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March 29th, 2011 Published by: 32bpwr3

Jon in Progress
school’s transformation from start to finish. Check out photos
Here is a quick peek at the kind of things that are from the building tour on Facebook.
happening in my life. Consider this "Issue 0," which
Join a discussion about all of the school building
more in coming in the future.
improvements on Facebook.

Second Graders perform “Silly

Hats” Concert
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011 Daddy Daughter Dance
The Second graders performed their “Silly Hats” Concerts By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011
Tuesday night. This was the first time that I’ve been in Be sure to check out the collection of photos from the Daddy
the auditorium, and I have to say that it was really well Daughter Dance which have been posted onto the Shepherd
designed, and the seats were comfortable. The performance Today page. If you have a favorite photo you’d like to share,
took excellent advantage of the auditorium’s design, with the please feel free to upload it to Shepherd Today. Or, post a link
majority of the students standing on risers located on the there if you’ve uploaded your photo online via a hosting service
wings to the left and right of the stage, and then a smaller other than Facebook.
group of students would perform on center stage. The students
rotated, so each class had a chance to perform on the center
Each song wes accentuated by costumes and props, and set up
with brief introductions. A select group of students read poems
in between each song. Shepherd Elementary School
Science Fair
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Shepherd Elementary School’s Science Fair will be held on
March 7th. Shepherd Today has launched a new Facebook
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011
Group called Elementary School Science Fairs to help students
Now that its February, it won’t be long before the trees are with their science fair projects. Students and their parents are
tapped and we start getting ready to celebrate Shepherd’s welcomed to post questions or links to resources on this group.
Maple Syrup Festival. This year the festival will be held from One mother named Jenni has asked if anybody has a scale and
April 29th until May 1st. Stay tuned to the Shepherd Today and sand that her son can borrow. Please respond on the group or
the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival community pages for more contact me at if you can help her out.
information as it becomes available.
Also, check out the official website at

Shepherd Police Department

Shepherd Elementary School By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011

Dedication The Shepherd Police Department has sent out three

announcements this week. The first was a routine list of police
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011
reports from the past week. If you found it helpful to be able
Members of the community gathered together on Tuesday to read this notification in your Shepherd Today newsfeed,
night to celebrate the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the please let me know by emailing me at or
elementary school. The evening included a couple of quick posting a comment on my Facebook wall. This morning, the
speeches, and a photo slide presentation which followed the SPD sent out an alert message asking for information about a
non injury hit-and-run which occurred at around 8 a.m.

March 29th, 2011 Published by: 32bpwr3

The last notification reminded everyone who had sidewalks This Spring, I am anticipating a lot of new growth for
along their yard lines to keep them clear of ice and snow. the Shepherd Today fan page. Not quite the same as watching
your child mature into a sixth grader or move off to college, I
know, but still there are bound to be challenges and setbacks.
My vision for Shepherd Today
When I started Shepherd Today, my plan was for it to be one
First Hovernote added to of the richest, most reliable sources of information and news
Index for the Village of Shepherd and surrounding communities. In
order to accomplish this, I knew that the fan page needed to
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011
be better than the average page you’d find on Facebook. This
Just posted my latest Hovernote using the methods that I’ve meant developing consistent content which appealed to the
laid out in previous blogs. The blog post, titled “Help me grow wide audience.
Shepherd Today into an Online Community,” is my public
appeal to readers. Basically, I hope that they will help me after This is still my vision, although I’ll admit that it has been
they read what I have planned for the Facebook community tempered by a new sense of reality. For starters, I do have
page. a day job, a family, that squeeze what time I have to devote
to maintaining Shepherd Today. Second, the fan page hasn’t
This is also the first Hovernote that I’ve been able to index developed into the online community that I hoped it would
on the blog which I created for that purpose. At first, I wasn’t become.
sure what purpose the Hovernotes blog would serve, but then I
realized that it could be used to index all of the hovernotes that I’m going to try some new tactics which I hope will change that.
I write and share with Hover’s different audiences. Then, I can Opportunities for everyone to get involved
tweet out this blog’s posts and respondants would be able to
Starting in March, the Shepherd Today page on Facebook will
quickly learn all they needed to learn before going any farther.
be just one way in which you can view or report information
When I index the Hovernotes, and through Hoverzine any and news related to the Village of Shepherd. In addition to
hoverzines that I develop, I will be including a description, the community page, I’m developing a blog, and a site on
links to places where you can write the ‘note, and then links groupsite. There is also a Twitterfeed and other services in the
which allow you to respond. You can, of course, respond works.
directly to the index entry via the comments.
I’m also rolling out the means for individuals and
organizations to more easily share their information
via Shepherd Today. If you have an announcement which you
need to make to theShepherd Today community, you only
Help me grow Shepherd Today need to submit it by web or email, and it will be published
into an Online Community on Shepherd Today. You are also welcomed to join the
half dozen residents from around Shepherd who have been
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011
regularly supporting my efforts.
Growth is hard.
If you have an announcement, but you’re not sure how
I was reminded of this fact of life this weekend when I attended to express it, there is now an online form available which
the Daddy-Daughter dance on Friday and College Goal Sunday will guide you through the process of assembling all of the
on CMU’s campus. As we were on our way to the dance, relevant information. After you submit your request, it will be
someone reminded my daughter and I that this would be our processed and turned into an article on Shepherd Today.
last year attending because next year she will be in the Middle
School as a sixth grader. Kayla took this in stride at first, but Of course, you can always release your information directly by
as the dance was wrapping it up she was disappointed because posting a comment on the community page wall or emailing
she wanted to dance some more. She was suddenly aware that me.
when we left the dance that night we would be leaving for All of Shepherd Today’s streams of information or news have
good. I told her that it was okay, and that I would always be been consolidated into a page on Groupsite. You can always
interested in dancing with her. After we had returned home, go to to skim the latest
she told me that she already felt like a sixth grader. blog posts, read highlighted news stories from around Mid-
Today I volunteered during College Goal Sunday in CMU’s Michigan, start a discussion, or respond to anything that is on
Park Library. During CSG, almost two dozen families sat down that page. My intention is for this page to be more like a central
in front of a computer and completed a FAFSA application hub or starting point for anybody who wants to find out what’s
online. Just being on CMU’s campus again made me reflect going on in Shepherd.
on my time I spent there as a student, but watching these I’ve also started a calendar on Google which will display
high school juniors and seniors go through this process with information about upcoming events in and around the Village
their parents made me think about the day when my kids of Shepherd. This calendar can be viewed, added to, or shared
will be preparing to go to college. Although this was just one with others.
afternoon, the application process for financial aid is a big part
In order to develop Shepherd Today into the community that
of these student’s transition to a new phase in life.
I wanted it to be, I am opening it up to as many channels of
March 29th, 2011 Published by: 32bpwr3

