John Barclay


Search Engine Optimization and Google University Search

These are two separate topics, but since Google University Search is a short one I decided to combine them.

Search engine optimization is the process of making sure your site is fully indexed by search engines and helping your content return higher in the list of search results. Making sure your site is fully indexed includes simple things like avoiding javascript generated content, avoiding content that is only accessible via forms or has many query parameters in the url, using alt text for images, having a robots.txt file, etc. Improving how high up your results appear involves improving the "credibility" of your site by having other sites link to it; using a consistent hostname; and avoiding penalties for spam. Results ranking also includes having good content including key words, key phrases, meta tags, page titles, etc. Many changes to improve optimization for search engines also improve useability and accessibility of your site.

Google University Search is simply a free service of Google that allows you to put your own web skin on a Google search page that searches your hostname.

Setting Up A Contribute 3/Dreamweaver MX 2004 Web Site - October 28th, 2004

Contribute is a simplified sister to Macromedia Dreamweaver.  Contribute is designed to put content editing in the hands of less skilled authors and integrates well with Dreamweaver. The two can be used by authors of different skill levels to maintain the same site. 

The first half of this workshop involved a walk through of setting up a Contribute 3/Dreamweaver MX 2004 site including:  configuring the web server, file permissions, Dreamweaver site configuration, Contribute configuration, and contribute role configuration.  The second half was hands on where participants edited web pages within the site using Contribute.

Group Management:  A Suite of Tools for Automating the Population of Active Directory Groups from an SQL Database - October 20th, 2004

Active Directory (AD) groups are a powerful means of controlling access and permissions to everything from web servers, to file space, to exchange groups, to database objects. The College of Education uses a suite of in-house developed Group Management tools to automate the population of AD groups. This toolset capitalizes on existing College staff and Banner student data, automating a potentially onerous task, while also providing a user-friendly web interface for designated College power users to manually maintain AD groups. AD groups are more accurate, network administrators are relieved of tasks, and the investment in central databases provides yet more returns.

The purpose of this brown bag was to showcase the potential of collaborative work that bridges central data stores with Active Directory utilization. Technical details, such as code and architecture, were provided.

Valid HTML and Why You Should Care: Tips, Tricks, Tools, for Creating Usable, Accessible, and Maintainable Web Pages - January 14th, 2003

This talk covered a variety of HTML best practices to help improve the: accessibility, usability, maintainability and performance of web pages. Whys and hows of coding practices were covered such as: separation of style and content; using valid HTML; and using consistent conventions will be introduced. Tool tips on applying these practices with Dreamweaver, MS Word, HTML Tidy, and the W3C validator were also be offered.

Content Management Systems: Proprietary and Commercial Solutions - 2003 UIUC Webmaster's Forum

Discussed the criteria the College of Education established for our CMS search, and our comparison/shopping process. Discussed their test implementation of Macromedia Contribute.
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