Get yourself into the search engines – FREE xml-sitemap generator

By is an interesting web site, it not only has cheap software to let you create unlimited sitemaps for the search engines, but it also has a free online version that will index up to 500 pages. The xml-sitemap online software will take care of all the xml formatting required by Google and Yahoo to make sure that you can create a properly formatted sitemap. Your generated sitemap can instantly be uploaded to your web site – usually via FTP.

Once you have created the sitemap and placed it onto your web site pop over to Google webmaster tools and submit your sitemap so that it can be indexed by Google. xml-sitemaps can generate xml, text files and html files for your sitemaps, the commercial package costs $14.99 and runs locally on your PC, it requires the opensource PHP package installed (simple installation). This sofware apparently supports indexing over 50,000 url’s, plus takes into accounts robots.txt exclusions and many other key site generation features.

On the site there are some useful tools; the search engine bot simulator is especially interesting as it shows you what is being indexed on your web pages as a search engine. The results can be very interesting. I have used this tool along with the online search engine meta tag tool to check how well my web pages are formed. This tool looks at the anchor tags (text links) on your web pages as well as the keywords to build a percentage of keywords on your web page. This can be interesting if you are looking at ‘how’ you write your web pages – especially if you are looking at getting better ratings within the search engines.

Embed Google Docs document within your web page


One way of showing a formatted document on your web page is to embed a Google Document as an iFrame within your pageThe iFrame would then contain the document you wanted to view, including the ability to scroll the pages and print, etc. this is a good way to show the final document to your viewers in an easy to read format.The document viewer has two parameters:

1. url: the URL of the document
2. embedded: if set to TRUE the viewer will use the embedded mode interface

So, if you wanted to view a PDF or DOC on your web page you would use an IFrame and the document (PDF, DOC, etc.)

I have created an example of the above page here

If, for example you have a document called ‘test.doc’ the various options to view this document would be:

Paste this link into email or IM:

Or, paste this HTML tag into your blog or website for a link to the viewer:
<a href=””>View</a>

For an embedded viewer, use this HTML tag instead:
<iframe src=”” width=”600″ height=”780″ style=”border: none;”></iframe>

The benefit of using this method instead of just using the native Google viewer is that the user still has the focus of your web page with all the surrounding information and is not taken off to the google site to view the document. You can use this technique to view all supported Google documents, which would be very useful for such things as presentations and spreadsheets. The ifame is the container to hold the document, in the above example the width and height were set to keep the document within the page of the web page, these are of course not required. There are other attributes for iFrames such as the frameborder and scrolling properties. You could also apply some CSS styling to make the appearance more in keeping with your sites theme. for example:

You could use the iFrame generator to create all the basic code for you and then just add your Google document to the src attribute. There is a Google Docs Generator that you can enter a url of a document and then generate all the various links automatically.

Lastly… if you just want to view a PDF or other document online you could go directly to:

Wordle – Create your own word cloud


Wordle the word cloud creator FREE

Just playing around with Wordle. It’s pretty cool and creates a great word cloud from many sources – including your own web site! This is the result of my blog as of today:

jonathans taxonomy

You can either paste in a load of words, a url (e.g. blog site, etc.) or a delicious user name to get their tags. Here’s mine 🙂

Jonathans Taxonomy from Delicious

Google Keyword Marketing


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Various sites to help with SEO keyword marketing

Various Google websites and links that will help you research SEO Keyword marketing.

Continue reading “Google Keyword Marketing” »

Project In A Box keeps on improving – free Prince2 project management software


Project in a Box - Community Edition

Project In A Box just goes from strength to strength. Now supplied in four versions including the community edition (CE); which is free. This software can be run in a portable mode enabling you to take the project management framework (Prince2) with you wherever you go, this is especially important for consultants who need to take all the project documentation with them.

The Community Edition is used by many training companies as it covers the full Prince2 Framework and comes with the Prince2 templates as standard, which can be customised and tailored for the company. Not only does the community edition cover all the aspects of Prince2 2005 but now comes standard with compliance for 2009 and DSDM Atern the agile method. The CE edition is multi-language and can be customised with your own translation file if required. Once familiar with the Community Edition you can upgrade to the full Personal Edition whilst keeping all your existing settings and templates.

