Tag Archives: final project

Wikispaces now require $1 for verification? Um…

Wikispaces is advertised as a free service, primarily available for teachers and learners to create wikis where content can be shared and collaborated on in an online environment. Wikispaces was a great service and I have used it for two semesters now, however, they now require “verification” for wikis to be public.

The new verification is said to be due to spam – see their blogpost Taking a Stand Against Spam and costs $1 to be “verified”. In the world wide space, verification is usually in the form of confirming ones email address, so I was interested to know why the $1 fee was being charged. I was happy to pay it, until, the only payment option provided is Google Wallet. There is no Paypal option, nor BPay option or send a cheque (OK so that would be a little outrageous for $1 cheque, but not everyone wants to provide their credit card details online). What’s more, the Google Wallet payment page has no information about who I would be paying, their contact details or what the payment is for. I even had to check that I was logged in to Google as I was concerned I was redirected to a pretend log in page due to the lack of information on the page! In addition, I don’t want to have another online payment service having my credit card details as I already have a PayPal account.

Anyhow, having used Wikispaces for over two semesters now and not having completed any ‘spam’ activities, I would have thought I would be on the verification list that is spoken of in their blog post. A sweep was done of members and some were automatically verified. I was not one of them.

Image: My Wiki for eLearning Technologies in Wikispaces

So here I am. Assessment due in 2 days and I am not able to provide a link to my Wikispace for my lecturer to mark………………you are allowed up to 5 people to view the wiki, but the purpose of mine is to create a toolkit for academic staff members – I think there are more than 4 of them in the world!

Where to now? One of the comments in the Wikispace blogpost Taking a Stand Against Spam was about creating a free Google Site – so here goes…I have two days to move my site and two days to add those last minute things to get a great mark!

Watch this space for Amy’s adventures in creating a Google Site – the following video states I can get started in ‘just a few clicks’ so here goes!

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using google web based fonts

As I want my site to pop (even though this is not a design unit), I have explored the possibilities that Google Web Fonts has to offer. Zinemac’s target audience is primarily youth and therefore I have been looking for a graffiti and/or blackboard style font. Google Web Fonts has one called Cabin Sketch, by Pablo Impallari. I quite like this font and have applied it as the Headings of my site.

To apply Google Web Fonts to your site:

  1. Go to Google Web Fonts
  2. Select the font you are interested in (for example Cabin Sketch) You are able to view the font character set, some history and current stats of usage as well as download it.
  3. Select the tab Use this font and you will be directed to a page with two sets of code. The first needs to be added in the <head> section of your html file and the second piece of code is an example of how to apply the code in your CSS file. I have applied the code to my <h1> – <h6> tags.

I have also been toying with the letter-spacing property and you will see in the above image the h1 and h2 tags have a value of 0.1em, while the h3 tag has no letter-spacing.

Other uses for Google fonts

In addition to being able to use Google fonts on your site, you can also download the font and insert it into your word processor library. This is a great feature if you are needing to create documents that match the branding elements of your site…or…for a number of alternative reasons, including making your assessments stand out a little more!

Definitely check it out and let me know how you go 🙂

my project name

My project is coming along jig-saw piece by jig-saw piece…Today, I decided on the name of the site:

Zinemac

What is a Zinemac you ask??? Well, to start with, it is a mix of two words – zine and mac.

Zine – Pronounced zeen, is “most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest…” See the Wikipedia Zine post for more information and some examples.

Mac – Is short for Macarthur – the region I grew up in! Refer to Macarthur Region [PDF, 472kB] for an overview of the suburbs in the region.

When put together, and the target audience added, Maczine is a self-published work of interest for youth in the Macarthur region.

Now to get back to the technical build.

free php guestbooks and comment books???

There is an abundance of php guestbooks, comment books and photo albums php code out there on the world wide web…but buyer beware!

Is there really anything free in this world? This blog is more about the anti-spamming requirements rather than the free guestbooks, comment books and photoa albums…Why? Because I am sure I will need to know this for my assessment!!! While comments on a guestbook/comment book and interaction is great, spamming is not.

My Project

I look forward to jumping into adding a comments block to my news stories page and will be utilising the prac work this week, combined with anti-spamming precautions.

Anti-Spamming

  • PHP Junkyard advise on using CAPTCHA, a logical question, their own trademarked JunkMark or for you to disable posting URLs.
  • Roman Virdi has tried adding a NOINDEX-META, analysing the spam and adding a key-word filter (but that is time consuming), an automated email configuration, moderating the guestbook (again, time consuming) and resorted to anti-spam measures. For detailed instructions on how to implement the anti-spamming measures, you can view the blog at Roman Virdi
  • More? If you have any additional ideas, I would love to hear them – post a reply below

sketches for final project

I have created various sketch ideas over the last couple of weeks for my final project and have decided on the following sketches to be the ones I work with:

Home Page sketch for final project
Home Page sketch for final project - click to view large version
News Page sketch for final project
News Page sketch for final project - click to view large version
Events page sketch for final project
Events Page sketch for final project - click to view large version
Contact Page sketch for final project
Contact Page sketch for final project - click to view large version

Feel free to provide feedback as I will be creating wireframes on the weekend (“,)

facebook api for developers

I am currently researching social media integration opportunities for my final project. The main one of interest is the ‘Authentication.

Facebook Authentication

In short, a user can log into a web site using their Facebook username and password. In doing so, the user shares information with the website they are logging into. When developing the authentication, the developer is required to set up data permissions in order to receive the information.

The information that can be gathered includes email address, about me, birth date, most recent status, work history etc – for a full list, refer to data permissions.

From a marketing perspective, information about users assists in the process of building personas and scenarios over time; access to email assists in contacting the user; and the use of Facebook log in on a site allows for integrated social media elements. A negative is the need for users to be on Facebook to log in to a site – this will need to be investigated a little further, but the primary aim I want to achieve for my final project is to have a Facebook log-in.

Publishing Permissions

An additional feature associated with Authentication is Publishing Permissions where the web site is able to publish to the users Facebook stream – for example comments, content and likes as well as checking-in, creating and modifying events as well as RSVP’ing to events.

From a marketing perspective the ability to publish on Facebook streams allows for the opportunity of greater reach to friends of the user who has logged in to the site.

The How

Facebook supports two different OAuth 2.0 flows for user login: server-side flow is used whenever you need to call the API from your web server. The client-side flow is used when you need to make calls to the API from a client.

Both PHP and JavaScript will be used and HTML is provided to embed log-in content on my site.

Most functions in the JavaScript require an app id – I need to register my site/application with Facebook to get an app id – and I am confronted with my first hurdle…I have completed all that I can to verify who I am on Facebook, but am not able to move on. I am guessing this will be the first of many hurdles faced!

My next steps:

  • Read through Facebook for Websites
  • Review and note the preferred data and publishing permissions for my final project
  • Request an account for Creating an App on Facebook. Note you need to verify your account with a mobile phone number or a credit card – I have completed both, yet, am still receiving error message
  • Review Forums to problem solve and also gain an idea of any future problems I may need to overcome
  • Decide whether the time frame I have to complete the final project is sufficient to complete a Facebook Authentication for the web site I am building