CD Reflection Blog VI – SMM Class


"Hey Guys, Great News!!  Another snow storm is on its way April 10th!!!"

“Hey Guys, Great News!! Another snow storm is on its way April 10th!!!”

April 9th Greetings!

Ok, just LAST WEEK I said HAPPY SPRING to all and featured spring flowers. This week, the above is a more accurate description!!   Hopefully, the 6 inches snow forcasted will be less and pass quickly!

For my 6th SMM Class Blog, here were the objectives:

  1. Add widgets for Recent Comments & SocialVibe – SocialVibe is a ‘new tools’ offering I learned of through
  2. Post a business event video after creating new video and editing.
  3. Download WordPress application on smartphone (Android) and set up a business Google+ Account.  Use tablet for new virtual viewer with business applications.

Objective 1:

I added the  ‘Recent Comments” widget after exploring that topic in my last couple blogs, so they would be visible to myself and readers.   I also wanted to add a new “SocialVibe” widget that was listed on the main page as a new tool, but it does not appear in the widgets page. I will seek out some WordPress user help to find out how and when it will be available.  Below is a brief description and link, for those interested.  It sounds like a pretty neat ‘blogging’ feature through which businesses can provide additional donations to charities important to them:

You spend a lot of time creating great content and attracting an audience for your blog. What if you could use that influence to make a positive social impact? Now you can.

We’ve teamed up with SocialVibe, and now by adding the SocialVibe widget to your blog, you are able to earn donations for the charity of your choice by getting sponsored by a brand that appeals to you.

Each time someone visits your blog and engages with your brand (by rating a video, for example), you’re making a difference. That impact is immediately visible on your badge, i..e., ‘My blog has provided 63 cups of clean water for people in need.’

The money donated comes from your brand, so you and your readers never have to pay a dime.

Setup is easy and only takes a few clicks – just go to Appearance->Widgets in your dashboard, add the SocialVibe widget and pick a cause and a charity. For more details you can find documentation in our support area. If you change your mind about your sponsor or cause, you can easily make adjustments by visiting your widget dashboard.

With SocialVibe, our community can pool our individual influences to create positive change in the world.

What an awesome idea, right?!!!!   

Objective 2

I practiced shooting another video, this time business related, uploading again from a smartphone and attempting basic editing prior to posting. I created a business dedicated YouTube account for our N-Hance Wood Renewal business.  I also hope to add this video to our business Facebook & other social media marketing venues; however, I had some issues, therefore my video is not quite ready for that!

For some reason I could not get it to upload from my smartphone directly to YouTube again.  I used the YouTube video editor to shorten the video after uploading from my computer (vs. smartphone), and updated my blog on April 14th after learning how to rotate the image and use Windows Live Movie Maker to do further editing and add titles and other  text information to the slides (A shout out goes to @social_skelly, Thank You!) :


Objective 3

I added a WordPress mobile application to my smartphone so I can be better connected to blogs thru that site and the WordPress reader feature.  I also am starting to create and build Google+ accounts for both business and personal gmail accounts – 2 created thus far. I understand this is another area of ‘SMM opportunity’ that is growing fast, similar to previous Facebook and Twitter growth and becoming more and more popular.

Another neat service we can now offer our wood refinishing customers is the ability to view their kitchen cabinets in different stain and paint color options when tyring to make kitchen remodeling decisions.  This is done  through a virtual (visual) application on an I-Pad or any other tablet device!!   I plan to dedicate a future blog to that topic, but in the meantime if you are interested in more information, please see our refinishing business website,

This is some pretty exciting technology for us as well as our wood refinishing clients!

That’s all for an SMM learnings update — happy blogging!!



CD Reflection Blog V – SMM Class


Spring Daylily

Spring Day Lily


Yes, spring is officially here, though I would NOT say it’s “Sprung” yet!!  Hopefully the snow will continue melting and we will finally see some “Reflection” in the water, as my home page image suggests, LOL!!  Of course, many folks headed south during spring break to bask in the sun and reflect in Warm water!!

