Monthly Archives: April 2010

  • April 29, 2010

    Hip Restaurants Get Hip Websites Courtesy of New Signature

    New Signature launched websites for sister restaurants Bar Pilar and Cafe Saint-Ex.   There is no denying that both neighborhood restaurants are popular Washington, D.C. establishments.  In fact, Bar Pilar is nominated for the best Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year in the 2010 RAMMYS.  Cafe Saint-Ex has been described on Yelp as “France to Bar Pilar’s Spain–Cafe Saint-Ex is bigger, more sophisticated, louder and brasher. Bar Pilar is a wee bit rougher around  the edges, more rustic, more intimate.”

    New Signature created the visual design for both websites and focused on extending the culture and energy of each restaurant online.  The visual design for the Bar Pilar website has a strong Hemingway theme to complement the restaurant’s Hemmingway name and motif (the Pilar was Hemingway’s boat).  The visual design for the Cafe Saint-Ex website extends the restaurant’s aviation-themed art and a laid back atmosphere.  Both restaurants act as a meeting place for locals and as such it made sense to reflect this on the websites through the incorporation of social media features.  For example, both websites broadcast and promote customer generated content aggregated from Twitter and Facebook on their homepages and community pages.

    New Signature built the websites on the Drupal publishing platform.  The use of the Drupal content management system means the restaurants’ staff have full control over the websites’ content, including the menus (which can change daily).  Both websites also have mobile versions for patrons visiting the site on their mobile phones.  These mobile sites are specifically crafted to provide quick access to the pertinent details about the restaurants including addresses and phone numbers.

    neighborhood
  • April 28, 2010

    Campaign For Consumer Rights Taps New Signature to Urge Californians to Vote No on Proposition 17

    The Campaign For Consumer Rights turned to New Signature to design and build their Stop Prop 17 campaign website.  This website will serve as the online platform for the organization’s ballot initiative campaign urging Californians to vote no to Proposition 17.

    The website is built using the WordPress Content Management System to provide Campaign For Consumer Rights’ staff with total control over adding, editing and deleting new content, including multimedia content.  The site provides visitors with access to a wealth of information and compelling evidence as to why Proposition 17 is bad for residents of the state of California.  The website also acts as a social media hub, and provides visitors with the opportunity  to take direct action to help in the campaign.

  • April 21, 2010

    New Signature Launches CMS Defend, Website Safe Deposit, and Website Watch Tower

    New Signature officially unveiled three new services that help organizations keep their websites safe, secure and running optimally.

    CMS Defend. New Signature regularly updates your website’s Drupal or WordPress Content Management System software.  Patches for the Drupal and WordPress CMS software are regularly released by the open-source community.  These patches contain features, performance, security and bug fix updates.  Subscribing to New Signature’s CMS Defend service ensures that these patches are installed and that your website’s Content Management System is kept secure and performs optimally.

    Website Safe Deposit. New Signature provides maximum protection by automatically backing up your website to a highly secure and redundant storage infrastructure. With the Website Safe Deposit service, you can recover from unintended user actions, hosting failures, or application failures. Having backups stored off your server provides an easy and affordable disaster recovery solution.

    Website Watch Tower. New Signature monitors your websites and servers to minimize downtime and keep your website running. Website Watch Tower instantly alerts at the first sign of failure or downtime, allowing New Signature to address the problem.

    Contact New Signature to take advantage of all the benefits of these services have to offer!

  • April 20, 2010

    Microsoft TownHall – An Engagement Platform

    New Signature attended an interesting briefing on Microsoft TownHall at Microsoft’s office earlier today.  Microsoft TownHall is a cloud-based out-of-the-box engagement tool for use by political candidates, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.  With TownHall you can quickly turn up a website to engage citizens, constituents, or consumers and gain valuable insights.  TownHall does this by being true to its name.  It is a pre-packaged application that allows visitors to the website to ask questions, vote on questions, post responses and build their reputation within the community.   In Microsoft’s first beta customer, NASA, the built-in reputation system proved itself to be very effective, with some individuals earning just under 2 million points in just under 6 months.

    A few key points on TownHall:

    1. free to use;
    2. open source so it can be customized and extended; and
    3. must run on the Windows Azure Platform.  (more…)
  • April 19, 2010

    Ning Ending Free Service Won’t End Your Social Cloud

    Ning is a popular social networking platform that is available through a software as a service (SaaS) model.  On April 15th, 2010 Ning announced that they will be phasing out their free service.   New Signature works with many of our clients to build social networks using SaaS platforms (including Ning) and open source software platforms Drupal and Elgg.  Today, Nick Judd drew on New Signature CEO Christopher Hertz’s expertise for his “Ning Ending Free Service Won’t End Your Social Cloud” post on techPresident.  In the post, Nick helps make sense of how Ning’s change will impact nonprofits and political organizations.  Below is an excerpt from the post:

    Chris Hertz, a technology consultant whose firm, New Signature, has done work for the Center for American Progress, Center for New American Security and CREW, says Ning could have avoided a lot of the hang-wringing he’s seeing if the company just announced price points already.

