been less than optimized for search engines. When I created the site, I used a custom theme and began to tweak it to my needs. At some point in my code-weaving, I removed this bit of code in the WordPress Header:

title bloginfo(‘name’) if ( is_single() ) { } wp_title(); /title

Instead of displaying context driven page titles, my site has simply rendered “Eric Stoller’s Blog” on every single page/post. I feel like a bad parent. As of today, my site is now displaying the appropriate contextually-based title: “Eric Stoller’s Blog >> Post/Page Title.”

Please accept my apologies for being a terrible webmaster. My guru status has been taken away. Google, Yahoo, et al., I hope that you can forgive me and give me a fresh index result :-)

Statcounters Anonymous

How many times have I checked today? It’s like a sickness. is my home page for FireFox! I check my site statistics to see how many visits I’m getting on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I have obsessive web statistics disorder. My dashboard in WordPress now has a menu item called “Reports.” The plugin, called WordPress Reports, utilizes my Google Analytics account and pulls information into the admin interface.

I love looking at referrals, recent keyword activity, and page views. I love “optimizing” for search engines. I have OWSD!

Go ahead, admit that you love it too.

Update: I forgot that I also have the “Live” plugin installed which lets me view my website activity in REAL TIME!!!

Update 2: Brownfemipower, Radem, Sage and VeganKid are also stats junkies :-)

Are students IT savvy in the right way?

Technology should also be a competency within graduate programs…

Are students IT savvy in the right way?

by Florence Kizza

July 2006

Students can e-mail, surf the web and send instant messages. But university professors say students are lacking in graphics, database and e-commerce skills. According to a survey of 1,287 instructors who teach IT courses at two-year and four-year colleges and universities, those professors also told surveyor, Thomson Learning:

  • Students should be required to take a course or prove IT proficiency in order to graduate (89% of responding instructors).
  • Internet research (76%) and Microsoft Word (89%) are the two most important skills needed for academic success.
  • Only 33 percent of students have advanced internet research capabilities, and 53 percent are skilled in Microsoft Word.
  • 76 percent of students have advanced e-mail capabilities, and 71 percent can surf the web with skill. However, just 19 percent of students have significant database abilities; 12 percent with graphics programs; and 10 percent in e-commerce.

From the Greentree Gazette