OFT: Outward facing technology for a school and organization

February 22nd, 2010

Regional schools and not-for-profit organizations often experience problems when it comes to outward facing technology (OFT). One aspect that most share in common is time vs. money. If you have enough time, you do not have enough money and vice-versa. Deploying inexpensive software can save your organization thousands of dollars in the short and long term.

Many organizations and schools hire professional consulting companies when it comes to website design and implementation. Why? Website design is not difficult and you need to consider the return on investment (ROI). However, for organizations that are still challenged in regard to website design, there is open source software.

Open source software is supported by the open source software community. The software is also designed to get the organization up and running within a very short period of time, like one hour. All you need to do is add content (articles) and you have your website looking like a million dollar consulting job.

Attached is a paper I wrote outlining the cost comparisons and software recommendations for creating an inexpensive website. Inexpensive if you consider your time to be free and are paying $3.99 a month for a Linux hosting plan. Jamida will provide great details about what is provided in each tier other their hosting.

The paper will outline how using: Joomla, Moodle, Google Docs , and Gallery can provide your organization with a world class website for pennies a day.

Enjoy and please take the time to examine our sponsor adds on this page. It makes these presentations possible.

Regional School Outward Facing Technology any questions or concerns please feel free to email me at mikhail@ebusinessjuncture.com . Also feel free to leave comments about this information and if it was helpful to your school or organization.

Thank You,

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS

Google Docs: How to create a customer service survey free of charge

December 26th, 2009

Many small businesses have to control costs while obtaining feedback from customers. Many organizations will charge you a decent price for creating web forms for customer surveys and or polling. However, with Google Docs you can save a lot of working capitol, so it can be applied to your core business requirements.

Here are the steps:

  1. Log into your Google Docs account.
  2. In the left margin select: Create new -> form
  3. Select Theme: and choose a theme for your form. Remember to choose a theme that represents your business, but will not be hard on your customer’s eyes. I selected Blue.
  4. After selecting the theme select: Apply
  5. Give your form a title.
  6. Fill out a brief description of what the form pertains to in terms your customers will appreciate.
  7. Mouse over Sample Question on and press the “pencil” shaped object to edit the question.
  8. Fill in the Question Title, Question Help and the question type.
  9. After adding your questions, not too many as to bore your customer, click Save.
  10. Click on More actions -> edit confirmation. This is what your customer will see after pressing the “Submit” button. Click Save.
  11. Now, in order to send this form to your customers you will need to select: Email this form.
  12. Enter the email address, comma separated, that you would like the form to go.
  13. Your customer will receive the email along with a link to your survey. When they follow the link they will arrive at the page with your survey.
  14. When the customer enters their information and clicks “Submit” the information will go to a spreadsheet under your Google Docs.
  15. You will be able to view a pie chart or summary as well as the spreadsheet with your customer’s response.

Now, there is a method to embed the form on a web page or blog. I would not do it because it is using an “iframe.” There are several web site hacks that take advantage of the “iframe” tag. Besides, you should only be sending these forms to your customers and do not want anyone to fill out this form. A bare form invites web-bot and that will skew your results.

Hope this helps the small business owner in applying capitol to business specific functions. Please check out my sponsors who make this possible.