Websites that make a Difference

There is no doubt that the Internet has opened up a world of opportunities for every person with access to it to have unlimited right of entry to the gateway to the world. For this reason, there is an enormous opportunity for do-gooders and charity organisations to use this priceless tool as an implement for increasing awareness of their needs and in raising funds or support.

Who?

Non-profit organisations and those dedicated to the upliftment of local culture, the care of those discriminated against, the conservation of the environment and the development of the world and its inhabitants are those that should seize the opportunity to make a difference by creating a website to achieve this.

How?

Use the Internet to gain access to millions of people all over the world and let them know about your challenges, needs, events and goals. This kind of large-scale awareness is unrivalled and educates those more fortunate about the existing needs in the world around them. Use your website to:

  • Announce fund-raising initiatives and competitions
  • Include bank details for monetary donations
  • Appeal to volunteers
  • Request donations
  • Provide information about your cause and its goals

Why?

The Internet is a global medium of communication. The vast majority of the population that has the means to help a charity also has access to the World Wide Web. It is also a very cost-effective way of marketing, as only a standard (usually small) hosting fee is payable. This is far more economically viable than expensive marketing campaigns and advertising materials.

Use the Internet to the full for the gain and advancement of good, both locally and internationally.

Where?

One of our favourite websites is called Care2.com – please support them by sending E-cards or signing petitions that really DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Keep Flying the South African Flag

South Africa experienced a national pride like never before when we enjoyed our status as the host country of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in June and July. Cars, buildings, highways, shops and even people were bedecked in our colourful flag as a testimony to their allegiance and their love for this multifaceted nation. Keep Flying is an initiative that appeals to companies, media campaigns and individuals to continue to demonstrate this zeal by displaying the flag or an icon thereof on their products, advertising campaigns, printed material, stationery and websites.

Individuals can be involved by:

  • Flying the flag in your office
  • Putting mirror socks on your vehicles
  • Using the logo as your profile picture on Facebook and Twitter
  • Wearing a badge of the flag
  • Letting your friends and family know about the Keep Flying campaign and encouraging them to participate
  • Posting this article or the URL of the campaign (www.keepflying.co.za) on your intranet or as an extra below your email signature
  • Staying positive about our wonderful country and its huge potential
  • Wearing clothing with the flag printed on it

Businesses and large corporations can contribute to this initiative by:

  • Displaying the flag in your offices and reception areas
  • Allowing employees to wear the flag as a badge or printed on their clothing (perhaps on a specific day of the week, if not every day)
  • Promoting the idea to clients by making the website address (www.keepflying.co.za) a standard feature of every outgoing email
  • Encouraging employees and suppliers to participate by speaking to them about this campaign in a positive way
  • Flying the flag outside your building
  • Decorating your garden, public areas and signage with the flag
  • Holding a charity function in which you promote this ideal

By engendering a spirit of support and optimism amongst individuals, colleagues, clients, suppliers, friends and families, you will be instrumental in changing attitudes.

Several advertising campaigns have come on board with Keep Flying and have benefited hugely from their canvassing. Individuals are also being encouraged to hold up an inspirational “what if…” message before a camera, sharing their dreams for this country with millions of viewers.

By encouraging such a broad base of South Africans from all sectors of the community to participate in such a positive campaign, Keep Flying is already succeeding in uniting this land in their hopes and aspirations.

Web Browsers

Web browsers, as their name says, allows you to browse the web. Basically, a web browser is a piece of software that you use every time you visit a website. The most commonly used ones are:

  • Internet Explorer (IE)
  • Firefox (FF)
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Chrome

Internet Explorer

IE is a Microsoft product at comes installed as the default web browser on anyone running Microsoft, therefore making it one of the most used browsers internationally among PC users.

IE requires you, the user, to upgrade when new releases are done. This can be nice for some users as some people do not like change and generally with IE, when there’s a new release, there’s very often a learning curve required for the user.

Download Internet Explorer

Firefox

FF has been developed by Mozilla, a global community of people whose main intention is to ensure the internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone. They have been developing FF since 1998 and FF has definitely given IE / Microsoft a run for their money.

FF updates itself – the software is able to detect when a new release has been launched. This can be very annoying, but for some it’s nice – see for yourself and make a call which works best for you.

Download Firefox

Safari

Safari is the Apple browser and like IE with PC users, is the most used browser with those running on Apple Macs. Safari has recently allowed PC users to now download and install Safari on their Windows platform, thereby increasing its use / popularity.

Download Safari

Opera

Opera, developed by Opera Software ASA (originally Telenor) in 1994, is another popular browser. It’s definitely not the most popular, but there are loads of people who love this browser. It is however a very popular mobile browser for people who are able to run a web browser on their cellphones.

Download Opera

Chrome

Chrome was recently launched by Google as the latest addition to their online monopoly. Chrome is quick, has a great look, and naturally ties into Google Search quite nicely.

Download Google Chrome

Which browser to use?

