Welcome to Geeklog Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 08:35 am EST


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Long time Geeklog developer Tony Bibbs calls it quits.

Moving On

I guess that leaves ApptitudeCMS (Geeklog v2) dead. What is disappointing is that something tangible finally came out of this project and then within a month or two, the leader just quits. All that time and energy gone to waste.

Where does that leave Geeklog for the rest of us? Too far behind to catch up? No ability to market ourselves? Too stupid to understand that "social thing"? Did Tony finally state what we've all known for a long time, Geeklog is dead?

I finished reading the mailing list archives back several years. Every constructive thing tony said for Geeklog has been discussed over and over for the past several years. Change the name, change our image, get social, blog (roadmaps or at least goals), all discussed and never any action taken. I think the one constructive thing Tony missed was the fact that there is no real leadership anymore. At least leadership that understands what it takes to drive an OSS project. Geeklog has gone out of its way to shun developers and would be contributors. The few people left that are trying to write or update plugins for Geeklog go completely ignored in the forums. It seems that more effort goes into killing Geeklog than goes into growing Geeklog.

I think it is finally official. Geeklog is dead. Where do we go now?




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Dirk

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Funny how these sort of comments always seem to come from nameless people with an intimate knowledge of Geeklog's internals. Sorry, but my troll-o-meter just went off ...

Anyway, you can't really blame Tony for calling it quits. He's been around for almost 10 years now. With a job, family and kids, and other time-intensive hobbies, the thought of trying to build up another community from scratch can really make you think. He's decided against it and we should all respect that decision.

I don't know how many times Geeklog has been called "dead" now and yet we're still here. Sure, we're not exactly a thriving community either and a lot of that is due to the things that Tony listed in his farewell post (and some of them also have to do with me). But as long as there aren't more people willing to spend a significant portion of their time on Geeklog, all that talk about roadmaps (to pick one example) is just a waste of time. I've been in software development long enough to know that most roadmaps aren't worth the paper (or electrons) they're printed on if you don't have the resources and the dedication to follow through.

Tune in again in a year or so for the next installment of "Is Geeklog finally dead now?" ...

bye, Dirk

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Laugh

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Geeklog is not dead but unfortunately we are not the most lively project at the moment.

A lot of what Tony said made sense (and has been discussed before on the mailing list) but as Dirk points out we need more people willing to spend a significant portion of their time on Geeklog. This isn't happening at the moment but hopefully in the future.

I am NOT pointing fingers here but I think the biggest mistake of late was the whole development argument that wasn't resolved, and marked the creation of glFusion. This wasn't good for Geeklog and while the glFusion team has done a lot with their project, ultimately I don't think they made the best decision either to split off.

I also think starting a Geeklog 2 project wasn't the best choice for Geeklog either, but Tony obviously wanted to go his own way and try new things.

Geeklog is a mature CMS and offers a lot. I don't think we need to reach for the levels of fame WordPress, Joomla and others receive to consider it a success. To be honest, in most cases, I prefer using Geeklog over other CMSs like Joomla.

I know I plan to stick around and will continue to support Geeklog.

One of the Geeklog Core Developers.

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Dan Stoner

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Happy 2010 Geeklog!

BTW, when all of that Web 2.0 crap blows over Geeklog will still be here...

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Blaine

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I have to agree with Dirk's comments and Tony's post was not a surprise to us. He has given a lot to this project and his efforts are very much appreciated as was his opinions. This project is more then one individual and needs a vibrant and engaged community. It has been encouraging to see new plugins being introduced by cordisite and suprsidr but there does not appear to be much community response.

We at Nextide tried to address many of the issues Tony mentioned as we have been targeting the Business Community for several years and felt there were business oriented clients in the Geeklog Community that wanted professional support and business oriented applications for a solid web application development framework called Geeklog. We purposely called our distribution Nexpro so it would have a better name and offered professional support services that we felt were needed. The community interest has not been what we expected and not very encouraging. We have decided to give it one more try and spent months of effort updating our plugins and preparing them for release. Nexpro version 1.2 was released last week and is a bundled distribution of Geeklog 1.6.1 with 9 nine of our plugins plus the Forum plugin. We purposely did not fork Geeklog and worked within the project to extend it.

At Nextide, we have been developing custom plugins and applications for business clients and have been embracing modern web application design with AJAX and Richer and more intuitive user interfaces. All of our work over the past 3 years has been developing with Web 2.0 techniques and the latest Nexfile plugin is one example that we are releasing.

