Friday, September 26, 2008

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shop-ipHow would you like to be able to gain a ton of information about a web site, right from the status bar in Firefox?

Good (Free) Help is Hard to Find

Tue, 09 Sep 2008 20:26:00 -0500

Let me start with my specific problem. I want to let users of my PmWiki based web site ( search a GPS coordinate database, and view the results on a map in a different window or tab. This involves generating queries to MySQL database from a PHP form, taking the resulting data set, and invoking dynamic calls to Google Maps server, using the Google Maps API. Obviously, this demands a good technical understanding of the Google Maps API, as well as PHP (and possibly Javascript or Ajax) programming.

Since I am not a programmer, I posted at several Linux and Open Source Software (OSS) user groups for people interested in working on the project (no upfront pay, share in any future profits), and also checked with coders I know.

Of several hundred people I contacted, I got one possible contact. Folks wanted to use their language of choice (perl, java, ruby). Or they lost interest when they learned there is no pay upfront. People were busy at work, or would rather rewrite a puzzle solver for free.

Why is that a big deal? Because it means that free OSS based web sites are, and will continue to be, driven by coders and techies. As a (non-IT) technical person I know that enginners' interests are frequently very different from those of their customers, and products they create are more often then not hard sells.

For programs and sites to be successful, input from sales, marketing and product development, is needed as well. This is why the most popular Linux distributions are from commercial outfits (Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuse are supported by Canonical, RedHat and Novelle, respectively). It is also the reason that while Microsoft sells and gives away tools that allow non-programmers to develop applications quickly and easily, Linux/BSD tools have higher learning curves and are harder to use (even if they are superior in many other ways). The same is true for databases, collaboration suites, and other applications, which are easy to use and well supported with manuals, books, and training programs.

Until OSS developers join people with end-user perspective, the penetration of OSS-based technologies will be limited, and commercial products will continue to rule the marketplace. I hope the day soon comes when OSS focus turns to creating tools for dummies, with documentation to match, so folks like me can create all they want without large cash outlays.

When you are starting a web site, one of your chief concerns is stability. Any time that the web site spends offline as a result of technical problems is time that your customers are unable to use your site, and this is bad for your bottom line. Businesses tend to want the most stable operating system for their web sites to minimize the dreaded server crash.

Another Yahoo Search Marketing Coupon

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 17:56:06 +0000

This is a way you can make yourself stick out like a sore thumb in a good way.  Not like that time you wore the sombrero to your high school reunion.

In Case You've Read Otherwise, SmugMug Still Loves S3

Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:01:00 -0400

Last Thursday night, I came across this article via the Storagezilla blog. Beth Pariseau wrote that Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) has had "performance and reliability issues serious enough" to prompt second thoughts among early adopters. In particular, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill recently decided to move hot storage back in-house.

The instant I finishing reading the article, my RSS reader lit up with Don's response. He still loves Amazon, even if S3 hasn't solved the "speed of light problem". It takes at least 60-80ms for bytes of data to travel the distance between SmugMug's west coast location and Amazon's east coast data center. There's no getting around that. He moved hot storage closer to his web servers NOT to solve Amazon's performance problems, but to reduce those thousands of miles to inches. Don also tracked down the Storagezilla post and added a comment there.

Fast forward to this morning, when someone sent me a snippet from a Tier 1 Research news brief in which Dan Golding wrote about Amazon's disillusioned users. I gave Dan a hard time for basing his article on the same two customers Beth interviewed without giving her credit. Dan argued that attribution isn't customary in the analyst world. Besides, we shouldn't even be having this conversation. As a non-subscriber, I should have deleted any T1R content that came my way upon receipt.

Ironically, during his HostingCon presentation last year, T1R founder Andy Schoepfer's key message was "don't be an island". It's important for web hosting providers to connect customers to external ecosystems like eBay and Amazon, because no e-business can thrive in isolation. Given T1R's Hosting 2.0 advocacy, Dan's reaction seemed... Analyst 1.0-ish. But towards the end of our conversation, he did promise that an upgrade is on the way. As a point of reference, Burton Group, Dan's former employer, has a great blog that links to external sources. Same goes for Forrester. And at least 220 other research firms, including T1R parent company The 451 Group. Raven Zachary, who leads 451's open source practice, is even on Twitter!

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now and back to Amazon. I think every web hosting exec needs to read Don's blog post - along with Robert Cichon's post on customer satisfaction metrics. Robert said a hosting provider has done a good job if (a) the company gets written testimonials, (b) customers refer other customers because they're happy with service quality, and (c) customers defend the company against negative remarks. Amazon gets three points based on Don's reaction. What's your score?

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A ix web hosting review is usually positive. This is because
uses cPanel as the ixweb hosting control panel. This makes it easy to use for
people who are just starting out as webmasters. There are a lot of new customers
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right away. This is because these companies have gotten too large to take on the
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Other than that, it isn�t very remarkably different from the other hosting
companies who keep dropping prices and providing more hosting services. A few
extra features are included in the starting price, but in this extremely
competitive industry it�s hard to know how long that will last. In fact,
comparative reviews pitting one hosting company against another are increasing
as the consumer becomes more educated about how hosting companies quickly change
prices and services as everyone scrambles to make a quick buck off the internet. looks like one of the good companies, but again, provides the
same service everyone else has.

The Expert plan ($5.95 a month) includes unlimited domains, 600 gigs of disk
space, one free domain registration, 6,000 gigs of data transfer, and unlimited
subdomains. The Business plan ($8.95 a month) includes unlimited domains, 1,000
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domains, unlimited disk space, three free domain registrations, 10,000 gigs of
data transfer, and unlimited subdomains. Some features like the site builder are
free and other optional features like credit card processing are reasonably
priced, but if you are serious about e-commerce, you are going to pay more here
and there.

Of course, the cpanel makes webhosting easy to use right from the start. It
doesn�t have as many icons as other hosting companies, but the Getting Started
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for newcomers to web site management. The Logs section is at the top of the
panel which is convenient and includes icons for latest visitors, bandwidth,
Webelizer, Webelizer FTP, raw access logs, analog stats, and error log. The rest
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Probably the biggest selling point for is that while they are
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corporate mergers that are causing unnecessary downtime for sites these days.
Hopefully, will stay the course of being independent and
continue to get good reviews.

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It is with a heavy heart that we have come to the end of this beautiful composition on host gator cupon. Please do disburse its beauty to others.

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Blogger sandy223 said...

This is a great way to start on the ground floor of HostGator. If you have experience with web hosting, web design, or general troubleshooting, and enjoy helping others with solutions to their problems, then this may be the position for you.
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11:42 AM  

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