XML and software
XML, web and software in general, with notes on Radio Userland resources

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Sunday, December 18, 2005


Business Blogging - Yahoo! Small Business hosts Movable Type: "get the power of Movable Type for blogging from a web host you trust: Yahoo! Small Business web hosting. All the features you need, with no installation required."  $8/mo for 200 GB transfers and 5GB storage, with normal upgrades from there.  11:23:08 PM  permalink  

Gapminder: An interactive presentation for the "Human Development Report 2005" by UNDP, relating population, income and health across countries and regions over 50 years.  Much improved in recent months.  In 10 minutes, it conveys a lot about where the world is going.

  12:50:27 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, December 15, 2005


RSS SMS:  How to use yahoo alerts to issue SMS from RSS feeds, for free.
  8:24:35 AM  permalink  


daily link  Tuesday, December 13, 2005


AJAX and E4X for Fun and Profit:  Functions to make Ajax easier in Firefox.  Published code on page.  "What I came up with was a lightweight Javascript AJAX class, with the following APIs. Note that this was designed specifically for use with Firefox 1.5 and above, though when I publish the full class specification (this is still something of a work in progress) it should work, with minor exceptions, on most browsers that support AJAX."  10:52:27 AM  permalink  

Objectifying XML - E4X for Firefox 1.1: E4X is ECMAScript for XML, a language extension proposed to the ECMA late last summer.  "The principle behind E4X is simple, but very profound. Currently, Javascript is rather stupid about XML - if you want to manipulate XML, you have to create a set of interfaces and use the W3C DOM and frequently some VERY painful treewalking or convoluted XPath calls in order to be able to do anything with it. .. [E4X] lets Javascript treat XML as a native application type in exactly the same way that Javascript handles strings, numbers and regular expressions. [And] it "objectifies" XML. In other words, it lets you convert an XML document into a representation of an object, without having to go through the long, involved steps involved in working with DOM."  10:41:31 AM  permalink  

FTP File Sync: "Add robust FTP file synchronization to your web application (ASP, PHP, etc) in just a few lines of code. As an ActiveX component accessible through COM, FTP Sync is easily integrated into client side, or server-side applications and scripts. FTP Sync requires no user interface and can run transparently in the background or respond directly to an event.

With both Uploading and Downloading Synchronization methods, FTP Sync can be used in a multitude of applications. With FTP Sync enabled client applications, you can easily deploy new files to every client application simply by uploading updated files to an FTP server."  Inexpensive.
  10:29:10 AM  permalink  


Software That Binds, And Converts, And Retains: In two articles, Baseline magazine profiles the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software in churches.  They track people so that visitors become members, members contribute and volunteer more, and members change churches ("churn") less -- all classic CRM.  "Eighteen months ago, [pastor] Hand implemented a new process based on software from a company called ConnectionPower to improve the church's outreach methods. ConnectionPower features modules for such things as automating the visitor follow-up process, tracking donations and revenues, and creating a Web portal for members. It's priced from $1,000 for a small church to about $20,000 for churches with 6,000 or more members. 

At [Hand's church], new visitors continue to fill out registration cards as they had in the past, with information such as family member names, ages, address [and] e-mail address. But now volunteers immediately type the information into the Windows-based ConnectionPower software. And now, each Monday morning, Hand or his assistant logs in to the system and see the names of the new visitors. .. The software then produces follow-up recommendations. For example, if a 28-year-old mother of two visits, the software prompts a volunteer of a similar age and background to make contact later in the week."

And the churches embrace podcasting and other media.  "69%of evangelicals use the Internet to send, receive and forward spiritual e-mail and electronic greeting cards and request prayers online, according to a Pew Internet survey last year. That's compared with 51% of Catholics and 54% of Jews, the Pew Internet study said. .. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, an evangelical church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with 18,000 members, lets Apple iPod users download and take along a daily message from pastor Bob Coy, as part of what the church calls its Active Word Ministry. .. "If you don't have a parking lot, you can't get the people in the church to hear the message and ultimately lead them to the Lord. A Web site is as important as a parking lot to a church." "

  10:12:28 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, December 05, 2005


Why free software:  "you have three types of customers: those that will pay you, those that might pay you, and those that will never pay you.  .. There were sufficient folks in the first category for us to get off the ground as a business, and enough in the second to grow the business. How did we do that? By leveraging the third category - the folks who will never pay us. I'll do anything and everything in my power to help the individual developers in my world for absolutely no money, because they give us relevance to the folks that will or might pay us. It really is that simple. Nor do we give everything away .. Like SugarCRM, most of what we do is free and available, but some isn't. To sum up: giving things away can easily grow your revenue opportunities, rather than undermine it." Then again, it ain't easy:: "Even JBoss has had difficulty converting those who download its software into paying subscribers - BusinessWeek earlier this year reported just five percent of JBoss users are subscribers."  8:45:32 AM  permalink  


daily link  Thursday, December 01, 2005


How wikis are evolving: Several recent examples of how large numbers of collaborators can contribute and distribute information rapidly:

  • Wikinews collected stories from "citizen journalists" during Katrinareporting, linking and photographing from Louisiana and around the world.  Among professional journaists, the Online Journalism Review also assembled a wiki to aggregate crucial information after Katrina struck.
  • The Katrina Information Map, a public resource for tracking or reporting flood damage.  "most people are using the service to inquire about loved ones or report flooding on various streets."
  • London bombings information was tracked in real time.  Among other things, you can view every revision as it was posted to see how the information was released.
  • The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request in 2003 looking for evidence of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  It put the 4000 pages of documents on the a Detention Practices Project wiki and asked readers of the community blog Daily Kos to rapidly read and review them.
  • Authors Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig post their latest books online and invite readers to note errata or updates for the next edition.  "Assembling pages of errata for my editor was a pain in the ass and very hard to use comprehensibly, especially when I got thoughts from readers in no particular order," Doctorow said. "Wikis let my readers self-organize it."
  8:42:07 AM  permalink  

Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 12/18/2005; 11:23:26 PM.
0 page reads.