Time will tell if there is enough community interest in our work but if not then we will be executing our Plan B.


Geeklog components by PortalParts -- www.portalparts.com

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gdl

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Though I've not posted here much, I've been using Geeklog for over 5 years now. Mainly pushing features like a mad man through FlashYourWeb and driving suprsidr crazy with what functionality I wanted next. He's done a great job with programming, and he is now focusing on pleasing both glFusion and Geeklog communities with his plugins. But he is just one guy. And with a full-time job too.

I completely agree with Tony and Blaine. The brand issue is HUGE! I've seen this many times with clients when I mention "Geeklog". They are like, "Uhhhhh....Geek what?". Now I just say CMS when speaking with clients. I don't mention the name.

The brand issue is something that glFusion has attempted to address somewhat (still not to crazy about the name longterm). The work that Eric has been doing with Mark at glFusion is first rate. Personally I consider glFusion a terrific name for a transitional brand. Something that makes the Geeklog community feel nice and warm when making the switch. I like it. But moving forward, to change the name again, when the time is right? I think that would be a solid choice.

It's a true shame that everyone couldn't have worked together, but I am so glad the glFusion team forked and showed everyone a glimpse of what we should all be focused on. And now, they have momentum.

Dirk you've put in the work and now you don't seem to be reaping the rewards. Rather seeing this CMS slowly pass. Sure Geeklog will be around in a year, maybe 5 or 10 years. But in what state? What will the environment be?

I don't think that the question should be "Geeklog finally dead?". I think the question should be, "Should Geeklog die?". So that we can all focus once again on ONE CMS. Innovation is happening over at glFusion. Their is a buzz about. They are very focused on community and social networking and new features requested by the community. I don't care what the rating is of a CMS on a site ohloh.net or any other site. If the community is in tune with what the CMS should do and is helping to further development, that's what I care about. I consider it a plus that the community is so much smaller than other CMS' like Joomla or Wordpress. Getting answers from the lead devs is great and makes you feel even closer to the development. Which is one of the main reasons why I've never switched.

Tony is also right about no full-time devs. I don't think that Geeklog can survive without the full-time focus of several developers.

I've wanted to focus all my time (many times) on helping theme and brand development here. Though i always get caught up with work or life. Now that I have ultimate control over my websites and server environment, I am pleased that I will be able to afford more time to put towards this goal. Though I am still months behind and my focus will be mostly on glFusion with 2 theme exceptions.

By the end of second quarter of 2010, I expect all of my Geeklog sites to be upgraded to glFusion since I am more comfortable with their roadmap. They actually have one and are constantly giving feedback on where they are. I would just like to see a different JS library being used since jQuery is more user-friendly with better support and samples for devs. I also need to get more familiar with the glFusion templates. I just haven't had the time. Though I expect that will change very soon as I have some new clients and I will be using glFusion for their sites.

Good luck to Tony and everyone else.

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beewee

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I'm still not convinced about glFusion, it's just Geeklog with a lot of features which are bloatware IMHO. If you use Ajax/Mootools etc, use it for a purpose, not just because you like to use some fancy scripting. A lack of vision IMHO...

I think that GL 1.6 is a major step in the right direction because it offers features GL should have a few years ago, like the metatags en plugin installer. Nice! GL is now a rocksolid base for a

"Branding and looks" is something GL lacks, but only changing the name is tricky, we should at least also develop a new and appealing logo, theme, slogan and a new way of presenting the site.

My wife is in hospital for a month now and will be for at least 2 weeks, and when she comes home she'll still have her foot in plaster so my time goes 100% to my work and family for the next months. After the summer I'll gladly make some time to develop or help developing a new theme. I've already made some sketches for my new private site with a completely new way of using the right blocks and I'll be very glad to share them.

I'm using GL for more than 5 years now, and have developed great sites with GL. Time to give something back to the community Oops!
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net

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Dirk

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Quote by: beewee

"Branding and looks" is something GL lacks, but only changing the name is tricky, we should at least also develop a new and appealing logo, theme, slogan and a new way of presenting the site.


Actually, the slogan is something that has been bothering me ever since I joined the project. And I've only just now realized that I do on occasion suggest a certain other piece of software when people ask me for recommendations and all they want to do is to "just blog". So much for "ultimate" ...

I'd say with Geeklog's 10th birthday fast approaching, it's time for a new slogan.

bye, Dirk

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Laugh

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Quote by: gdl


Tony is also right about no full-time devs. I don't think that Geeklog can survive without the full-time focus of several developers.



