Noah’s Ark – Making a Difference… Differently

Noah’s Ark. An organization “committed to empowering individuals who have developmental disabilities by advocating on their behalf and by providing or facilitating choices of meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities and affordable housing in an inclusive community of their choice.” This mission, and a personal dream of its founder, Jack Kosik are at the core of this organization. Jack and his family have been blessed with a beautiful, thriving daughter who happens to have special needs. As they came to know this, they begin to realize that the options available for their baby girl as she would enter adulthood were almost frightening. As Jack and his wife began to search for alternatives it was quickly apparent that there were no options in the central Florida area that provided the kind of holistic care that they desired for their daughter. At this point Jack and his wife were experiencing the horrible reality that they were actually afraid to die because of what their child would most likely have to endure in their absence. Out of this desperation, Noah Ark was born. Noah’s Ark is a beautiful community in which special needs individuals have holistic supportive care that empowers and encourages the independence and success of each person to best of their ability. Noah’s Ark is warm and homey. It does not feel like hospital or mental institution. It’s residents are happy, helpful and friendly.

On our class tour of the facility I think we were all pleasantly surprised by the just how high the standard of living was. Each room was clean and organized. The residents were friendly and welcoming. Noah’s Nest is nothing short of what you would expect from a wonderful home. On the property, tucked away in a nearby residential neighborhood, lies four beautiful buildings, a basketball court, and a gazebo. The residents take pride in their beautiful surroundings.

“All of the homes at Noah’s Nest have four bedrooms and four bathrooms so
that each of our residents have their own private bathroom.  Three residents
live in each home and the “extra” bedroom may be used as a multi-purpose
room, or for guest to spend the night, or for a caregiver should one of our
residents require overnight support staff.
Each home is designed to be handicapped-friendly with an array of features
including roll-in showers that make day-to-day living a bit easier for individuals
who may need to use a wheelchair to assist with mobility.”

As great as Noah’s Ark is, it is only the beginning of an incredible vision that Jack Kosik has for an inclusive, gated community that will include families as well as residents with disabilities called Noah’s Landing. He describes it as being like the nostalgic amiable community of Mayberry portrayed in The Andy Griffith Show. Many strides have been taken to make that dream a reality, but until then, Noah’s Ark continues to serve its residents exceptionally.

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Infographics: Charts & Graphs…. For Cool People

As a graphic designer I really appreciate infographics. Infographics display information visually, just like ordinary graphs and charts. But what makes them different is that info graphics have a certain cool-factor that you probably won’t fin in your statistics book. This is because the are designed and meant to catch the audiences attention, especially on the web. Being that I love them so much, I whipped one up. It’s a really simple one but I hope you enjoy!

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Telg

I love this post. As an upperclassmen in college, sometimes I feel so frustrated about my age and where I am in life nd what I am “stuck” doing and most of all, how I want to bypass it all. This post is great practical advice for those who’re ailing like me.

Why grow up so fast? If you are in your twenties, or are closely approaching, this article is for you. Your quarter life crisis if for those in your early twenties who are feeling the pressure of being an adult when it is still painful to peel your N’SYNC stickers off your notebooks and paint over the I ❤ Taylor Hanson doodles in your closet(maybe that was just me). Whatever stage you are at in the quarter-life crisis, take this advice found on Hello Giggles blog to heart.

1. Go out on a weeknight when you have to be up early the next morning. Being young is about being responsible. Go crazy. Go out with you friends. When you do this, you will not be on Facebook or watching re-runs of the Office wallowing in self-pity. Feeling irresponsible and naive will take away the fear of growing up, if only for a night.

2. Make an emergency shopping trip to buy 5” heels. Buying a pair of hot heels will make you feel a few years younger, and who doesn’t love buying a new pair of stilettos?

3. Don’t have matching furniture. “Nice furniture says, “I’m sensible. I plan on staying here a while. I know how to take care of my expensive personal belongings. I have a savings account.” Read: Adult. Weird colored arm chairs and couches with mysterious stains on the undersides of the cushions say, “I could leave at any moment to go work on a fig orchard in Turkey and just leave this crap behind. I didn’t want to invest in a new couch because I’ve given out way too many copies of my keys and can’t remember who might come to crash on it. I’d rather spend the money on shoes (see number two).” None of that sounds wise or responsible to me.”