The Personal Edition is a DotNet application utilising the Microsoft Framework which is available on most PC’s. This enables the software to be run from a USB memory stick and completely portable, whilst only having a small disk space and memory overhead. The application is fast as well.

In practice the application runs very well and because of the inbuilt ‘version control’ you can always revert or review privious editions of the Prince2 artifacts throughout the project. Apparently CE is now used by over 50,000 users WorldWide and provided by most of the official Prince2 ATO’s as part of the course materials.

Sometime ago I wrote a tiddlywiki on Prince2. Mostly notes and musings when I was taking the Prince II practitioners exam. Some of you may find it interesting. The thing I really liked was using the tiddlywiki wiki engine which allows you to create a completely self contained wikki that can be edited locally on your PC and then uploaded to the web for others.

Also see my posting on Prince2 (as I am a Prince2 practitioner 🙂 )

Interesting Links for Prince2

  1. The Official Prince2 website
  2. The Prince2 2009 official templates

ScreenCasting Video information


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Some of my general notes about producing screencasting videos for YouTube, etc. using CamStudio and other products. There are settings at the bottom that describe the best settings for CamStudio and sending screencasts to YouTube.


ScreenCasting and VIDEO Production

Good forums for discussions



WinMorph – WinMorph is a high performance morphing and warping software

Wink – Video tutorial creator and screen capture software

Fraps is a universal Windows application that can be used with games using DirectX or OpenGL graphic technology.

Windows Movie Maker v2.1 (up to 5 mins with sound and connection to Twitter)

I really like Screenr.  If you haven’t tried it out yet, you should give it a whirl.  Here’s what I like best:

* Screenr is super easy to use and there’s nothing to download. You just click the record button on the website and you’re recording your screen activity and your narration.

* The image quality is pretty darn good.  You can even watch the screencasts back at HD-quality and they look great.

* Screenr gives you multiple ways to use your screencasts.  It works with Twitter and the screencasts play as Flash on the web.  You can also upload the screencasts to YouTube.  And you can even download the videos as MP4 files.  They also look nice on the iPhone.  All these options give you a number of ways to reach your learners.

* My favorite…there’s no branding on the downloaded MP4 files.  Since you can download the videos, you’re free to use them as you wish.  That means you can use it in your elearning courses without looking like one of those MLS soccer players.  Go Sounders!

* And of course, Screenr is free.  Free is always good.

TipCam – Record and share your screen in a video, it also has a zoom facility


Jing – record straight from the Web

jing screencasting

ScreenToaster – free online screen recorder

BBFlashBack (and Express) – Record a window, region or full screen. BB FlashBack Express free screen recorder has an easy to use interface that makes it a breeze. (mixing video) (create videos) (photos and videos into awesome slideshows) (timeline based video editor)

For Ubuntu – RecordMyDesktop

Video Captioning
——————— (YouTube adding captions free – login with Google user)

Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter

AviSplit is an application for cutting and rejoining AVI/DivX files

AviScreen is an application for capturing screen activity (ScreenCast) in the form of AVI video or images



VIDEO Intro makers
————————- – create FREE videos from images and videos – templates for Flash intros
Adobe AfterEffects – add effects for your intros


CamStudio settings (
640 x 360
856 x 480 = mid resolution
1080 x 720 (is roughly HD)
1280 x 720 = high def

Set watermark…
Options: hide flashing rectangle during recording

Autopanning = true (speed about 40 or 200)

Video options:
Techsmith capture codec or divx (256 bit rate on config)
Or can use Camstudio Lossless Codec v1.4 and use LZO compression
best compression under config
100 quality
key frames = 200
cap frames every 40ms (or 33 and 30fps)
playback rate = 25 fps

Or can use:
Key frames 30 frames
Capture frame every 50ms
Playback rate 20 fps

22.05Khz Stereo 16bit
PCM compression (or LAME MP3 needs to be downloaded)
22050 Hz 16 bit stereo

To convert to smaller size use MediaCoder:

Free CSS based website templates


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Some links to free CSS website templates.

Web Marketing Links


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Some links I use to track and get interesting marketing information.

