New Blog Theme—Michigan Tech 2016!

new-blog

Look to the left, the top, or the right of this post. What do you see? You should be seeing our new WordPress theme! Earlier this year, we launched the new Michigan Tech homepage to much fanfare and with all the positive reactions, we had the idea to rollout the new design for our blogs.

OK, I admit: this was the plan all along. Starting now, as long as you are an admin for a blog hosted here on blogs.mtu.edu, then you have access to the new design and can enable it in just a few steps.
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Calendar EventReach Score

If you are a Michigan Tech Event Calendar admin you may have noticed the EventReach score when you are adding events to the system. What do that score and all the checklist items mean?

EventReach Score window

According to the system vendor, “EventReach is a way to measure the expected ‘reach,’ or audience awareness, an event has.” They have discovered that including certain information in your event listing has a huge impact on increasing awareness and attendance at events. EventReach is the tool they developed to quantify those pieces. This “reach” comes from Google/Search Engine Optimization (SEO), within the Michigan Tech Event Calendar, and through post-event engagement.
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Best Practices: Search Engine Optimization and Usability

Do you have pages with a lot of text and wonder if that is OK? Are your pages user-friendly? Do you want to increase your search engine rankings? Here are some tips to make your website better for your users and increase your visibility in searches.

Content-Rich Page Examples

The What is Biomedical Engineering page shows good use of headings in a page that has a lot of content. The sections don’t drag on because the headings break up the content. They also make the content more scannable for both users and search engines. Using the images to break up the large amount of text rather than placing them at the top or side of the page is another way to make the page more user-friendly.
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Posting Events to the University Calendar

There are two ways to post events to our Events Calendar:

General Campus Community

Calendar Admins

  1. Login to the calendar using the link in the header.
  2. Once logged in, click the “Calendar Admin” shortcut in the header.
  3. Click the “Add an Event” button in the Events menu.

Please note that calendar admins have access to additional fields that do not exist on the public event submission webpage and skip the approval queue.

If you are a calendar admin, please use the event submission form available through your Admin login, as specified above. If you do not have admin access, but often add events for your department, please request access by sending your name, user ID, and department(s) to webcal@mtu.edu.

Tips for Posting an Event

The following is a step-by-step guide for filling out your event information:
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Events Calendar Management

Our new Events Calendar has been a huge success so far, with over 43,000 views in the past month, representing an 85% increase in calendar use compared to last year. We have learned a few things along the way and want to explain a few changes that we have made, along with some best practices, and new features.

The Problem

Consider the following scenario:

  • Career Services adds Career Fair to the calendar
  • Many different departments want to put this event on their calendar as it is a very popular event
    • Some departments use the Contact Us form to have the event properly added to their own department’s calendar
    • Some departments duplicate the event onto their calendar
  • We end up with 7 copies of the same event floating around in the system, causing user confusion
  • The original event now appears to involve several departments instead of only the originator (in this case, Career Services)

Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? Luckily, we have made some adjustments and have developed some ‘best practices‘ to alleviate this common issue.
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Please Attribute Sources to Migrated Content in Blogs

Attention web liaisons: if you copy existing content into your department’s blog from a web page or another source, please ensure that you have given credit to the author(s) by adding a byline. This policy applies to content that is authored by any member of the campus community (except for Tech Today), including individuals within your department, not only content that originates outside of the University. Plagiarism charges may be filed if credit is not given where it is due.

Thank you.

– UMC Web Team

Note: This was originally posted on October 4th, 2012.


Using Giving Codes

Your CMS website may contain a section listing giving opportunities within your department. Using specific giving codes entwined with the “Make a Gift” links on your website is a great way to encourage your website users (such as students, alumni, or others) to give donations to your department. Instead of simply providing links to the Office of Development’s online giving form, you can provide links that attach codes indicating specific giving designations (giving codes). This will pre-fill the giving form with specific account number and gift designations and will help ensure that donations are directed to the appropriate funds. A great example is the Giving Opportunities webpage of the  School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science website. Each giving link is for a specific giving fund.

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