Steve Burge

Sponsored Review of College Website

It looks like online colleges are a hot niche in SEO for 2010. These for-profit colleges like Kaplan and the University of Phoenix need to keep churning out 1000s of new students each month and so happily pay fat referral fees. This can lead to some scandals as they push too hard. But as the mortgage business collapsed and left a lot of affiliates with less revenue, it looks as if education might step up to fill the gap. One such site is bestcollegesonline.net which covers online colleges and universities. Expect many more to follow.

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Joomla Trademark Discussion with Rob Schley

1) Hi Rob. Could you tell us about the trademark decision. What changes will this have for the Joomla project?

Well, Steve …

 

2) What will the policy be regarding prior use?

The Joomla! project has always taken a liberal approach to use of the Joomla! name and logo and we intend to continue to be as liberal as we can while fulfilling our responsibility to protect the integrity of the Joomla! brand.  As long as the usage complies with the terms set out in the brand manual and our trademark guide (no pornography, no warez, no trademarks, not confusing, etc.) all that is required is to register the use with OSM using the form on the OSM site and add the license disclaimer to your site.  If for some reason your use fails to meet the conditions, we will let you know what the problem is so that it can be rectified.  The disclaimer simply states something to the affect of “Joomla! is a registered trademark of Open Source Matters, Inc.”

3) Any guidelines before registering new domains? Any ways to use joomla in the name correctly or should people stick to jom, joom or j?

The policy with domains is pretty much the same as with a regular name/logo usage. We are not concerned with j*, jom*, or joom* domains unless they will create confusion with the Joomla! name.

Hopefully these will help you get started but it might be more efficient for us to just have a conversation about this.  I imagine there are a lot of potential sticking points that people will be concerned about and I generally find a dialog to be more efficient at fleshing these issues out than an e-mail thread.  I know you mentioned it the other day but I was a bit pre-occupied. How does that sound now?

4) Could you give us an example of how the team deals with infringements?

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Protect Your Domain Research

Lots of people in the domain industry have suspected it but hard evidence is finally emerging that people are spying on your domain research.

Basically, if you're searching for a domain but don't buy it immediately, there is a good chance that someone will get there ahead of you.

Click here to read the relevant EWeek article.

So how do you protect your privacy?. Simple – create your own WhoIs look-up. Save the following code as a file called whois.php and upload it to your server. Voila! You can see ours at www.alledia.com/whois.php. Thanks to members of NamePros.com for this tip.

Download the DIY WhoIs (.zip file)

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How to Reset a Lost SuperAdmin Password

If you do lose your SuperAdmin password for Joomla, don’t worry because theres an easy way to get it back. Just login to your MySQL database and run this query for

Versions up to Joomla 1.0.12.

UPDATE `jos_users` SET `name` = ‘admin’, `password` = ‘21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3’ WHERE `id` =62 LIMIT 1 ;

Versions from Joomla 1.0.13 to 1.0.15

UPDATE `jos_users` SET `name` = ‘admin’, `password` = ‘af9083d4b82dbc0745b124db3b3cf15d:M0WuLowO4rtRTddG’ WHERE `id` =62 LIMIT 1 ;

Your username will now be admin and your password will be admin also.

If you’re running an older version of Joomla or Mambo, you might need to change jos_users to mos_users.

If you’d like to change your password to something other than admin, go to http://www.allhype.co.uk and you can encrypt your password using MD5 – the same system Joomla uses.

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Why Use a Content Management System?

Is there anything more off-putting than a visiting website to buy something and seeing © 1998 at the bottom? Well, yes‚Ķ.trying to keep your site up-to-date and relevant can seem equally disheartening.

A few years ago, if you‚Äôre company had some exciting news you‚Äôd call up your web-designer, hand over $200, wait in-line while they dealt with their other clients, finally get your small changes made, see they‚Äôd made a mistake, call them up, wait in line…

Well, people have been working on software to simplify that whole frustrating process and put the power to update your websites into YOUR hands. If you’re looking for an easy way to publish and manage your company’s news and information online, you might consider Content Management Systems (CMS). At first sight, a CMS might be mistaken for a blog, but although similar they have several clear advantages.

WHY NOT TO USE A BLOG

A lot of people keep blogs but there are key reasons why they are generally considered inappropriate for companies:

  1. To make a really interesting blog you need to allow people to comment on your articles. This can work if you have a lot of time to manage the comments but otherwise they can fill up quickly with spam, rude comments and other things that will reflect badly on your company.
  2. Blogs thrive on controversial and outlandish opinions. That means your company needs to keep up a constant stream of patter. This isn’t recommended unless you’re building a business on the back of your personality ala Donald Trump from “the Apprentice” or Jim Kramer from “Mad Money”.
  3. They are limited in their what they can do. Most blogs don’t offer the possibility of adding an online store, a portfolio of your company’s work or calendar of events. A CMS can do all of this.

WHY USE A CMS

  1. The key idea behind a Content Management System is that people need a really easy way to manage and categorise their content. So if you write an article about a project your company has just finished you can store it under “Projects”. If its about a new member of staff then it can be filed under “Staff”. A good CMS is something your grandmother could understand and run.
  2. A CMS expands easily with your company. If you’d like to add a photo gallery, portfolio, event calendar or other new feature, it can be done with a few mouse clicks. The software has been already written and developed. The possibilities are numerous.
  3. Large numbers of developers work on CMS software. There’s a phrase in web design called “Golden Handcuffs”. Basically it means that once a designer has their hands on your site they can make it so complex that you have to keep hiring them because only they can understand it. With a CMS you can easily find someone plenty of other people to help you out.
  4. Most are free. Some are for sale but many high-quality CMS are distributed free-of-charge.

