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Issue 046 - Oct 3, 2006



1. The World's Best Supported Software
The World's Best Supported Software As you browse www.interactivetools.com you'll notice a theme: people rave about our support. Whether it's how quickly we completed an installation, how we helped with a project, or the speed and accuracy of a response they received, you can see just how dedicated we are to providing exceptional customer service.

I'm sure we've all experienced bad customer service. You make a phone call and no one answers or returns your message. You send in an email, you receive a one line response – often one that doesn't answer your question to begin with - or worse, gives you the brush off! Our philosophy is to do the exact opposite. :)

We'll respond to you lightning fast and answer each of your questions with thorough, accurate answers. We want to make sure your site is a success, and that our software helped you build the site you wanted. Each purchase gets you much more that just the software. You're getting unlimited, lifetime free support from a highly knowledgeable and experienced team of product specialists. Forum, email, live chat, or toll free phone (1-800-752-0455), we want you to know you can contact us. It doesn't end after 6 months, or even 12. Support is free and unlimited.

I often think of us as a support company that sells software. Half the company is made up of support staff - and each of us will chip in from time to time. Chet, Donna, Mike and Ross spend over 160 hours a week with the goal of turning every single one of you into what we call a raving fan. The most amazing "thank you's" are displayed on the highly coveted "Wall of Fame".

What makes the world's best supported software? We install it for you, totally free, and help you every step of the way, making sure your website is just what you need. When all is said and done, we'll bear the responsibility: if for any reason - ANY reason at all - you change your mind you can request a full refund - no questions, no hassle!

Don't take my word for it, read over the hundreds of customer testimonials on our website, check out the forums. If you ever have questions you can contact us at any time. We're here 7 days a week, just a phone call away! :)

Find out for yourself why interactivetools.com has the best supported software in the world.
2. Coach's Corner: How Priority Consulting Works - by Mike Briggs
Coach's Corner: How Priority Consulting Works - by Mike Briggs This edition will be a bit different. Usually what I offer in Coach's Corner is a "do it yourself" tutorial on how to achieve a certain design or integrate a neat feature or add-on. This week, I'll be talking about using our services to bring your design and our software together.

Instead of spending your time to integrate the software, Priority Consulting is an excellent way to have us take care of it. All you need is an existing site or a recently purchased template design and we'll do the rest. :)

Priority Consulting is very affordable: most projects are only $250 to $300! In addition to site integration, we'll also provide you with the following:
  • Project Planning: When we get started with your project you'll receive a project plan that includes the estimated cost and project completion date. You can be sure your project will be wrapped up on time.
  • Product Training: Once we're finished wrapping everything up we'll spend some extra time talking about the software and the templates to ensure you have the necessary knowledge to move forward with your site.
  • Direct Contact: You'll have direct contact with a product specialist for one-on-one integration tips, training, HTML mentoring, and much more.
Priority Consulting isn't only limited to template integration. There are several other uses, and smaller projects are often only $50. Here are some examples:
  • An RSS feed for Article Manager.
  • Outputting featured listing on your homepage using Listings Manager.
  • Including Google AdSense with Article Manager.
  • Adding an "Image Upload" option directly into the WYSIWYG editor in Page Publisher.
  • ...and much more.
Please feel free to read more about Priority Consulting and see some featured clients who have made use this service in the past.

When you're ready to get started, let me know what you need for your next project and I'll prepare a plan for you! :)
3. Ask Donna: Video Clips in Article Manager - by Donna Brown
Ask Donna: Video Clips in Article Manager - by Donna Brown Donna,

I'm using Article Manager and have no trouble inserting images into my articles. I would now like to share a video with the rest of my visitors. What's an easy way to do this?

Sincerely,

- Video Killed the Photography Star


Dear Photography Star,

Video! It seems that everybody's doing it these days.