Continue reading “Web Marketing Links” »

Bustaname – online system to quickly create unique domain names


Created by Ryan Stout

bustaname - online domain name finderA web based wizard system that uses a very easy to use online interface to find domain names, it’s also very fast and effective by combining words in different ways. It’s basic features are:

  • Find domain names
  • Word Combiner in multiple sequences
  • Relating words – key words – description
  • Creates list of words (also using it’s built in thesaurus)
  • Combinations and other techniques to quickly find unique names
  • Shows whats available – VERY QUICKLY
  • Similar words can be easily added

You can also:

  • Add prefixes
  • Add suffixes
  • Can sort easily using various criteria
  • A nice feature is “Quality” sorting (best domains first)
  • Add the word “ly” or “ster” or “i”, etc. in front of the domain
  • You can Pluralise words
  • Type a domain name in directly and show if available
  • Whois will check availability

Results can be saved for later use,  you can then choose which registrar to use to register your domain names. The selection of ISP’s is comprehensive and actually shows you the cost of the registration, which is really helpful.

I especially liked the addition of being able to create groups, and then drag words into the groups to differentiate good or bad domain names from the results. This really helped to weed out the final list of domain names to register. If you add the ability to go directly to a decent selection of ISP’s and directly register from the site, it makes this a wonderful and easy to use system.

In summary, a very effective online tool to find a unique domain name given a list of key words. I give this a 5 star rating and have used it many times to find really good domain names. Domain name creation can be a real chore, with this tool it almost becomes both an enjoyable experience and and easy one!

250 Semantic Web Tools


250 Semantic Web Tools

Comprehensive Listing of 250 Semantic Web Tools

time tracking tools review


6 Cool Tools to Track Your Time

freelance-switchTime tracking tools to track your time.

If you’re a freelancer, chances are you need to track your time in order to bill your clients. And that can be a major hassle.
You might also be a mobile freelancer, like me, who uses multiple computers and wants to be able to work from anywhere. In that case, a web-based time tracker might be the way to go. You want something easy to use, cheap, with a nice interface. Preferably even fun to use.

(tags: tools tool tracking timemanagement track timetracking)

    portableapps – run all your apps on a USB stick

    By – Portable software for USB drives

    portable-appsConvenient – Now you can carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you. Use them on any Windows computer. All without leaving any personal data behind.Open – provides a truly open platform that works with any hardware you like (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc). It’s open source built around an open format that any hardware vendor or software developer can use.

    aviary – image editor web based


    Free analytics tools review


    micro update web design devon

    Free Analytics Tools

    These tend to be limited in feature set and give themselves sitewide links on your site or require you to trust giving a major search engine like Google virtually all your marketing data.

    Continue reading “Free analytics tools review” »

    The Pencil Project – opensource web prototyping tool – firefox addon FREE


    Pencil Project
    pencilThe Pencil Project 
    The Pencil Project’s unique mission is to build a free and opensource tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.
    Top features:

    * Built-in stencils for diagraming and prototyping
    * Multi-page document with background page
    * On-screen text editing with rich-text supports
    * PNG rasterizing
    * Undo/redo supports
    * Installing user-defined stencils
    * Standard drawing operations: aligning, z-ordering, scaling, rotating…
    * Cross-platforms
    * Adding external objects
    * And much more…

    Pencil will always be free as it is released under the GPL version 2 and is available for virtually all platforms that Firefox 3 can run. The first version of Pencil is tested against GNU/Linux 2.6 with GTK+, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    MindMeister – a brilliant free online mindmapping application


    I’ve just started using MindMeister; a free online mindmapping solution. Mindmeister lets you create up to 6 mindmaps absolutely free. You can share the mindmaps or keep them totally private.

    You can share any of the maps by making them either ‘public’ (everyone can see them) or you can ‘invite’ people to collaborate with you and edit the maps. This makes this online application very powerful. The application also allows you to add task information (priorities, resources, dates) and icons to branches on your mindmap. You can also add url links, formatted text and attachments.

    Overall mindmeister is a very useful GTD (getting things done) tool and great at collaborating/brainstorming with friends. Multiple people can edit the map at the same time; the application shows all changes to the map over time with a very easy to use slider date control.

    I have created several maps; some I share with friends and some are public. “Top things that are interesting” is a map I created recently; I use it as a repository for articles I find on the web where the title says something like: “Top 10 things xxxxx”. This map is easy to share, you can see it here.

