[Greennet-l] GreenNet Newsletter December 2005

GreenNet Support support at gn.apc.org
Fri Dec 23 12:51:06 GMT 2005

      GN Newsletter: December 2005

    Dear GreenNet Members,

    It's been a good, if challenging, year for GreenNet. We made it
    smoothly through two important technical transitions, and completed
    several large web projects. As ever, we're still working on
    developing our services so that they make the most of new
    technologies for strengthening and supporting your campaigning and
    project work. We're looking forward to a busy 2006, with plans for
    several exciting improvements and expansions into new areas. Once
    again we'd like to thank you for your support.

    We'd like to remind you that our support lines will be closed for
    the period 26th - December - 2nd January, although the technical
    team will be monitoring the system daily. If you have any urgent
    problems, please call us on +44 (0)20 7065 0942 and leave a message
    on our answer phone or email support. We will try to help you as far
    as possible. Make sure you include any error messages that you are
    getting and your email address.

    Please do also remember to switch your computers off periodically,
    and enjoy a peaceful, happy and healthy holiday time.

    With warm wishes from all of us in the GreenNet Collective,

    Anna, Cedric, Deepak, Ian, Janet, Liz, Marek and Michael

        * Services <#1>
        * Support News <#2>
        * Projects and New Websites <#3>
        * Staff <#4>
        * Coming in 2006 <#5>

    GN logo



    Free Wiki

    Wiki <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki> (meaning 'Quick' in
    Hawaiian) is a simple tool for web publishing. Now increasingly
    popular, Wikis allow people to create web pages collaboratively,
    without any knowledge of HTML or the need for any special software.
    Unlike other web management systems, they keep a history of all
    changes made to pages, so you can roll back to previous versions at
    any time. This allows for the pages to be editable by anybody, and
    if something goes wrong, you can always revert to an earlier
    version. The largest online encyclopedia Wikipedia
    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia> has been built and kept up
    to date using this tool.

    Over the last couple of years, we've worked with Wikis for various
    collaborative editing projects - workshop preparation and sessions,
    project development spaces, simple and functional intranets,
    collaborative documentation, and so on. It's been such a useful tool
    for our work that we'd like to pilot an idea of installing wikis as
    standard for all our web clients. If you are interested in getting a
    free wiki installation during this pilot phase, please write to
    support at gn.apc.org <mailto:support at gn.apc.org>.

    Server co-location

    In summer 2005 we moved all our server equipment from TeleCity
    Manchester to Telehouse North (the best Data Centre in Europe) in
    Docklands, where we have our own independent rack space, resilient 2
    x 100MBps connectivity and the latest security and environmental
    control systems. If you are interested in using our co-location
    facility, we now offer:

        * Unlimited data transfers (*)
        * Remote powercycle facility
        * 24/7 monitoring of your crucial services
        * Hardware rental
        * IP addresses
        * Daily backup (system and data)
        * Managed and unmanaged servers

    If you are interested in co-location with GreenNet, please contact
    support at gn.apc.org <mailto:support at gn.apc.org>

    */We may limit your speed to 4Mbs if your data transfers exceed this
    more than 5% of the time/

    2005 - A Dynamic year for GreenNet Web Sites

    After 3 years developing tools for dynamic web site construction,
    it's great to see the results in the content-rich sites
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/services/webdesign.php#egaa> we have online
    now. Increasing numbers of GN members are choosing easy forms-based
    dynamic web publishing to get their news and resources online. New
    features this year have included online petitions, multi-lingual
    (including multi-script) pages, quick campaign mini-sites, and
    content sharing across sites, servers and continents. From small
    organisations to big international projects - our users are keeping
    their sites up to date and interactive. For more detail on the
    individual sites, see below.

    The range of services from GN Web Projects now includes: site
    planning consultancy, stylish and accessible graphic design,
    database management, content management system customisation,
    advanced search functionality, archiving, RSS news feeding, blogs,
    wikis, interactive calendars, discussion boards and petitions,
    multi-lingual functionality, and much more.

    If you have an idea for an online campaign or web site, and need
    help refining the project, or shaping it up for a funding proposal,
    we can help draft the plans, recommend technical approaches, and
    write the technical specs for your funders.