On to my 3 social media marketing learning objectives for the week:

  1. Upload my class group Paper Airplane video on my personal You Tube page, from my android smart phone and PC devices.
  2. Enhance this and future WordPress blogs with keywords, tags & widgets.
  3. Develop Linked In profile and post (market) job openings there as well as other business networking sites.

Objective 1

The first thing I tackled was to learn how to set up my smartphone to enable video downloading back and forth between the phone and my laptop PC.  I set up an application called Motocast between the two devices and now I can more easily download videos and upload to You Tube.   We are in the process of purchasing a tablet to use for business related video production also, but I do use the phone alot in business applications, and will probably continue to do so.  I just have to figure out the volume setting on the phone to get that a little better and experiment with video editing.  We will be participating in the upcoming Woodbury, MN Community Expo on April 6th, 2013, and I intend to shoot a video clip at the expo and insert that into the next blog for some practice.

Here’s my very first You Tube Video – done in class on March 12th:

Objective 2

I started using keywords, tags, and widgets with this week’s blogs, so we’ll see what happens with the hits on the blog, RSS feeds and links.  At the time of this post I will use this as a beginning baseline from which to measure progress.

Objective 3

I worked on my Linked in Profile, adding to it and updating some of the information.  I also searched for groups and discussions that I may want to utilize.  A few initial ones added were social media marketing groups, refinishing industry related small business group, entrepreneur group, SBA and local chamber of commerce sites.

I found an interesting training video taken from a Social Media Marketing group site, “”, discussing how to choose the right SMM strategy and goal setting. The video was produced at a country farmhouse, complete with roosters crowing in the background, while the trainer was presenting.  I thought this was another good example showing humor being used to attract and hold consumer interest, too!  You should definitely check out this site, compliments of Mike Crosson, Moderator and Publisher at   Check out the “50 Social Insights from Real Marketers” through this link:

N-Hance WI Wood Renewal

Lastly, I utilized some social media marketing concepts with a job opportunity we have for our refinishing business.  We are looking for an entry level Technician Assistant for cabinet and floor refinishing.  This is a link to a separate post on this blog site with the job details.  I utilized additional SMM venues by posting it on our local Chamber of Commerce websites and Linked In, along with links to our company website,

Well that is all for now, and once again time to say goodbye. Again, I encourage you to be inspired by your own Social Media Marketing learnings…….and THINK SPRING!!


CD Reflection Blog IV – SMM Class

Greetings Readers,

As you notice in my site title, my blogs are inspired by design & SMM learnings. This week I am practicing some of my recent SMM learnings while adding a little Inspiration & “Enlightenment”, for your enjoyment!

First, click below for “Enlightenment”…..

My two learning & practice objectives were:

  • Continue last week’s learnings related to blog comment moderation, Spam deletion and embedding videos.  Also worked a bit more on my YouTube account.
  • Review additional features of, including support/forum resources, Reader, and identifying at least 4 blogs to initially follow.

Objective 1 –

I further reviewed information from Akismet and completed moderation of previous blog post comments received. I also used tips from @social_skelly, such as looking for a business name in the username area of the comment for identifying Spam.  Two comments were from the  “Social Media Marketing Blog” and “Search Engine Optimization Blog” sources.  They offered an almost identical list of tips to improve blog writer skills – that was unexpected, but interesting. The Akismet resource offered a helpful (and humorus!) clarification on the Akismet Stats page of my WordPress site:

What the heck is ham doing on my blog? I’m a vegetarian.

Spam most people know; it’s the unwanted commercial comments on their blogs. Ham is what we call its counterpart, legitimate comments. On the Akismet mistakes side, missed spam is pretty self-explanatory, and a false positive is a legitimate comment incorrectly identified as spam (which, we hope, happens very rarely). Also, we meant no offense to vegetarians.