    The applications sharing abilities allow you add a password so that people have to enter a password to view the map. You can also ’embed’ the map into your web page or blog – again that code to do this is included under properties for the map.

    Google reader shortcuts


    Really just for my own use! Google RSS reader shortcuts – just because I use it and can never remember them! One interesting way of organising the feeds is to add ‘tags’ to the entries. This way you can quickly find them again just using your tags – a bit like delicious and other social media systems online.

    j/k item down/up selects the next/previous item in the list
    space/shift-space page down/up moves the page down/up
    n/p scan down/up in list view, selects the next item without opening it
    o open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
    enter open/close item in list view, expands or collapses the selected item
    s toggle star stars the selected item
    shift-s toggle share shares the selected item
    m mark as read/unread switches the read state of the selected item
    t tag an item opens the tagging field for the selected item
    v view original opens the original source for this article in a new window
    shift-a mark all as read marks all items in the current view as read
    1 expanded view displays the subscription as expanded items
    2 list view displays the subscription as a list of headlines
    r refresh refreshes the unread counts in the navigation
    shift-n/p navigation down/up selects the next/previous subscription or folder in the navigation
    shift-x navigation expand/collapse expand or collapse a folder selected in the navigation
    shift-o navigation open subscription opens the item currently selected in the navigation
    gh go to home goes to the Google Reader homepage
    ga go to all items goes to the “All items” view
    gs go to starred items goes to the “Starred items” view
    gt go to tag allows you to navigate to a tag by entering the tag name
    gu go to subscription allows you to navigate to a subscription by entering the subscription name
    u toggle full screen mode hides and shows the list of subscriptions
    ? keyboard shortcuts help displays a quick guide to all of Reader’s shortcuts – run FREE applications from a USB memory stick


    Update (26/10/2008): You can now compress some of the portableApps to squeeze even more applications onto your memory stick with the PortableApps.Com AppCompactor. This is also packaged as a portable app (but note this is intended for developers or advanced users).

    Now you can take FREE applications with you as you travel between work and home or abroad. The web site has a collection of applications that can be installed on a USB memory stick and run directly from that device on any PC.

    portableapps The portableapps web site (FREE) also has a dashboard (menu system) that allows you to install more applications and run the applications that you already have installed

    on the USB device. Some of the key applications available (from sourceforge) are:

    • Audacity (sound recording)
    • Pidgin (IM client)
    • Scribus (DTP)
    • FileZilla (FTP client)
    • Firefox (Web browser client)
    • NVU (Web design package with WYSIWYG)
    • OpenOffice Suite (Full office application suite)
    • GIMP (Graphics)
    • VirtualDub (Video editing)
    • VLC (Video player)
    • Plus many more…

    I found all the applications installed without a single problem. If you use the portableapps menu application to install the software it automatically adds the new program to the menu. You do not need to install the dashboard but in doing so you get a neat backup / restore utility that backs up your memory stick applications to your local hard disk.

    I use the IM client everyday (as it connects to most IM systems with one program). This is a brilliant way of carrying around some key applications in your pocket without having to rely on a PC having them pre-installed. I now use Windows Live Writer quite a lot to create blog entries, and came across a site explaining how to install Live Writer as a portable application, I have not tried this yet, but will blog my findings when I do.

    On the portableapps web site you’ll also find a download that is self contained and has all the essential applications (currently about 90Mb download). It’s called the suite. There’s also a ‘lite’ version that is only 30Mb (uses AbiWord instead of the full OfficeSuite).

    Prince2 TiddlyWiki and Process map


    PrinceII TiddlyWiki by Jonathan CampSometime ago I wrote a tiddlywiki on Prince2. Mostly notes and musings when I was taking the Prince II practitioners exam. Some of you may find it interesting. The thing I really liked was using the tiddlywiki wiki engine which allows you to create a completely self contained wikki that can be edited locally on your PC and then uploaded to the web for others.

    I also did  a ‘map’ of all the documentation of the Prince2 framework showing where the document is created, where it’s output and where it’s updated. This is a crucial document for the exam as it helps answer many questions and acts as a good crib sheet; especially when you’re panicking and running out of time!

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