Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Language Barriers, Time Zone Challenges, and More Lessons from E2

Two years ago, I was selected to attend the Education Exchange (E2) in Australia but prior to going, the conference was delayed and then canceled. Now, in 2022, E2 has gone virtual. While it means I don't get to travel to Australia (yet) it also means that I had an amazing opportunity. I was selected to be part of a team of four to present one of the breakout sessions.

Sadly, one of our four team members never responded to emails so we ended up a team of three. But we were a magnificent team of three. That is of course once we finally got started. That was one of the major lessons I learned from this experience. All three of us were located in different time countries (United States, South Africa, and Viatnam) which meant three time zones and two languages.

Our team
When we were first teamed up, it took a while to find that time that worked for all of us and it seemed we were all of the mindset that we didn't want to start on our own and waited for the others. Finally, I created a Word file in OneDrive and we all started just free-flowing our ideas and commenting on each others. Then, one of my teammates created the Powerpoint template and we all added slides to the deck. It was slow because there was long wait periods between feedback and changes but eventually we got it together, with less than 24-hours to spare. 

This experience was a great learning experience and I look forward to when E2 is held in person again.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Spam Filter Enabled

This is a little sad, but I had to turn on comment moderation for my blog. As of right now, I don't get many comments on posts here, but within the last week I had over half my posts, new and old, receive random comments. All filled with text about online casinos and hyperlinks to... I don't know, I didn't click the links. 

I deleted the comments and felt it necessary to turn on comment moderation. This means that if you would like to comment on one of my posts, I will get an email and need to manually approve the comment. I want everyone to comment on my blog even if they disagree with me, but I need to prevent these spam posts. I promise that as long as your comment is related to the blog I will approve it to be displayed, even if I disagree with you. The only comments I will ignore are ones such as those casino spamming comments. 

I have a feeling these spammers are trying to build their SEO by having random websites link back to their site. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization. I only am beginning to understand marketing and SEOs as I've taken a bunch of courses through LinkedIn Learning and HubSpot. The basics and what I believe the unfortunate purpose of these spam comments is that search engines such as Google and Bing rank sites based on their validity and popularity. Therefore, if more people link to a site it improves that site's ranking on the search engine. Links for ranking purposes must come from external sites. For example, if I link this post to a previous post, that won't affect either post's ranking because they are internal links. 

Page 3 of a Google search
Side note: While going to grab a screenshot of a Google Search, I discovered on page three of searching my name, I've finally been published. I wrote an essay almost two years ago and submitted it for an anthology on mentorship in education. I remember signing papers giving permission to publish it but I never heard anything after that so I forgot about it. I guess the lesson is sometimes it's worth going past page two of search results.