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How to Change a Life: Prison Fellowship Program Helps an Ex-Convict Turn His Life Around

November 30, 2011 2 comments

After being charged with first-degree murder and serving over twenty-two years in prison, Steven Gunning is now a new man. Gunning spent his sentence at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility where he experienced a transformation in his life. In the time Gunning spent incarcerated he became a born-again christian and got involved with the Prison Fellowship program.

Gunning’s Path

Steven Gunning was sent to prison on April 17, 1989 for first-degree homicide. He was 32-years-old and faced many years in prison alone. He went in as an angry, difficult  and troublesome man. But through his hard times he found a light that helped him overcome this rough path. He gives the Lord all the credit for giving him the strength and courage to become a better man. And the Lord  lead him to the Prison Fellowship outreach program were he was given support and guidance. Gunning was released from prison on October 6, 2011. He hadn’t seen his family in well over 20 years. Gunning said that being with his family over Thanksgiving was the most emotional and joyful moment of his life.

 

 

The Impact and Affect of the Program

The program is formed to connect with inmates and help them overcome the mistakes that they’ve made in the past. Mentors work with different inmates in order to correct their bad behavior and give them the encouragement and support the inmates need to succeed in life and have a positive outlook. Gunning gives thanks to the program for providing him with a spiritual foundation.

What does Prison Fellowship Provide?

Prison Fellowship ministries is a christian-based outreach organization that focuses on criminal justice reform. The program provides the following:

  • Prison visitation
  • In-prison bible studies
  • Seminars
  • Mentoring
  • Educational training
  • Work and life-skills training
  • Counseling

With all that this program has to offer, inmates have the oppurtunity to do something positive with their lives and become more satisfied with themselves by learning what it means to be a better person and making a real connection with the mentors.

Google Map: Top 5 Places You Wouldn’t Want To Be Caught Without A Boat

October 27, 2011 1 comment
Categories: Google Map Tags: , , ,

The Social Media Revolution

October 19, 2011 3 comments

Social Media:  “Refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue,” according to Wikipedia. Well I think that Social Media is much more than that. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past several years, Social Media is something that surrounds us all, has evolved into the greatest form of communication and for some, it controls our lives.

After watching Did You Know 3.0 and Social Media Revolution, the information presented seemed overwhelming, so I went back and watched it again. I know that typically a day for me is consumed by Social Media, both on a personal and professional level, but there were some eye-opening statistics that were revealed in these videos. What I found most fascinating were some of the predictions that the “Did You Know 3.0” video made. One that stands out for me is that they predict by the year 2049, “a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.” Wow, that is simply stunning! Does this mean that computers are to one day take over and rule the world? Well, I don’t know about that, hopefully not in my lifetime. But it makes you wonder how far this revolution of technology can and will go.

I’d also like to point out how Social Media is integrated in our classrooms. I know that Social Media is important for your personal and professional life, but when the “Social Media Revolution” video claimed that kindergartens are teaching on iPads, I was surprised. I can understand why it’s important to have a good grasp on Social Media and technology, especially in the world we live in today, but a kindergartener learning on iPads instead of a chalkboard, really? Where are we going to draw the line folks? Soon enough we’ll get to the point were babies are born, they get their umbilical cord cut and then the doctor hands them an iPad and tells them to start learning. I think by the time kids enter Junior High they can become educated about that sort of thing, but before then is just wrong. That’s the time were kids learn how to be social with one another, like face-to-face, not in front of a screen. I would really hate to see this type of thing grow because I could see kids growing up and being anti-social or socially awkward.

In closing, these two videos made me realize how obsessed people are with technology and social media. I’m someone who appreciates and enjoys it, but at the same time I think there needs to be a balance. What I mean by that is keep it old-school at times, don’t forget how things use to be. Get outside and be active, integrate with the public, and be social with other people by communicating with them in person. Remember the days before computers when you would walk or bike over to a friend’s house and knock on their door to see them, writing letters, and actually using phones to dial and call someone? Don’t let those things slip away. On the other hand, you need to be up to date with social media if you ever want to make it in this world. It’s a fact. It’s just the way it is. Being technologically educated gives you a huge advantage in the professional field, and that’s why our teachers are teaching us about technology. Same thing goes for social media, we are taught about it because it can only help us in our career path as well as our social lifestyles.

Linking: It’s Reader Friendly

October 17, 2011 1 comment

Linking is something that most, if not all websites use. Links are reader friendly because by one click of your mouse you can be sent to another website and find further information of what you’re looking for, as well as different forms of multimedia such as videos or pictures.

3 Different Forms of Linking

There’s 3 types of links that I would like to discuss. Permalinks, main story links and sidebar links. All of them are important but have different functions.

  • Permalinks – Normally a link will take you directly to the top of the page of the web address, but a permalink will take you right to the specific blog post. The link will always direct you to the exact part of the web page that you the user is looking for, and it will never change no matter what is posted on the page, hence the name permalink (it’s permanent!)
  • Main Story Links – This kind of link is often used in a story, report, paper, etc. It’s best used when further information of a certain topic is needed. For instance, if you were to post a blog on the history of the Minnesota Vikings, you would first want to find a credible site, such as ESPN.com or NFL.com, and then find the exact webpage that has the facts to help your story. Then you would want to link the page directly into the text of your blog by underlining a key word or phrase (no more than 3 to 5 words) and then that would give the reader more information on the topic. The link I used for this (the Minnesota Vikings) is a perfect example of how to properly use a main story link.
  • Sidebar Links– This kind of link is very helpful when additional information that relates to the main story is needed. The term sidebar link is pretty self-explanatory, whereas the links will generally be off to the side. Unlike main story links where the link itself has to be incorporated into the story, sidebar links can be more sufficient in telling what it is. Let’s examine the example of the Minnesota Vikings history blog again. If you wanted to post additional information, like an article about why the Vikings haven’t won a Superbowl, you could use this type of link. A good example of this would be, “Top 10 Reasons Why the Minnesota Vikings Haven’t Won a Superbowl,” and the text would obviously be underlined and colored to inform the reader that it’s a link, and then from there it would take you to your Top 1o List.