A browser is certainly a matter of preference. IE and Safari for example do a smoothing effect on websites whereas FF currently does not. Some do tabs and others don’t. Some have certain features that are better than others, so the best way to find out which one you prefer the most is to download them and play with them.

Websites and Web Browsers

When developing a website, one needs to ensure that the webpage looks correct across all browsers. This always throws a spanner in the works as every browser can treat things differently. This is not your problem, as the client, but your web agency’s problem. Make sure that when you go through a web development process with a web agency, you either check your new website in the different browsers or make sure that your web agency has done the necessary checking.

Summary

Web browsers are necessary and pretty much the only way you can search or browse websites or the internet. So, to find the one that suits you best, consider downloading the different ones mentioned above and get “in the know” about web browsers and their different capabilities.

Email Definition

If you’re on the internet, you more than likely know how to send an email, but do you really know what information is sent or used when an email is sent and how to send different types of emails. This all sounds terribly advanced, but in actual fact is very easy to understand and in most cases, most of the info required for sending emails has been taken care of by your email software.

Email, E-mail and / or EMail all mean the same thing, namely Electronic Email which basically means sending mail using the internet technology to send and / or receive mails. Emails need to be sent in a particular format to stick to email standards which dictate whether your email inevitably gets to your recipient. The format of your emails are taken care of by your email client e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, etc

Each email is divided into 2 sections namely a Header and a Body section.

Header

The header section of the email typically includes the following fields:

  • From email address and in some instances, the name of the person sending the email
  • To email address and in some instances, the name of the person who the email will be sent to.
  • Subject – the subject of the email / email content / short and brief intro to the email
  • Date and time of when the email was sent – this part of the header is taken care of by your email client.

In certain scenarios or instances, other headers will be included such as:

  • CC email address(es) – additional email addresses that the email is sent to (Carbon Copy)
  • BCC email address(es) – same as the CC email address(es), but email addresses that will be hidden from the recipient (Blind Carbon Copy)

Other header information that a typical user such as you would not even be aware of would include:

  • Received – tracking information that has been generated by the mail server through which the email has been sent
  • Content-Type- information on how the email should be displayed to the recipient
  • Reply-to email address- the email address that the email should be sent to should the recipient press the “Reply” button.
  • References – Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to, and the message-id of this message, etc.
  • In-Reply-To – Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to.

Body

This is the part of the email that everyone who sends emails is familiar with. The body is the text of the email that the recipient opens an email to read. The Header section is more for the email client software and mail servers and the Body section is the juicy part for the recipient.

The Body section of the email is usually setup in one of the following:

  • Plain text – like a text document where there is no formatting
  • Rich Text – like a Word Document where formatting such as italics, bold text, underlined text, etc are used
  • HTML- like a web page where images, hyperlinks, specially formatted text is used

HTML emails often look far more beautiful that the Plain Text or Rich Text options which is why it has become such a valuable tool for sending mailers / newsletters out. The unfortunate thing with HTML emails is that with the increase of SPAM, HTML emails are not always displayed as nicely and sometimes don’t even get through to the recipient. And, there is also the chance that the email client does not support HTML.

Summary

Email is a very useful tool for both business and personal use. Can you imagine your life without email? Although it has certainly contributed to the fast paced times we live in, it has made our lives easier in getting information to people quickly and efficiently.

Real Time Availability

Most people dealing in the online industry will have at some point or another heard about “real time availability”, as it’s fast becoming one of the most well used facilities around.

What is Real Time Availability and what does it mean?

Well, it’s very simple really. “Real time” = now, right now and “Availability” = the availability of something.

So, it ultimately means the availability of something at a given time.

Where is Real Time Availability actually used?

Everywhere!

You can book your movie tickets online for SterKinekor. You can choose your seats and buy your tickets. The next person to check the availability of seats for the same movie will no longer have the seats to choose from.

If you are well travelled or have visited a tour operator who books flights regularly, you may have heard of a system called Galileo or Amadeus. These 2 popular systems allows tour operators to check availability of flights for today or next week or for any time period and give you answers NOW as to whether there is availability and how much it will cost. Isn’t that fantastic? They are all part of a global distribution system called GDS.

Then, there’s a very well known company called Computicket that allows you to buy tickets online for concerts, plays, sporting events, festivals and other live events making the online booking process simple and very easy.

AppointmentQuest has become increasingly popular – especially overseas. This particular online system allows companies to setup appointment dates and times and allows visitors to their site to check their availability and book their appointment. We have done a large amount of website development for lawyers overseas and this is a very popular system.

There is a range of accommodation real time availability systems out there allowing you to book your accommodation, tours, car hire and much more all at the click of a button.

Newcomer to the Online Real Time Availability sphere

StaySYS has been built by a team that already implements successful technology solutions in the accommodation industry. As a result they have created a world class accommodation system that is designed for your business by people in your business.

Click here to read more about StaySYS

Summary

Real time availability systems are being built and implemented daily and are definitely increasing in popularity as it saves people both time and is far more convenient than having to drive or walk around checking availability and then running the risk that what you want to book for is no longer available.