The next thing I worked on was returning to my new YouTube account to search interesting videos and create a few channel subscriptions on the account. The support feature also confirmed the process for embedding video on WordPress.  I understand we will be working next in class to create and publish our own YouTube video — this should be a fun way to learn video publishing!!   So stay tuned, readers, and watch for my own video creation published on an upcoming blog!!!

In the meantime, click the embedded video below for some Inspirational elements today:

Objective 2 –

I took a further look at Support and Forum resources, beginning with the front page forum vounteer featured on the WordPress main page this week, Tess Warn.   This is an interesting article discussing how she started blogging and ultimately volunteered for the forum in order to help other beginning bloggers.  Check out the story at  I thought this was an awesome resource and intend to use it in the future.

I then moved on to look at the ‘Reader’ feature of WordPress.  I searched for various topics related to my career and personal interests, and chose some initial blogs to follow.  I’d like to read some WordPress blogs and ultimately compare them to the highly rated blogs as per and other blog review sites.

For now, I chose blogs relating to interior design, kitchen cabinet refacing and refinishing and on a personal level, horses, of course!!  I also am following a classmate’s blog (“Hi Lisa”!).  One that I re-blogged and linked you to at the beginning of this article is related to design, and you can check out some others following this post.

Well, readers, it’s time to close for now, and here’s wishing you ‘Happy Blogging Trails this coming week!! (That is some ‘Horse Speak’ if you are wondering!)


CD Reflection Blog III – SMM Class

Do YOU Like Spam??

Do YOU Like Spam??

Greetings Readers!

Revisiting Reflections was the general theme for my two SMM objectives this past week… or, what I would describe as a little R & R:    🙂  

  • Revisit blog comments, including Spam and learn more about Akismet
  • Revisit two objectives from last week after additional WordPress and HTML training on
    • Embed YouTube video in blog
    • Attach Slideshare presentation to blog

Objective One — While moderating blog comments, I replied back to one of them (a first for me). I also noticed several comments that had been sent to Spam by Akismet over the past 2 weeks.  I felt learning more about this would be a perfect learning objective this week.

Now don’t laugh at me, but “Spam” reminds me of Hawaii, as it is very prevalent there.  Ok, ok, yes, that is a different type of SPAM, this is true!  But some love it and some hate it; so, you see there is another similarity between the Hawaiian and Internet based Spams!  You either LOVE it (aka you are participating or generating it!), or you HATE it (aka you are the unwelcoming recipient of it on your Blog, Website, Email, etc.). It seems to crop up everywhere, right?  And, if it’s unwelcome to you, you are also trying to sift through what in fact truely is spam versus what may be legitimate!

View Spam Lovers in Paradise Here!

Looking into this further I learned of Akismet as a valuable resource.  At first glance, Akismet appeared to have placed several “suspect” comments in a separate moderation folder titled Spam, where I could easily identify for closer review. In doing so, I noticed a couple comments which appeared genuine. I was about to “accept” vs. “trash” them; however, hesitated in doing so, thinking,  How do I REALLY KNOW FOR SURE? 

“Help!!”, I thought, “I must also consult my SMM circle of influence. I certainly do not want to accept any well disguised Spam!”  So, as Social_Skelly says, “stay tuned”.  I will pose this to @MktgFiends and provide their feedback on a future SMM reflection blog.

In the meantime, here’s some helpful information I found on

5 things every blogger should know about spam

1. Web spam is different from email spam.

2. Web spammers are social engineers.

3. Web spammers are basically advertising on your blog..

4. It’s all about the backlinks.

5. Spammers employ humans.

                                  How can Akismet help?

Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time. We know all about their spambots, comment factories, buffer sites and social engineering tricks. Akismet will use this knowledge to warn you when a spammer – automated or human – tries to sneak a spam comment past you. So if you notice a comment in your spam folder from someone you don’t know, or linking to a web site you’ve never seen before, take a good look at it before you hit the Unspam button: in all likelihood, Akismet put it there for a reason.

