Category Archives: Media

Wikipedia Entry on Social Journalism

Just contributed the post below, explaining social journalism, to Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Journalism

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Filed under journalism, Media, online communities

My Op Ed in New York Observer

Called “Why Michael Wolff Is Wrong” it addresses social journalism, the Forbes contributor model and the march of new media into hybrid journalism/contributor platforms as most of legacy media stands by.¬†http://bit.ly/OAXj6J

Running in third slide rotation on top of homepage. Cool.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.40.35 PM

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Filed under journalism, Media, online communities, Uncategorized

Great New Rating/Review Non-Profit Website in U.K.

When The Cinnamon Network, a U.K. non-profit, approached Buzzr about creating a website with Buzzr, they had two goals: finding a comprehensive social publishing platform anda platform they could run themselves, without a technical team. After shopping around, Cinnamon Network founder Geoff Knott decided Buzzr was the right solution and in just three weeks, we were able to help them launch an incredibly ambitious website

The Cinnamon Network is a network of over 60 leaders of various Christian denominations and charities who formed in September, 2010 to have conversations with government policy advisers about society and the Church. Members include the Church of England and the Salvation Army.

Their new Buzzr-created website, www.communityfranchising.net connects 4,000 U.K. churches with the dozens of charitable programs available for them to offer to their communities. In addition to comprehensive listings describing non-profit “franchises” that churches can join concerning Family Life, Addiction, Education, Housing, Finding Work, etc., the Cinnamon Network provides a social feedback loop for church leaders to rate and review the programs. The ratings are then combined into an aggregate score.

The website was presented at a meeting of more than 100 CEOS and Denominational leaders. “They see it as a key resource for churches to intelligently inform themselves about charitable franchises,” says Geoffrey Knot of Cinnamon Network.

Rather than create the initial website design and feature configuration themselves, the Cinnamon Network bought the Buzzr Professional Edition Professional Edition They also asked us to create a custom feature, for enhanced and aggregated ratings, which we were glad to do, especially after the Cinnamon Network offered to contribute the feature back to the general Buzzr.com community.

Thanks to the new feature, every franchise program can be created based on seven criteria, such as meeting the needs of the community, seeing people added to church, and training by the franchisor.

We’re incredibly pleased to have The Cinnamon Network as part of the Buzzr platform.

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Filed under Buzzr, Drupal, Media, online communities, social networking, website design

Introducing Buzzr’s New PayPal feature for E-commerce

We know lots of our customers want e-commerce but without the hassle of setting up, paying for and running an elaborate e-commerce website. For example, you might want to sell tickets for a seminar. Or take donations. Or sell a 10 or 15 items from your retail store.

It’s because of this that we’ve added our new PayPal feature. When you turn on the feature (in Features/Permissions on your site), you’ll see a new icon in Add Content to add a Product/Service.

The form that pops up will let you do a few things: add a headline for the product, a description, a few images, a price. Plus there’s a field to insert code for a PayPal button/widget. PayPal offers several types of buttons that can be configured to allow different types of payments. You’ll need to open a PayPall account and get the code to create a button.

After someone pays on PayPal, they are automatically routed back to your website. PayPal accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, plus PayPal online transfers.

You can arrange your products for sale on a menu page on Buzzr (sorted as you please: alphabetically, by star rating, by most recent entry, etc.) or as a widget that can be dragged and dropped into any position on any page on your website. That includes the homepage.

You can also add PayPal buttons to am image gallery if you’d like to take advantage of image gallery features such as large pop-up slideshows.

We think you’ll find the Buzzr PayPal feature to be fast and easy to set up — and much less of a hassle than running a full e-commerce website, which you probably don’t need if you aren’t an online retailer.

Let me know what you think.

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Filed under Buzzr, Drupal, Media, Start Up

Check Out Our New Design Video

Buzzr has an incredibly powerful design tool. It’s like Dreamweaver-lite in the cloud.

