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Messages - jjc [ switch to compact view ]

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1
I replied to Avi the day after I received his reply, and I did check all SPAM filters for several days after that.

After the post on Donation Coder this morning,  I purchased the Upgrade to Surfulater 3 (because I convinced myself of my need for the product).

I assumed that, because Avi took 9 days to respond to my original message, that he just hadn't gotten around to my reply, especially since I placed a timeline for being able to review the product for my November Newsletter. I also had a number of suggestions.

Besides suggesting that Surfulater offer educational discounts, I also pointed out the benefit for developing a server version of the program since this would be a selling point to school district IT professionals.  (Stand alone applications on individual desktops basically get installed when the system are re-imaged. School districts seldom have the staff for machine-by-machine software installs. School districts represent a huge, untapped market, and teachers require real tools to integrate technology into their lesson planning and lesson delivery.

I also asked about site licensing for school campuses, and about reselling the product.

I still have these interests, although the review will have to wait until the January 31, 2009 issue of my newsletter.

I continue believe that the product is a "must have" for teachers, even if few of them will be able to spring for the cost of a personal copy. This is where a USB port of the program would be viable. Teachers conduct the majority of their research and lesson planning at home, then carry their work in to school. Or, they E-mail their work to themselves. Of course, saving a lot of Web page graphics on the USB drive might present storage issues, but I am sure that there is a work around. USB drives continue to fall in price, and the cost of the drive might be bundled with the application.

Thanks for your interest and concern.

2
I use Surfulater a lot for research in writing my newsletter for teachers.

I wanted to review the Upgrade product because this represents an application of tremendous value for teachers. In fact, my previous reviews of the product placed it in the "Must Have" category for teachers.

Unfortunately, the upgrade price puts this application out of a range that most teachers can afford. Perhaps the company will consider academic pricing in the future.

I asked the company for a review copy before learning about the price increase, but never heard back on that request.

I suppose that I will pay for the upgrade if it is half-price. I believe that there might be a new feature to allow installation on up to three computers, i.e., home system, laptop and office system. This makes sense for a workaholic researcher.

The previous version of Surfulater was great for a writer, teacher, researcher. Programmers and coders wouldn't find the graphical capture very interesting. If I can't obtain the upgrade at a reasonable price, I'll reinstall Version 2. (Since previous upgrades were without charge, I upgraded, thinking that this version was also free. Surprise!)

The capture never worked completely for Firefox, but functioned correctly for IE. The lack of cross-browser support is limiting, especially for teacher that work in Mac environments.

My favorite text information capture program is InfoSelect (also not a low cost program). This program has a portable version allows selected database information to be carried on a Palm Pilot. Great for technical support.

3
It seems to me that the Google(TM) ads are a function of what kind of audience the site attracts.

For example, my site is geared to attract teachers who are looking for free and Open Source support for their classrooms.

I place Google(TM) ads on the site, but down near the bottom of the page where they won't make the site look unprofessional. After about a year, the Google(TM) ads are making enough to about pay for the site's hosting fees.

Although I can't say how much the average click is worth, you can guess that it may take somewhere between 20 to 40 of them to add up to a piece of paper with George's picture on it. Although, once in a while, a much larger value surfaces. Of course, Google(TM) takes half.

The way that I position the ads, I hope that the links provide additional value for my visitors. But, since it takes a lot of visitors before one clicks on the Google(TM) ad, I can only hope that my site's content is so captivating that the visitors don't dare click and leave my site.

Why do the Google(TM) ads pay so little for my site?

Who is going to bid a lot for clicks from impoverished school teachers who are looking for free stuff?

You can also go to the Pay-per-Click sites and check what the bid is for the search terms. Most of the search terms for my site probably could be won for a bid of a nickle.

The people who claim to make money on Google(TM) AdSense look for terms with high bids, then make sites around those words. This seems like a shabby little scheme that professionals of most fields wouldn't want to be associated with.

This may suit people who want to sell diet pills and colon cleaners, but I believe that professionals want to avoid being associated with anything sleazy.

In the long run, I hope that Google(TM) figures out a way to filter out the fraud, and get back to the mission of identifying the most relevant information for people that use its search engine.

Right now, I suspect that Google(TM) thinks that those Pay-per-Click bidders are its customers. Wrong. Google's customers are people who are performing the searches. Sure, one group pays (and the other group is sometimes exploited), but the loyalty of both groups is one click away from jumping ship and hitching to a Google(TM) competitor if the searches fail to deliver.

