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Message In a Box

Tactical Technology collective have just released a new website called messagein-a-box.

Message in-a-box is a set of strategic guides to using communications tools for social change, together with a suite of open source tools to get you making your own media. The toolkit is designed for small and medium-sized NGOs, advocates, and citizen journalists to help them create and distribute content for their advocacy efforts while exploring the constantly evolving world of campaigning and communications.

The ICT4DEVWG carried out it’s first workshop on the 24 October 2008.  I would like to thank Jessica Stevens for her input and presentations on Web 2.0 and Flickr.  Also I would like to thank Pham Do Quyen for translation.

The workshop focused on how web 2.0 technology is helping people and organisation communicate with each other.  Three technologies were focused on Flickr, Twitter and facebook.

Introduction to Web 2.0 by Jessica Stevens

Introduction To Twitter by Paul Griffiths

Twitter Introduction

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ict4devwg ict4devwgw1)

How to Use Twitter - Paul Griffiths

How To Use Twitter

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ict4devwg ict4devwgw1)

Flickr by Jessica Stevens
The Art of Conversationl - Flickr

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ict4dev ict4devwg1)

Facebook in Development Organisations by Paul Griffiths

Currently the ICT4DEV working group blog and mailing list has focused on the ideas of software.  However, hardware is the initial step in the word of ICT in development.  Recently I visited a Boot Camp held in Cambodia. A ‘ Boot Camp’ allows for anyone to share and express ideas concerning the ICT industry.

I came across a demonstration by the Open Insititute on low cost computing.  The idea was to research the use of a portable / low power consuming computer that could be deployed in isolated areas within Cambodia.

Four different scenarios were researched;

Brief Description of two scenarios.

Scenario 1 : A low powered, portable but secure solution for Windows and Linux.
Scenario 2 :  A central computer with multiple users over multiple monitors and keyboards.

One solution was available for under 300 USD running under 9 Watts.

The conclusions of the experiements can be found here on a wiki.

Blogging software such as Wordpress and Google’s Blogspot have allowed NGO’s an entry into the world of Web. Their ease of use provides even the smallest INGO the tools to create an Internet presence. The increase in popularity of bloggs have opened the doors to hackers. Re-directing your readers to their own websites selling holidays, medical supplies and streams of useless tools is one favorite past time.

What about security ?

Security, !!!!! People often are under the illusion that the magical software takes care of all. However, teams of hackers are often scratching their heads, busy looking into flaws of the blog software.

How can we protect our blog?

Make sure your computer is protected, How?

  • Your operating system (Windows XP, Ubunut, Vista etc) has the recent software updates.
  • Install good anti-virus software (Kaspersky, symantec) and make sure it’s up to date.

Use a strong Password

Most attacks come through weak passwords, use a mixture of numerical (1,2,45 etc), alphabetical (tiniufd) and Upper / Lower case to maximize it’s strength. Please visit a password checker to verify the strength of your password.

Software Version

Check if you are using the latest release of your blogging software. Visit the website of your blogging software and install any upgrades.

Themes and Plug ins.

Only use official plug ins and themes, these can be found on the website of your blogging software.

Regular Backups

Try to make at least a backup once a week. This will allow you to recover from an earlier version if you have been hacked.

Further Security Measures

Your blog interacts with a database (MYSQL). This database will hold all key information such as passwords, articles, users etc. Make sure your MYSQL database has a strong password. Your Blog software will also recommend file and folder permissions on your installation.

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