Focus on print hurts newspaper sites

Mark Van Pattern has written a piece on PBS's MediaShift titled, "How the Focus on Print Hurts Our Newspaper Site".  His story is a common story I hear time after time from those in the newspaper business.

It's definitely no tangled bureaucracy, but even within this simple system you find conflicts holding the website back. The problem is that the different people in that system just have different priorities. As general manager, I want to see both a strong online presence and continued healthy print circulation. In contrast, the managing editor doesn't want to "hurt" the print edition by making the online edition too strong, fearing that it could tempt subscribers to abandon print.

Ultimately, this conflict is what's holding our online edition back. Without a full commitment from the managing editor, the website will never reach its full potential.

Dell releasing the Mini 12 netbook this week?

Dell Inspiron Mini 12 (1210)

Last year, I started looking for a linux laptop and ended up just migrating my old Windows laptop over to Ubuntu Linux.  Since my personal preference is for smaller sized laptops, I have also been keeping an eye on the new low-cost netbooks.  Currently, I'm leaning toward the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu already installed.  However, my personal sweet spot for a laptop seems to be in the 10 to 12 inch range.

Today, at I came across reference to a yet to be released Inspiron Mini 12 (1210)!  While there have been rumors circulating on the Web that Dell will be introducing a 12.1 inch Mini netbook or (and) E Slim, I don't think anyone has reported seeing actual references of the Inspiron Mini 12 at  Until now!  Perhaps we'll be seeing the Inspiron Mini 12 released this week or possibly next week?  If the price is reasonable and Ubuntu is available, this Mini 12 will be my next notebook.

Ten Voting Days Left

With the polls closing in ten days for some of the best open source CMS out there, if you haven't voted already, you need to head over to Packt Publishing and let your voice be heard.  There are five finalists for differing categories to choose from.  Voting for the winners in each of the categories opened September 1 and ends on October 20, 2008.  This "public vote" will then be combined with votes by a panel of judges for the top three CMS in each category will then be voted for by a panel of judges.

Drupal 6.5 and 5.11 released

Drupal 6.5 and Drupal 5.11 were released yesterday.  These new versions of Drupal are maintenance releases fixing problems reported using the bug tracking system, as well as critical security vulnerabilities.  If you take a look at the release notes, you'll find that Drupal's core developers and security teams have been hard at work improving this open source content management system.  With all the hard work done for you, it only makes sense to upgrade your Drupal site today (yes, we're running Drupal 6.5).

Details and download links can be found at  

Despite economy, online ad revenue grows

Good news for sites that make a little money by allowing advertising on their pages.  Though, personally I've seen a drop in online ad revenue despite not doing too bad with the number of visitors I'm getting.

Despite an economic turndown, online advertising--and search in particular--is managing to keep its market intact, according to reports on Tuesday by an industry trade group and Wall Street analyst. 

Complete Story

Is osCommerce dead?

There it was in front of my eyes.  The headline in osCommerce's forum read, "Is OsC Dead?, Discussion of the Progress of OsC" [link removed by osCommerce folks?].  Despite how some may read the title, the thread isn't about bashing osCommerce.  Instead, it is about users and community members concerned and even fearful of the slow pace of new development for osCommerce.  Despite all the talk about osCommerce 3.0, it has been a year and a half since OsC 3 Alpha 4 was released with the roadmap showing that Alpha 5 and 6 are still under development.  How can one not ask if the future of osCommerce is in jeopardy?

As mentioned at the osCommerce forum, Kerry Watson also has an article out about the new breed of open source shopping carts.  The article starts off with a that was then, this is now statement regarding shopping carts.

While the Big Three of the old guard — osCommerce, Zen Cart, and CRE Loaded — continue to duke it out among themselves, new-generation open source commerce projects have begun to spring up with new ideas and new ways of thinking. Most noteworthy of the new crop are France-based Prestashop and US-based programs Ubercart and Magento.

These fresh Web 2.0-style carts are mature and production-ready contenders, and all are at or beyond version 1.0 in their production cycle. These carts are equal or superior to many commercial e-commerce programs, and are available for free under the GNU or OSL 3.0 Public License. We've previously reviewed Magento, so this column will focus on the other two next-generation carts: PrestaShop and Ubercart.

Personally, I've been working on recommending a friend to upgrade his osCommerce site to either Magento or Drupal's Ubercart.  Even when the 3.0 version of osCommerce is released, it will likely still not have many of the Web 2.0 features that the new breed of shopping carts currently have now.  It's not that I think osCommerce is dead, but I do think that osCommerce has stopped evolving.  Good open source projects never die, they just fade away.

Internet Explorer 8 Group Policy

The single reason enterprises with Windows networks prefer Internet Explorer over Firefox and other browsers: Group Policy.

For those of you who might be new to Group Policy, here is a quick background. Let’s first assume you use an Active Directory environment to administer the computers in your corporate network. If that is the case, Group Policy provides a wide set of policy settings to manage IE8 after you have deployed it to your users' computers. These settings are locked down and cannot be changed by users, as they are always written to a secure tree in the registry.

Complete Story

Quoting IT: SharePoint's Enterprise Role

"Our prediction, though proved to be correct though in another sense, inasmuch as the push to sell SharePoint as a replacement to ECM systems has to a large degree stopped — a good thing for buyers, for in that direction lay serious disappointment.

The fact is that buyers typically do not replace systems, be they ECM or otherwise. The growth in the data mountain and the ever-changing demands to the business mean that IT adds to and attempts to enhance what is already there, rather than rip and replace."

- Alan Pelz-Sharpe, CMS Watch, "Three Continents, One SharePoint Story", Intelligent Enterprise, October 1, 2008.


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