Posts About Tools

Alchemy CMS: great for managing websites integrated with Ruby on Rails

After learning Ruby on Rails, I played around a little with a few of the open source content management system options available, and one in particular stood out for what I typically need: Alchemy CMS.

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Using Dandelion for simple website deployments

Anyone building simple static websites has been there. You start out putting your website live by FTPing your files to the web server. With so many free FTP tools out there, life is grand.

But then FTP becomes problematic when you start making changes to the website. Which files did you change? When you make a mistake remembering, you end up with missing images, incorrect style sheets, broken links, and other issues with your pages and assets.

Read on for a tutorial about a simple tool that I’ve found to be useful in helping me avoid these problems.

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Online marketing suite: I have a dream

I have a dream of a glorious website system. One that will tie all channels together and show marketers a clear picture of what’s happening. A system that has an opinion on what the best practices are. A system that is human compatible, not just web server compatible.

The analysts call it an online marketing suite [via Wayback Machine]. And apparently I have quite a bit to say about online marketing suites. Read on for the opine.

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Information as payment

You may be unaware that you actually do pay for free services on the Web. The form of payment isn’t always obvious: your personal information.

There are a couple lessons to be learned here. Read on.

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The problem with Dreamweaver as a CMS

I’ll try my best to promise that this won’t become a Dreamweaver hater’s blog. (I already wrote about some discontents earlier.) But as I’ve been learning about CMSes, there are some things that I wish that Adobe would invest in and improve upon with the Dreamweaver/Contribute combo.

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Book review: Getting Things Done

I finished and implemented Getting Things Done, a book and organization system by David Allen, a couple weeks ago. There are entire sites and dedicated blogs [via Wayback Machine] about GTD, so I feel a little outnumbered in trying to give it a review that does it justice. So I’ll just share what it has done for me.

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Hooking OmniFocus to CentOS via WebDAV

I’ve been on a Getting Things Done kick lately and have taken a liking to OmniFocus for managing my projects. They have an iPhone version that can sync with your desktop copy through a WebDAV server (amongst other options like Bonjour and MobileMe).

Guess what. I had trouble setting up WebDAV on CentOS. But I figured it out. This one’s mainly for people running Google searches trying to figure this out like I had to.

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Simple reputation monitoring with Google Alerts

Google Alerts

Why not go to Google Alerts and set up some alerts for your name and business name? Google will email you every time it finds a page on the Web talking about you or your business.

Bonus tip: link alerts

Also set up link alerts for your website. So if I wanted an alert for every time Google finds a link to this website, I’d enter this as an alert:

link:www.clearcrystalmedia.com

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Ixnay on the Dreamweaver-nay

Ever since I shelled out money for CS3 and then the upgrade to CS4, I’ve been looking for more opportunities to use it. So I figured that I’d give Dreamweaver CS4 a shot as my website development environment for a month or so.

The verdict: don’t.

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Use GrandCentral for a free business line

GrandCentral from Google Google-acquired GrandCentral offers a high tech “phone number for life.” The service is currently free, so why not use it to get a separate phone number for your business?

I set up a business line on GrandCentral a year ago and have received several inquiries from posting the number online. Plus it’s nice to know that a call is business-related when it comes through on my cell.

Read on to find out more about GrandCentral.

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