Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Revamped website in making.

The third version of the website is in making. Scheduled for June 15, 2007.
What's new: Classifications (labels) for all postings. Related News, Resources and documents presented on the page viewed. Template based website with SQL and PHP. Website statistics, etc.... supporting the idea of Citizen Journalism for Salesians of South Asia. Temporary link for beta version: http://www.maindb.com/ (! Work in progess)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Street walking -Jesus style

When Pope Benedict XVI talked about taking Jesus to the street, I said " now we can have a patron for Streetwalkers, Jesus himself, just as he could be the leader for street smart guys like the salesians." I am sure JC would feel completely at home talking the lingo of the la strada, dropping in at the warrens of the street urchins and even supping with relish with floatsam that take over the streets with night fall.

I am sure JC would enjoy the freedom of the long road in the countryside, just as he would the down town streets that have become the canyon floors under the shadow of modern day concrete mountains. If the smell of asphalt road under the burning sun is mildly sophoric, JC would find the miasmic odours of the multitudinous activities of the city streets quietly reassuring.
What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BIS goes RSS

Bosco Information Service goes RSS.
This RSS feed will help Salesians to keep track of many news updates from various provinces of South Asia and in particular that of INDIA.

Thanks to Fr.Julian Fox for inspiring Fr.Joseph Poruthur to take a chance !

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Why should BIS go RSS ?*

This is the trend of all Class A publishers online. BIS go RSS for the following reasons.

It's a ridiculously easy way to read the web.
So, how many bookmarks do you have in your browser? How many of them have new information? Does it make you sick to your stomach to think of clicking through all of those to discover whether or not the website owners have added new, interesting content? Via RSS, you can subscribe to www.donboscoindia.com and very easily find out whether there is new relevant content. My bookmarks no longer scare me. In fact, I rarely use them.

It's ridiculously easy to discover relevant information.
For people without a desire to spelunk on the web, finding things and checking back has been a chore. Many folks approach Google like it's a library card catalog. I want to find out about X and so I'll search on Google and then trust in its algorithm and click through the links on the first, oh, two, let's say, pages. RSS allows you to tap important, relevant, even mission-critical information by enabling the creation of feeds based on keywords. So, let's say you work for Youth at Risk that is following issues pertaining to Child Rights and/or Youth Rehabilitation. You can set up some keyword searches and then subscribe to those searches. This can allow relevant information to come to you.

It's ridiculously easy to share the information you get.
One of the nice things about RSS is that information comes to you in manageable chunks: a BIS headline with a sentence-long article summary; a complete description; the pointer to a news subcription; an email announcement list; events. You can push that information out to communities who may be interested -- simply send it via email or put it on your own blog.

It's ridiculously easy to participate in conversations.
Okay, RSS is just an enabler here. Why should you care what people are saying about the issues you're interested in? Knowing what they are saying -- and where they are saying it -- gives you the opportunity to participate in the conversation. You make a comment on someone's website or participate in a message board thread. This helps to further the conversation and distributes your content (you'll sign your comment right? and include your organization's web presence?) around the web. This makes the web a richer place but it also helps to generate attention to the issues you are working on.

It's ridiculously easy to control your own subscriptions.
Here's the truth: unsubscribing from some mailing lists, announcements, or other outreach is, how do you say, a chore. You have to click a link that, about half the time, merely confirms that you are a real, live body receiving email. You can't remember how it is that you elected to receive the information and, most critical to me, it ends up mixed in with the ebb-and-flow of your inbox and, hence, gets in the way of getting work done. RSS gives you complete control. You can easily segment your feed (it's hard to set up an email filter for something you don't know you are receiving) from your regular email. You can even use a non-email client aggregator.

It's ridiculously easy to allow people to trade your good content
It may sound like I'm being flip. I'm not; I swear. Hook yourself up with an RSS feed. It allows people to very easily trade your good relevant content and that's exactly what you want right? It happens at almost no cost to you.

It's ridiculously easy for other people to lend you a bit of their web real estate.
Okay, this one is a little harder. But RSS does offer up the possibility of allowing other organizations to display some of your content on their website. This is good. It gets your content out to a variety of audiences and it can greatly enhance relevant partnerships. The best part? They don't actually have to talk to you for this to happen. Painless content partnerships. What more could anyone want?

