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U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

November 28, 2012
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150TH Anniversary of the largest indian mass execution in U.S. history

Contact: Juan Ayala                                                Email:
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Mankato, Minn., — In 1862 38 Dakota warriors were hanged “in the heart” of downtown Mankato. The public radio show, “This American Life,” describes this event on its most recent episode titled ” “Little War on the Prairie.” Radio host Ira Glass invited as guest Mankato native John Biewen to talk about this unspoken event that took place at the same time of the American Civil War.

December 26th marks the 150th anniversary of the largest indian mass execution in U.S. history. An barely taught to Minnesota students who arrive to college without knowing what happened there.

Facts of the war and the executions:

  • Three men and two women, were killed by Dakotas
  • Minnesota’s Governor, Henry Sibley, tricked the Sioux into signing a treaty giving almost all the money away they received to pay off his debt
  • Dakota Chief, Little Crow led the uprising in 1862
  • August 18, 1862 Little Crow led Dakota Warriors on their assault on a federal outpost
  • Lincoln wrote a list of 38 Dakota names to be hanged
  • “We invent a fake history for ourselves that doesn’t deal with the complexities.There is a delusion at work about who we were.”

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Grading MNSU

November 19, 2012
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The grade Minnesota State University, Mankato got from Marketing Grader was a 75. Although it looks like a low grade, Yale University had exactly the same grade. However, Harvard University had a 94 score. One of the things Harvard is doing right, is interacting with its audience and using Twitter to the fullest, according to Marketer Grader.

Things MNSU is doing right

MNSU is posting new information periodically. Marketing Grader categorizes this information as a blogging. Also, according to Marketing Grader, this blog is easy to find and contains an RSS feed.

According to Marketing Grader, the MNSU website is using SEO correctly. It uses links to other pages and provides images with almost every post. MNSU also provides a mobile version its website.

In addition, Marketing Grader gave MNSU a good review of their analytics. They have a fair amount of unique visitors per month. However, this is kind of obvious since students log in their accounts a high amount of time to their D2L account.

 Things MNSU is lacking

MSNU does possess a Twitter, but it received a low score since it does not Tweet as often as they should. Marketing Grader says they should Tweet more.

Most of the low grades MNSU receive come from Twitter. They are not getting enough mentions on the web.

Going back to the blog, MNSU does not really possess a blog, but it should offer a way to subscribe by email.

Finally, Market Grader recommends having Apple icons for those who have an iPhone or an iPad to access faster their site.

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How to use SEO and Google Adwords

November 12, 2012
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How can a journalist or a businessman use SEO and Google Adwords to his advantage?

The most important things in SEO are the keywords you use whether it is on your headlines, stories or links. Keywords are what the Googlebot or any other search-engine software will look for. in the case of Google, the Googlebot, a search software, will crawl and find all those articles that are in the web. He will then group them according to the topic and rank them.

It is important to know how to properly use keywords. Otherwise, no matter how good you content is, it will never be on the front page of a Google search. There are four major points that should be put into consideration when trying to be the number one option for a search-engine software:

  • Links: Links that always work are mandatory, but links from trustable sources are even better.
  • Good content: Fresh new content with information that constantly being updated.
  • Dates: According to Maile Ohye, a Developer Programs Tech Lead for Google, it is easier for the Googlebot to find your content if you put the date between the title and the body.
  • Title: Of course, your title matters. If you use overloaded titles with too much content it will be difficult to find and group.

Simple tips can make your company or article be the most popular on the web. It does make a big difference. Ohye also says that creating a Youtube channel is an excellent way to get yourself known.

Having links on your page from other well-known sites is a must and being connected with other people is important as well. Googlebot will take all of that into consideration.

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Live-Tweet on Nov. 6

November 11, 2012
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I was not really planning on being part of the group that was going to participate on Twitter, using the #mass330 hashtag. I knew what is was going to be like. Following almost 300 people, I always have a hard time catching up on all the new information that coming through. Could you imagine during the #election2012?

Three years ago I decided not to have T.V. at home because it doesn’t let focus on what I think is important. I assumed that to be part of the #mass330 hashtag of that night you had to have at least a T.V. As curious as I am, I just decided to visit the #mass330 to see what was happening. All of a sudden, I was already involved.

I quickly realized that I didn’t need a T.V. or a radio to follow the elections. I decided to use Twitter and the people I follow to be part of #mass330. I jumped in the link the New York Times was providing that night, but it didn’t seem to work. Arianna Huffington post on her Twitter account a great link that I used to keep updating my tweets.

