Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Lit Maven is Putting on Her Big Girl Pants!

So the Lit Maven is moving over to a new domain...

Please come visit me over there!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Part Five: Twitter for Educators...Organizing Your Tweets

This is the Fifth post in the twitter series...Twitter for Educators: The Only Guide You Will Need. Please see the end of this post for the series' links.

Last time we talked about adding hashtags to make your tweets easier to find. You search for a hashtag(#) in the twitter search feature, as identified by the magnifying glass. 

You can find a number of posts related to that hashtag. For example #oilers:

This is a great browsing feature but it becomes time consuming to check all your hashtags this way. There is actually another way to view and save hashtags. I use Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a third party application that can used to organize your hashtags into their own columns or as Hootsuite refers to them as streams. 

Here is a screenshot of  three of my streams on my ipad.

The Benefits of Streams

1. Streams make it easier to participate in "chats". (I will blog about this next)
2. Streams function as curator for likeminded conversations. Grouping conversations by hashtags into streams gives you a chance to see the big picture of what people are talking about over time.
3. Streams help to keep you informed about what is going on in your city. I set up streams to follow the city I am in #yeg, the traffic in my city #yegtraffic and what is going on in my school district #ecsd.
4. Streams add to your professional development. I have set up streams to follow conferences that I am attending  #ira2013 and not attending #ira2014. 
4. I set up streams that are aligned with my interests such as #writing or #nanowrimo.

Here is a helpful video to get you started.

Other Posts in the Series
Part 1: Getting Started With Twitter
Part 2: Responding To Your Twitter Feed
Part 3: Composing a Tweet
Part 4: Using Hashtags

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stop the Presses! You Can't Make a Living Writing!...Katy Perry Disagrees

The Lit Maven has been learning up a storm! But better than that, she has been earning her Great Work MBA.

The most amazing online conference ever! Hosted by Michael Bungay-Stanier, it is for anyone who wants to do Great Work.

What is great work?

I am encouraged that I am approaching the great work of my life. Recently I heard back about an article I submitted.

I am a contender!

I will let you know how that pans out in January.

I have proof I am approaching Great Work! I announced to a colleague about my plans to pursue writing as a serious possibility.

This was the face I got.
and the response:

(Note: All writers in the world are's not about the money!)

Was the Lit Maven crushed? 


Lit Maven ...seriously?

No! I am serious. Instead, I was thinking yes!  I must be on the right path for me. 

My friend doesn't get it. 

But her response to me, made me want to try even harder. Why? Because my journey is towards Great Work, and writing is a huge part of that.

Jonathan Acuff addresses family and friends in his book Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters 

"How can we carry dreams in our heart for years, maybe even decades, and then expect our friends and family members to understand them perfectly? They won't. Don't be surprised by that. Don't be devastated by that. Don't think it's because you've failed to explain it the right way. There's going to be some degree of disconnect. It's your dream, not theirs. Give them the gift of patience. Give them time to understand your dream." (p. 181)

Until then, consider signing up for your Great Work MBA.

Katy Perry?  Lit Maven?

Oh yes...My new theme song of course.

I am ready to 'bout you?

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Part Four: Twitter for Educators...The Only Guide You'll Need

So the last three parts, you have signed up on Twitter, found some people to follow, replied, retweeted and perhaps composed a message or two.

Today we are going to learn about hashtags.

Egads...I have been wondering about those. Well, it's your lucky day.
  • Hashtags are comprised of a pound sign (#) followed by some words, letters and/or numbers.
  • Hashtags make ideas/topics/conversations easier to find.
  • Hashtags are a special type of tag.
So How Does This Work?

Let's look at an example. Here is the tweet from last post.

Hey! What is up with the Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

Here it is with the hashtag.

Hey! What is up with the #Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

Now this tweet is more searchable for other users on Twitter.

Fun Facts about Hashtags
  • There is no limit to the amount of hashtags in a tweet other than the 140 character limit.
  • Major cities often use airport codes to identify themselves. Edmonton's airport code is Yeg so the hashtag for Edmonton is #Yeg. 
  • Here is fun list of all the NHL team hashtags and Twitter accounts.
Let's add #Yeg to our tweet.

Hey! What is up with the #Yeg #Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

On your twitter home page you find a section on the lower left side labeled "Trends" There will be a list of hastags that are currently trending. If you select one, a list of tweets will pop up. You might find some interesting information or some new people to follow.

Next post...we will look at organizing our Tweets. 

Twitter Series
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Until Next Time,

Lit Maven Out!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Part Three: Twitter for Educators...The Only Guide You'll Need

In the last few posts, you have signed up on Twitter and you have found some followers.

If you have been extra wonderful, you have also tried to reply or retweet.

Now you are ready for the next adventure...composing your own TWEETS!

How to Compose Tweets Even John Tesh Would Love

1.  There is one rule:

A tweet can only be 140 characters or less. It includes letters, numbers, symbols, spaces, weblinks and elipses...I love elipses...

2Things to tweet about.
a) profession related
b) hobby related
c) life related

You do need to consider your followers and their interests otherwise write your tweets in a diary.

