Changing Seasons

SummerDaysGraphic

The dog days of Summer are upon us, and Fall is fast approaching. They say the only constant in life is change, and that’s never more true than for us here at Spokt. We have a lot of exciting developments in the works and some fun announcements on the horizon. In preparation for all of this and more, we are working to update our proverbial welcome mat a bit by adding some testimonials from a handful of our satisfied customers.

You are quite literally the most important, most incredible part of Spokt. Do you have something you’d like to tell your fellow web wanderers about what makes Spokt special to you and your family? What is your favorite feature of Spokt? What has your Spokt Hub enabled your family to do that you would miss? Has Spokt improved your life, helped strengthen your relationships, or boosted your communication? Tell us all about it in the comments, and we may just feature your testimonial on our soon-to-be-testimonialized homepage!

Now get back to that summer fun. It won’t be here forever!

 

Video Embeds

Recently, YouTube got rid of the “old embed” code, which was needed to post videos to Spokt. Now, you can use the new embed code to post YouTube videos to your hub, as well as Vimeo videos. Simply go to either website, click “Share,” then “Embed,” then copy & paste the code into Spokt. You can paste the embed code into any post or reply.

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We hope you enjoy this improvement!

 

Video Updates

You can now upload videos from your phone! To do so, log in to Spokt on your mobile phone, and click the “+ Video” option. Fill out the Title, Text, and Books fields, and then click “Click to Browse”. You will then be prompted to either record a video, or go to your library. Once you choose your video, you will see a green progress bar as your video uploads. When your video is processed, it will be shared with your hub for all the members to enjoy.

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Spokt Recommends: Baked In AZ

Spokt has a recommendation for you today! I love a good recipe, and this blog is full of them. The Baked in Arizona blog  is a great place to find all sorts of recipes. From Potato Quiche to Pumpkin Pie Truffles, there will be something for everyone. Here are three recipes that I’ve tried, and loved:

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – These are amazing. I’ve made them several times, and they always satisfy my sweet tooth. They never last long though… They are usually all eaten within a couple days!

Zuppa Toscana – I’ve loved Zuppa Toscana soup since I was a kid, and I thought I’d try out this recipe.  I loved how fast it came together, and the roasted peppers really gave the soup a pretty color, and yummy taste.

Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad – Have you had a salad that is just some sad looking lettuce with ranch dressing and croutons thrown on top? This is not one of those salads. It is crisp, fresh, and fun to look at AND eat!

We hope you enjoyed this recommendation; stay tuned for more in the future! Let us know if you have something you’d like us to review, and we’ll be sure to take it into consideration.

 

Mayflower Anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of our announcement of the Mayflower migration tool. This tool was a response to Ancestry.com’s June 5th announcement that they would shut down myfamily.com. Our team worked very hard and didn’t have any time to reflect on the results of our effort. Once the dust settled after Myfamily.com shut down and after we delivered our Books and Calendar features we put together this fun infographic to commemorate the accomplishment of Mayflower. We are excited about the new enhancements currently in the works and can’t wait to share them with you once they are ready.

Thanks to the Mayflower team and thanks for those of you who believed in us enough to trust us with the task of saving your data.

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Tips to Boost Activity in Your Spokt Hub

Recently, we received a question from a new user asking how to better get his family members involved and participating in Spokt. Below is our response. What would you add?

Hello Ernie,

Reach out directly (whether that be through phone, email, or in person) to your family members, and tell them more about Spokt and how you hope what it can become for your family. To me, Spokt is like sitting in the living room and catching up with my family, but without having to travel all over the country to bring everyone together. When you find something you really enjoy, you want to share it with the people who mean the most to you. Sometimes, when people receive an invitation, they don’t know what they are being invited to. I’m as skeptical as anyone!

Another thing to get things rolling is to post some photos in your hub, ask some questions, post a poll. Try to get a conversation going and invite your family members to share. Ask someone to post photos from a recent vacation or graduation.

When you reach out to your family to tell them about Spokt it shows that you care about them, and want to stay connected. Then, when people see their invitation, they understand more about what Spokt is, and then be more inclined to join and participate. You can also send them a link to our demo hub, so they can get a feel for what Spokt is like!

Good luck!

It’s your turn, use the comments to help Ernie and others make their Spokt hubs more successful.

Thanks in advance!

 

Measuring Motherhood

Please enjoy the infographic I made to celebrate the work my mother has done for her family. A mother’s contribution to society is immeasurable and yet I have attempted to quantify some of it.

NOTE: The best way I know to honor motherhood is by honoring my own mother. This is a celebration of her life and the impact she has had on my family. This is not meant to act as a comparison to other mothers.

Of course this silly tribute doesn’t scratch the surface of the work she does. The greatest thing she did was teach her children honesty, character, benevolence, and virtue. Thank you Mom!

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Have Your Calendar and Print It Too!

We’ve had lots of great feedback about our calendar, and we’re happy to share one more enhancement we’ve made to it: Printing! Don’t get carried away and kill too many trees, but you can now print out your calendar to have a paper copy. First, you will need to open up your large calendar, by clicking “View Calendar” on your Hub Home. When the calendar is open, all you do is press Ctrl + P (or Command + P), and you will be prompted to print the calendar. Click print, and you will have a hard copy of your Hub calendar! You can also use, File -> Print if you are used to doing it that way.

calendar print preview

 

While we were at it, we also made posts and comment threads print-friendly. If you would like to print a news post, you open up the post you want to print, and click Ctrl/Command + P, just like printing the calendar.

print preview

We hope you enjoy these enhancements as we continue to improve Spokt!

 

“Other” Calendar Features

We have some other Calendar features you might want to know about! If you would like to see a general tour of our Calendar, you can watch a screencast here.       Edit To edit or delete an event, hover your mouse over the desired event. If you want to edit the event, click on the pencil icon. If you would like to delete the event, click on the trash can icon. other anniversaryTo add an Anniversary for someone not on Spokt, simply click on the Anniversary tab, and when you are prompted to select a user, go to the bottom of the list, and click “other.” You will then be able to manually type in the name(s) you need. other birthday To add a Birthday for someone not on Spokt, you follow the same instructions for adding an Anniversary, but click on the Birthday tab instead!

 

Connections to the Past: Æbleskivers

When families keep traditions, they make holidays and other occasions more personal and special. One of my favorite family traditions is making æbleskivers on special mornings, like birthdays. Æbleskivers (aebleskiver or ebleskiver in the US) are a Danish breakfast that are like a cross between doughnut holes and pancakes. The recipe was handed down through my family, and it’s always such a treat to make (and eat) them! I’ve made a short video to help explain the unique process of making them. I’ve also included the recipe and a link to the special pan, just in case anyone wants to try their hand at making them.

Æbleskivers

makes about 3 dozen

Stir together in order:

3 egg yolks
2 heaping TB sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda in 1/4 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fold in 3 egg whites beaten until fluffy

Directions:

Warm the Æbleskiver pan to a medium low heat. Once batter is ready, generously grease the pan, and pour batter into each section, and slowly rotate each with a skinny knitting needle (say THAT 3 times fast!) until they are fully cooked. Repeat until all the batter has been used. Top with butter, powdered sugar, jam etc.

If you need a pan you can get here at amazon.com