Ten years ago, it was the start of Digital Camera Fever. Suddenly, everyone I knew was putting pictures online (I was no exception with my cruddy little Casio digital camera). Now the newest craze is video. I'm soon to inherit my parents' old digital video camera so I suspect I'll be annoying everyone in no time with videos of my roommates' fat cat ... well, just sitting there. (He doesn't do much else.)

For those of you with more interesting videos, finding ways to put them into Article Manager isn't as hard as you'd think.

So far I've used YouTube and Google Video. Both allow for free uploads of your videos for easy online viewing. This saves you the headache of HTML coding or setting up and using your own hosting account. Best of all, you can easily embed the videos into your website. This guide will go over how to embed them into Article Manager content.


1. Make a video.

First, you'll need a video. Maybe something detailing exactly how to build a perfect birdhouse with three levels and an automatic seed dispenser...or, more likely, your first video is going to be Junior smearing spaghetti across the walls, or your new puppy acting super cute. Whatever your subject, once you have your video, you're ready.


2. Upload your video and get the "embed" code

YouTube
You'll need to go to youtube.com and create a free account. Click "Upload", fill out the requested fields, and click Next. Then, click the "Browse" button, to navigate to the file on your hard drive. It can take a while for your video to upload, so grab a coffee and take a break. Once the upload is complete, you'll be redirected to a new page letting you know your video is now available.

On this page, you'll see a text field that shows both a URL and an "Embed" link. If you'd like to simply link your users to the video, use the URL. Otherwise, copy the "embed" code.

Google Video
Go to Google Video. If you have a Gmail account already, you can use your existing login information, which is nice, otherwise you'll need to create a new account. Click "Upload Videos", and fill out the required fields. Select the file from your hard drive, and start uploading.

Once the upload is complete, Click "Embed this video on your website or blog". Copy the code provided.


3. Set up Article Manager to allow the embed code

So now you've uploaded your video, and you have the embed code ready to be inserted into Article Manager.

But first! Before we can use this, we'll need to make some quick changes to the Article Manager configuration. By default, Article Manager has an XSS filter. This security feature prevents "cross-site scripting" by removing any potentially harmful tags from articles (see the documentation for more details). Since the tags required to embed a video are potentially harmful in the hands of a ne'er do well, we'll have to turn this off.

You have two options: you can either disable the XSS filter entirely or set it to allow the tags we need.

Disclaimer: If your site allows non-trusted users to add articles, you probably shouldn't do this. The XSS filter is in place for a reason, and modifying or disabling it is at your own risk. However, if you don't allow access to add articles to the general public, you should be okay to do this.

Option 1: Modify the XSS filter
You'll need to open the file in your exec folder called "xssfilter.ini".

For Google Video, find the line with [tags][embed] and remove the line below that reads "handling=ignore".

For YouTube, find the lines with [tags][embed], [tags][object], and [tags][param] and remove the lines below that read "handling=ignore".

Option 2: Disable the XSS filter.
To disable the XSS filter, open your exec/config.ini file and find this line:

enable_xss_filter = 1

And change it to:

enable_xss_filter = 0


4. Adding the Embed code to your article

Once the XSS filter is disabled, you can copy & paste the Embed code from YouTube or Google Video directly into your article wherever you want the video to show up! Here's an example of what the code will look like:

YouTube Sample Code:
<object width="425" height="350">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/K-ZNYcaSDPs"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/K-ZNYcaSDPs" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed>
</object>


Google Video Sample Code:
<embed style="width:400px; height:326px;" id="VideoPlayback" align="middle" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=4770659830910768501& hl=en-CA" quality="best" bgcolor="#ffffff" scale="noScale" salign="TL" FlashVars="playerMode=embedded"> </embed>


Important: If you use the WYSIWYG editor, it will try to translate this into straight text instead of allowing it to be rendered as code. So for WYSIWYG fields you'll want to click "View/Edit Source" button (it looks like this: <>) so you can paste the code directly into the source so it's saved as code instead of text.

