Opening links in a new page

17 February 2009

Websites with outbound links are a useful source of information for your readers. They enable you to link to articles relevant to the blog post you have written.

Some blogs, such as the Official Google Blog, have trackback features on posts that will increase traffic to your website.

However, external links can entice visitors away from a page. If you write a blog post on a topic and then link to an external blog, visitors might stay on that page and not click the back button when finished.

Making links open in a new page:

An easy solution to this is to make all your pages open in a new window. Read the rest of this entry »


Embedding forms into websites

15 February 2009

Forms are the first step towards more interactive websites. Without them, no comments, no sign-ups, no ratings and no feedback. If your website doesn’t allow for easy integration of forms, you can embed forms from external services. We’ve looked into Google Docs, Jotform and Wufoo. In addition, we’re integrating our Mailchimp lists and Surveymonkey surveys with the ISEAL Alliance website. Read the rest of this entry »

Fancy formatting, now also in blogs!

9 February 2009

Writing a quick blog post? Great! Write it down, press publish, and you’re done!

But think again: How easy did you make it for your readers to read what you just produced? Clearly, a second reading to check the flow of the text always helps, but there are also a couple of very simple tricks to make a text more accessible. I’m talking formatting here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Publishing under your own name

9 February 2009

Blogs are personal. So are learning processes.

That’s why we have decided to publish blog posts under our own name. The ideas and opinions we publish here are our own, and not necessarily ISEALs. We are looking for feedback, and are open to conversation.

You can see the author of a post at the very bottom: This article is ‘Posted by Wiebke’, for example.

In very rare occasions, we will use the account ISEAL Alliance for official announcements like changes in policy, press releases or final documents. All other posts are personal and not vetted or edited in an official process.

Alternatives to Google for finding people

9 February 2009

Unlike plumbers or doctors, you won’t find online community consultants or developers in the Yellow Pages.

Here are some of the social media tools that can be used to find people. Read the rest of this entry »

Selecting tools to build an online community

5 February 2009

We have been considering what tools to use for the online community.

So far, we have been looking at Drupal and Typo3 as the best content management systems.

Both offer a wide variety of plugins, including the ability to have a discussion forum and a document library. We also want to host a variety of webinars and interactive training courses.

For the webinar, we will be trialling Gotomeeting’s GoToWebinar option.

Selecting tools:

When selecting tools, it is important to us that they are open source and that we are able to train our members and stakeholders on how to use these tools.

It is also important that contributed content does not just come from ISEAL Alliance staff, but from those who we inform as well.

Our members and stakeholders have a wealth of experience to share with each other and ISEAL.

Indeed, many stakeholders have been helpful in meeting with us both in person and via Skype to explain their experiences with possible tools we are considering.

The landing page for the online community should also be welcoming and informative about the work that ISEAL does, without distracting the reader with too much information.

We are considering having a slideshow for the landing page showcasing ISEAL’s work, using slideshare.

What tools would you recommend for use in an online community? Have you been involved with planning or building an online community?

Why not give your view in the comments?

Social bookmarking and online planning

19 January 2009

During the research for the online community, we have noticed how useful the social bookmarking service is:

  • We can save web pages giving important information for the online community project, and have instant access to them whenever we sign in.
  • We can also share them with other people by adding them as a contact and comment on their bookmarks.
  • Unlike bookmarking in web browsers, you don’t have to worry about slowing your internet down or switching between browsers.
  • can also be useful when defining search keywords, which saves time.

The Delicious toolbar can also be installed so you don’t have to open a new window each time you add a bookmark.

Have you used to improve your online communications?

Do you use any other social networking or social bookmarking tools you would like to post a comment on?

Why not discuss below?