7-Deadly-Press-Release Mistakes PDF

One of our Joomla Project Managers came across a wonderful PDF for avoiding the pitfalls when developing effective press releases. I wanted to share this and some of the experience I pass on when asked. This “7-Deadly-Press-Release Mistakes.pdf” covers some of the top techniques for crafting powerful press releases. While I am not a skilled press release writer myself I have found that almost anyone keeping this check list of techniques in mind and avoiding these pitfalls will fare well in getting their message out and if syndicated in the right places you will see an amazing effect.

Traffic Building for Joomla! CMS

As Joomla! Developers and Content Management System consultants, it seems like every other day I get asked about eMarketing and traffic building since this is such an important part of having an effective web program for any online business. We have been running an online program now since our origins in 2006 and have had many successes and a few failures and a few of those that cost us dearly in time and treasure. I would have to say that the single most effective initiative we have done in the mix of our many campaigns for Joomla! CMS would have to be Press Releases.

If you have a Joomla portal with good keywords and relatively search friendly content, a well written press release can yield you the fastest return on traffic building. With good links in your press release you can actually continue get traffic from this for many months after the initial blast. In the initial blast to the 100 or so syndication services we use you can practically watch your click through rates on Google grow in real time. One of my favorite syndication services is PRweb.com since they have some nice charts and graphs to show the impact of the particular traffic from their releases. They charge a nominal fee but it is well worth the investment for high profile campaigns and if your budget will allow.

Scale to your budget:

There are two approaches we have used depending on the importance of the release and available budget.

1.       If you have a high profile campaign with well crafted press releases I highly recommend using the PRweb service and a couple other paid services since they have more clout and a broader base of subscribers.

2.       If you are on a budget you can push out releases to many of the free services and get a pretty good effect and for lower profile campaigns done more frequently and consistently this can have an almost equal effect.

It does not hurt to use both and we try to maintain lists of the many services available and I have other blog articles on these lists. Once the releases are distributed there are other techniques that will continue to bolster your campaigns such as posting to blogs and social networks. If you get lucky and have a groundswell of reposting the effect is unmatched by any other paid advertising you could do.

Stay news worthy

So if you can always be doing something news worthy with your business, maintain healthy relevant content in your Joomla! portal and can write effective press campaigns you are bound for success with traffic building. Hope you enjoy the PDF and buy the way it has a link to a professional press release writing company that can give you a hand.

Comparison Joomla! CMS ExtensionsMeasure twice and cut once!

This is good advice for building a Joomla Portal especially when comparing components.

Comparing Joomla! CMS extensions can be a real challenge and very time consuming but it is an essential step in the development process. You are going to want to make sure you choose the right components for the right job and make sure that they will be easy to support for the long haul. If you do not this can drive your (or your clients) support costs through the roof and leave you and your customers very frustrated.

The evaluation criteria I use are rather simple.

  • How do the features match the particular needs of the clients’ portal?
  • Who is the development team and what is their track record for longevity of support for the particular type of component?
  • Is this commercially supported by a professional team or a single guy that may become unavailable in the future?
  • Is the development team accessible and responsive?
  • What are other folks saying about the features, ease of use stability of the extension?
  • What are the technical skills of the site administrators and how easy will it be for them to maintain?

I may ask a few other questions but this covers the highest priorities in my process. Sometime this can be easily done in your head by viewing the web sites and reviewing feature lists once you have a clear understanding of your requirements and the expectations of your end users. However for more complicated extensions it may be a good idea to extract the feature list into a simple spreadsheet to see how the two systems compare. It may sound like a bit of an exercise, and yes it is, but if you have to communicate to a group of stakeholders it is a useful one.

Comparison case study:

One recent Joomla Extension comparison I made was for subscriptions management. Most of our installations use a combination of ecommerce which we have become the most familiar with the Virtuemart shopping cart extensions. However, the Virtuemart shopping cart system does not support subscriptions out of the box.  For subscriptions we have mostly used AEC Subscriptions but this does not integrate very easily with Virtuemart. To offset this they have implemented a way of offering ecommerce via a shopping cart configuration directly in the AEC Subscriptions extension. While AEC Subscriptions has very good tutorials on their web site for subscribers this is still rather complicated for the average user to implement.

