Archives for posts with tag: technology

I hope all of you living in the United States had a great Independence Day holiday. For those of you outside of the U.S., I hope your Wednesday was excellent. (This post is a day later than intended because of the holiday and a very busy Thursday.)

One major goal I had before my vacation was to update my professional social media profiles, namely, LinkedIn and my work history on Facebook. To be honest, I haven’t updated either profile since I left Epic Careering almost a year ago. (I admit, not updating your professional profile is a bad habit to fall into.) I wanted to get this task started last week, but coming off of vacation and a non-invasive surgery at the end of the same week proved to be more than I could handle. I spent the final days of my vacation sick and tired. While I was able to return to work on Monday, the week was spent feeling sluggish. (Pro-tip: Having a surgery during a vacation may be efficient time-wise, even so, it is probably best to get a procedure at the start of the week opposed to the end.)

Thankfully, my second week back from my vacation has been more productive. I’m feeling better all around, and I’m ready to tackle those social profiles. I’m even looking forward to integrating daily or semi-weekly updates to my social media profiles beyond Twitter.  While I don’t think updating my LinkedIn/Facebook profiles will take long, updating my résumé and accomplishments might be more time-consuming. (I did take Karen’s advice years ago and wrote down my work achievements.) Updating your résumé when you are in job search mode is stressful. However, updating when you’re not searching removes much of that stress. I’m looking forward to the challenge and scratching another few items off of the to-do list. It is important to stay well-rounded and to keep your skills current. You never know when you will need them again.

 

Do you update your professional social media profiles often, even when you’re not looking for work?

LinkedInPen by Sheila Scarborough of Flickr

LinkedInPen by Sheila Scarborough of Flickr

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Nearly a month ago I wrote about wanting to finish some personal projects before taking my vacation in June. A huge goal of mine was to update my gaming blog by doing a lot of work on the back end. The work included updating the about pages, creating a small newsletter, auto-posting to the Twitter account, creating an inbox everyone could access, and opening up the Discord server to the public. Each step of the project came with surprise setbacks, but I was determined to stop procrastinating.

The first project was updating the about pages. It had been a process I put on the backburner for years—seven to be exact. Needless to say, the original bios that had been emailed to me were lost to time. Fortunately because we made the switch from staff e-mail chains to Discord, communicating my need for new or updated bios was incredibly easy. I also took suggestions on how to improve the pages (such as official titles) as I updated.

My biggest goal was to update the blog’s Twitter account. As it stood, the account was little more than an RSS feed that updated once a day. I sought out a way to push out older, but still relevant posts so they could be seen more than once. While many paid services could provide me with a content queue, it made no sense to implement on a venture that doesn’t generate income. Ultimately, I found a plugin called Revive Old Posts. The plugin originally didn’t work despite following the instructions and suggested solutions. Occasionally I could trigger a manual update. After fighting with it, I made some tweaks to the WordPress code the auto-updates started to flow. My persistence had finally paid off.

The rest of the updates (the newsletter and opening the Discord server to the public) fell into place pretty easily. All and all, it feels good to scratch a big to-do item off the list. If I keep this pace up my list will be mostly done before my vacation.

 

When was the last time you scratched a big item off your to-do list?

WordPress by Cristian Labarca of Flickr

WordPress by Cristian Labarca of Flickr

When I left Epic Careering in August I had to say goodbye to Edgar, one of the most powerful tools Karen and I used for social media management. With a few clicks we were able to create reliable schedules for posting evergreen content (i.e. content that is always relevant) from the blog and YouTube channel. It was a great feeling to set it and rest easy knowing that content would always be pushed out. Edgar even allowed us to add new blog content to a queue via RSS so that nothing was missed. Previously, I had to push old content manually through Buffer. While we still used Buffer to share content from others on a daily basis, Edgar really allowed for serious time-saving.

Unfortunately, the price of $49 per month for my own personal use was just too much to spend on a non-business venture. Instead, I turned to free social media management platforms I had previously used for Epic Careering. I tried Hootsuite and found it lacking after the Facebook API was changed to disallow sharing on that service. Next I tried Buffer. With its ability to post content to multiple social media networks, it was exactly what I needed.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered I had been using Buffer the difficult way in the past—that is manually setting a date and time whenever I wanted content to be shared. My insight came by testing the site’s features combined with the knowledge I had gained from using Edgar. I realized that I had the ability to set schedules (days and specific times) for every social media platform after connecting them to Buffer. Once the posting schedule was set, I simply had to add whatever content I wanted to share to a queue. Eliminating a few clicks increased my productivity.

I wish I had taken the time to set up a Buffer schedule while I was still working for Karen, but figuring it out late and saving time now is better than never figuring the said feature out. It also felt great to learn something new. I have more tricks I want to apply to my own personal projects, but they will require interesting work arounds as I search for free alternatives to Edgar.

 

Do you use a social media management platform to share content? If so, what service?

My-Buffer-Queue

My own small Buffer queue.

The bulk of the work I do for my job is on the computer–I work on article proofs, edit Word documents, and correspond with authors, editors, typesetters, and others via email. Sure, I have face-to-face meetings (mostly departmental) and some conference calls, but most of the time I’m wired in to my work laptop and our database. I try to remember to look up every so often and focus on something far away so I can exercise my eyes and get up to talk a short walk (even if it’s around the office) every hour or two, but there is one thing that I do that gets me through my day: listen to music.

I have tried it all: Pandora, Spotify, podcasts, the radio, everything. And I’ve enjoyed it all, so I try to switch it up every day based on the work I’m doing: oh, today I’m doing a lot of copying and pasting, so I can listen to a podcast or any kind of music I want. And another day, maybe I’m working on a slew of author proofs that requires concentration–this calls for classical music. I always have my headphones in and something playing to keep me focused. I know some coworkers who never listen to music at work because they find it distracting, and I know others who listen to books all day. I wish I could listen to an audiobook all day, but I’ve tried that before and I find that I get distracted very easily.

I listen to music to maintain my concentration at work but it also keeps my morale up. Now, you all know I’ve written about how much I love the company I work for so you know that I don’t struggle with low morale at work, but being able to listen to whatever I want keeps me happy throughout the day. If I feel myself getting bored or distracted, I take a minute to find something new to listen to. Music is something I enjoy very much and to be able to listen to it at work is a wonderful thing.

What keeps you going throughout your day?

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