Now everyone can see your version of a kitten falling asleep standing up, or your roommate being attacked by a squirrel.

Cheers!
Donna

Got any neat tips & tricks, or a puzzling question for Donna? Email her at donna@interactivetools.com.
4. We've Moved Offices
We've Moved Offices We've moved to our new office and everything is almost set up, just a few things left to unpack so it's just a tad messy. I must say, we're really happy with this space - this is the coolest office we've been in yet.

I'll have pictures to show you soon (the thumbnail picture is me inspecting the office before we moved in). I'm not going to take new pictures until we get things more organized in here - posting pictures of our post-move clutter just wouldn't be right. :)

Our new address is:

201 - 2730 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC CANADA
V5N 5P4
5. Ross Report: Back from Thailand - by Ross Fairbairn
Ross Report: Back from Thailand - by Ross Fairbairn Hey everyone. It's your favorite support team member who has recently been in Thailand back in the saddle and raring to go. For those of you keeping score at home, Thailand was great! I was documenting as much as possible in our new staff blogs so have a read through to see what I got up to.

My apologies for the terrible spelling and grammar. All complaints can be directed at the editor. (Editor's Note: I only edit the newsletter)

Definitely the best trip ever but I am glad to be home. I managed to leave just before the coup, which might have put a damper on festivities. I have one last update to do specifically for that so keep your eyes peeled.

The only downside is that my computer decided to help me organize the 1700+ pictures I took... and by organize, I mean delete. While it is a lot easier to organize zero pictures, it makes it quite difficult to show anyone all the crazy things I got up to (though my friend does have some pictures of his own, so there's still evidence of me getting whacked on the head by a bamboo-wielding elephant).

With the trip and our recent move, I have actually been spending some time reminiscing on the past. You know, the old office and all the great times there, Thailand and all the fun times I had there. This ended up leading me back to all the previous Ross Reports as well so I thought it would be a great idea to take a stroll down memory lane together. Plus, I get to copy Mike from last month doing the best of "Coach's Corner". You know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Page Publisher - Uploading images within the WYSIWYG editor
In this tutorial I cover all the steps you'll need to be able to upload images to your site right through the WYSIWYG editor fields you have setup.

Realty Manager - Easy Template Integration
This is a great walkthrough for setting up Realty Manager with simple templates. It includes a working example and can be used with many different templates.

Realty Manager - Google Maps
Ever wanted to have a Google Map display all the listings in your system? This tutorial covers all the steps you'll need to set that up.

Remember, Sundays are a little quieter, so if you wanted to call in with a support question or two, I would also be more than happy to regale you with some tales from my trip (there are lots). ;)
6. Useful Links for Developers
Useful Links for Developers Like always, I've been on the prowl for tutorials and resources that I think you might find most useful, especially if you spend a lot of time as a web master or web developer. Here's what I found:
CrazyEgg
Want to know what links on your site are the most popular? Using a heatmap, Crazy Egg will let you know where your visitors are clicking and what might need to be changed to improve your site's results.

BetterFonts
Maybe you're planning on designing a new headline or logo and really want to do something different. If so, you might be interested in one of BetterFonts over 10,000 free fonts.

21 Great SEO Tips From Google Engineer Matt Cutts
If you're planning to optimize your site for Google you should check out these 21 SEO tips from Google Engineer Matt Cutts himself.

If you have a resource you would like to share let me know and it might show up in a future newsletter. :)



From the Forum

1. Article Manager - How to Set One of Your Categories to be the Main Index by Donna Brown
In this post Donna explains how to set up one of your category indexes to be your main index page.
2. Listings Manager - Adding Additional Search Options by Chet Woodside
Want to let site visitors search by city or state? Chet shows you how you can customize Listings Manager's search form to include additional search options.
3. Realty Manager - Listings on an Agent's Homepage by Mike Briggs
In this step-by-step tutorial Mike explains how you can show an agent's listings right on the agent's homepage.

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