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“Is a Stand-Alone Blog a Better Choice for Me?”


“Is a Stand-Alone Blog a Better Choice for Me?”

By ed2go Instructor  Linda Aksomitis.

One of my students in Introduction to Internet Writing Markets asked this question recently. Here’s how I responded:

Blogging is a big topic, isn’t it? The main difference between a hosted blog and a stand-alone blog is whether you control what you do completely or whether someone else does . . . although the control may be in varying degrees depending on whether the service is free or at a cost.

Let’s compare hosted and stand-alone blogs to renting or buying a house.

Renting a house is like having a hosted blog (from Blogger, WordPress, or another blog service). When you rent, someone else takes care of the technology and sets the rules about what you can do.

Having a stand-alone blog is like buying a house. You own it and have to fix it when it breaks, although if you have a good webhost you may be able to get help from technical support. The only restrictions you have are what’s legal or illegal in the country you live in.

With a hosted blog, you just sign up, decide what you want your blog to look like, and start posting. With a stand-alone blog, you buy a domain name and space from a webhost. Then you install the blogging platform, such as WordPress, on your site. It’s more complicated, but your reward is that you’re in charge.

Quiz: What Skills Do You Need to Be an Effective Team Player?


Quiz: What Skills Do You Need to Be an Effective Team Player?

Excerpt From Building Teams That Work Course by ed2go Instructor Vivian Harte

How well suited are you to team membership? This quiz from Building Teams That Work can give you some insight into your abilities and motivations. Don’t think about any of the statements for a long time. Just take them one at a time, and answer as honestly as possible.

Give one of three answers: 1) agree, 2) neither agree nor disagree, or 3) disagree.

1.Whenever I face a challenge, I want to solve it myself

2. I generally want to control what I’m responsible for.

3. I haven’t spent much time thinking about my strengths and weaknesses.

4. I have a hard time admitting mistakes I make.

5. It annoys me when other people do better on a task than I do. Read more

jQuery for Absolute Beginners by ed2go Instructor Alan Simpson


jQuery for Absolute Beginners by ed2go instructor Alan Simpson

Okay, so what is jQuery?

jQuery is an immensely popular “write less, do more” library of JavaScript code for Web developers. We use it in conjunction with HTML and CSS in Web development, primarily to add more interactivity or animation to a page.

If you’re familiar with CSS and HTML but are struggling with jQuery, I feel your pain. It can be difficult to wrap your head around it when you only read bits and pieces about it while doing Web searches.

This is the article you want to read. I’ll talk about the absolute basics—the things that everyone else assumes you already know!

Accessing the Library

Unlike JavaScript code, which all Web browsers can execute on their own, jQuery is a library of prewritten code that’s not built into the Web browser. You can only use jQuery in pages that have access to the jQuery library.

One way to provide that access is to download the library yourself and link the page to your copy of the library. But these days, most developers are using CDN (Content Delivery Networks) to host the library. It simplifies things and generally provides better performance.

To link to a jQuery library on a CDN, you put tags like these between the <head> and </head> tags of the page that needs access to the library:

<script src=”” >


That links to version 1.10.2 on Google’s CDN. You’ll find several versions of jQuery at any CDN. Typically, you want to link to the latest one. But if your pages need to support Internet Explorer Versions 6, 7, and 8, be aware that the 2.x versions don’t support those older Internet Explorer versions. Only the 1.x library versions support older Internet Explorer browsers.

Notice that inside the script tag, the URL after src= starts with http:. In other examples, you may not see that in front of the URL. When the page is being served by a Web server from an actual site or a local server on your development machine, then it’s okay to omit the http. But if you’re testing and developing by opening files directly, make sure you use the http: address. Otherwise, jQuery won’t work or it’ll be painfully slow. Read more

Taking the Mystery Out of LinkedIn by ed2go Instructor Ron Nash

ed2go Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking

Taking the Mystery Out of LinkedIn by ed2go Instructor Ron Nash

You’ve probably heard about how great LinkedIn is, and you’ve likely gotten some invitations from friends and colleagues to connect. But if you’re like a lot of people out there, you don’t really get why you should be using it. What’s in it for you?

Well, I’m happy to explain. If you’re serious about your career or job search, you’ll want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

I was an early adapter to LinkedIn, and I’ve benefited from it for more than a decade. There are too many uses for me to state in this article, but here are a few ways LinkedIn can help you:

  • Get a job offer before you graduate
  • Change careers
  • Transition back into the workplace
  • Find mentors in your industry
  • Find a job or an internship while in school
  • Generate business opportunities
  • Build new relationships with potential employers
  • Increase your face-to-face networking effectiveness
  • Research people and companies
  • Connect with business associates and colleagues
  • Maintain connections with your past classmates and alumni

If I were a student or a professional, I’d create a LinkedIn network in my desired industry that consisted of:

  • Decision makers
  • Industry thought leaders
  • Industry-specific recruiters
  • Industry peers
  • LinkedIn industry-specific groups

This would give me access to industry professionals within three degrees of myself at all times. In other words, I could connect with people who are connected to people who are connected to people I’m connected to! Wait. What?

