Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

G+, Facebook, and Twitter – In one place


This find just changed the G+ game. . .

I came across a Google Chrome extension that does exactly what I’ve been looking for. It allows you to post from G+ (which is open to all to join now) and have it post on Twitter and on Facebook. Voila! It also pulls feeds from both of those services into your G+ stream. So in your new stream you will have Facebook, Twitter, and G+ posts – that you can interact with!

This page gives you a very simple graphic, and links to the extension and T and FB, showing how to install this.

When you first install the extension It puts a FB and Twitter icon up in the google bar (you know where it says; G+, Gmail, Calendar etc. See the screen shot below)  and you click them to sign into that service. I had to click each icon and sign in 4-5 times before it actually signed in.

Then when you are ready to post, you can choose to only post to G+, or only to G+ and Twitter, or only to G+ and Facebook. Bear in mind that when it posts to twitter it only takes the first 140 characters. When you are posting it does give you a character count so you can put the important stuff first or truncate it to fit.

Now when you click on  you will see your G+ friends, Facebook friends, and Twitter friends musings all in one place! AND you can post comments on the posts you see. I can comment on a FB post, or reply to a Tweet – right from G+.

When I first opened my G+ stream I was a little overwhelmed – that was a lot to sift through. Then I realized that Facebook and Twitter icons appeared in the list on the left under my “sparks”. But how to see just my G+ stream? Easy, I created a new circle called “G+” (you could call it “everyone” or whatever you want) and put everyone in it, then I can click on my new circle and see just G+ posts.

Or Clicking on the icon opens a menu: So you don’t have to have everything in your G+ stream if you don’t want.

So jump onto your Chrome browser (get it here), head over to https://plus.google.com/ sign up, check it out, add me: gplus.to/ChrisPirkl to G+, get the extension, sign into your other social media and enjoy!

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Favorite Blogging Site


I started blogging at Blogger (link takes you to my Blogger blog). I use(d) WordPress in my classroom (a separate blog that the students use to write about what they are reading). When I started blogging more regularly I decided that WordPress was better suited for my needs and wants. I posted this poll (and information) when I first migrated over to WordPress but would like to see if I can get some more feedback. Which do you prefer: Blogger or WordPress? If you use one of these sites or another site to blog let me know and tell me what you like/dislike about it. If nothing else it is another place to get your blog address posted.


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Test post using Zemanta


I just found this new site/add-on extension for blogging. It suggests content for you to add to your posts. As you type it analyzes the content and updates the pictures and articles that may be related to what you are writing about. The Firefox add-on also works for email, though I’m not sure if I’d ever use that. It also will promote your blog by recommending your site to people on other Zemanta. I’m going to give it a try and see what I think. As I’m writing this there aren’t too many related picture/videos, there are articles about Zemanta and blogging which I think may be attached to this blog somewhere when I post it. You will also notice a “reblog” button at the end of this post. You can excerpt my post and re-post it on your own site by using this button.

This is what I see as I’m blogging with the Zemanta add-on: You see those orange boxes? Those are ‘in-text link’ suggestions. All the links within the text were suggested and automatically added with one click. Pretty handy.

Not a very interesting or exciting post but they can’t all be winners. . . or can they?

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Reflection on the Area of Writing


Through school district that I work in I am taking a one credit class on writing. It is sort of a continuation of in-service days we had with the same instructor. We have to post a reflection once a month. Our first meeting was last night. The prompt that we were given is:

Here is where you can post your reflections for this month.  It might be about what you are wondering about teaching of writing, an idea that came from class about our histories as writers or anything else that you want to reflect on in the area of writing.

What follows is the nonsense with which I responded . . . enjoy

I have a confession to make: I had to dig my writer’s notebook out from under a pile of books that I’ve recently read, or are currently reading. My last ‘entry’ was Nov 3rd, 2009. This doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing however, it also doesn’t mean that there haven’t been times when I wished I had it with me. I think that it ended up in that pile during a time when I was grading essays and my bag was crammed with paper and I had to make a choice, do I really want to start carrying three bags to school? The answer came to me quickly – no! So the notebook was taken out to make room for student work, a noble sacrifice for the notebook to make.

I have been writing though, I mentioned my sporadic blogging (I write it and publish it for the pleasure of. . . well I’m not sure that anyone reads it, much less enjoys it) and I have been using Facebook for my own little soap box. I should be using the blog for my soap box; the thing is that what I’m writing about I am trying to engage others in conversation about and with my limited (okay non-existent) audience the blog doesn’t fulfill that need. I was asked by another blogger (that’s one reader!!) if I would like to be a guest author on her blog that deals primarily with book reviews, but I really want to stick with my own blog – maybe it’s an ego thing. One draw to the blog is that I can access it easily as long as I have internet access, and I can’t run out of space. I know that when I fill up my notebook it will get put away somewhere (I don’t throw things out – much to the dismay and frustration of my wife) and I’ll forget about it and rarely look at it. The blog lets me organize my entries with categories and tags that make it easy to find a specific entry long after it’s been written.

Something that I realized during the histories as writers exercise: writing is cathartic for me. Now I knew that already but I didn’t really realize how early I started using writing to deal with what was going on in my life. In middle school I would write stories with ‘made up’ characters who were going through things that were remarkably similar to what I was going through at the time, to be honest it was mostly about girls and is pretty hilarious to read now. In high school I began to write poetry, again to deal with girls, but also to deal with the divorce of my parents. I never shared any of this writing, I wrote it in a journal and didn’t look at it again until years later. As an adult I write to organize my thoughts, to formulate how I feel about a subject, to relate a funny story. I still write poetry, mostly for my wife (haiku for her birthday), often for examples in class. I haven’t written a piece of fiction (unless you count some of the grad papers I wrote) for a very long time and I miss it. I want to incorporate more fiction writing opportunities for my students, and for me. The in class writings we do provide a time to write fiction but I haven’t asked them to pick one to develop, yet. The students want it, they ask me about it. I tell them that it’s a good idea and I’d like to do some creative writing pieces, but with all that the curriculum asks of me I don’t yet have the skills I need as a teacher to work it into the year.

Reading over what I’ve just written I see that it is a meandering piece that makes many stops along the way and has no real focus other than ‘writing’. I’ve always admired Kerouac’s and Burroughs‘, stream of consciousness style of writing, let’s pretend that’s what I was imitating. . .

I’ve moved


Well here I am at WordPress.

I think that this will lead to a better experience for me and my reader -that’s not a typo I don’t think people read this, but prove me wrong, leave a comment, cast your vote in the poll below. There are more opportunities to customize the formatting and content of the blog. I’ve been using this site for awhile now in my classroom and am very comfortable with it and I’m happy to be here. Are you. . .

Do you think WordPress is better? Or do you want me back at Blogger.com?

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