The OSE Membership Solution is a great alternative since it seems to be a bit more user friendly to configure and it integrates with the Virtuemart Shopping Cart system via a plug-in. They also have several other plug-ins and companion extensions that further enhance related capabilities for security and access level control. In this case both AEC Subscriptions and OSE Membership have robust features and can offer significant value to your Joomla! CMS.  

However, if you do not take the time to make a valid comparison and review how they will map to the needs of your portal, the end users and the folks that will be managing the intended site, you could end up going down a road the either costs more than it should or will add frustration to the experience at many levels.

World of Thanks!

This 2010 Thanksgiving season has really hit home for us since so many of our friends and customers have been impacted by either poor health or financial turmoil. We have much to be thankful for since we are healthy and stable as a company. We want to wish the warmest regards to the customers that make our company great and their customers that make them great.

Training and Extension development

This year (2010) we have tried to share a lot of new lessons learned and released several FREE Joomla! CMS training videos and Joomla Extensions with our new subscription service on JoomlaDesignServices.com. This collection is part of our ongoing commitment to adding value to our customers. Next year we plan to release many more Joomla! CMS extensions and add several new modules to our growing collection of training resources. We will also be building the libraries at our http://www.givetoed.org and http://www.learningcrm.com portals.

New Partners

In addition to the collections we have forged several new partnerships with component developers including JomSocial and JoomlaLMS to enable us improved customer service and support for rich social communities and learning environments using Joomla! CMS.  Since our team have been building and extending these frameworks for our clients already it is a natural fit to improve our collaborate with these talented development teams.

JBizPack is a win win for everyone.

One of the other big developments we will be rolling out in January will be a partnership program that can help us all build greater value in our relationships.  At the core of this program are four unique bundled service solutions that target the special needs of each the primary industry niches that we support.

The JBizPack bundled services and partner program is designed reduce development costs for industry groups through a proven process of success combined with our unique Value Building methodology, monthly service contracts and incentive s for your referral business. This has the potential to reduce your support costs by 20% and provide 5% commissions on referral business to help offset ongoing maintenance even more.  Our hope is that you will help us build our business opportunities thus reducing our marketing costs and letting us increase our efficiencies for customer service.

A preview of information about these programs can be found on the http://www.joomladesignservices.com web portal.

ConnectLMS offers simple and affordable SCORM Compliant Solution for Joomla! CMS

ConnectLMS is a learning management system that offers a powerful solution for organizations to deliver SCORM compliant e-learning packages in an easy to use, low cost of entry framework that fully integrates with the open source Joomla! CMS.

The system has been developed with simplicity and ease of use as a priority. It provides the ability to:

  • Create unlimited courses
  • Create unlimited lessons and upload them to the website
  • Add course resources
  • Assign teachers to courses
  • Enroll students
  • Allow self-enrollment via the front end
  • Provide a subscription or shopping cart service to charge for courses
  • Deliver test, analyze results and issue certificates

Because ConnectLMS leverages the Joomla! CMS framework for managing your learning resources, there are incredible options for engaging with your learning community beyond the traditional courseware you deliver. There are over 6000 extensions for Joomla allowing you to develop rich user experiences for social networks, robust ecommerce, resource repositories, subscription management  and a whole host of other features that can enhance your offerings and compliment an interactive learning environment. When fully utilized the ConnectLMS and Joomla platform offers tremendous value for increased social interactions through learning collaboration which can help you inspire and motivate learners to higher standards.

Flexible, light weight and easy to deploy

If you have the ability to generate SCORM compliant modules or have a catalogue of resources already, the ConnectLMS learning management system is a flexible, lightweight and easy to deploy. It is ideal for schools, municipalities, small businesses and non-profit delivery of training and courseware.

The ConnectLMS Learning Management platform is fully compliant with the SCORM 1.2 e-learning standards and allows the compliant packages to be published quickly to a website. Educators are able to develop course material using their favourite development tools such as Camtasia, Captivate, and Flash CS5. You can provide a fully interactive learning experience for students while tracking their results.

