Monthly Archives: October 2013

“Is a Stand-Alone Blog a Better Choice for Me?”

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“Is a Stand-Alone Blog a Better Choice for Me?”

By ed2go Instructor  Linda Aksomitis.

One of my students in Introduction to Internet Writing Markets asked this question recently. Here’s how I responded:

Blogging is a big topic, isn’t it? The main difference between a hosted blog and a stand-alone blog is whether you control what you do completely or whether someone else does . . . although the control may be in varying degrees depending on whether the service is free or at a cost.

Let’s compare hosted and stand-alone blogs to renting or buying a house.

Renting a house is like having a hosted blog (from Blogger, WordPress, or another blog service). When you rent, someone else takes care of the technology and sets the rules about what you can do.

Having a stand-alone blog is like buying a house. You own it and have to fix it when it breaks, although if you have a good webhost you may be able to get help from technical support. The only restrictions you have are what’s legal or illegal in the country you live in.

With a hosted blog, you just sign up, decide what you want your blog to look like, and start posting. With a stand-alone blog, you buy a domain name and space from a webhost. Then you install the blogging platform, such as WordPress, on your site. It’s more complicated, but your reward is that you’re in charge.

Quiz: What Skills Do You Need to Be an Effective Team Player?

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Quiz: What Skills Do You Need to Be an Effective Team Player?

Excerpt From Building Teams That Work Course by ed2go Instructor Vivian Harte

How well suited are you to team membership? This quiz from Building Teams That Work can give you some insight into your abilities and motivations. Don’t think about any of the statements for a long time. Just take them one at a time, and answer as honestly as possible.

Give one of three answers: 1) agree, 2) neither agree nor disagree, or 3) disagree.

1.Whenever I face a challenge, I want to solve it myself

2. I generally want to control what I’m responsible for.

3. I haven’t spent much time thinking about my strengths and weaknesses.

4. I have a hard time admitting mistakes I make.

5. It annoys me when other people do better on a task than I do. Read more

jQuery for Absolute Beginners by ed2go Instructor Alan Simpson

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jQuery for Absolute Beginners by ed2go instructor Alan Simpson

Okay, so what is jQuery?

jQuery is an immensely popular “write less, do more” library of JavaScript code for Web developers. We use it in conjunction with HTML and CSS in Web development, primarily to add more interactivity or animation to a page.

If you’re familiar with CSS and HTML but are struggling with jQuery, I feel your pain. It can be difficult to wrap your head around it when you only read bits and pieces about it while doing Web searches.

This is the article you want to read. I’ll talk about the absolute basics—the things that everyone else assumes you already know!

Accessing the Library

Unlike JavaScript code, which all Web browsers can execute on their own, jQuery is a library of prewritten code that’s not built into the Web browser. You can only use jQuery in pages that have access to the jQuery library.

One way to provide that access is to download the library yourself and link the page to your copy of the library. But these days, most developers are using CDN (Content Delivery Networks) to host the library. It simplifies things and generally provides better performance.

To link to a jQuery library on a CDN, you put tags like these between the <head> and </head> tags of the page that needs access to the library:

<script src=”http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js” >

</script>

That links to version 1.10.2 on Google’s CDN. You’ll find several versions of jQuery at any CDN. Typically, you want to link to the latest one. But if your pages need to support Internet Explorer Versions 6, 7, and 8, be aware that the 2.x versions don’t support those older Internet Explorer versions. Only the 1.x library versions support older Internet Explorer browsers.

Notice that inside the script tag, the URL after src= starts with http:. In other examples, you may not see that in front of the URL. When the page is being served by a Web server from an actual site or a local server on your development machine, then it’s okay to omit the http. But if you’re testing and developing by opening files directly, make sure you use the http: address. Otherwise, jQuery won’t work or it’ll be painfully slow. Read more