    “If you have a whole bunch of people who are relying on your product and you say, ‘hey, you’ve got to wait until May 4 to find out pricing information on these products,’ it puts people in an uncomfortable position,” Hertz said.

    Until pricing information comes out, it would be unwise to switch from Ning, even if there are a lot of services out there looking to court restless current Ning clients, he added.

    “Generally, I’ve been advising people to be in a holding pattern. We don’t know what the price points are, we don’t know what the features are.”

    “A lot of people have made a big deal out of it,” he said, “but it’s possible that they come out in a few weeks and say, ‘well it’s going to be $20 a month for nonprofits.’”

    Read Judd’s full post hereContact New Signature if you need help building a social network for your organization.

  • Overview of the Business Productivity Online Suite (a.k.a., BPOS) from Microsoft Online Services

    Microsoft entered the hosting infrastructure market in 2005 with their acquisition of Frontbridge. Over the past 5 years, Microsoft has continually and incrementally improved their hosted solutions to include greater numbers of services.   They have expanded beyond hosted Exchange services to hosted SharePoint and Office Communications Server.

    Within the past year, Microsoft has created a product suite that incorporates all the hosted versions in an easy to use, quick to provision service named Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS).  Services in this suite include:

    • Exchange Online
    • SharePoint Online
    • Office Communications Online
    • Office Live Meeting

    New Signature has provided hosted solutions to our clients for many years and as a Microsoft Gold Partner we began testing BPOS as soon as it was released.  We are very impressed with the service and have migrated a number of clients to BPOS.  BPOS is a great fit for organizations that need high availability and comprehensive security, but don’t want to make a substantial capital investment in hardware and software to achieve these goals.  Contact New Signature today to find out if BPOS is a good fit for your organization.

  • April 14, 2010

    InsideIRAN.org Wins Top Honors at 2010 Interactive Media Awards

    InsideIRAN.org earned an IMA Outstanding Achievement Award under the category “Advocacy”.  New Signature designed and produced InsideIRAN.org for The Century Foundation.  This award demonstrates that the InsideIRAN.org website excelled in all areas of IMA’s judging criteria and represents a very high standard of planning, execution and overall professionalism.

    The Interactive Media Awards recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development and honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement.  This award is further validation that New Signature is a leader in the industry, able to effectively and efficiently develop powerful and appealing websites for our valuable clients.

    insideIRAN.org is the ground breaking website that New Signature designed and built for The Century Foundation’s Iran program.  insideIRAN.org provides a new, and highly relevant, source for the latest news and information from inside Iran.  New Signature designed and built the website in only a few weeks using the WordPress publishing platform.  Our experts worked with the Century Foundation through New Signature’s development process. {analysis, wireframing, user experience design, programming, training, testing, and launch}.

  • April 12, 2010

    New Signature Labs Releases “jCoverflip” Widget

    New Signature Labs is pleased to announce the release of the jCoverflip widget.  jCoverflip is a jQuery cover flow widget that allows website administrators to present featured website content in a visually appealing manner.  The widget is quick setup and is highly configurable, and can run as a Drupal Module or standalone.  jCoverflip enables quick, easy and granular customization to the look and feel and feature set. Out of the box features include:

    • Drag or click functionality to showcase featured content items on demand by the user.
    • Ability to showcase both images and content associated with an item.
    • Ability to show 3 to 10 items in the widget.
    • Ability to change the colors, fonts, style.
    • Ability to change the behavior of the widget including the speed at which items are animated.
    • Module integration with Drupal or Standalone version. (more…)
  • New Signature Labs Releases “Drupal Most Popular” Contributed Drupal Module

    New Signature Labs is pleased to announce the release of the Drupal Most Popular contributed module for the Drupal publish platform.  New Signature Labs developed the Drupal Most Popular module to give website administrators and maintainers a turn-key solution for creatively and effectively showcasing the most popular content on their website in a highly customizable block.

    The module comes packaged with several common analytics services:

    • Google Analytics Most Viewed
    • Drupal Most Commented Pages
    • Drupal Most Viewed
    • AddThis.com Most Emailed

    The module is built using an extensible framework that allows for fast and granular customization of the look and feel as well as the packages and services it can integrate with.  Designed and developed by New Signature Labs, the Most Popular Module is ideal for all types of Drupal websites. (more…)

  • New Signature Labs

    New Signature is proud to announce the creation of New Signature Labs.  New Signature Labs is the formalization of New Signature’s efforts to push the envelope with new discoveries and innovations in the world of rich Internet application development.

    New Signature Labs’ goal is to develop a wide range of revolutionary technologies that will showcase some of our cool and innovative ideas. These ideas will be packaged as open source modules that can be used and extended by the community.  New Signature will be announcing our first two innovations this afternoon: Drupal Most Popular and jCoverflip.

    The inspiration for the choice of the “Labs” name is the Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory (later known as Bell Labs)–founded by Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C.   While we doubt that our work will have the same impact as Bell Labs, we believe it is good to aspire to greatness!

    Your comments and feedback can elevate a project to consideration for integration into Google.com — or cause it to disappear and never be spoken of again.