Three degrees of separation. And this means that if I ever needed anything—including a new job—I’d have the resources available within my network.

Here’s a rule to keep in mind: Reciprocation is part of networking. Friends help friends!


Learning to Use LinkedIn Effectively

It’s not difficult to use LinkedIn. If it were difficult, it wouldn’t be one of the most successful business networking sites on the Web. Millions of people around the globe are using it, and millions of people are benefiting from it.

I’m here to give you some tips for using it effectively. This is simple to do—it just takes time and commitment. The good thing is that we’re all lifelong learners. You already know that the more time you put in, the more efficient you become.

So let’s look at a few quick tips for how to use LinkedIn:

  • Create a LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn basic accounts are free!
  • Connect with everyone in your class or alumni. This will help build your network quickly with people you have something in common with.
  • Connect with all of your friends. Adding as many people as you can to your network will increase access to the vast database of more than 240 million professionals.
  • Join a LinkedIn Group. A LinkedIn group is an industry-specific community that anyone can join or start.
  • Find an industry-specific headhunter. There are many recruiters using LinkedIn who are looking for talent every day.
  • Use LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn is a significant job aggregator. And many of the postings you’ll find on LinkedIn you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Research potential employers. Before you apply for an opportunity, research and interview employees who work there. In many cases, you make new friends who are willing to help.
  • Be consistent. Schedule your usage of LinkedIn, and visit the site regularly to check for updates, make connections, improve your profile, and search for jobs.

My Online Course on LinkedIn

Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking is an online course that you can take over 6 weeks with 24/7 access. Not only will you learn everything you need to know about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively, this course will also give you the tools you need to succeed in today’s competitive market.

Think of me as your personal career coach. I’ll walk you down the path to success, and along the way, I’ll show you how to use LinkedIn and what to do with the connections and leads you get from this 21st century business networking platform. We’ll cover the hidden job market, online research tools, email and correspondence etiquette, netiquette (etiquette for online communication), interviewing techniques for phone, Skype, and in-person meetings—and we’ll even discuss how creative individuals can use LinkedIn to boost their careers.

As you can see, we cover a lot in this course. It’s 6 weeks packed full of helpful career strategies that you won’t find anywhere else. Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking will take the mystery out of LinkedIn and career networking. I hope to see you there!


Mark Wahlberg & Taco Bell Foundation for Teens Announce a Pilot Partnership with ed2go


Taco Bell and Kinexus Partner with Cengage Learning’s ed2go to Offer First of Its Kind High School Educational Scholarships

Companies to provide fully accredited high school diplomas and career certificates to help employees succeed in workforce

STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Taco Bell and Kinexus have signed on as the first two partners in Cengage Learning/Smart Horizon Career Online Education’s (SHCOE) Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to reengage employees in the educational system. The CGI Commitment includes a scholarship agreement to offer fully accredited high school diplomas and career certificates to employees in the retail, hospitality, and food service industries via the Career Online High School.

“Whether it is in news reports or a politician’s speech, we consistently hear that there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings throughout the country,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer at ed2go. “Through programs such as the Career Online High School, we are offering workers an opportunity to complete a high school diploma and post-secondary education, providing skills and a springboard to better opportunities.”

ed2go, the largest provider of turnkey online training and part of Cengage Learning, and SHCOE, the world’s first AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district, partnered in 2012 to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Their partnership led to the establishment of Career Online High School, which offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

Kinexus, a workforce development company promoting economic vitality in the southwest Michigan region, will offer the Career Online High School scholarship program to members of the communities it serves through Bridge Academy. Kinexus established Bridge Academy in 2010 to provide education opportunities for residents between the ages of 16 and 24. Located in Benton Harbor—one of Michigan’s poorest cities—the school focuses on teaching the skills local businesses need so students can find employment when they graduate.

“One of our biggest economic challenges in Southwest Michigan is that there are communities within the region where fewer than half the residents ages 18 to 24 have high school diplomas,” said Todd Gustafson, Kinexus’ Executive Director. “SHCOE is a proven, innovative, 21st-century solution to this problem and we see Career Online High School as an important new tool in our arsenal to educate workers so that the local economy can thrive off of the local workforce.”

Also signing a partnership agreement with SHCOE and ed2go is Taco Bell, the nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant, which will offer this key educational benefit to its employees, enabling them to earn high school diplomas and career certificates. Being a high school graduate is a requirement for promotion to management within Taco Bell, and also gives participants life skills they can use in any job beyond Taco Bell.

Former Taco Bell employee Deanna Boersma, a graduate of Career Online High School, said, “The program allowed me to get the education I needed to pursue the job that I always wanted and set me up for success. As a result of my degree, I was able to earn more money, get good benefits and buy a house. And if I ever want to go to college, I can do that as well. I am hopeful that the program will offer other Taco Bell employees the opportunities it has afforded me.”

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