Objective Two– This one related back to creating a YouTube account, embedding videos and using Slideshare social media to insert slide presentations into blogs.

Last week I confessed setting up a YouTube account to the wrong email account. This week I corrected that by creating one linked to my SMM email account and deleting other erroneous YouTube subscriptions!  While in YouTube selecting subscription channels, I also linked to Google+ profile and selected some interior design related connections.  Yet another SMM +, LOL!   I’m still trying to figure out how to embed a YouTube video after viewing the training videos, so again, I plan to seek out my @MktgFiends in class.

As for Slideshare, it will have to wait until a future blog, as I am finding my newer Spam/Askismet related learnings taking higher priority right now!!  I’m sure you can related to that, as priorities and objectives should be reviewed and changed continually, according to what fits best toward your ultimate goal(s).  Would you agree?

That about sums it up for this week. I look forward to continue learnings & reflections.

Thank you for visiting designbycd — I welcome Your SMM Reflections and feedback,


CD Reflection Blog II – SMM Class

Greetings Readers,

Welcome to the second reflection blog for my social media marketing class.

My objective this week was to work on increasing knowledge related to my site and applying at least 5 new things within my site or this new blog post. They included:

  • Reviewing comments recieved:from previous blog
  • Reading other class blogs and leaving a comment for at least 1-2 authors, if site allowed
  • Review page settings, appearances and tools to enhance current site and use tools such as sharing links
  • Set up a YouTube account and attach a video to this blog from YouTube
  • Upload a powerpoint presentation from Slideshare, which is the SMM tool I presented in class last week.

The first action item was an easy one!  I recieved a comment and feedback on some things I was uncertain on in writing my very first Blog.  I can see where comments can be valuable for bloggers to refine and continuously improve their posts.

Before receiving comments on my own blog,  I felt compelled to read several class blogs that were publicly posted — and left comments on at least two of them.  I wanted to express feedback regarding the creativity I felt they put into their blogs and obtained many additional ideas to develop mine!  It is so very interesting how different they all were.  To me it was just another example of ‘how we each bring different ideas to the table’ and learn from each other.   Social_Skelly was commenting on that also last week, & I TOTALLY agree with him — I am learning a ton from my classmates!!

My third WordPress related action was to re-visit some of the tools presented in the online Essential Training.and apply some of them in order to further develop my blog site. You will now see additional information on my ‘About Page’,  you can access share links to other social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest and/or ‘Like’ a blog. You can also view my new home page tagline.  I decided I wanted something more related to what I am about, even though the one WordPress had auto generated was very eye catching!  If you are new to my blog site this week you missed it, so here it is, recreated just for you —  “4 or 5 dentists recommend this site”.  Now you will know what I mean!

The last thing under “Tools”   I set out to do was place a “PressThis” bookmark on my favorites list, and then attempt to upload images, videos and other URL links I may want to use for future blogs. I thought I was going to be able to go right to videos to post them, but found it just took me back to the “PressThis” tools page on  I’ll have to go back to the training materials to see what I’m missing; and it also looked like I may have to pay for the premium package in order to upload videos?  If any reader has knowledge of how to do this without upgrading my account, I would be very interested in and appreciate your feedback!  In the meantime I did visit “Freshly Pressed” and selected three interior design related blogs I was interested in that I could use in the future.  For now they appear as “reblogged” and I created separate categories titled SMM Class Blogs & Interior Design. I may explore other ways to present them in my next blog.

Since I was setting out to include videos in the future, this brings me to a YouTube confession.  I never had signed up for an account in the past, so decided it was time to do so now!  Problem is, I have several email accounts with school and small business and by mistake set it up on a customer lead generation site we have for our call center!!  Live and learn, right?  LOL!  So now I’m re-setting it up through the email tied to this wordpress account and hopefully I will be able to link that as well.

