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The E-zekiel Technology Blog

E-zekiel Technology Blog

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E-zekiel Technology Blog

Need another domain name?

Friday, December 10, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
When you sign up for an E-zekiel package, we can manage the purchase of your domain name for you. You can also purchase additional domain names through E-zekiel at any time. These can be useful for many purposes, such as the launch of new programs or the promotion of special events. Some organizations even purchase incorrect spellings of their difficult-to-spell names – just visit Carrabas.com, Carrabbas.com and Carabbas.com, and you’ll see they all go to the same place. Another good point: E-zekiel offers domain names for less than other registry sites. To search for domain names, visit www.axletreemedia.com/domains, then send an email with your requested name to: domains@e-zekiel.com.
 

The Terms of Twitter

Friday, December 03, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
Twitter is a free social media service now being used worldwide by 175 million people. If you’re new to Twitter, however, the terms and signs can be confusing at first. So let’s start with the basics:

Tweet – This is a Twitter user’s post. A tweet has a limit of 140 characters, is text-based and is displayed on the user’s profile page. Tweets are public and searchable by anyone on Twitter unless the user restricts access. Tweets can be sent and received through the Twitter Web site, as well as through other applications such as smartphones.

Followers – These are Twitter users who subscribe to receive someone’s tweets. To follow is as easy as clicking the follow button on the person’s profile page.

Retweet – Some users retweet the tweets of other people. A retweet looks like a routine post, plus, “RT @tweeterusername”. Tip: If you want others to be able to retweet your post unedited, keep it short enough to allow for someone to stay within the 140-character limit while posting your content, plus the characters needed to identify you as the source (RT @yourusername)

The @ sign in front of a username is also used for replies or references to particular people. You might see that as, “@mypastorsname great sermon today”. A reply to someone is also known as a “mention”.

Hashtags – The hashtag is a number sign (#) plus a word or phrase to help categorize your tweet for searches – examples could be #disaster assistance, #food collection, #Christmas music, etc.

URL Shorterners – Twitter can be used to link to additional information; however, your actual URL could take up most of your 140 character allotment. That’s why you see the use of so many URL shorteners. These are services such as Bit.ly and tinyurl. You paste your long URL in a box at their site, and they return with a shorter version for your use on Twitter (or elsewhere).
 

What Does Organic Mean?

Friday, November 12, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

The Web has a language of its own – created in many instances by applying new uses to old words, such as link, anchor or cookie. One of these new uses is with the term organic. When organic is used, say, with food, it’s referring to a product coming more purely from animal or vegetable origins, as opposed to manufactured chemical origins. In other words, it’s “free” of something that some people don’t want.

Organic, in search engine terms, is also “free” of something in that it refers to unpaid rather than paid results. Organic results come from SEO strategies that include everything from effective keywords, page titles and domain names to effective navigation, quality site content and strategic anchor text. Non-organic results come from paid advertising (Google Adwords, for example).

 

A Brief Explanation of RSS and how you benefit from it.

Friday, November 05, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

Why do some sites display an orange icon with the letters RSS inside? It lets you know that the information that is being published on the Web is distributed to its audience online (through a mean other than email).

The most common attributed meaning to RSS is “Really Simple Syndication.” The basics go like this: When “syndicated” content is published on the Web, it is distributed as a “news feed” via a “news reader.”

The person who wishes to subscribe to the content will often already have an established “news reader” account. However, RSS icons will typically lead you to a link to sign up for a reader if you don’t already use one. Free online readers included Google Reader, My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines and Feedbucket.

The upside for those who use readers is that it gives them one place on the Web to receive updates from their favorite sites. The upside for those who publish syndicated content is that it provides a means to deliver messages to a receptive audience.

For churches and ministries, for example, providing syndicated content through RSS is a way to keep people informed and inspired. It can be used for weekly news, announcements, weather cancellations, prayer requests, sermon highlights, scripture and more. Blogs (written content) and podcasts (audio/video files) are distributed through RSS feeds.

 

Audio and Video Podcasts

Friday, October 22, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

Podcasting is a way to distribute audio or video files to people who subscribe to your “feed.”

With E-zekiel, podcasts are distributed by creating a channel within the Syndication manager. Once the channel is saved, each podcast can be added via the Item List at the page bottom; just click the plus sign. You’ll then be able to set dates to publish or remove this content and have a mechanism to archive and access older podcast files.  Once the channel is created, the RSS button automatically appears for that channel, allowing visitors to subscribe.

