One of the most frequent requests I receive from readers is to help them understand social media and how they can and should use it.Good news, folks: The Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning at Bakersfield College has a class you want to be aware of.

Its Social Media and Networking focuses on the basics of programs such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flikr, YouTube and blogging.

It's taught by my friend Jennifer Burger, a public affairs coordinator at Cal State Bakersfield with a deep background in social media.

During the four-night class, you'll get hands on experience with these programs in a computer lab, learn about privacy settings, how to share photos and video, how to set up and post to a blog, and more.

The upcoming class runs 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays, March 7-28. Fee: $25.

To sign up, contact the Levan Institute at 395-4431 or For the complete catalog of courses and online registration, visit

Server contest

Several months in the making, it's now your chance to vote in Eye Street's Best Server in Bakersfield contest.

Nominations were collected and 10 finalists chosen. Their profiles have appeared in The Californian's Eye Street section over the past few weeks.

Now they are posted online as Notes on our Facebook page. Take a gander and Like your favorite server.

The best sever in Bakersfield will win four passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a $50 gift card to Goose Loonies.

Voting will remain open until March 2.

Army on Pinterest

Pinterest, the social image-sharing site, has a popular pinner: the U.S. Army.

Yes, you read that right. The Army.

The Army's Pinterest boards include topics such as "Goodwill," "Humanitarian Relief" and "HOOAH!" -- all designed to show some aspect of Army life and the Army's mission or to connect with families.

According to Mashable, Juanita Chang, director of the U.S. Army's online and social media division, says, "It's important for the Army to be on different platforms so it can reach people it can't find anywhere else."

Yes, it is. Good job, soliders.

Radio appearance

On Wednesday I'll be hosting "Californian Radio" on 1180 AM KERN. I have a fantastic special guest joining me: local blogger Christine Saldivar.

Christine hosts, writes and posts at Her podcast topics rage from being a bridesmaid in her 40s, flirting and having "the talk" with her kids.

Check out her site at and tune in to "Californian Radio" at 9 a.m. Wednesday on KERN Radio 1180, call in at 842-KERN, and stream the show live at

Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator at, and the mom of an active 7-year-old boy. Email her at Follow her on Facebook at, Twitter @JamieButow, on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Seriously, she's not that hard to track down.