I spent almost three hours updating information for #mass330. I decided to stay only with one source and then compare it with the rest of the class. I had a great time looking at the different numbers and information that was coming through. The Huffington Post was updating their site every 30 seconds. However, not every 30 seconds the information changed. Probably every two minutes.

Although I decided just to Tweet about one source, I was constantly looking at other sources I follow, just to see what was worthy to retweet. In my opinion, that is also a great wat to live-Tweet.

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The Empty Chair

October 31, 2012
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If you ever wondered what my blog’s title means, is “the empty chair” in French. I have used this analogy before in my Spanish blog to describe what it means to be an international student. In that post, I described an empty chair in airplane. As you travel in this airplane, there is not a specific destination. However, the airplane makes several stops and the person that is seated next to you will leave and someone else will take his or her sit.

That’s what it means to be an international student to me. I have traveled and moved too many times. I have met many people and they sat next to me on this airplane, but then they leave. They become your friends during the fly. You get to know that person and we become best friends. After the plane reaches its destination, these people will get off and you will never see them again. It is an empty chair.

I started traveling by myself when I was 13 years old. I decided to leave my city, Bogota, in Colombia, to go to France. My blog’s background picture is from my city.
I went as an exchange student to Jougne, France, located in the border with Switzerland. That was the first time I saw snow.

When I finished school, I wanted to study my career in the United States. I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, to attend Texas A&M University of Corpus Christi, also known as the Island University. It was an actual island.


I spent six months in Texas learning English. I wanted to stay longer, but it was too expensive for me. I moved to a cheaper place in Nebraska. The Midwest is the place that isn’t shown in the movies or American TV shows. Nebraska was full of corn, ranchers and rednecks. I can honestly say the two years I spent Nebraska, were the most boring years of my life and yet the most meaningful ones. Going through hard times in such a lonely place made me grow as a person.

Finally, I moved to Minnesota. It’s been four and half years in the United States and I am still traveling in this airplane. Two years ago, I met someone in Colombia who also wanted to come to the United States just like me. She asked me for advice and I gave her three tips:

  1. Don’t trust anyone
  2. Never get too attached
  3. Time is limited, so spend it wisely

I knew she was hoping for a different kind of advice. Five months after she moved to Florida, she sent me a message.

“I learned number one the hard way.”

Just like I did.

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Achieving Immortality

October 28, 2012
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I recently stumbled upon a great article at the New York Times Magazine. The article, The Island Where People Forgot to Die, is actually an adaption from Dan Buettner’s article that is coming out on the next National Geographic edition. I was surprised at first to find out Buettner was actually from St. Paul, Minnesota. That made me enjoy this article even more.

We are less than two weeks from having a new president and everything seems to spin around too fast, but not for Mr. Buettner. In his article, Buettner met Stamatis Moraitis, a Grecian who moved from his native Ikaria to the United States in the 1940s. During that time, he met his wife, had kids and bought a nice house in Port Jefferson, N.Y.

When Moraitis was  in his mid-60s, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Moraitis, just to make sure it wasn’t a mistake, visited eight doctors who confirmed the first diagnosis. He decided then to move back to Ikaria with his wife, so he could spend his last days in his land since they gave him nine months at the most. Time went by and Moraitis was still alive. What’s more, he started feeling better and stronger. His cancer was gone.

What happened? Well, that’s what Buettner was trying to found out. He visited Ikaria and found out most its inhabitants were more 60 years old. He was surprised for the amount of people who lived more than the average American and lived longer lives. He decided to investigate the island with other two professional colleagues. They interviewed one of the few physicians in the island.

“People stay up late here. We wake up late and always take naps. I don’t even open my office until 11 a.m. because no one comes before then. Have you noticed that no one wears a watch here? No clock is working correctly. When you invite someone to lunch, they might come at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m.”

This amazing article emphasizes about the need of taking life slow and enjoy it to the fullest. A great message for the people who live in rush. Buettner did an excellent job researching about this subject and I can’t wait to read the entire article next month.

25 years after Moraitis moved back to Ikaria, he decided to visit the United States so the same doctors that examined him could explain why his cancer was suddenly gone.

They were all dead.

The New York Times Magazine also published a great set of photographs with some of Ikaria’s inhabitants. Needless to say these picture expose their usual “état d’âme”which is peace.