    Get in touch with Anna on 020 7065 0940 or gndesign at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:gndesign at gn.apc.org>

    Maxi membership

    Maxi is a new membership deal for organisations with very complex or
    large websites. We've designed it in direct response to the needs of
    our bigger web clients. Maxi Membership includes a MySQL database
    and up to 1gb of web space. It is flexible so that it allows you to
    choose between having, for example, either 20 email (pop) accounts,
    or 3 mailing lists included in the bundle, depending on your
    requirements. If you are interested in finding out more about this
    new membership deal, see the
    http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#maxi Services section]
    of the GN website or email support at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:support at gn.apc.org>

    Increased Web space

    The web space allowance in all our other services has been increased
    to 100Mb. This applies to Organisational
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#org> and Home/Activist
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#activist> membership
    and Domain Options 2
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#option2> and 3
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/services/services.html#option3>. (Note that
    our entry level subdomain service still provides 20Mb). Anyone who
    want to check that they are paying the correct amount for their web
    space should email billing at billing at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:billing at gn.apc.org>

    GN logo

        Support News


    Support Forums web pageSupport forums

    The GreenNet Support Forums provide a space where you can
    participate in GreenNet's online community, answer other users'
    queries, ask your own questions and and get help from GreenNet
    Support staff. As well as loads of  links to useful software
    downloads and resources, you're bound to find discussions on topics
    that are relevant to your IT queries - you may even find the answer
    before you have a chance to ask your question! The forums can be
    found at: http://phorum5.greennet.org.uk/index.php?2

    Password protection on log files

    Due to the increasing amount of so-called "referrer spam" incidents
    we have decided to put password protection on the web statistics
    (/logs) of GreenNet websites. We hope this doesn't cause too much
    inconvenience. The user name and password is the same for all sites
    (username:gn stats, password:web stats), and can be obtained easily
    at any time by logging in to your site using FTP and reading the
    README.txt file, or contacting GreenNet support. Referrer Spam is a
    when a spammer fakes a large number of "hits" or visits to your
    website in order to have their web address appear in your website
    logs or statistics page. This is done in an attempt to increase
    traffic to their website, as many sites now display automated links
    to the most frequent or recent website taken from these statistics.
    Also it can increase their site's ranking in some search engines,
    because they measure the number of times a site is linked to from
    other sites. For more detailed information see the following link:

    New phone number for Dial-up connectivity

    We now have a new, more reliable number for making dial-up
    connections. The old number will not be withdrawn immediately, so
    both numbers can be used for the time being. Look out for
    announcements in the new year with news of when the old number will
    be switched off. There will be no change to user names or passwords
    as they will all work with both numbers.

    The new number is: 0845 055 4030

    To change over you need only change the number in your Dial-up
    settings. For Windows users this means editing the properties of
    your Dial-up Networking connection (via right-clicking on the
    connection icon and choosing "properties"). If you are using another
    operating system (e.g. Mac OS or Linux), and are unsure how to
    change the number, please ring or email support at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:support at gn.apc.org>.

    GN logo

        Projects and new sites


    Catia 1a Home pageCatia 1a

    In 2004, GreenNet was commissioned by the 'Catalysing Access to ICTs
    in Africa' project (component 1a), to design a technical solution
    for a telecoms licensing 'One Stop Shop' - basically everything you
    ever wanted to know about telecommunications regulations and
    licenses across Africa under one roof. 1 year on, we now have a
    distributed database built on ActionApps
    <http://www.actionapps.org/>, which compromises 64 independent
    nodes. It streamlines the process of gathering up-to-date
    information from each national regulator, and publishing it for
    satellite service providers and researchers in a single location. So
    far we have handed over about 30 installations to individual
    regulators and taught them how to use the system in a series of
    workshops in Western and Southern Africa. The data gathered in each
    region can be viewed on the West <http://west.acreg.org/> and
    Southern <http://southern.acreg.org/> regional sites.

    Catia 1c Home PageCatia 1c

     From Free and Open Source software to Intellectual Property Rights,
    to Liberalising Community Radio Licensing, the 6 CATIA (1c) ICT
    policy 'Animators' are working to engage local civil society
    organisations in their local ICT issues. The Animators, based in
    Ethiopia <http://catia.gn.apc.org/ethiopia>, Nigeria
    <http://catia.gn.apc.org/nigeria>, DR Congo
    <http://catia.gn.apc.org/drc>, Uganda
    <http://catia.gn.apc.org/uganda>, Senegal
    <http://catia.gn.apc.org/senegal> and Kenya
    <http://catia.gn.apc.org/kenya>, all required accessible,
    affordable, functional campaign sites. And they needed them fast! We
    started by building a generic prototype site, which then worked as a
    site generator, allowing us to spin off new sites as they were
    needed. Each Animator has access to a simple control panel that they
    can use to adjust the look, feel and campaign message of the site.
    Adding new content is as easy as posting an online form. The sites
    also have interactive calendars and public spaces for supporters to
    send in their comments.