It's ridiculously easy to avoid being a spammer.
Opt-in, double opt-in. Allowing people to subscribe via RSS puts complete control into their hands and gets you completely off the spammer hook. Okay, so some email publishers hate that. It's hard to track traffic and click thrus, and it puts control completely in the hands of the subscriber and not the publisher. I just don't agree. If you are creating good content people will subscribe and they will stay subscribed. That means that, ultimately, the control is really in your hands. Compelling content works better than anything else. Oh yeah, not being a spammer isn't just an ethical (and increasingly legal issue) not being a spammer also means that you message will get to your intended audience and not dumped into a spam filter.

It's ridiculously easy to contribute to web-wide conversations.
Okay, if you're using RSS to track what people are saying about important issues and what people are saying about you, so are other folks. By making your content available via RSS, you're allowing other people to discover you. And they'll be commenting on your site, linking to it, and (here's the kicker) subscribing to your RSS feed and not just stumbling across you in their own keyword searches.

* Text adapted from http://ext337.blogspot.com/

How do I save my postings for future use?

Click Back up /Archive
This is meant for archiving or making back ups of items posted on the site by members.

Click Backup/Archive. “Backup Download Center” appears. A list of the items (such as share news, share album etc.) you have posted will appear.
Click the icon of the item that you want to make a back up of.
A zip icon will appear; when you click the zip icon you will be asked to save the zip file. This zip file will contain the backup of whatever you have posted. You can save it on your computer.

How do I announce the seminars I conduct/organize?

Click 'Share Seminars'
This is meant for sharing information regarding seminars that any member Salesian conducts or has information about.

Click “Share Seminars”. List of seminars (if any), which he has posted earlier, appears.
Click ADD. “Add My Seminar” panel appears.
Choose your office, if you have more than one office by checking the button.
Type in the requested details such as Title of the Seminar, Description of the Seminar, Seminar By, Seminar Venue, Registration Fee, Information source, etc. You can also add a picture by Browsing. Enter the Starting Date of the Seminar (Date, Month and Year).
Click “Submit My Seminar”. The title of your seminar will appear on the List of Seminars in the Province. If posted by an ordinary member it will first go for approval by the Web Coordinator.

How do I share my files like power point, articles, notes, etc?

Click 'Share Resources'
This is to facilitate the sharing of resources such as Prayer Services, Animation Notes, Art, Music, Articles/Research papers, PowerPoint presentations, cartoons, software etc among selected groups of Salesians.

Log on to your virtual office through the “Reserved Area”.
Click “Share Resources” on the left panel. The List of Resources will appear.
Click any Resource Title to view it.
Click Add Resource to add more resources.
Click the Delete Icon to delete a resource.
Select the office from which you are working by checking the appropriate button.
Check (3) the type of Resource by checking the appropriate button.
Type in the Title and a brief Description of the Resource.
You can add an image by clicking “Browse”.
The Resource File is added from its source (Floppy, CD, Hard Disk) by Browsing.
Authorize which category or groups of persons may use your Resource by checking the appropriate boxes.
Click “Submit My Resource”.

Resources posted by a member needs approval by the BIS Coordinator of his province, just like News items.Once a resource is approved by the BIS Coordinator, you cannot edit or delete it

How do I publish photos and create my album?

Click 'Share Album'
This is meant for all members to help them to create their albums and post their photos and images on the site.

Click “Share Album” link on the left panel. The Share Album List appears.
To create album click ADD. The Share Album Panel appears. Check your appropriate office button.
Type in the title of the new Album; type in the description of the Album. Then click “Save Album”. Click OK to confirm. The album is created. The “Add Photos to my Album” appears.
Click “Browse” in order to select the pictures from their sources (Floppy, CD, Hard Disk, etc).
Type in the photo caption. Type in the short description of the photo.
Click “Save Photos”. The Successfully Added” message appears along with the thumbnail preview of the pictures.
Go to “My Album List” to add more photos to any album.
Click ADD to add photos. Click View/Edit to view the picture or edit them.
Click the icon under “Add Photos” to add photos to the album.

At a time, you can upload four photos to the album.
Albums posted by members require the approval of the BIS Coordinator, just like the News items.