community input as possible. I am, in a sense, turning control expect the group to be online for longer than a couple of
to its fans or readers. The more people interact through the months after the author’s visit.
community page and the other tools that I’ve set up, the less • Jay News- Every few months Shepherd Public Schools
involved my team and I will need to be. publishes the Jay News newsletter. I thought that a
Shepherd Today 2.0 group would help parents to respond to the information
in the newsletter. Perhaps this could generate ideas for
My next goal for Shepherd Today is to make its content
information in the future? I am also planning on linking
available for consumption in different formats and media.
This includes a newsletter which would summarize the news to PDF versions of the newsletter as they are published.
They are already available from the Shepherd Public
and discussions which were shared during a given month, a
Schools website.
podcast, and a larger publication containing a year or six-
month retrospective. • Friday Folders – This was an idea that I’m still working
out, but over the weekend it occurred to me that there
Call it “Shepherd Today 2.0.”
is often a lot of information in the Friday folders–via
But, now that I am putting Shepherd Today in the hands of its the leaflets and brochures that are sometimes sent him
readers, I want to hear what everyone who has been using the in them–that as parents we don’t always know what to
community page think about my plans for the future. Much do with. Here is an opportunity for parents to ask for
like other things in life, I will need your help if Shepherd Today more information about the literature they found in the
is to achieve to its full potential. Friday Folders. This might also be a place where parents
can discuss their kids’ progress in school, especially since
homework also comes back in the Friday folders.

Stay in the Know and

Exchange comments with If you know of a Facebook group that should be referenced on
the Shepherd Today fan page, or if you have an idea for a group
your Neighbors via these new which you think should be started, please reply as a comment
Facebook Groups or email me directly at
By 32bpwr3 on March 29th, 2011

The Shepherd Today fan page is spreading out to include

a series of recently created Facebook groups. Each of these
groups are focussed on a specific event or topic, and are open to
anyone who wishes to join and engage in the discussions. The
Facebook groups allow participants to add Facebook friends
or post photos, comments, links, and videos.
Most of the Facebook groups that have been created are
focussed around a school-related event or topic. You can link
to these groups by entering the “@” symbol and then typing
the first words of the group’s name. This will cause Facebook
to display the most closely matching group.
Here are the groups so far:

• Shepherd Elementary Science Fair – With the science

fair around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to
have a place on Facebook where parents can exchange
ideas and/or post questions about the experiment that
their students are working on. Since many elementary
students already have Facebook accounts, this could be a
resource for them as well. If this group does well, it could
be a great place to post links to outside science-related
• Author will visit Shepherd Elementary – An
accomplished author coming to Shepherd, Michigan?
Really, when I read this in my kids’ Friday folder, I
realized right away that this is a pretty big deal. I started
a group to recognize this event and to also offer parents
a place where they can discuss the author and her
books. This could potentially be a place to post photos
or comments about the experience afterwards. I don’t