That is a huge step, getting full time developers. While it would be nice, Geeklog will survive on its part time help. BTW glFusion is in the same boat too.

Quote by: gdl


I've wanted to focus all my time (many times) on helping theme and brand development here. Though i always get caught up with work or life. Now that I have ultimate control over my websites and server environment, I am pleased that I will be able to afford more time to put towards this goal.



Sounds like my problem, time. What are you thinking of working on? A new/updated default theme would be good. Do you have any ideas on what changes/improvements should be made?



One of the Geeklog Core Developers.

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gdl

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I've been working with the new professional theme a lot lately since I've upgraded Geeklog on a couple sites and had to update the latest version of the default professional theme. Good news is it didn't take me long for each site. About an hour for each. The professional theme is tight and easy for me to work with. It doesn't have useless fluff. Though some fluff is always welcome for the users & admins if it's useful if it Wows some people. Their nothing wrong with wowing someone. It gets attention.

The point is the theme, color, brand, isn't necessarily the problem because those are changed easy enough. The problem is the limitation in the layout.

A default theme for Geeklog needs to have functionality that extends to other themes that are built on it. So for other themes to be equally dynamic it needs to have the ability to manage different layouts and functions so that one can easily bend and shape the site.

The biggest thing about the theme needs to be the ability to put or choose to put blocks either to the left, right, bottom, or top of Static Pages, News Stories, and Topics.

Another big issue is that a user should be able to place a block on a specific static page only. Or even better, choose from the list of static pages and topics. This way information in blocks can be more pertinent to the page or story content.

I am not a PHP programmer (and don't plan to be). I know HTML and CSS. I use Dreamweaver for coding and dealing with PHP when I have to. I use a product called CSSEdit (Mac Only) to edit CSS live. It's a great experience and is like Firebug on steroids. It works fantastic with Geeklog and Allows me to adjust the default style.css and also the always used plugin glmenu procss (headermenu.css & blockmenu.css). Kudos to Blaine for making that plugin –it's awesome. .

I have installed Drupal, Joomla, and Wordpress. The most impressive thing about all of them are the amount of themes. Functionality of Joomla and Drupal is limited and buggy and each of their forums have many unanswered questions on topics I personally searched for. WordPress works well. Support is great. Installs easy as can be. Has a great theme uploader using Java & FTP. It's impressive. Though I notice that again, their is not way to adjust the layout without coding or picking a new theme.

So with that out of the way. Back to the ideal Professional theme.

With the blocks so versatile and the layout managed through the/an admin, New themes would essentially be CSS changes. Such as logo, textures images, colors, block width/height, h1, h2, etc.

I know that the Chameleon plugin attempted this and it got very close. Though I don't think this should be a plugin. Since I'm not a PHP programmer, I have nowhere to begin.

The other option is to manually adjust each theme with different block layouts. This will be tedious and isn't forward thinking and limits the layout for each theme. Though will be what I will be releasing in the coming weeks. Since I know the above functionality isn't created and tested. If it were created & tested. creating a new theme would take a couple of hours, which would be a huge advantage for the Geeklog and even glFusion community.

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1000ideen

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When you look at http://www.opensourcecms.com/ the portal section you will see that GL competes with some 100 other portals. So what is the value of a road map? Geeklog needs a flyover map! I mean a completely new idea where it finds a niche for the future next 5 years.

glFusion is a nice complete set of plugins, Aptitude probably has some great ideas too. Anyway, the people seem to be using rather services like facebook or the trendy brands like wordpress, joomla etc.

Blaine already showed a potential niche with his workflow management. Unfortunately it is very specific.

I wonder if there is something that is badly needed by many small companies (1-10 people), which is not yet on the market.
I thought about a small and simple knowledgemanagement cms. Some GL users already use GL for this purpose. If it had the right approach, e.g. a google style one line "ask me" inbox, it could be very convincing. It could also serve as intranet.

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beewee

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I still believe in the power and possibilities of Geeklog, and I believe I'm certainly not the only one, reading the replies in this topic. Why not change the title to something like "Geeklog isn't dead, but needs a new approach"?

Ref. the themes: it would certainly help if GL has some modular themes, so users can not only choose themes, but also the color and font/blockstyle for their chosen theme.