In Internet terms, podcasting is an older social media – having been “cutting edge” around 2006. Yet it’s still going strong. Recent studies showed that 70 million Americans have listened to or viewed a podcast. Currently, 23% of Americans listen to podcasts, up 11% from 2006. And while podcasting incorporates both video and audio, video podcasting is up 20%.

 

Making Your Content Clickable

Friday, October 15, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

You can help your visitors navigate to related parts of your site by creating “clickable” copy at various places, including image captions, headings, or phrases in body copy. Simply highlight the word or phrase within the page editor and click the icon for “insert/edit link” (looks like a world with a chain link). When the dialog box open, click the “My Pages” button at the bottom, then select the page where you want your visitors to be navigated.

You could also link to pages outside your site by filling that site into the field for the URL. Not only that, there’s no need to stop just at the text. Your images can become clickable through the same steps.

 

Have You Tried a File-Transfer Site?

Friday, October 01, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

Files that are too large for email can still be sent electronically through file-transfer sites. In the Tips and Resources section on E-zekiel’s home page, you’ll find two examples of file-transfer resources – DropSend and YouSendIt.

YouSendIt offers a “lite” plan that’s free for individual users to send files up to 100MB, as well as paid plans that offer more features. DropSend also starts with a free version for 2G file support and 5 emails a month, in addition to paid plans.

Essentially, you would send the file by uploading it through a Web browser. The file-transfer service stores it securely, and the recipient receives a link via email where he or she can then download the file.

 

Set Up Events, Registration and Payment with E-zekiel

Friday, September 24, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

E-zekiel offers an all-in-one solution for letting people learn about, register for, and pay for an event – and, in the case of conferences, even choose which breakout sessions they want to attend.

It all begins in the Event Manager, where you'll add an event and give additional details, and ends in the Store Manager, when paid registrations are required.

For most types of events, the steps will follow along these lines:

  • Add an event to the Events Manager providing a full description of the event.
  • Create an online registration form using the form tools on the editor toolbar. This can be done directly in the event description or in a Panel which can be added to the "Content – Bottom" area of the event. The Panel can be set to expire automatically and independently of the event itself, in case there is a pre-registration deadline.
  • Use the form tools on the editor toolbar to place a Hidden Field in the registration form which contains a return URL (a shortcut works best) that directs the user to one of the following two places on your site: 1) a custom thank-you page in your Pages Manager containing information about what the user should do next and a link to a "store item" where the user can pay for the registration electronically. Or, 2) the actual store item itself. Use this method only if you want to require online payment.
  • Add an item to the Store Manager for the specific event registration you want your users to be able to pay for online.

 

Keeping Track of Passwords

Friday, September 10, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
How do you keep track of your growing number of online passwords? Some people choose to use password management software. There are a variety of options which can be found by a simple Internet search. Other approaches mix the need for security and the reality of personal memory overload with a bit of creativity. Examples include:
  • Create a password-protected spreadsheet to record user names, Web sites and passwords. Or, create levels of passwords – level 1, level 2, level 3, etc. – and instead of recording the actual password in your spreadsheet, record the level… that is, assuming you can remember the password, once you remember the level.
  • Create a text document with an unrelated name, have five pages of unrelated information at the start of the document, then on the sixth page, record passwords, user names and Web sites. As an added security measure, you can use the font feature to make this text white against a white background, or click the option for “hidden text.”
  • Instead of saving the spreadsheet or document on your computer, save it on a removable storage device, such as a memory stick, and keep the device with other important papers.
  • Maintain a notebook and keep it in a locked drawer.
 

Time-Saving Tech Tips

Friday, September 03, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

Will there come a time when people can’t remember what “www” stands for? These days, you’re less likely to hear the full name, “World Wide Web,” as you are the shorter term of Web. Not only that, you don’t have to type “www” in your browser’s address bar anymore. Just start right after that – e-zekiel.com, for example – and you’ll get where you’re going.

To save a few other keystrokes here and there, keep these tips in mind.

  • When you’re on a Web page and want to scroll one screen down, simply tap the space bar. To go back up a screen, press the shift key and tap the space bar.
  • To highlight a word in any document, Web page or email, double-click the word.
  • To toggle between open apps, press the Alt key and the tab key.