For me, Google(TM) ads are like banner ads...I hardly see them on the Web page.

I have a GMail account, and though I know that there are ads on the page, I don't look at them. In a year or more, I have not clicked a single one. I don't have time to glance at a part of the page that has no value.

I understand the reluctance to place ads on the Donation Coder site. I think that removing the ads is a good move if the site is making enough to sustain itself because the site provides a real service.

If the site were in financial trouble, then the ads would be justified to keep the operation afloat.

4
The demo looks cute, but I am having difficulty understanding the reason that business people would want a site like this.

Does anyone have an application for this product?

Thanks in advance

5
Living Room / Classroom Toolkit Newsletter
« on: October 31, 2006, 07:44 PM »
I just added a newsletter article about Donation Coder in my newsletter for teachers.

Perhaps other members could find similar ways to promote the DonationCoder concept to non-programers in other fields.

Here is the link...

http://classroomtoolkit.net/serendipity/archives/55-Open-Source-for-Education.html#extended

I appreciate this site, even though I am not a programmer. And, I am glad that the site is succeeding.

6
I like this idea.

How well would this work for school districts and non-profit organizations?

For example, could schools use this technique as a fundraiser. It would be less intrusive for neighbors (and safer for students) than the door to door candy, calendars and junk jewelry sales that schools use now.

I founded an Open Source movement for teacher materials, but since I give materials to teachers without cost, I feel uncomfortable asking for donations for myself.

Joseph Chmielewski

How-to know, do, live, dream, teach...with insight and imagination

http://www.classroomtoolkit.com

7
I apologize for any misunderstanding.

I just copied the items I found on the link to Extended Hosting, and pasted these items into my post.

I don't have any affiliation with GooHost (except being a $2 customer). I just wanted to let folks know about a way to get a year's worth of hosting for a dollar or two.

If I were interested in something stable and long-term, I might be interested in Extended Hosting.

Like I said, I was interested in "Cheap," and a temporary solution for pocket change is a fine option.

Of course, GooHost needs to still be in business next February.  :-)

Again, I apologize for any misunderstanding.

8
The Elected Hosting looks like a great resource for backing up a few sites. And the interface is much fancier than the GooHost solution.

Of course, the Elected Hosting solution costs 853% more for the first year than what I paid using the eBay(TM) auction. And, you should be able to get one of these GooHost accounts for much less than the $2.11 US that I paid for the entire year. I was in a hurry to test, and wasn't worried about saving a dollar.

This Elected Hosting solution has the following limits:

Subdomains - 10
Parked Domains - 1
Addon Domains - 5
MySQL Databases - 5

The GooHost solution has the following:

Subdomains  - Unlimited
Parked Domains N/A
Addon Domains - Unlimited
MySQL Databases - Unlimited

However, each Moodle(TM) workshop that runs at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention, I will need at least 17 subdomains, each running its own instance of Moodle(TM), each with its own MYSQL database.

The only catch? After the first year, if you don't win another auction, the cost would jump to about $100 US.

But, the TCEA Convention is next February, so a second year doesn't matter to me. I am going to kill all the subdomains after the classes, anyway.

"Cheap" was the most important consideration, but, this solution may be better lif ong-term stability is more important.

"EasY" was also important. This unlimted domain, unlimited subdomain account saved me from having to build a server and carry it to the class.

9
There is a hosting source for those of you who use Linux/APACHE/MYSQL/PHP that is really affordable.

You can bid on it on eBay(TM). Here is the link.

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZgoohostwebhostingQQhtZ-1

I was able to pick up a year of unlimited hosting for $2.11 US. (You might be able to do better if you are patient.)

The Control Panel is minimalistic, but the system does work.

I picked an extra domain name, and I am learning how to use Mambo(TM).

I was even able to get Moodle(TM) to run on this site, and I am not a programmer.

This seems like a cheap way to learn. I have learned a lot in the past three days from playing with this.

I purchased this hosting to use for hands-on workshops, so I wouldn't have participants trashing a real site.


10
Impressive. You must be doing everything right.

Am I correct that 60 million people are hitting your site a day(!), or does this graph mean something else (like maybe 60 people out of a million might come to this site)?

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