Monthly Archives: September 2006

SEFORA

A newly launched organization, Scientists & Engineers for America (SEFORA) is gathering new recruits in the scientific community to wage a battle on the political arena. Tired of scientific evidence being misused or blocked, this group plans to gather supporters for a more open communication system with both the government and the public and to support politicians and policies that make scientific sense.

It sounds very interesting, so I have signed up to get more information. Check them out.

Checking in for an Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted – and for that I apologize. We’ve had quite a few projects going on plus I was trying to enjoy the summer before we go into the full-tilt hectic schedule of the school year.

Current projects:
Registration – We’ve rolled out registration on about a dozen sites. It seems to be working fairly well and the sites that have restricted the most content have the most registrants. I’m sure we’ll see some traffic drops over the next few months, but the traffic we do get should be more qualified for our advertisers. Which is the whole point, right?

Online Portfolio:
We just launched our online portfolio website so that advertisers can see all our online products in one place. It has live examples within the site so we don’t have to worry about items on our publication websites expiring.

Sales Portal:
To go along with the site for advertisers, we’ve created a similar site for salespeople and publishers. We’re going to be restricting access to it this week so that we can put up costs and other confidential information. I’m currently working on writing up some more articles to post shortly.

New Content Entry System:
Not surprisingly the contractor hasn’t delivered the CMS on time. They have scheduled a meeting to show their product tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. There was a major hangup over them not coding for Oracle – they did it in MS SQL because of the integration with Microsoft’s development tools. They insisted that we said that was ok, but we never would have done that with an Oracle bigot at our helm.

Projects on the Horizon:

  • Redoing the Corporate Site (again): We’re going to see if we can actually launch it this time.
  • New Contextual Ad System: Our current system is so poorly written that the contractor had used select * statements to put items into an array to sort through them for a match – instead of just using a proper select statement. You can imagine the load on the database. We haven’t had time to redo it since this was one of the Fire, Load, Ready scenarios at our company. I have to think about how we want the ads to behave, because even with the horrible code, the matches don’t work properly if the advertiser doesn’t pick the right keywords – which they never do.
  • A Proper Shopping Cart: We’re currently using this horrible little external shopping cart system which is all form based and hooks into a payment gateway. We purchased a java shopping cart a few months back which came with all the source code so we can modify it the way we want. One of my programmers is investigating the details of how it works, but I need to sit down with my web systems manager and figure out how we want it to work with all the sites.
  • Advertiser Portal: We currently have an advertiser portal which hooks into our current contextual ad system. It needs to be upgraded to work with our ad server so that advertisers can see their stats. We also need to hook this into the shopping cart so that advertisers can place insertion orders (for print too) right on the site. Etc.

Ok so much for a brief update… but you get the picture. BUSY!