How to set up a neighborhood Facebook group to cope with Coronavirus

By Tips

There is no IN 30 MINUTES guide about Facebook and I never write about the social network, but today I’ll be making an exception. That’s because Facebook has a chance to shine in the current Coronavirus health crisis, as a place for neighbors to come together in hyperlocal Facebook groups. This post will show how to set one up.

Because Facebook is so widely used (around 70% of U.S. adults have accounts, and three in four use the site daily), small Facebook groups for individual streets or small neighborhoods can serve as a virtual gathering spots while people are quarantined or practicing social distancing. Through these groups, residents can marshal support and resources for vulnerable/at risk neighbors including seniors and people with underlying health issues.

This is what our neighborhood Facebook group is doing. The group includes members of about 60 households. Via a post to the group, a subset of people have volunteered to help with picking up groceries or medicines, helping with technology questions, or just checking in.

Does this sound like something your neighborhood would be interested in? Read on to see how to quickly set up a local Facebook group in a web browser.

  1. Open facebook.com and select GROUPS on the left side of the page, under “Explore.”
Facebook groups

2. In the top left corner of the page, select CREATE GROUP.

Facebook create group

3. Name the group, and set privacy & visibility settings. You can also add some people from your network.

Facebook group privacy settings

I advise keeping it really local – a street or small neighborhood as opposed to a large neighborhood or district. If it’s too large or too widely dispersed, people may be unwilling to join (“I don’t know any of these people!”) or members will be too far away to ask for or provide help.

I also advise being strict about privacy and visibility, to avoid the group being overrun by spammers. If you know everyone on your street and they are Facebook members, you can invite them to the group in the next step so you don’t have to wait for them to discover the Facebook group on their own.

4. Invite more people by selecting MORE > INVITE MEMBERS or using the INVITE MEMBERS widget on the right side of the page.

Facebook Groups invite members

In addition to current residents, you may also want to invite adult children who have moved away. They will have a better idea of the needs of parents who still live in the old neighborhood, who may not even be on Facebook.

5. Select MORE > MODERATE GROUP to review member requests, create rules, and more. Consider adding another administrator to help you keep the group on track.

6. Other settings such as description, location, etc., can be accessed through MORE > EDIT GROUP SETTINGS.

More information about groups can be found here.

Third edition of Excel Basics In 30 Minutes now available

By Uncategorized

Newton, Mass., February 3  — Publisher i30 Media officially released the third edition of Excel Basics In 30 Minutes: The beginner’s guide to Microsoft Excel, Excel Online, and Google Sheets (ISBN: 978-1-64188-039-8) by author Ian Lamont. The revised edition of the top-selling guide has not only been updated for Excel 2019 (part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite), but also covers improvements to the Excel online and mobile apps. 

“There has been a great deal of interest in the latest version of Excel,” Lamont says. “And not just Excel 2019 for Windows and Mac desktops. Lots of people access Excel through the mobile apps for Android phones and iPhones.”

Excel Basics In 30 Minutes starts with an exploration of basic spreadsheet concepts, including the desktop, mobile and online interfaces for Microsoft Excel. It also covers formatting, functions, formulas, AutoFill, charts, printing, filtering, and sorting. The guide uses a series of examples that follow a fictional sales team to illustrate how to use the spreadsheet software.

Excel Basics In 30 Minutes 3rd Edition

Almost anyone can use Excel for work, school, personal projects, and other uses.”

– Excel Basics In 30 Minutes

For readers who don’t have an Office 365 subscription, the book includes explanations of how to use two free Excel alternatives: Excel Online and Google Sheets.   

More information about Excel Basics In 30 Minutes as well as online ordering options can be found on the book’s companion website, excel.in30minutes.com. The paperback retail price is $12.99, while the ebook edition is available via Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble for $8.99. A hardback edition (ISBN 978-1-64188-040-4) is also available. 

About the author

Ian Lamont is an award-winning technology journalist, author, and publisher, and the founder of i30 Media Corp. and IN 30 MINUTES Guides. His books include Twitter In 30 Minutes and Lean Media: How to focus creativity, streamline production, and create media that audiences love. A graduate of Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he lives in the Boston area with his family.

About In 30 Minutes guides

i30 Media is the publisher of In 30 Minutes guides – “Quick guides for a complex world.” Thousands of readers turn to In 30 Minutes guides to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from genealogy to software. The tone is friendly and easy to understand, with step-by-step instructions and lots of examples. Recent titles include Social Security In 30 Minutes, Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes, and Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com.

PUBLISHER CONTACT: info@in30minutes.com, +1 (617) 213-0811

New books explain Social Security retirement and disability benefits

By News

Publisher i30 Media today released its newest IN 30 MINUTES guides: Social Security In 30 Minutes, Volume 1: Retirement Benefits and Social Security In 30 Minutes, Volume 2: Disability Benefits. The two-volume set aims to help readers and family members better navigate the complex rules governing the government-run insurance programs and maximize the benefits that are available to them.

Some 70 million Americans receive Social Security benefits. They include people who are disabled or retired, as well as the family members of those who are disabled, retired, or deceased. This assistance is divided into two primary programs:

  • Retirement benefits
  • Disability benefits (SSI and SSDI)

Within these programs are subgroups of benefits designated for qualified survivors, spouses, children, ex-spouses, and sometimes parents.

