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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Winning

Before you go all Charlie Sheen on me, hear me out. (This really has nothing to do with him.)

We've been talking a lot around the office about winning lately, whether it be in our recreational volleyball league, a new project against a competing vendor (Click here to see why we hate that word.), or just creating the best systems out there.

There' s a lot of drive required to maintain a relentlessly winning attitude.

And really, it's not just an attitude. Winning is a state of mind.

I'm a really competitive person. With that comes a bit of perfectionism; my better must be better than your better. This has mostly applied to sports for me. I started swimming competitively when I was 8 and did that throughout high school. I hate cold water to this day, but still have a lot of good memories from those ten years and a lot of success - with boxes of ribbons to show for it.

While in college, I joined the rowing team. This took things to a whole new level; while swimming was mostly an individual sport, rowing is as team-ish as you can get [and the water got a whole lot colder]. With that came a whole new slew of factors.

However, the competitive spirit was always there. It just manifested itself in different ways. And it's always been a part of who I am as a person.

Telling people that they just aren't cutting it doesn't always go over well. But if you can get them to understand that it's not personal - instead that it's for the good of the team, and it inspires them to be better, do better, and work harder - then you've got it made. However, it doesn't always work that way.

The same goes for the office.

The key point here: criticism isn't necessarily personal. If you do it in a respectful manner, with good intentions behind it, telling people they need to do better will only improve things for the good of the team. If everyone is working toward the same goal, then it can cause really positive changes.

You can inspire greatness.

But if not everyone is working toward the same goal, this causes animosity toward the rest of the team from said person.

Winning requires a relentless drive to be the best. If you are surrounded by people with that drive, you will be told when you aren't doing everything to help achieve that goal for the team. And it will make you better.

That's really what it takes to have a winning attitude - you have to believe, and you have to not only accept criticism, but welcome it, and use it to make yourself better. If your goals don't line up with the team's goals, then you'll never win. But if they do, then you're just golden.

And nothing can stop you from winning.

A poem has been making the rounds around the office that I thought was fitting as part of this blog. Thanks, David, for sharing this:
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't;
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.

-adapted from Walter D. Wintle

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Latest: Our SMASHUP Partnership with Kent State University

We recently partnered with Kent State University for our latest university SMASHUP project. The SMASHUP will serve as the university's social media hub, giving students, parents, faculty, staff and the community a place to interact with the university through social media.

The Kent State SMASHUP, or social media mashup, will aggregate all of the university's social media accounts in one place, giving all accounts from across the university the exposure they deserve. KSU wanted a way to make its social media more interactive and to bring its online brand to a whole new level. Since the university already uses a lot of social media, this is really a natural progression for it to make what it's already doing a lot more successful and the university's social media will reach a lot more people.

Kent State is the sixth university that has selected SMASHUP as its choice of social media mashup. Kent State joins Youngstown State University, Northern Illinois University, DePaul University, Our Lady of the Lake University and the University of New Haven (launching soon) as AllofE's latest SMASHUP implementation.

You can find out more about the SMASHUP project at or send Katie an email at

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6 Reasons you Need to Post your Course Catalog Online

In my last blog post, I talked about course catalog management systems and how to choose one. But before you even think about that, it's important to understand why you need to post your course catalog online in the first place.

Your course catalog affects your entire university - from students to faculty to parents, all of these stakeholders are impacted by the course catalog. An online catalog must be searchable, easy to navigate, contain the most current information (a student is a lot more likely to look something up online than search through a book), and be branded to match the university's online image. But before you can even think about that, the catalog has to be posted online. Here are a few reasons to post your course catalog online:
  • Accessibility. Give your audience the ability to access the course catalog from anywhere. This is really the biggest reason to have an online catalog - it makes it easier for all university stakeholders.
  • Recruitment. Show students what courses they can take and what they're required to take. After all, that’s what they’re there for. Through our research, we've found that parents view academic programs or majors as the most valuable information in university online content, and what better to meet that need than an online catalog?
  • Student Enrollment. Make it easy for students to find their degree requirements, general education requirements, and view their course options through intelligent Search features.
  • Show off what you Offer. By posting your course catalog online, you're disseminating all programs and courses to all that come to your website - making your university look even better.
  • Easy Navigation. It's a lot easier to find what you're looking for in a website versus a book - giving students a place to search for a course or program instead of forcing them to flip through a book [that they probably lost weeks ago...] not only increases the accessibility of the catalog information, it's just easier.
  • Save costs. No surprise here. Printed catalogs take up a ton of space and are incredibly expensive to print – and what if there’s an error after the books come back from the printer? Get rid of printed catalogs altogether, or print only the number of catalogs as are necessary, since you won't have to distribute them to the entire university when all the information is online.
These are just a few of the reasons your catalog should be posted on your university website. To find out more about how CatalogM can help you be successful in managing your online catalog, go to, or send me an email at kbrosious AT allofe DOT com

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH: CatalogM - catalog management system

You may have noticed all of our recent blogs about online catalog management systems, which probably led you to believe that there was something going on behind the scenes in regards to that very same subject. Well, you thought correctly. Today we announce the launch of our latest product for higher education: CatalogM catalog management system.

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