My fifth action item will have to go on the next blog as I did not get to that one; however I do want to try the SlideShare upload tool that Social_Skelly mentioned may be usefull for bloggers to use if wanting to post a slideshow in the blog or LinkedIn, for example. This allows readers to access other than only MS Powerpoint.

All in all, again some good learnings this week in my new world of SMM!


CD Reflection Blog I – SMM Class


Greetings Reader(s),

I found it extremely difficult to come up with ONE objective to write about for our first “Reflection Blog”! Here’s the reason: Social_Skelly asked us to accomplish something in Twitter this week and then write about it — relecting about our experience in meeting our objective and what we learned. I was finding myself jumping all over the place in terms of what I was learning and doing around the subject of Twitter; so as a result became very frustrated with choosing just one of them!! The assignment was given on 2/5/13 and this frustration I was having being unsettled with this lasted 3 days!!! Finally, I came to the realization that I could tie several different Twitter related learnings into one larger objective statement!! (Moment of Enlightenment – Da!) So, 3 days into the assignment I finally knew what I wanted for my objective statement — I bet you can hardly wait to read on!…..Here it is:

My Twitter objective this week was to increase twitter knowledge by learning and applying at least 5 new things within my Twitter account, including:
1) Making a class list titled mktgFiends
2) Locating and following new twitter accounts related to my small business
3) Completing a Marketing Influencers Analysis using, which we had begun in our last Social Media Marketing Class
4) Attaching at least 2 pictures to my Twitter page
5) Adding to the basic profile created

Given the above list, I will comment on the results and learnings for each one in the same order respectively. Overall, before getting into the detail, I need to express one higher level learning experienced with this assignment which extends way beyond social media marketing. It is my delight in being able to tell you I have met my objective this week!  It is so rewarding to be able to blog about that and I can see where ‘objective related blogging’ is also motivational!! When you write down your objective and have a timeline to meet it, and then get to write about how you met or exceeded it, (which others may also read!), it is very satisfying!!!!   🙂

Now let’s get on to the details. For the first task, I compiled a private list labled ‘mktgFiends’ to include all Social Media Marketing class members.  I began this after listening to Lisa’s instructions in our last class and completed it during the week.  I went into Lisa’s list, which she so kindly left public, and added anyone to the list I was not already following.  The only difficulty I had with this is when going on our D2L classlist it looked like there were 24 members, including Social_Skelly, and I can only come up with 22.  I think I’m missing Charles Peterson, but that name is eluding me with many others by that name on twitter, and I don’t get a match when using the handle posted by him on D2L (@charles1404178).  I will have to get some Tweet help on that one, so will do that by next class.

Second, I searched keywords & hashtags, then added some twitter accounts closely related to my local business community.  These included Woodbury, Stillwater and Hudson Chambers were we primarily do business. Another more national or even global one to follow was Houzz, which connects homeowners, architects, designers and builders to work with home improvement and design projects.

After expanding my business related keyword search on Twitter, I worked on my third objective on Klout, looking at the marketing influencer ratings for the 150 or so I was following at that time. The ones with the highest ratings (in the 90’s) were mostly global recognized leaders (dalai lama), media (NPR) or pop culture/celebrities (Oprah Winfrey, Yoko Ono, NFL),  The ones in my business/industry were HGTV (89), Architectual Digest (86), This Old House (83), and Home Depot (79). On a side note, from the time I first logged on to Klout to the time of this blog post (about 5 days), my personal rating went from a score of 15 to 19.  I was pretty pleased with myself until seeing some of my classmates way beyond that!  I would like to give kudos to @robeggers, who topped our class score with a 61 at my last ‘klout-ing’ (social_skelly, I hope it’s ok to make up some of your own words when blogging, but let me know if not, for next time!).

I will end with commenting on the last two tasks together. For both I simply explored my twitter account settings further using the help tool to enhance my profile and learn how to add pictures.  I added more about me in my bio section including a website and also connected the app to my Twitter account.

All in All it was a very good week in the new Social Media Marketing world of @designbycd!