4. Get a quirky, useless pet. I want to get a hedgehog and name him Sir Spikey Pants, but I can’t get myself to do it yet. Maybe once I graduate I will be able to get one since I won’t be under the rules of my university. Having a hedgehog is anything but practical, and that will make me feel so young and alive!

5. Take ironic day trips. I am an adventurer. I will always be up for a random day trip. I encourage this not only for those suffering through their quarter-life crisis, but anyone wanting some escape from their daily life. If you feel trapped, alone, bored, lazy, or just want to have a great day… Go on a day trip to the Dinosaur theme-park down the road or the al paca farm a few hours away. I mean… Why not?

Storify. My New Best Friend.

Let me just get out there and say it…. I love Storify!

Storify is the most effective tool I’ve ever seen for live blogging. Live blogging is a service  that really bring the excitement of a live event to your online social universe. what makes Storify so unique is that fact that it plus content from so many different source. Facebook status updates, tweets, twit pics, photos from Flickr, Blog’s on WordPress, and Youtube videos can all be a part of your Storify post. It really tells a beautiful story from so many different perspectives. The beauty is that you don’t have to generate all of the content yourself, and it not doing so, you are able to tell a more comprehensive story.

They also make it really easy  to post it to your Tumblr, WordPress, or Blogger blog. Check out my previous Storify post.

So You’ve Got Comments

Without comments, blogging seems like you are just writing into the vast empty interweb nothingness. Comments make blogging interactive. It is the dialogue, the exchanging of ideas that keeps bloggers writing. Comments are like validation that you have something meaningful to say.

Here are the Top 10 Blogs in the World (Taken from TopYaps.com). Trust me, these would not be at this status is not for millions of fans who … COMMENT.

10. Mashable:

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication and this loyalty was strictly followed by Pete Cashmore, when he founded ‘Mashable’ at the early age of 19. In July 2005, this Internet news blog was founded in Aberdeen, Scotland and since then it has created a remarkable boldness in the history of blogging. This blog covers news of business, entertainment, mobile, online video, gadgets, web development and technology. Mashable has over 425,000 fans on Facebook and over 2 million followers on Twitter along with 30+ million monthly pageviews.

mashable.com

9. Hot Air:

Hot Air is a conservative Internet broadcast network which was founded on April 24, 2006 by Michelle Malkin, an American political commentator. This blog is well known for its “Green Room” in which conservative and guest bloggers compose their own articles. In February 2010, Hot Air was purchased by Salem Communications but still it is popular for the must-read articles of its pseudonymous writer ‘Allahpundit’. In the current blogosphere, Hot Air hails in top-20 site on Technorati’s Top 100 list.

hotair.com

8. Boing Boing:

This publishing entity was founded in 1988 by Mark Frauenfelder and his wife, Carla Sinclair. Earlier, Boing Boing was a magazine but due to the expectation of boom in Internet world, it was converted into a website in 1995 and very soon it became the hot platform for sharing the news of politics, technology, intellectual property and futurism. After enormous success, in October 2007, Boing Boing TV was launched and its episodes were aired online as well as on Virgin America Flights.

boingboing.net

7. Perezhilton:

One of the most celebrated blog of entertainment arena, Perezhilton was founded by an American blogger, Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr., better known by his nickname Perez Hilton. Formerly called as PageSixSixSix.com, this blog posts gossip about musicians, celebrities and actors. In April, 2009, this blog was ranked on the 143rd position in America with two-third of users being American and strongest demographic being females between the ages of 18 and 24.

perezhilton.com

6. Beppe Grillo:

Counted among the world’s most powerful blog, this blog was founded by Giuseppe Piero Grillo aka Beppe Grillo, an Italian comedian, blogger and politician. This blog has secured its position in the top 10 most visited blogs in the world, as per the calculation of Technorati. A man of controversy in himself, Grillo is severly criticized for ravaging the private life of high-profile celebrities on his blog.

beppegrillo.it

5. Engadget:

Tophat of tech blogs, Engadget is a multilingual weblog which deals with the news and articles of consumer electronics along with gadgets. This blog was founded in March 2004 by Peter Rojas, a Harvard graduate better known for founding two more blogs – Gizmodo and Joystiq. Engadget is considered as a burning platform, where you can read the articles of renowned journalists, industry analysts and high-profile blogger.