Overall, a CMS can offer an excellent way to make sure that your site welcomes visitors with your latest news and a tagline that reads © 2006.

WHICH CMS TO CONSIDER

  • Joomla (www.joomla.org). Regarded as the most user-friendly of all CMS.
  • Drupal (www.drupal.org). Good if you need lots of users with the permission to do different tasks on the site.
  • To take a trial run of many free CMSs you can visit www.opensourcecms.com
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E-Mail for Busy Professionals

This came about after talking to a client who runs a big company that advertises widely. He asked me why the vast majority of his leads came via his website or the phone when he took such good care to place his e-mail address at top of each advertisement. Why did no-one seem to use or remember it?

Our subsequent conversation produced advice that I hope will be useful for everyone else out there who uses their e-mail as a business tool:

Don’t Use a Free E-mail Address

That includes Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, BellSouth, Alltell and others. There are given away free to anyone who wants to sign up. That image doesn’t match with the professionalism that most businesses want convey.

Do Use an E-mail Address Based on Your Web Address.

When you’re advertising, its vital to make things as simple as possible. People will be confused if your web address is www.IsellHouses.com but your e-mail address is [email protected] As a quick test, I went through two widely-distributed. magazines, Over half of the advertisers had committed this simple mistake.

Simplify things by setting up an e-mail address such as [email protected] I sometimes hear the reply that “I haven’t done this yet, because its too difficult”. Well, if you can’t find a friend, your computer-savvy son or anyone else to help you master the intricacies of Outlook Express, there are websites such as Mail2Web.com where you can pick up your e-mail directly. The technical term for e-mail like this is POP3.

Do Advertise Your E-mail on Every Page of Your Website

It’s a myth to think that you are automatically opening yourself up to spam by placing your e-mail on the web as often as possible. With a little snippet of code you can easily protect your e-mail. Either your webdesigner can help with this or by searching Google for “Hide Your E-mail Address from Spam” you’ll be able to find the answer easily. Your e-mail address is much too important to hide away.

Don’t Put Your Logo or Any Images in Your E-mail

There are numerous problems cause by adding an image to every e-mail you send out, but I‚Äôll just list a couple here. First, you’ll mislead people who receive your e-mail and see that there is an attachment to your e-mail. Second, some e-mail software can misread a logo attached to a signature and cause it to repeat all over the background of the e-mail.. The same advice goes for using odd fonts, bright colors and long-winded company details in your signature. Keep it simple.

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Invision Power Board 2: A User Guide

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Remember the days when software came in a big box with one small disc, lots of loose paper and a big, thick manual? Nowadays software is often downloaded with just a mouse click, which means no paper warranty to loose and no manual to flick through. This leaves an opening for companies that want to sell you that missing manual. Invision Power Board 2: A User Guide from Packt Publishing is just such a book. Read more >>

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Invision Power Board 2: A User Guide

Remember the days when software came in a big box with one small disc, lots of loose paper and a big, thick manual? Nowadays software is often downloaded with just a mouse click, which means no paper warranty to mislay and no manual to flick through. This leaves an opening for companies that want to sell you that missing manual. Invision Power Board 2: A User Guide from Packt Publishing is just such a book.

Chapter 1 gives you and overview of IPB, its history and its benefits. Ideally I would be nice to seen a comparison of IPB to rival forums, especially as most of IPBs rivals are given away free, but that would have distracted from the book? “manual” status.

Chapter 2 explains your options for purchasing IPB (it’s a minimum of $70) and then installing it. The whole procedure is not difficult and the book covers it in less than 10 pages.

Chapter 3 takes you through what the user will see. You get a tour that includes posting, searching, messaging and also the Calendar and the User Control Panel. Its easy to see how a relatively long chapter like this (nearly 30 pages) could be a great help to someone setting up an IPB for the first time.

Chapter 4 does the same for the administration section and is equally comprehensive. It is in Chapters 5 and 6 that the book moves from introducing us to IPB to telling us how to run a live site. These sections cover more advanced forum control and by the end I felt that a beginner would have had few problems following the explanations.

Chapter 7 is different from the rest of the book because it contains general advice on how to run a successful forum. Chapter 8 is the only part of the book that approaches IPB from anything like a technical angle. It explains how to manage the site’s skins and includes a discussion of how IPB achieves certain effects using CSS, XHTML and Macros.

All-in-all, IPB2AUG does what it does remarkably well. The book is small but well-written with copious images. Someone working quickly could use this book to set up and understand a site within 4 or 5 hours. How often could you say that about the brick-like book that you used to get out of the box?

Click here to read more about IPB2: A User Guide.

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Mastering Mambo

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???Mastering Mambo??? is a new book for people running and building websites with the Mambo Content Management System., It was written in an awkward time, when the Mambo CMS was in the process of splitting from Joomla, but because the codebases of both projects is still so similar, ???Mastering Mambo??? is a relevant book for both Mambo and Joomla users.

Read more…>>

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