Every Buzzr site is divided into regions. For example, there’s the header, the wallpaper, the center well, the side columns, and the menu. By clicking on that region, you can change its color or upload a new image behind it, or stretch so it’s wider or taller.

We’ve created a new video to show you the ins and outs of the Design suite. You can find it on our videos page at https://www.buzzr.com/how-to-videos or on our You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/BuzzrWebsites

Let me know what you think of the design suite.

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Filed under Buzzr, Drupal, Media, website design

Kudos to Cooperation and Color Picking

As we gear up for the official launch of the Buzzr.com DIY solution, we’re especially excited about our new color picker feature. It’s a pretty amazing tool for creating or adjusting styles — you can change colors, spacing and fonts of virtually any element on the page.

We have the very talented people at ONE Agency, based in Belgium, to thank for this incredible tool, and the lead developers Kristof De Jaeger and Jan-Yves Vanhaverbeke. They are working feverishly on the project, and contributing the code to the world at large, through a new open source Drupal module called Sweaver. We’ve been helping out a bit where we can — our patches are being committed by Buzzr lead developer Karen Stevenson. Time permitting, when we launch, she”ll be writing a blog post about her work with integrating Sweaver into Buzzr. We’ve streamlined it to make it simpler for regular users and are working to make it compatible with our existing styles.

I must admit that despite having now worked with open source Drupal for almost five years, I still can feel a sting when I see a competitor (we really only have one and their platform is mostly for Drupal pros, not the ordinary user Buzzr is targeting) has adopted a tool we spent a great deal of time and money developing. True, we released it for the world to use freely, and in exchange, we get the benefit of any improvements the world gives back to the project. But I still get a little miffed when I know a competitor’s site would be much weaker were it not for ideas we developed.

I’ve confided this feeling in the past to my colleague Angie Byron, or “webchick”, the co-lead of Drupal 7, the next release of Drupal, and an important contributor to the Buzzr project. Angie is always reminding me that the nature of open source is give and take — and that Buzzr gets a huge amount from the Drupal community. It’s allowed us to create a platform for a few hundred thousand dollars that would have otherwise cost many millions of dollars, possibly tens of millions.

Nothing has brought that concept home more than the Sweaver theme module, the result of thousands of hours of work that we now get for free. The ONE Agency is going to do their own commercial work around Sweaver, and I’m delighted we can help make it better in any way we can. For all I know, we’ll end up offering similar services to certain clients. But when it comes to Sweaver, we’re friends and co-workers, not competitors. And that’s pretty amazing.

An update for those awaiting the official launch: we’ve pushed it back just a tad to incorporate Sweaver. We’re coming soon.

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Summer Update for Buzzr.com

We’ve been working under the radar the last couple of months, turning down press interviews and requests for meetings from investors. That’s because we’ve got some great stuff coming out end of the summer, and we’d rather not waste our powder before then. But thing are heating up, so I thought I’d write a quick preview for our followers:

-we’ll debut a service (now in beta) to assist small clients create custom designs and feature configurations, along with coaching to take charge of running a great professional-grade site all by themselves.

-we’ll have our DIY platform ready to take out of beta, with a slew of important new features that will make it easier than ever for regular people to create and run their own powerful websites.

-we’ll be adding social features that create a whole network of activity for our site builders and site members beyond site-building tools. It’s what creates the Buzz in Buzzr and is the most ambitious part of our company plan — and also the trickiest to execute.

-we’ll be announcing at least one important new partnership.

In the meantime, check out our Showcase of sites created with the Buzzr platform and let me know what you think. (Keep in mind we have a bunch of new features set to debut that have not yet been incorporated into these sites.)

If you’d like to join us — whether as a customer, staff member or freelancer, feel free to e-mail me at ed@buzzr.com.

Cheers,

Ed Sussman
CEO

Buzzr.com

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Filed under Buzzr, Drupal, Media, social networking, Start Up