engadget.com

4. TMZ:

Abbreviation of thirty-mile zone, TMZ is a celebrity news blog which was founded on November 8, 2005, as a joint venture of America Online (AOL) and Telepictures Productions. Devotee of quality news, this blog was first spotlighted by mainstream media for releasing the story of Mel Gibson, who was arrested by cops for driving his Lexus LS 430, under the influence of alcohol. Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ, claims that TMZ often pay paparazzi for using their videos and photographs.

tmz.com



3. Gawker:

This New York City based blog is the most essential part of the Gawker Media, an American online media company. Parent company of 10 different weblogs, Gawker was founded in 2003 by Nick Denton. With 50-70 daily new posts, Gawker focuses on the articles of celebrity gossip and media industry by the supporting hands of media employees and freelance bloggers.

gawker.com

2. TechCrunch:

Holder of 1st position in the Info/Tech category of Tecnorati, this blog was founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington which offers analysis and news of websites, startup companies and new products. Comprising over 4,563,000 RSS feed subscribers, this web publication is now known as The TechCrunch Network, which constitutes several other websites.

techcrunch.com

1. The Huffington Post:

Now, you have to actualize that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world. An aspiration which stared on May 9, 2005, by the collaborated efforts of Arianna Huffington, Jonah Peretti and Kenneth Lerer, has now became the central hub of world-class bloggers and their must-read articles. Winner of enormous prestigious awards, The Huffinfton Post encounters over one million comments every month.

huffingtonpost.com

From Typewriter to Keyboard

Writing for digital media has changed digital how journalist approach writing all together. The test it self has to not compete with all of the other media that is begging for your attention on the web. Because of this competition your writing must be interactive, fast paced and substantial. Here are 10 tips to help you do that…

1. Your topic must be relevant.

No matter if it’s your company blog, content for a web page, product descriptions etc. Your content must be essential, relevant ant too the point. People on the web are looking for information. There is nothing wrong with being creative, but unnecessary rabbling is a sure way loose your audiences attention.

2. Use action words.

Try not to use passive voice. Every page should flow with consistent movement.

3. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.

Doing this will help you get right to the essential information. Plus the less time you content take s to read, the more inclined your readers will be to stay and engage your content.

4. When you can, use lists, instead of paragraphs.

Information is a lot easier and quicker to absorb in list form.

5. Use heading and sub headings

This organizes the information and makes it easier to find exactly what they are looking for.

6. Make your links part of the copy.

Links also assist with scanning pages because they stand out from copy

7. Keyword Optimize for search engines

“Make sure to place the site target keyword phrases on each page along with your page target keyword phrases. Keep it human readable and avoid repeating keyword phrases more than three times throughout the page.”

8. Lead with the conclusion

“I advise that you begin each post by starting with the conclusion, a take-away or benefits statement. Just answer this question, ‘what is my benefit if I commit to read this post?’”

9. Make your post visually pleasing.

“I always include a nice photo or graphic to further drive home the main purpose of a post. Using them will create interest and help draw in a reader.”

10. Use common language.

This is an opportunity to do away with industry jargon and agency speak and write content that resonates with your intended audience.

So… what am I NOT seeing?

I think Eli Pariser has a really good point. I have been aware that Facebook, Google, and other sites have been doing this. As an admirer of of advertising and advertising strategy, I was even somewhat in favor of consumer customized AD placement. I even liked that they “suggest” things that I like. However, I have not given much thought to what I may be missing. I think that customizing Ads is one thing, but when this strategy begins to effect the content I am seeking… I think there might be something wrong. Who knew there is a bad side of customization?

These “filter bubbles” really have the potential to shelter us from meaningful content all in the name of “customization.” I really appreciated the analogy comparing all the content you like to junk food versus substantial informative content to vegetables. The tension between what you want as opposed to what you think can’t get much clearer. I wonder if anyone else realizes this?