    IWPR Home pageIWPR

    The Institute of War and Peace Reporting <http://www.iwpr.net/>
    maintains a vast multi-lingual website of conflict monitoring
    publications, updated by authors around the world. This commission
    gave GreenNet the opportunity to develop bleeding edge language
    tools for the ActionApps open source content management system
    project. The whole site is now dynamically driven by a database
    backend, and can support a range of right-left and top-down
    non-western scripts. There are simple and obvious routes to
    different language versions of the same content, and management of
    the site has been transformed by the move to forms-based publishing.

    GTI Home PageGTI

    The Global Transparency Initiative
    <http://www.ifitransparency.org/>  (GTI) is a network of civil
    society organisations promoting openness in the International
    Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, the IMF, the
    European Investment Bank and Regional Development Banks. The GTI
    brings together two communities of activists and experts from around
    the world - one, those groups campaigning for full accountability in
    the use of public power vested in the IFIs; the other, groups that
    have been campaigning for the right to access to information at the
    nation-state level. The website has just been launched and has a
    calendar, database of resources and organisations, using dynamic
    content and content sharing technology.

    Whiteband Home Pagewhiteband.org

    The Global Call for Action Against Poverty is the international
    coalition which supports national White Band anti-poverty campaigns
    such as the UK's 'Make Poverty History'. The GCAP
    <http://www.whiteband.org/> website project was the result of a
    collaboration between GreenNet and our sister networks - Choike
    <http://www.choike.org/> in Uruguay and Laneta
    <http://www.laneta.apc.org/laneta/> in Mexico. The site features
    daily news updates in 4 languages, e-campaigning tools, poverty
    stats mapping, and a photo gallery. We're also pleased to announce
    that GCAP has been the recipient of the 2005 International
    Achievement Award for Excellence in Communication given by Inter
    Press Service (IPS) news agency.

    GN logo



    Welcome Ian!

    We'd like to welcome and introduce Ian Macdonald - GreenNet's newest
    member of the Collective. Ian started working in our Support team
    this month. He joins us from our sister network in Mexico, Laneta,
    and so brings a range of technical skills and experience working in
    another community of NGOs. Ian is fluent in Spanish and plays blues
    harmonica (but not usually during support calls). As an activist,
    he's been involved in environmental community groups and  campaigns
    for change to US foreign policy in Latin America.

        GN logoComing in 2006


    New website

    The current GreenNet website is undergoing a total overhaul. The
    renovations involve a complete graphic re-design, lots more more
    dynamic content and interactivity, including a brand new community
    space where GN users can get involved, and take their campaigning
    work online. The new-look site will be unveiled early in 2006. Look
    out for the new spaces to publish news of your campaigns, events,
    job announcements and opinions.


    We continue to offer "Web design using Dreamweaver"
    <http://www.gn.apc.org/training/index.html#dream> if enough people
    are interested (we need a minimum of 3 to run the course). If you
    would like to join a group for the training, please contact
    adrian at gn.apc.org <mailto:adrian at gn.apc.org> (copying
    info at gn.apc.org <mailto:info at gn.apc.org>) and let us know when suits
    you best.

    Other bespoke training courses are available on demand. GreenNet
    trainers have extensive experience in running workshops on website
    content mapping, technology planning with Open Source software,
    using internet tools, using content management systems, and much
    more.. If you are interested in ICT skills development work for your
    organisation, give us a ring or email support at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:support at gn.apc.org>.

    Service & Billing Control panel

    In 2006 we will be upgrading to a new improved billing system. It
    will let you easily check the status of your account online, pay
    online with a credit card, apply for new services and manage your
    subscription. If you have any comments or suggestions for features
    you think the system should have or which you feel are missing at
    the moment, do let us know. Your feedback will be much appreciated!
    Please email your wish list to billing at gn.apc.org
    <mailto:billing at gn.apc.org>.


    GreenNet is looking to take its long-standing passion for OpenSource
    Software beyond the Old Street office and out to all of you! We'd
    love to hear from any users that are interested in learning more
    about kicking the Microsoft habit, and moving over to Free/Libre
    Open Source Software (FLOSS). Whether you are up for a total
    migration - switching to use a Linux operating system, or just
    looking to make more use of open source programs on your Windows
    computer (like Open Office <http://www.openoffice.org/> or Firefox
    <http://www.mozilla.com/firefox>), we can offer advice and training.
    Look out for resources, services and tips on the new website. Do
    please get in touch if you would like to know more.

-------------- next part --------------
Skipped content of type multipart/related

More information about the Greennet-l mailing list