Web Assignments – Week 1 Summer 2015
Nanalou has a newsletter…….and she wanted it embedded into the family story blog. She used an email service that gave her a good choice of templates and ease, but still very basic. NanaLou went through a lot of hoops to present her information to the rest of the family at the level she is known for – but way too much work on detail things when she could be spending the time on sharing her other talents.
This prompted me to identify this as my web assignment. While it is not telling a story of Holland Fairy Tales – it is a #ds106 tangent of which to pursue. More on the Holland fairy tales later – I did dive into them and enjoyed the tales!
Vertical Response – great free tool, but limited in features – doesn’t print to PDF, doesn’t archive. The work around is to use the View Online link and post it as a text link where ever you want others to access it. Not a bad solution -but I also found that NanaLou did that and the page that comes up is a registration page. This might explain the 50% open rate (which in marketing circles is pretty darn good – usually success is marked at 30%). Vertical Response support tickets had a similar request in its logs and this was the answer:
Hi there Laura,
While we do not generate a link so that you can archive older newsletters on your website, we do have a workaround. In order to generate the link, you will have to insert the “View Online” link into your email. It is normally added by default. If it is not there, you can add it to a text box by using the “Insert” drop down menu on the right hand side and selecting “Hosted Version Link”. Once you’ve launched the email to your recipients, click on the View Online link and copy the URL in your browser’s address bar. This is the link that you can put onto your website. Please ensure that you are only doing this with launched emails as it will not work with test emails. Feel free to let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!
The first thing I did was try and find a URL that would go back to the newsletter without having to login. I found one, but also wanted to make sure it did work and just was not accessing because of cache or other things on my machine. I found it was working by using another computer in the house and someone elses profile. I then created a shorter url for the link because it was way too long!! I am not sure if Vertical response stays consistent with its URLs – we will see. Nanalou – I did update the links in your post so that others did not hit dead ends.
The Burgeron site is also using WordPress.org and not a self hosted version so plugins are at the mercy of WP. This made finding solutions more difficult as the subscription is set up to help maintain security and is not as open to plugins.
Tried iFrames – but WP.org scrubs those out and makes it irrelevant. I searched the available widgets and no luck – nothing that would allow embedding another site or html. Suggestions were to create a new page. I tried that and came up with nothing usable.
PDF conversion didn’t work either and is not supported by VerticalResponse.
I have been working around with my Google account for this site so thought I would try for the Burgerons. Using Google Drive and docs is coming along nicely and was worth a shot.
Trying to get the newsletter as formatted with active links proved difficult. I could import and put things in a Google Doc but Copy and paste loses formatting from the template for the newsletter. It also smashed columns together. If it was a little different that would have beenen okay – but it was more like a cut and paste that was like spaghetti on a barn – some stuck and some didn’t. It didn’t meet quality criteria.
Even though it didn’t look quite right – I wanted to find out if it would embed and actually work if it was a GDoc. I titled it and then went to File>Publish to Web and chose embed. I copied the code and pasted it into WP – it worked! Great scroll bar and you can also resize the window of the embed in the code for different purposes. Filing that one for sure!
It still did not solve Nanalou’s issue. I tried Google slides, and draw – neither accepted the template features where they looked good enough to consider a solution.
I also tried taking the source code from the newsletter and pasting it in as text to see if it would replicate. It added a whole load of text and the newsletter. Might work – but to putzy for a solution.
Copying and pasting the newsletter itself added extra lines and table features that would be a bear to go through and delete.
So at this point – I have spent a good amount of screen time and futzing. I have come up with a better handle on using Google for embed into WP and if info is created in Google first to look good, that will be a solution.
Also did come up with the ability to use the links for accessing the Vertical Response newsletter. Creating a standard Newsletter header or graphic to hold the newest link and another going back to an archive of links might be a good solution and still add some visual.
Nanalou created a Pinterest page to give a visual for the newsletter. On that path I found this in the support logs. I don’t think it would have saved anytime or hoops – but it is what is available by the tool support.
Hi there Mel.
To better assist you, may I ask what format your poster is in? i.e JPG, GIF, PNG. If you do not know, you can right click on the image and select properties. A window should pop up displaying the file type. As long as it is in one of the image formats I listed above, you should be able to use our Social tool to create a social post. Here are step by step instructions, along with a video tutorial, to walk you through the process: http://helpcenter.verticalresponse.com/articles/VR2/Create-a-Social-Post/
I don’t have a product that came out of this web assignment, but it was time to spend on solution finding and trying new things out within tools and systems so that I can apply.
Thanks to NanaLou, Cousin Ron, and Sappho with work on Holland fairy tale history and creating. I am at this point on the consumable end of fairy tales over creating them. The resource links of stories has been great to use. I find I read and enjoy them and then remember I was supposed to be looking at how they are constructed, the style and flow etc. Instead – I have been purely enjoying them as a good story.
Reading the stories and seeing what others are creating is also helping in my support work on the Bovine PR Department team. Sappho had mentioned in a post that if Prisoner106 had a badge shouldn’t the Burgeron’s and the Fairy Tale Festival. This took me on the path of creating an animated GIF badge and with the support of the family a usable outcome came out of the efforts. It is great to have others give that gentle push to reach a little farther. Thanks Family!
And while not directly a Holland fairy tale – I did work on walking out of my comfort zone and recording audio for Mama Boo and Christina Hendricks for a remix of the 3 Bears and Goldilocks. It was actually fun and may make the next audio of self be a little easier to add in a product. I also spent some time looking for first sound effects for consideration by the group.
A few daily creates thrown in for some exercising some creative muscles.
One week into the festival summer and it seems everyone is giving one and gaining many. Totally cool!