Emily Pogue, authorThe author of Social Security In 30 Minutes is Emily Pogue, a writer who worked for 12 years in the human services field, coordinating services and performing case management for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“I was once new to Social Security, and I understand the paralyzing fear people feel when faced with complicated formulas, a slew of obscure terms and acronyms, and pages and pages of rules,” Pogue notes in the introduction. “While the system may be unfamiliar, it is reassuring to know that at the end of the day, millions of people manage to successfully apply for benefits every year.”

Social Security In 30 Minutes is designed to help ease the way, by explaining in plain English how Social Security works, how to apply for benefits, and what recipients and potential recipients need to do to maximize benefits and troubleshoot common problems. For instance, volume 1 makes a point of illustrating the cost of taking retirement benefits too early, while volume 2 goes over the many programs that can help SSI and SSDI recipients return to work (if they are able) and still receive disability benefits.

Social Security In 30 Minutes is available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover editions on socialsecurity.in30minutes.com. The companion website also contains links, blog posts, and additional resources relating to Social Security.

About IN 30 MINUTES Guides

The award-winning IN 30 MINUTES series has helped readers all over the world grasp complex topics, from health to social media. Newton, Massachusetts-based publisher i30 Media Corporation officially launched the series in 2013. The books, blog posts, and online videos have reached hundreds of thousands of people in the years since. Learn more at the official IN 30 MINUTES website.

Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes updated for Word 2019

By News

Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes (Second Edition)Publisher i30 Media today released Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes, Second Edition: Make a bigger impact with your documents and master the writing, formatting, and collaboration tools in Word 2019 and Word Online (Author: Angela Rose, ISBN: 978-1-64188-025-1). 

The revised edition follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, explaining Microsoft’s flagship writing tool in a friendly, easy-to-understand manner, while also explaining the updated interface for Word 2019 and Word Online. Other topics include:

  • Office 365 subscriptions and OneDrive
  • Working with .docx, .doc, .txt, PDF, and other file formats in Word 2019 and Word Online
  • Locating recovered files
  • Printing documents, envelopes, and labels
  • How to format Word documents using styles, themes, and style sets
  • Creating Word documents with professional-quality templates
  • Adding images, video, hyperlinks, and drawings
  • How to automatically create a table of contents in Word
  • Adding footnotes, endnotes, citations, a bibliography, and an index
  • Word spelling, tracking, and other reviewing tools
  • Collaboration tools, from comments to live collaboration
  • Microsoft Word security features

Early reviewers have offered wide-ranging praise for the new edition: 

“Microsoft Word is perhaps the most ubiquitous computer program in the world. This short guide presents a wealth of information for those interested in using the newest version of the program. Just the list of keyboard shortcuts makes this a worthwhile read.”

  • Clinton Greaves, NetGalley

“I work in education as a tutor so am always on the lookout for any guides to recommend to my learners. This is a great little book – easy to read, illustrations, very accessible – I learnt a lot myself so would not hesitate to recommend. I also liked the way terms are explained, different version explained (the difference between Office 365 and the online version) great for anyone who needs a little more understanding but doesn’t know where to go to get information.” 

  • Maria Martignetti, Librarian, NetGalley

“This was an easy read and I quite enjoyed that the author decided to compare the various available versions of Word 2019. It’s great refresher in Word and excellent learning tool for new users to Word. I personally enjoyed the keyboard shortcuts index at the back of the book.”

  • Ute Gryba, NetGalley

More information about Microsoft Word In 30 Minutes, Second Edition as well as online ordering options can be found on the companion website, word.in30minutes.com. The site also includes blog posts, videos, and other resources for readers. The paperback retail price is $12.99, while the ebook edition is available on the Amazon Kindle and other devices for $8.99. A hardcover edition costs $19.99.

About the author

Angela Rose is a writer and B2C marketing strategist based in Colorado. When she’s not removing cats from her keyboard, you can find Angela searching for the perfect taco, running 5Ks, whipping up original pastry recipes, and hiking the Colorado Mountains with her photographer husband. Angela is also the author of the award-winning LinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition).

About In 30 Minutes guides

i30 Media is the publisher of IN 30 MINUTES guides – “Quick guides for a complex world.” Thousands of readers turn to IN 30 MINUTES guides to understand mildly complex topics, ranging from home-buying to social media. The tone is friendly and easy to understand, with step-by-step instructions and lots of examples. The series has won multiple awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association and Foreword Reviews. Top-selling titles include Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. For more information about the series, visit in30minutes.com.


Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes wins gold Ben Franklin award for excellence in publishing

By News

Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes Ben Franklin awardThe Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) last week announced that Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes: A guide to acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD for patients and families has been named the recipient of a gold Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. Publisher i30 Media Corporation accepted the award at IBPA’s annual conference and award ceremony in Chicago.

The book, authored by J. Thomas Lamont, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, was the winner in the health & fitness category. Other category finalists included books published by Johns Hopkins University Press and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to IBPA, some 1,500 titles were submitted for consideration in this year’s competition, covering 54 categories. Ben Franklin judges included approximately 160 publishers, editors, and other independent publishing professionals.

“This is fantastic news, and this is a great honor,” said Lamont. “I certainly would not have written the book without the invitation of publisher i30 Media.”

Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes (ISBN 978-1-64188-019-0) uses plain-English explanations, case studies, and illustrations to explain the basics of heartburn and acid reflux, including causes, diagnosis, and treatments. Kirkus Reviews selected the title to be featured in its June 2018 issue, noting three strengths to the work: “The writing takes complicated subject matter and makes it easy to comprehend; stock illustrations augment the text; and the content is extremely focused.”

Acid Reflux & Heartburn In 30 Minutes is available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook editions. The official book website also contains a glossary of medical terms related to acid reflux and heartburn.