Other functionality in the Connect LMS package includes:

  • Student’s participate in online courses
  • Course resources can be downloaded at any time
  • Lessons can be completed by students working at any pace and over multiple sessions
  • User profile modules allows students to track their  progress across courses
  • Courses are simple to set up
  • Lessons are easily managed
  • Support for teachers and students
  • Maintains individual learning records
  • Secure access to all courses
  • Central repository for teachers and lessons
  • Advanced reporting and tracking through a statistics system that allows students to download certificates of completion

Joomla Extensions included for Learning Management

The following components are included with the ConnectLMS system:

  • com_connectlms - The main Joomla! 1.5 component
  • mod_connectlms_students - A module for displaying the students enrolled on a course
  • mod_connectlm_teachers - A module for displaying the teachers assigned to a course
  • plug_xajax. - A modified version of the xajax plug-in from http://www.ravenswoodit.co.uk

ConnectLMS requires Joomla! CMS 1.5.9 or higher

How to purchase the ConnectLMS component

ConnectLMS is offered in a limited trial version for 30 days and can be installed on any domain. The initial cost for purchasing the software is around $90 USD to receive a licence that allows you to run ConnectLMS on a single website domain. More info Cick here

CNP Integrations can add value beyond the technology

CNP Integrations knows that beyond the required technology to create a successful learning program it requires quality content and careful planning of your courseware design. Allow CNP Integrations to help you get the best value out of your Learning Management and technology investment. Our courseware designers and content development specialists combined with our Joomla expertise can help you deliver a stable, secure and effective Learning management Program. Please contact our training services department for a FREE consulting session if we can help you develop compelling learning experiences using quality interactive and SCORM compliant learning content.

Joomla LMSChoosing a product

Makin g the right decision for your organization is critical when you consider the time, cost and effort involved in selecting and implementing a learning management system (LMS).

A poor choice could mean disaster!

One of the difficulties encountered during the product selection process is by far the overwhelming amount of information available, together with, the vast number of systems to evaluate.

Product Comparison

There are many options for Learning Management Systems that can often be very expensive to implement and maintain. Corporate education and training is a must have, so that we can train our employees to get the most efficiency and productivity from our investment. Face it, businesses and schools are looking for better ways to improve their processes with less money. When looking at implementing a Learning Management System, functionality, capabilities and implementation costs drives our decision making. Our product comparison compares some of the Learning Management Systems that are most frequently implemented by organizations. Many small and mid-size businesses and non-profit organizations will find that JoomlaLMS is a more cost effective and flexible technology platform, that when integrated with a JoomlaCMS provides business solutions to meet and extend existing capabilities.

Select an LMS that meets the future needs of your organization.

JoomlaLMS – The Comparison

Product Name

Joomla

LMS

Black

Board

Angel

Moodle

Share

Point

Desire2

Learn

LMS Features

Communication Tools

x

-

x

x

-

Productivity Tools

x

-

x

-

x

Student Involvement Tools

x

x

x

Administration Tools

x

x

x

x

x

Course Delivery Tools

x

x

x

x

Content Development Tools

x

x

x

Hardware / Software

x

x

-

x

-

-

SCPRM Compliant

x

-

x

-

-

-

Productivity Tools

x

x

x

-

x

x

Company Details/Licensing

Open Source

-

-

Open Source

-

-


Why Choose JoomlaLMS

Joomla offers a number of unique features that greatly enhance the user experience. Joomla Content Management System integrated with Learning Management capabilities extends the usability of this framework to not only meet education and training requirements, but also offer solutions to meet all your business needs.  JoomlaLMS features live conferencing tools with multichannel audio, video streaming, chat, student web camera view, and a shared whiteboard. Unique to Instructors is the ability to set up their own conference template and record meetings.

Students can submit assignments via a drop box, share contents of their personal folders with other students, and post information through the on-line forums facility. JoomlaLMS includes a completely integrated e-mail process with forum post notification included.

JoomlaLMS offers a user friendly interface as well as online video tutorials, an FAQ page, and a searchable online forum.

JoomlaLMS includes the ability to setup, implement and monitor learning pathways that follow hierarchical document structures. A component that sets JoomlaLMS apart from other products is the opportunity to build SCORM compliant learning pathways with prerequisite criteria for each step. Progress is monitored so that students can resume learning when convenient.

The system offers users ecommerce features, including, a ‘pay-pal’ button, support for free and paid courses, as well as detailed permissions for each type of user.

The user interface is user-friendly with helpful tracking tools for instructors that are quick and simple to use.

The platform would be a great choice for K12, higher education or corporate learning environments due to its flexibility and eLearning tools.