What is a Wiki and why are they so great?

July 19, 2007

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Finally, last week I was managed to score off ”Implement a company Wiki for internal documentation” off my to-do list! Within a day of using it, I’m now wondering why we didn’t start this business wiki last year!

Wiki Wookie

So what is a Wiki, and why are they so great? It could be a name for a character out of Star War, but actually its a really simple and effective way to organised information between a groups of people. Lee LeFever gives an excellent guide to what are wiki’s and how they work, fantastic video!

Wiki Resources

I must give a shout to Andy of Recent Changes, a fellow Edinburgh Coffee morning for a bunch of these resources.

  • Another video to backup concepts explain in the above video from ZDNet, a bit more businesslike
  • Still wondering how a Wiki could be used in your business, see Atlassian News for 8 Ways to use a wiki
  • Wiki Etiquette, the dos and don’ts
  • The worlds biggest Wiki, Wikipedia runs on Wikimedia
  • Remember most Wiki’s are open source, but which one of the hundred should you go with? Here’s a comprehensive list of features from WikiMatrix
  • Add-on for Firefox that allows quicker editing of Wiki’s
  • An offline Wiki Editor, for when your not connected




Plan Your Website, Save Money and Time

June 23, 2007

Planing your website will save you money, time and get you the website you want. Without the bricks (layout, content, photo’s etc) the web design agency can’t build your website successfully. Provide them the material and you will have more control over the web project.

Sitemap

One of the best ways to help your website get off the ground is by creating sitemap that show the pages you want on the site and how they link together. I suggest using Microsoft organisational chart which you can find in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Also check out Gliffy, a free online orgaisational chart. 

Some of the pages you may wish to include are Homepage, Portfolio, Client testimonials, Company background, Staff bios, Terms & conditions, Contact us, sitemap, products and services.

Competition

You should supply a list of websites that you see as competition and write what you like and don’t like about the sites. Also include websites outside your market, you don’t always need to follow the crowd.

Search Engine Optimisation Strategy

Before you start writing the bulk of the content you need to start thinking about the search engines, i.e. getting your website listed as far up the search pages as possible. You should try putting yourself into the shoes of someone trying to find a service that you offer. What words would they type into Google or Yahoo? Now obviously the competition on internet is enormous and you shouldn’t try be number one unless you’re in unique market or you have a rather large budget. So with this in mind think about local searches, for example we are on the first page of Google for Edinburgh Computer Services, but on the 11th page for Computer Services. Another thing to consider is a term called long tail searches. One of our clients, Clutch and Clasp sells designer handbags. Do a search for designer handbags and you won’t find the website. Do a search for Luella kelsey handbag and they are number one. In the next section I’ll mention a couple of websites that will help you with choosing keywords and search terms, and show the popularity of them.

More information on Search Engine Optimisation

Keywords and Website description

Although many will tell you that keywords and website description, known as Meta Tags isn’t important anymore. I was recently told by a specialist in this sector that you should pay attention to them. Meta tags are divided into two sections, description which is a small summary of the website, usually no longer than two sentences. The second part is 5 to 10 keywords that describe the website. These two elements are hidden when you visit a website but seen by the search engines.

<meta name="description" content="terinea provide a range of computer technology 
and internet services for business and domestic users">

<meta name="keywords" content="edinburgh computer 
services business information technology internet">

You could also go the extra mile and have different Meta tags for each page of your website. 

Websites that listing keywords and their popularity

http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

http://www.wordtracker.com - Paid for service

Content, Content, Content

The content for website is what delays most web projects. At the end of the day you understand your business the best, not the web design agency. They can help you with what they feel should be on the site, how it is best layed out for search engines and useabiltiy etc. Again I suggest using Microsoft Word or any other word processor. Things you should include are links to other pages, headings, sub-headings, tables and photo’s etc. When writing the content make sure you don’t over use keywords, search engines like keywords but they also like content that is designed for humans, not machines.

Photos

Find photo’s you would like to have on the website from sources such as flickr, SXC, and Stockxpert. These may help to form a design for your website and help the web designer with the vision you have for the site. If you have existing photos for your business send the originals or betters still start on flickr account. I’ve talked about this in the past too, see link below. Sending images from the existing website is no good unless they are high quality. At the end of the project you should ask the web design agency for CD/DVD of all the images and webpages.

Why We Have A Company Flickr Account

Design

If your web design agency is also producing the branding for the site, i.e. logo, colours, fonts and styling etc it would also be advantageous to give them examples of styles you like.

If you have different company providing the logo and branding, make sure the web design agency gets all material that you receive. Otherwise your nicely design logo’s might not match the colours used on the website.

Weblog

If you feel that your website will incorporated a blog or it is a blog in itself, then why not start now. WordPress is an excellent place to start because it can easily be imported to other systems or hosted on your own website. 

Web Directories

Once your website is live I suggest submitting your website to as many web directories as possible. I’ve included a post I did earlier in the year with business directories. You should also search for directories related to your business sector.

Promoting Your New Web Site

 

Author: Support @ 5:10 pm
Category: Web development




Do You Know Your Web 2.0?

June 21, 2007

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eWeek has just posted a quiz on Web 2.0 for the Enterprise 2.0 conference currently running in Boston. I got six, maybe seven if we cheat a little.

  1. Where did the term “Web 2.0″ originate?
  2. Name three different versions for what RSS stands for?
  3. What is a trackback?
  4. How much did News Corp. pay for MySpace?
  5. Name the founder of Wikipedia
  6. What does AJAX stand for?
  7. What technology is being referred to as Web 3.0?
  8. What is Flex?
  9. Who is Amanda Congdon?
  10. What did Tim O’Reilly say about companies that advertise themselves as Web 2.

Click here for the answers

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Don’t forget Beer 2.0 tonight!

