Book Review: The Referral Engine – Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

The Referral EngineWhat if you created a business that automatically referred business to itself? What if we could get current customers to send new clients to our business? John Jantsch believes that this is not only possible but very much doable. In his book, The Referral Engine – Teaching Your Business to Market Itself, he provided guidance for creating a referral process within the business process.

“Human beings are physiologically wired to make referrals” (Jantsch, 2012, p. 3).

While I was reading this book, I thought that this book was highly appropriate to Extension educators and programs. We need to harness our repeat customers to gain new customers. We need to create such buzz that they are all but happy to refer others to use our services. Continue reading

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Extend your presentations through reuse screenshotThe more you give, the more you shall receive in return. I have been hearing this phrase over and over lately. It has been in the books I have been reading and the podcasts I have been listening to. As educators, I believe it is something we should regularly be doing. When we share information and knowledge, we never lose it, but more people benefit from what we share. In Extension, I believe we should be freely giving away everything we know. Some people do not agree. At one time, knowledge was power, now the sharing of knowledge is power.

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How to make Automatic a little more automatic

Computer screenshot of AutomaticLast month, I picked up a device for my car called Automatic. The device plugs into the data port of the car and records data about your car, driving, location, and gas usage.

I has been interesting using Automatic so far. I have certainly been more conscious of my driving habits because I want to get a better score each week. Automatic will record your behavior in terms of hard braking, rapid acceleration, and speeding. Unfortunately, Automatic will chirp when you when you exceed 70 mph, and in Wyoming, some roads are 80 mph.

The Automatic device uses Bluetooth to connect to the Automatic application on your smartphone. It works with iPhone and Android phones.

Screenshot of Automatic screen

Automatic will also let you know where you left your car. I have honestly needed this feature in days past.

Automatic also has a desktop dashboard where I can take a more in depth look at what my vehicle is doing. In addition to monitoring my driving habits, Automatic also lets me know about engine trouble lights and what the codes mean. It is useful information that I can report to my mechanic. Finally, Automatic has the capability of alerting others in the event of a crash. Naturally, you must have cell and GPS coverage.

Automating Automatic

Automatic has a lot of capabilities straight out of the box, but it can be extended by combining it with IFTTT. Here are some ideas for leveraging Automatic and other technologies:

You can learn more about these recipes at IFTTT. As I write about this, there are 283 recipes focusing on Automatic.

There are a lot of fun and useful ideas for leveraging Automatic and IFTTT. You can use Automatic to communicate with others, log information, or control devices such as Belkin, Nest, or Philips Hue. You can even send information to Google glass and Android Wear devices.

What ideas do you have for leveraging Automatic?

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Book Review: The Digital Scholar – How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice

The Digital ScholarThe world is changing rapidly; is higher education adapting as fast? Martin Weller explores this topic in his book The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice. I found this book to be prophetic as I watch what is happening around me in both higher education (HE) and Extension. As Weller pointed out, and I totally agree, we (HE) can be doing more to adapt to the effect that technology is having on the education profession.  Continue reading

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Tubarks Tales, Episode #9

This is another episode of Tubarks Tales; I will be talking about where I get some inspiration as well as some cool tools. Continue reading

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