3.  Basic Tweet - Just Words

Hey! What is up with the Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

Note: This tweet is straight up fancy smancy.

4. Adding a Link to a Tweet

The process can be as simple as...writing a tweet and copying and pasting a link on the end...but often the link is too long. See below.

Hey! What is up with the Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

You need to get a URL shortener to fix this.

         1. Go to
         2. Paste your link into the shortener.
         3. Copy the shortened URL and  add it to your tweet....

Here is the new Tweet.

Hey! What is up with the Oilers? Are they still rebuilding?

Yay success!

I think that is plenty for today! Have fun adding links. Let me know if this is helping you.

Next post we will be getting into HASHTAGS...

Twitter Series
Part One
Part Two

Until Next Time,

Lit Maven Out!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Part Two: Twitter for Educators...The Only Guide You'll Need

Last post we signed up and and found some friends.

Now...what to say?

I thought about this a lot last night and I think before you can understand what to say, it is important to understand how to work with what other people have already said.

Twitter is about engaging with others and not just tweeting about yourself.


1. Understanding your home feed.
1. Your home feed, as you view it on is the conversation of all your followers. This is like having all your friends talking at once, in one long stream of disjointed conversation.

It looks like this

2. Reply

If you think that something is interesting. Click on the tweet messsage. The tweet will enlarge. You will see a series of symbols.

The first symbol is the reply button.

When pressed you will get a reply box with the address of the person who sent the message. For example if you hit reply to the message about Kellogg's Tweet shop (above) you would see this:


Following the tweet address you can fill in a response or comment.

@FastCoCreate I wish I could use social currency to buy groceries.

...or something more interesting.

Then press send. The message is sent back to the person who tweeted it and it is also viewed by of your followers.

3. Retweet
If you see a message in your feed that you think your followers (friends)  would like to read press "retweet".  The second symbol is the retweet button.
When you press retweet the entire message appears in the status box with a RT (retweet) in front of the message.

Using the above "Kellogg's" tweet as an example it would look like this:

RT @FastCoCreate Kellogg's Tweet Shop Let's You Pay for Food with Social Currency CSZoh

The "RT" gives credit to the person who composed the original message. It is like saying...

 "Hey everyone...guess what so and so's brilliant. Listen up. Pay attention. He/she has the goods."

After you press "send" the RT message is sent to all of your followers.

4. Favorite
Sometimes you just love a tweet so much that you need to keep it for later. This is when you select the symbol:
 When you press the favorite symbol, the tweet is saved for later, to find under your twitter profile...under favorites. When you "favorite" a tweet, the person who sent the tweet is notified that you "favorite-ed" it. (Is that even a word?)
I think this is plenty for today. Next post I would like to continue the conversation about composing your own messages to impress even John Tesh...etc.
Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!
Twitter Series

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Part One: Twitter for Educators...The Only Guide You Will Need

I work with many teachers.
They love Pinterest.
Twitter... not so much.

It got me to thinking how I could explain Twitter so that they would try it.

So here is what I came up with...when in doubt go the pop culture route! (pronounced "Rowt" in an effort to be clever and whimsical.)

SCROLL down to getting started with Twitter if you are anxious and on a timecrunch.

But for those who want the full are the differences between Pinterest and Twitter...

There is a difference in effort.

Pinterest is like sitting in hot tub. (relaxing)

Twitter is like lane swimming in a pool. (invigorating with some effort)

And they look different...

Pinterest is all about the pictures.

Twitter is all about words.

And they are for different things.

Pinterest is all about Show and Tell.

Twitter is all about conversation and building a professional learning network.

It's not to say that they don't overlap. They do. But I think you do need both.


Getting Started with Twitter

1. Sign Up at

Think of your username as your namecard. Who are you?

  • Use your real name. Why? Because it's professional and because @Tootie or @Macgyver are from the 80's and you don't want to date yourself.
  • If your name is taken, add a middle initial, or two.

RECAP... you are now in a giant "cyber" room, with your name tag on, standing around self consciously like you are at a high school dance. 

You need to find some friends...

2. Find some friends.

  • Old school ....In the search feature  (see below) look up real friends.  The ones you have met in ...the REAL world. GASP!
  • New school...Check out the "who to follow" section (bottom left of picture below).  Twitter suggests friends for you. 

    For both old school and new school discoveries follow these steps to add them to your list.

            1. Check out their profile first.
            Click on the person's name (in bold).
      A profile will enlarge.

      Are their profiles interesting?
      Would you invite these people to dinner? ...or have a conversation with behind a locked screened door?

      NOTE: Relax. This isn't lifematch or e-harmony. These are not forever friends. This is not to say that some might become really good friends in time but you can always unfollow them. There is no limit to who you follow. Eventually you will have a whole assortment of followers
                  2.  Press the follow button.

    After you press "Follow" the usernames are added to your followers list. 

RECAP...You are now in a giant "cyber" room, with a name tag on, with a small group of friends, wondering what to say...

Next Post:
Tweet Language!  Composing a Tweet that would even impress John Tesh!

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!