Jamie

Technorati tags: , , ,
Author: Support @ 11:16 am




Windows Live Writer v Word 2007 - Blogging Client

June 13, 2007

Danielle from shopautodotca seocontest thanked me for bringing Windows Live Writer to her attention. Danielle was considering upgrading to Word 2007 to use its desktop blogging features.

So I thought it might be useful to compare features of the two clients.

Windows Live Writer

Word 2007 (Blog Posting)

Advanced HTML formatting, fonts and styling

Some
(HTML view)

Fully HTML

Charts

Yes

WordArt

Yes

Symbols

Yes

SmartArt

Yes

Shapes

Yes

Table

Yes

Yes (advance formatting)

Spelling

Yes

Yes

Thesaurus

Yes

Grammar

Yes

Translate

Yes

Auto Thumbnail

Yes

Advance Picture Editing (Cropping, shadows, colour)

Some

Yes

Tagging

Yes

Maps

Yes

Post Splitting

Yes

Post Draft (Upload but don’t post)

Yes

View HTML

Yes

Web Preview

Yes

Open Past Posts

Yes

Yes

Pluggin’s

Yes

Post Date Posts

Yes

Hyperlinks

Yes

Yes (Slow Process)

Word 2007 features

Here are some of the features that do not exist in Windows Live Writer.


Advance picture editing, especially cropping is a big advantage

Charts and SmartArt

Word Art and Shapes

Your, You Are, You’re, Its, It’s

Grammatical mistakes and writing style

Blogger.com

If you are using Blogger platform from Google you can download an add-on, which allows you to blog directly from Word 2000 or higher.

http://buzz.blogger.com/bloggerforword.html

Making Word 2007 a Killer Blogging Client?

So what features would Word 2007 need to become the ultimate desktop blogging client?

  • Tags
  • HTML View
  • Auto Thumbnails
  • ?
Author: Support @ 1:00 am




InternetWorld 2007 Exhibition

May 8, 2007


Penalty Shoot Out

Last week it seemed like a good idea to fly* down to Earls Court, London to attend InternetWorld Exhibition. That was until Tuesday nights Champions League game went to extra time and penalties causing me to have another couple glasses of red wine. Anyway I managed to make the 8:25 flight from Edinburgh to Gatwick although be it feeling slightly rough.

*Don’t worry I planted a tree to offset my carbon footprint!



The Exhibition

InternetWorld was for companies wishing to display…

  • Enterprise Content Management Systems (Open Source too!)
  • Ecommerce and Payment Systems
  • Search Marketing
  • Online Advertising and Affiliate Marketing
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Solutions
  • Creative Design

Or companies looking for the above resources.

The show was worth attending from my companies point a view, speaking to eZ and Squiz. Although I think it would suit more a Digital Marketing Company or completely internet based company. Some of the products looked like they had a short shelf life, i.e. sales must be based on customers with a lack of knowledge in that area. For example a couple of companies offered web statistics for business websites. You could for example use Google Analytics for free or use a open source product such as AWstats.

Big Boys

I was expecting more products from the big boys, especially Google!

Microsoft - adCenter, boring

Yahoo -Search Marketing gave away the best free pens atleast!

Google - Closed!

I liked BigMouthMedia’s stand.

Freebies

The main reason for attending these events?

Mad for the mouse mats, AQL for the free 300 text messages via a desktop application, Cheeze for Podcast CD, Jumptags for the toy frog and Carrenza for the plant to offset your PC’s carbon footprint!

Interesting Products

Browsealoud - Offers text-to-speech for websites and documents.

Map24 - Map24 is different from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Maps because it uses vectors rather than bitmaps to display the maps. Meaning it should load quicker and have a higher quality feel to the maps.

JumpTags -  An alternative to del.icio.us. I have installed the JumpTags Firefox toolbar and imported my bookmarks, but then I’m completely lost what to do next, think I’ll stick to Delicious.

go & pay - Apparently there over 10 million people in the UK that currently can’t purchases services or goods over the internet or just don’t trust the system. So if you add go&pay to your online ecommerce solution you can offer them an alternative. Select the services or goods > select go&pay > print barcode off with the total amount > take this to your local newsagent that accepts go and pay. Good idea but I can only see it taking off if there are enough locations that offer this service. In the Edinburgh area for example there are over 50 locations which isn’t bad?

3B.net - An online shopping directory meets Second Life? Although the guy at the stand seem rather upset when I made this comprasion.

Professional Open Source Content Management Systems from eZ and Squiz.net . Unlike other open source projects these two companies develop the product full time. They make their money on consultancy basis. So for example Terinea could deploy one of the CMS’s to a client and if we ran into problems we could fall back on the company to help us out, very much like a commerical product. Also unlike many companies that call their product a ”Professional Open Source Project”,  SugarCRM comes to mind here. They don’t offer a cut down version which is open source and another full blown product which you pay for.

Hello

Oh a hello to the guys from Scotland Online.

Jamie

Author: Support @ 2:01 pm




Random Sequence Take on Search Engine Optimisation

April 24, 2007

A good explanation from our friends over at Random Sequence on how Search Engine Optimisation works or as it is commonly asked ”How do I get my website to the top of the page on google”

http://www.randomsequence.com/mrwalker/our-take-on-search-engine-optimisation/

 

Author: Support @ 3:45 pm
Category: Web development




Joomla Content Management System as A Rental Platform

April 20, 2007

Just been looking at Websites that run the Joomla open source content management system and offer rental services such as hotels, property and vehicles.

These are the most professional ones I could find…

http://www.independentvillas.co.uk/

http://www.short-let.com/index.php

http://www.northendnairn.co.uk

I think you will agree all of them look professional and functional, another reason to seek an open source solution.

Author: Support @ 10:16 am




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