Staying On Top!
An extremely exciting announcement goes out today about the new way that activity and discussions on Land Surveyors United works. When on the main page of the network, you will now see something somewhat similar to a feature we had in the past (which i had hacked to run inside the network for years hoping to encourage Ning to integrate) but today it works quite differently. When you update your status from this box, you will instantly see your status posted in real time without leaving the page! The same goes for starting a short discussion or sounding off. Other surveyors on the network will also see your post in real-time and can instantly reply or discuss. Even better, by checking the boxes for facebook and twitter will also save you time by posting your status for you to those accounts.
Many of our old schoolers should find this feature to be a welcome addition as it functions as a modern, updated version of the old surveying forum boards like POB, in addition to blowing the socks off of certain other more recent forum sites which have set out to mimic what I've been trying to accomplish with LSU, but have stripped out the support aspect of the situation. Next week, this new feature will surely get some action when our new Android and Iphone apps for the network are released! Head over to the main page and try it out when you're finished reading the rest of this post!
Groups Are for Specificity, Pages are for Particulars
Forums are for the network at large and surveying discussions in general. Groups, however are for highly specific and focused discussions related to a particular aspect of land surveying or surveying practices related to a location on earth. With that said, I come to you all today announcing that you can now add pages to groups you belong to. For example, if you belong to the South Carolina Land Surveyors Group, you might like to add a page called "Famous SC Land Surveyors" or "SC Land Surveyors on Facebook." No matter what you call the page, just make sure it is related to some aspect of land surveying in your particular area. If you're interested in becoming the moderator or what we call a "Local Lord of Surveying" for your area, send me a message or join this group and drop a comment and lets see what we can work out together.
Some Ideas for Pages You Might Like to Add:
Surveying Projects you've Worked On
Continuing Education Options for Your State
Famous Surveyors From Your State
Historical Surveying Information
Photo Galleries (Upload Albums in Photos and Embed into Page)
Embed Live Webinars
Be Sure to Give Your Page descriptive Titles!
By now the majority of us are fully aware of how news in the land surveying industry is made these days. Land Surveyors United is of course the forerunner for providing a place for the common everyday surveyor to actually become the news, for those who are just catching on. But how do we keep up with all of this streaming data and syndicated information? Much less find a place to jump in and create something to share? Well, in this post will show you two brand new ways to simplify your life while staying on top of the latest discussions and visual media streaming through LSU. But first lets take a quick look at some of the ways that have been created in the past for keeping track of the latest activities.
The Official Land Surveyors Toolbar [find it here]
This is the all around best solution for keeping track of everything which gets shared and discussed on Land Surveyors United in real-time, right from any browser. Just install it and it does all of the work of importing and presenting the latest content on the network. Even when you are not logged on to the network, you can see the latest happenings on LSU right from this browser toolbar extension. Then simply jump in when you have something to comment or suggest. In the meatime, get all of your weather, tasks, mapping and online tasks accomplished easier and faster with this toolbar.
Joining Groups Based on a Topic or Location
When you join a Support Group on LSU, you are immediately on your way to customizing your own unique support network based on your general (or specific) location, a topic which you are passionate about or a type of equipment which you are either learning or have already mastered. Your profile and network becomes more diversified and your influence grows according to your particular level of participation. Everyone on LSU will have a unique combination of groups in which they belong and support. "Support" involves the active willingness to add your opinion or perspective to a particular discussion related to a particular topic. No matter what your perspective may be, the act of adding it to any discussion on LSU increases the likelihood of more participation from your fellow surveyors. When new activity occurs within your groups, you receive notification via email and thus LSU gives you the "heads up" for another opportunity to voice your take on the subject. The same occurs when you start a new discussion within a group-your fellow members within that group get notification of a new opportunity to go deeper with their opinions on said topic. This is how we change this industry and the eliminate privatization of vital information which can harm a surveyor or even threaten ones job security. Basically, sharing what you know best in land surveying, if done fairly regularly or often, can actually become a form of job security on Land Surveyors United. This network gives surveyors the ability to become not only an authority on a subject, but perhaps even create a bit of fame in years to come due to consistent contribution to a specialized arena within the industry. Very few companies will ever fire an industry expert. If you put enough of your spare time into this network, you will become that expert.
If you're interested in ways that you can contribute what you know, here is a good article to start with.
Land Surveyors United Mobile Version
You can always keep up with the latest news from any mobile phone simply by pointing your mobile web browser to http://landsurveyorsunited.com/m This version is compatible with any mobile device with web access. We also have an Android / Iphone app and fully location aware mobile version of the entire network which is still in the final stages of development. For those of you who are interested in this alternate mobile version (which will eventually become the default mobile network), please consider making a small donation to the network as it could be brought to a point of completion much sooner with a little bit of financial support from the community.
Our Two New Ways for Staying On Top of the Latest Activities
Make This Netvibes Page Your Home Page
I have created this handy one page site on netvibes which has all of the latest posts, photos, videos, discussions and happenings on LSU all in the same place. On this page you can see everything that is occurring across the surveying globe right in one place. By switching tabs you have access to helpful tools for Surveyors online (many which also come with the toolbar) such as weather, mapping, to-do lists, communication, email, etc. Simply visit this page and set it as your browser homepage if you like. From then on you will have a dynamically updated source of information and tools everytime you open your browser. In any case, you might like to bookmark it for quick reference. It will change and become even more useful as time goes on.
A One Page Surveying News Wall
In another experiment, I made a one page LSU News Wall, which dynamically displays the latest activity in all categories all in one place. This may be better for sharing with your fellow surveying friends which aren't yet members on Land Surveyors United. Attached to this page is a simple introduction mini-site which explains many of the various aspects, goals and features on our network. Feel free to pass it on or even send me suggestions on things that you think should be added to it. Like I said, an experiment of exposure.
How Do You Become the News Maker?
Put simply, I have engineered every aspect of Land Surveyors United in such a way that every single surveying related thought that crosses your mind becomes both news and an opportunity to support someone in a similar situation at some time in the future. Updating your profile status and letting us know the type of work you're doing from day to day gives us a better idea of the type of surveyor you are and what you specialize in. This gives us a pretty good idea of the types of questions other surveyors can look to you for support.