About the Author
Margy Levine Young
Margy Levine Young is the Manager of the ITS Web Team, part of the Information Technology Service staff group of the UUA.

Switching to a Mac?

I’ve been forced to use a Mac for a few weeks, and as a diehard Windows user, the Mac has been driving me crazy. “Where did my window go?”  “Why can’t I get the Finder to act like Windows Explorer?”  “What programs are running?”  (Macs are sooooo intuitive, my eye!)

I just discovered that Lynda.com has a series of videos for Windows users who are learning to use a Mac. Log into Lynda.com with your UUA account and search for “switching from Windows to Mac.” There are also training videos for Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac (search for “office for mac”). Finally, I found a list of keyboard shortcuts, which make the Mac more PC-like.

I’m starting to get the hang of it!

Online discussions for UUs

You may not realize that the UUA hosts dozens of email mailing lists about UU-related topics, as well as for UU organizations. Thousands of people participate in these lists to share information about UUism and running UU congregations. Please consider subscribing – there’s a lot to learn! These lists can also be invaluable for getting the word out about UUA programs. The UUA encourages staff to participate in discussions to contribute facts and point people at UUA resources. Staff should avoid offering personal opinions on topics where it might be construed as “the UUA’s position.”

To subscribe, go to the lists.uua.org Mailing Lists page, click the list name, and fill out the subscription form.

Active Discussion Lists Description
Beliefs & Principles
Humanists A forum for friends of religious humanism
Interweave-d Discussions of interest to Interweave members and friends
Uucf-bible biblical conversation, study, and spirituality
UUJA-L For members of Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness
UURN Unitarian Universalist Religious Naturalists
UUTheology Discussion on UU theology
Social Justice
CSW-l Support and activity of the UUA social witness process
EthicalEating-Network Discussion of “Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice” the new Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) for 2008-2012
Globalwarming Discussion list for 2004 Study Action Issue on the Threat of Global Warming
Greensanctuary Green Sanctuary Prog – environmental congregations
Peacemaking-network Forum on the Creating Peace SOC GA 2010
UFETA Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry
UUJME-discuss UUs for Justice in the Middle East: Members/supporters discuss Middle East, and Peace/Justice issues in support of UUJME’s mission, purposes, and goals. (Membership requires approval)
UU-SpeakingPeace Network of UUs interested in Nonviolent Communication and other interpersonal peacemaking approaches.
Religious Education
Adult-RE Discussion on UU adult religious education program
Advisor-L Discussion Resource for Youth Group Advisors
COA-L Discussion of Coming-of-Age Youth Programming.
Owl-adult A resource to serve OWL for Adults and Young Adults teachers
Owl-child Trained UU leaders of OWL elementary curricula
Owl-l A Resource for OWL 7-9 and OWL 10-12 Teachers
Reach-l Discussion and sharing of UU Religious Education
Congregational Management
550plus Discussion and exchange of ideas for members of large UU congregations
Access-L Discussion about accessibility; ability and disability issues; ableism
Addictions-Ministry For discussion of Addiction Ministry efforts and accomplishments within our denomination.
Memb-l Discussion of UU membership and growth issues
Policygovernance-l Policy Governance model of board governance in UU congregations
Smalltalk A support list for small congregations (less than 150 members).
UU-Leaders Sharing information & support among UU lay leaders
UU-Money Information Sharing among Society Finance Leaders
Websters Building and maintaining UU webpages
Worship-l Discussion of Presenting Good Worship Services

Show Tweets on Your UUA.org Page

UUWorld Twitter widgetIf your UUA staff group has a Twitter account, you can add a module to the right-hand column of any UUA.org page that shows your most recent tweets. Or, you can maintain a list of Twitter accounts of people who post on a topic, and display tweets from all those people on your UUA.org page.

Instructions for adding either kind of Twitter widget — for one Twitter account, or for a list of Twitter accounts — are on the UUA intranet. Enjoy!

Cut to the Chase – Web Writing Series

Web Writing SeriesPeople don’t read web pages the way they read magazines or books. If they don’t see what they are looking for right away, they click a link, or press the Back button in their browser, or use the search box. Jakob Nielsen (the web usability guru) calculates that people have time to read perhaps 18% of your words before they move on.

You have only seconds to deliver your message! How?

Web Writing: What’s the Big Deal?

You probably write material for the UUA.org website or a UUA blog, at least on occasion. But does anyone read it?

Caution: You may be great at writing five-paragraph essays (the kind you wrote for school), scholarly papers, business memos, or sermons. But when people read web pages, their attention span is incredibly short.  If a page contains paragraphs of text with few links, headings, or bulleted lists, the reader is outta there within seconds.

The ITS Web Team is starting a series of articles entitled “Web Writing” about keeping material short, writing effective titles and headings, adding links, and other ways to help your readers find what they need.

Just can’t wait? Buy Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug or Letting Go of the Words by Janice Redish, or read Jakob Nielsen’s articles online.

photo courtesy of proz.com

Your E-vites and E-Newsletters May Get Spam-Canned

If you send out a newsletter, event invitations, or other automated emails, be sure to let ITS know. Otherwise, your mailings may get caught in our spam filter (Postini). Systems like Constant Contact, Salsa Labs, and Pingg send messages that look spammier than individually-sent messages. More than one staff newsletter has been identified as junk mail on its way into our mailboxes, so that no UUA staffers ever received it. The same can happen to e-vites and e-vite RSVPs.

If you let ITS know what you are up to, we can add the address from which your messages will be sent to our ”whitelist” – the list of trusted senders, so your mail will arrive safely.

Also see our article on writing email to avoid getting caught in spam filters.