I’m glad that there are people who are a little more observant that me to catch these things. I don’t think that customization should be done away with, but I do think internet companies should have some standard for providing responsible substantial content

Catalyst East 2011

RT @hillarydemeo: Headed to #CAT11 with the best stinkin team @seuniversity @SEUsblc!! So excited to watch God move in all of our lives
elizatelg
October 4, 2011
@SEUsblc has arrived #CAT11
DanielHBarcelo
October 6, 2011
watching hillsong nyc catalyst conference. Judah Smith preaching on God’s glory
RStuckings
October 8, 2011
“Don’t be fair. Be engaged.” ~ Andy Stanley #leadership
JasonWalkerATL
October 8, 2011
It’s funny how the speaker always talks about what you need to hear. #andystanley #fire #Cat11
_ice_berg_
October 7, 2011
Just experienced the “Fastest Reading of the Bible” at Catalyst 2011. ~13,000 people read the entire Bible in 60 sec. #cat11
YouVersion
October 7, 2011
RT @CatalystLeader: “Since when is Jesus not enough?” -@judahsmith #CAT11
317Roots
October 8, 2011
Interviewing @PriscillaShirer on Backstage! (Broadcasting live at http://ustre.am/MKs)
CatalystLeader
October 10, 2011
Shared Items:: Catalyst 2011 Final Message with Andy Stanley http://t.co/7W6fUCby
dennispeay
October 8, 2011
Joel Houston & Hillsong @ Catalyst. Great job leading. “Search My Heart” “Like an Avalanche” Then Judah Smith. http://t.co/Pyn22wjg #CAT11
pastordreads
October 7, 2011
Found my new workout program, Godz Bodz by Trip and Tyler #Cat11
lramsey3
October 6, 2011
Photo: Joel Houston and Hillsong United leading worship at Catalyst! Amazing. (Taken with instagram) http://t.co/DAn89W1z
patrickcmoore
October 8, 2011
RT @KenColeman: BIG NEWS: 1800+ leaders at @catalystleader conference texted “ADOPT” to 40491 for a free Orphan Sunday Kit! Text now! #CAT11
stacywcoleman
October 10, 2011
Such a great time at #Cat11 with awesome @seuniversity friends and cabining with @SEUsblc #greatweek #bepresent
_ice_berg_
October 9, 2011

Seeing PR

So many things were made possible with the advent of the home television. I opened up countless opportunities for entertainment, information, culture and much more. However I think the effect that the advent of the television profoundly effected the fields of advertising in conjunction with public relations.

So it’s the early 1920’s and this revolutionary new technology has been invented. People are still trying to take advantage of all of the potential uses. The television has opened up a whole new medium for the world of advertising. This means PR professionals have a whole new weapon to ad to their PR arsenal. In conjunction with more traditional personal ways to build corporate and consumer relations, the television provide a whole new way make that initial contact and first impression. Since public relations is all about perception, what better war to offer consumers a chance to perceive you for the first time from the comfort of their own homes. The television not only advanced opportunities for PR with products but also largely in politics. For the for the first time almost anyone would have opportunity to “attend” debates and speeches and get to “know” the leaders of their country. A large part of PR is sending messages. I believe that only the modern advent of the internet rivals the ability of television to communicate messages.

This would have been such an exciting time to be a public relations professional. Although this time marks the advent of so many new technologies and would have been exciting no matter your profession, I think it is no too dissimilar from our own. Technology seems advancing at an uncanny pace and I think the buzz that accompanies this age of innovation is only  a product of what began this many years ago in the 20’s.

Do’s & Don’t of Business Blogging – From Ivesp.com

So I found a brilliant post on blogging for business. It includes a whopping 152 tips. I am posting the the 1st 15 here but I encourage you to read all of the by clicking here.

  1. Do host your blog on your own domain
  2. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars hosting your blog when you are first starting out.
  3. Do make sure your blog can handle traffic from social media sites
  4. Don’t go for too cheap/free hosting plans. You do not have to spend a fortune since you can get a decent host for less than $20 a month.
  5. Do brainstorm 30-40 topics for your blog before you start
  6. Do have 10 posts written and posted before you launch the blog
  7. Don’t create filler posts to have 10 posts for launch
  8. Do invest money to get a professional blog template
  9. Don’t think that you have to spend a fortune creating a professional looking blog. A professionally designed template can cost as little as $400
  10. Do comment on other blogs in your field before starting out
  11. Don’t spam other blogs just to get your name out there
  12. Do define success metric for your blog before you start blogging
  13. Don’t set unreasonable success goals that are too difficult or too easy to achieve
  14. Do understand why you are blogging
  15. Don’t think that blogging will solve your business problems

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