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October 22, 2012
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IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

Preamble Grievances and Pledge

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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HTML Exercise

October 15, 2012
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About HTML

There is a lot more you can learn about HTML. And the best place to turn for complete information on any topic related to Web design is, of course, the Web. The following sites offer helpful tutorials so you can learn more about HTML.

HTML Tutorials

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Indian Leader to Speak at Minnesota State University, Mankato

October 14, 2012
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Nationally known speaker, Vandana Shiva, will be this year’s Women and Spirituality Conference opener. Physicist, author and international sustainability leader, Shiva was described by the Time magazine as an “environmental hero.”

On this year’s conference Shiva will discuss “The Gendered Politics of Food,” including two sessions from more than 100 workshops. The opening day of the conference day brings 1,000 people to campus every year.


(pic:BTO Educational)

Shiva, expert on the “slow food” and biodiversity movements, founded Navdanya, a national Indian-based movement to protect resources and promote organic farming. She received the Alternative Nobel Prize and Earth Day International Award.

The conference, held at 11 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on Oct.31, will explore a variety of topics “through discovery, interaction, ritual and celebration,” a university-issued statement says.

Registration is required. Follow this link for a full list of workshops and sessions and a registration form.

More information on Vandana Shiva check out her Facebook page or follow her at @drvandanashiva

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The Social Media Specialist

October 7, 2012
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In one of my past posts I revealed I was a mixed martial arts practitioner. Before training MMA, I trained a different type of martial art, one called Jeet Kune Do. The latter was Bruce Lee’s martial art, the one he created when he was still alive. JKD schools are really hard to find, especially in Latin America, so I developed a close relationship with my master. I wanted to learn as much as I could. For three years, instead of taking regular lessons, I paid for private ones. The summer before moving to the United States, I told my master I was glad I knew everything I needed to know about JKD before I left.
“Not everything,” he said. “A good master never reveals all his techniques.”
I thought about it for a long time, until I finally agreed with him. Sometimes it is smart to keep some information for yourself.

Now, you may ask yourself, how is this related to social media? I will tell you why. My journey with social media started about five months ago and I want to share some of my “secret techniques” with you. As the social media intern for the Rotary Club District 5950 (feel free to like our page) we are creating a Facebook campaign to get more members to join the club and create involvement from the community. Here are some steps to consider if a company ever wants to have you as their social media person.
• Make sure your client is willing to spend money on advertising. If his intention is to have a nice Facebook page, do not accept the job. He will be paying you for maintaining a nice page that does not really have a specific purpose. After two months he will notice there is no change and he will blame you for this and fire you.
• If your client’s purpose is to spend money on advertising, make sure to identify the audience you want to target.
• Create the “share” icons for his website. You can find them at Share This. Make sure the icons are placed in the up right side of the page.

It is time to create a nice Facebook page. Remember Facebook is constantly changing and evolving. The reason for this is because they want you to use their widgets and apps. To create a nice Facebook page, I recommend first to visit Social Stage. You can create nice widgets for your Facebook page by putting different types of information. For instance, for the Rotary’s Facebook page, I used widgets such as testimonials, projects and a calendar for upcoming events. It is important to take your time. Finally, make sure to put a nice profile picture for the page. I recommend using the company’s logo.

Before targeting specific audiences with your client’s budget, make sure you know what your audience like. Start posting pictures, videos and information using Google’s url shortener. Make sure to keep track of how many clicks you are getting on each post and then rank each post by types of content. Was the video funny or sad? Was the picture informative or fun?

Remember this is a slow process, so do not get frustrated because it does take time. When you finally know what your audience’s preferences and you have a decent amount of fans, you can start using what is called the Edge Rank Algorithm. In a perfect world, your Facebook news feed would show you everything all of your friends and connections do. Since that’s not the case, Facebook helps you make the most of your time by showing you only the stuff that’s probably the most important. The algorithm Facebook uses to determine a post’s importance is called Edge Rank. How can you use it wisely?

• Interact with your fans regularly. The more you interact with a person or page, the more often their content will show up in their newsfeeds.
• The older a post gets, the less likely it is to show up in friends and fans’ newsfeeds. Try to post regularly, at least three times a week.
• Your post’s weight. The more content you have in a post, the more likely it is to show up in friends and fans’ newsfeeds. A photo gets more weight than a question. And a video gets more weight than a photo.

As I mentioned in a past post, it is all about engaging content. Think about the quality of your content. If you start posting things that do not make too much sense, you might lose some fans. I am sure there still is much more to know about making profit out of social media, but this is as far as I will go. As a good master, I do not want to reveal all my “secret techniques.”

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