In summary you should only use links that you would approve of and that the reader wouldn’t find offensive. Linking to illegal sites is wrong and can tarnish your credibility as a whole, thus ruining your reputation and diminishing your viewers and subscribers. Links should either help support certain topics in your blog or help clarifying and acknowledging something that has importance in your blog.

The Opportunities and Dangers That These Links Provide

Each of the links previously described can be very beneficial to your website or blog. Readers like links because they’re a quick and easy way to explore other information. But you have to be careful when linking because there’s also a negative side to it if links aren’t used properly.

Permalinks are nice because they save you time. If you’re looking for one blog post in particular, the permalink will direct you to the right web address instantly. The reader doesn’t have to go through the hassle of searching the site for the right page. But by using a permalink you’re giving the reader the opportunity to skip right to that page, so he or she is not aware of what else your web site has to offer. So it’s a good idea to also provide the homepage so the reader is encouraged to view the web site as a whole as well.

Main Story Links are helpful because they can give the story an extra boost. You are able to look at the story further when a Main Story Link is used effectively. On the other hand it can be difficult at times to use this type of link. A story should have good informative content that flows well together, and when you want to add a link that clearly states its purpose while not disrupting the overall flow of the story, it can be a challenge. You also want to keep in mind that giving a link in a story informs the reader that what you’re suggesting is important to the context of the story, so you should make sure that were you’re sending the reader is a site that works, has a sense of credibility, has quality information, supports what you’re saying and isn’t bias.

Sidebar Links are great because you have the ability to be much more flexible, meaning you can place your preferred links anywhere on your page and you don’t have to worry about placing and fitting the link somewhere in your story. The title of these links can be much more direct and to the point. This is also good for the reader because at any point he or she can move on to something else that’s relative to the story and then come back when the main story when they want. The link should reveal what information will be presented, and it should “tease” or “sell” to the reader so that they want to click on it. If you fail to word the link properly then that will in most cases hurt the amount of views that the link receives, and ultimately hurt your sites reputation in the long run.

Final Thoughts: Suggestions on Being a Productive Linker

All in all when it comes down to it the best piece of advice I can give is be smart and work hard. I realize it’s easier said than done but you need to put forth the necessary amount of effort if you want you web page or blog to prosper. Do what it takes to find the right links and then place them or word them in ways that make them appealing to the reader. There’s three things that you should always consider when linking. Is it informative? Is the content of what your sharing informative to the reader. If not then you need to re-evaluate what you’re doing. Is it legal? Almost all sites can be linked without any problems, as long as you’re not taking credit or implying that you created the content. And finally, is it ethical? The link should be professional, not bias and it shouldn’t be immoral. Afterall the links, wether or not you agree with them, are a reflection of yourself, so be careful. The last thing you want to do is make yourself or your company look bad. You should also refrain from linking information to your companies competitors, that’s just common sense. If you can digest all this information and put it towards your work then linking can have a positive impact and push you towards a more positive, successful and credible website or blogs.

Categories: Links Tags: , , ,

aFirst-Time Tweeter: What I’ve Learned

September 15, 2011 1 comment

The world of Twitter has always been something that I’ve found to be repulsive, somewhat annoying and a waste of time. For someone like me who is more about the act of actually doing something, like hanging out with friends or going to an event, rather than informing people what I’m up to and being concerned with what others are doing, I just don’t feel the need to have Twitter as apart of my life. I’m not here to bash Twitter or the people who use it, because there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not for me. If I want to connect with friends and family, I’ll simply text or call them, chat on Facebook, write on there Facebook wall or occasionally update my status. These ways of communicating with the people I care about is sufficient enough for me.

With that being said I’ve recently created a Twitter account. Why you may ask? I’m currently taking an Online Media Writing class and my professor wants us to be familiar with how to “Tweet” and interact in the world of Twitter. I never had any intention in joining Twitter before, but now I’m giving it a shot, mainly because I have to. I hope to find what makes Twitter so amusing as so many others have found this too. A good amount of my friends are apart of the community known as Twitter, so it would be nice to see what it’s all about.

I haven’t learned much yet, but Tweeting seems to be a lot more complicated than the other popular social network, Facebook. It seems like there’s much to learn, such as re-tweeting, putting the @ symbol before the person you wish to tweet, putting the # symbol at the end of a tweet if you want to tweet to a keyword as well as the many other functions I’m sure I’m not yet familiar with. So my plan is to do some research so I can become a better Tweeter and also ask for some advice from my fellow Tweeter’s in order to polish up on my Tweeting skills and get this thing down. If you want to follow me or have any comments/suggestions about Twitter please feel free to contact me at my Twitter account, david_lundquist, thanks!

Categories: Social Media Tags: , , ,