I was asked by a colleague if I would write a "How To" on Qumana.  I’ve been using Qumana now for several months to post to three different blogs–dogstar.org, imagespace.blogspot.com, and secondlife.techsoup.org.
What is Qumana?

  1. Qumana is a free blog posting package that allows you to craft offline and post once you have completed editing your narrative.
  2. Qumana is a tagging tool that allows you to easily control what tags are used.
  3. Qumana allows you to insert ads if you want.

The software includes a very simple text editing menu bar that allows you to colour text, use bold, italics, underline, and crossout.  You can justify to the left, center, right or full block.  You can use bullets or numbered lists.  You can quote and indent.  It makes embedding pictures simple, will link for you and has spell check.
Qumana allows you to manage as many blogs as you like.  The process of adding a blog is simple.

  1. Choose "Blog Manager"
  2. Click "Add Blog"
  3. Enter the URL of your blog
  4. Let the system know what kind of blog you utilize
  5. Enter your username and password
  6. BLOG

When you are ready to compose..

  1. Fire up the software
  2. Choose "New Post"
  3. Craft your text
  4. If you have tags already set on your site, click "Refresh" in Categories.
  5. Click "Save" to come back later
  6. Click "Publish Post" to post your text.

It really is that simple.  So, download Qumana.  It is available for Mac and PC.

Written by: Creech

Parcels of Land

Tonight Frank gave a group of us a turorial on how to manage the land in our little community. Having never thought about what goes into managing a sim before, I was impressed by how well thought out the system actually is. I’ll probably start out by using WESTAF as a guinea pig to reset the name and so forth, but once I’ve got it under my belt let me know if you, a tenant, needs help. I’m happy to see what I can do for you.

Written by: Creech

More on Uptime and Nonprofits

Greg left a note mentioning the free monitoring service, Monastic. It doesn't have as much functionality as SiteUpTime.com, but you can monitor 100 sites. If all you are doing is trying to track when your site(s) are down then it seems like this might be a better solution than SiteUpTime. So, as an experiment I have both monitoring systems monitoring the Tech Soup in Second Life site. If I have any revelations, I'll share.

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Written by: Creech

Uptime and Nonprofits

Recently I had an Skype message from Susan, our "nonprofit administrator herder" for the Nonprofits in Second Life project. I have to assume that she was posting to the site, or perhaps reading some recent content. In any case, she IMed me because the site was down. I'm acting as the Web master, so this made good sense. I probed a little bit and came to the conclusion that the server was completely unresponsive.

I sent a quick note to our very good friends at Social*Signal who have generously donated the server space. It turned out that it was a system-wide issue with the hosting company that they work with.

So how can a nonprofit track uptime/downtime of sites they run? Obviously you can't sit and watch your site all the time. You can use software that sends a request to your server every so often and the software waits for a response from the server–no response means the site is probably down. If you don't have the skill set to set up this kind of monitoring software, there is a free or nearly free solution out there–http://www.siteuptime.com. It takes five minutes to set up and it will start monitoring your site immediately. If you only have one site to monitor, it is free. Three sites cost $5/month. Six sites cost $10/month.

Site uptime is now enabled for the NPSL site. I get an email when the site goes down, when it comes back up, and a report each month on how much time was offline.

Written by: Creech