Placement of blocks and centerblocks is one of the great pro's of GL. Nextide has a nice way of putting blocks on a content page, would be nice if GL would offer something similar. Perhaps it's possible to make autotags for each block?
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net

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TimPatrick

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Tony does give some good points - maybe from a guy who helped out for the summer of code (and hence was new to the project) the underlying architecture is really a turn off to developers.

Documentation helps, however I was kind of excited for aptitude CMS as it re created everything from the ground up. There are many many instances in Geeklog where the resulting code would be 10 times clearer if it was object oriented with classes, however because of the time Geeklog was developed, that was not an option.
Developers really make the difference in a CMS, and independent developers show a healthy environment. However if it takes a really long time to develop a plugin, it is a big turn off. A really good example of a solid easy developer API is the facebook.com developer API. While it obviously is in another direction than Geeklog would take, the actual API is very easy to use, and hence why just about anyone is able to develop for.

When making code, since everything is in your head everything makes sense, the way the code fits together, etc. However, to an independent developer, the same items do not make sense at all.

I am more than happy to dedicate some of my time to helping out with Geeklog. Unfortunately I don't have alot with full time school but I have some and will work on anything.

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suprsidr

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Perhaps it's possible to make autotags for each block?

http://www.geeklog.net/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=86595

And I actually have a refined version if you are interested.

-s
FlashYourWeb and Your Gallery with the E2 XML Media Player for Gallery2 - http://www.flashyourweb.com

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There are also forum autotags...

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sean_c

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Geeklog's not dead, it's just having a midlife crisis. I agree with a lot of what has been said here. I feel that what GL lacks most, on first impression, is credibility. A little less than a year ago I heard of GL through Google's Summer of Code, and was almost immediately off-put by the look of the site and the usability issues. 1) GL urgently needs a new layout. The professional layout uses a lot of antiquated code that contributes to DOM bloat, slower loading times, cross-browser compatibility problems, problems with screen readers, and problems with search engine optimization. A cleaner, optimized, and more semantic XHTML approach is needed (less tables, please!). 2) The new layout needs to have an attractive theme, and be easily customizable. Small changes aren't too difficult to make to the current theme, but in the past few weeks as I've played around with the code to see what can be done with theme/layout, I've been discovering that it's uncomfortably rigid, and there's quite a few variables scattered through unclear files that control the look. If a basic fixed-width layout and basic fluid layout were applied, it would be a cinch for any user to simply upload a stylesheet and a few images and have as many themes/templates as we want. If these themes could be shared on the site for others to see and use, it could also greatly increase the appeal of GL. More advanced users could go straight to the CSS and code without worrying about other hidden configuration areas, while less advanced users could conceivably use a simple web GUI to make smaller changes (color, size, placement, etc). 3) It's been said, but a new name is really a must. Along with a new name should come an attractive logo - the current one fits with the site's 90's theme far too well. 4) It's extremely hard to tell what niche GL is marketing themselves toward, and what it's advantage is. Why should someone choose GL over another framework? What's so great about it? Having a clearly labeled page explaining these things (take a look at http://codeigniter.com/) would instantly lend credibility and interest. If GL can't tell a potential user why they should choose it, then why would they choose it over one of the larger, more popular frameworks that they can get as much information about as they want? 5) GL's main page is overwhelmingly cluttered, and it's not very intuitive to navigate. Making information more concise, moving some some to its own pages from the blocks, and making the 'development' section less intimidating would be a good start. GL has a great (although small) community, one of the most friendly I've seen. However, it's not very visible, and for a new developer to get connected and feel 'invited', I think the development section needs to be more concise (a simplified 1-2-3 list with more information easily accessible elsewhere?). We have the disadvantage, as Tim pointed out, of very intimidating and confusing code for a new developer (lib-common, anybody?). Ideally, the code base could be slowly rewritten more object-based and with better documentation; but for now, GL needs to compensate for it's difficult code with a stellar invitation. Why should a developer spend their time contributing to GL, rather than another of the top framework/CMS? 6) This is related to 4, but I think GL really needs to consider why it exists, what its strengths are, and what market it wants to appeal to. Some frameworks are fast and light, some are slower but powerful, some are extremely simple to use, and some have a great community, etc. What is GL's 'selling point'? If someone asked me right now, I really wouldn't be able to tell them even after nearly a year of working with it. I think if those things were taken care of, we'd see Geeklog spring back to life.

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gdl

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I wonder if there is something that is badly needed by many small companies (1-10 people), which is not yet on the market.


Your talking about my client base. Small to Mid size businesses that need a "PRIVATE" web infrastructure to use.

Facebook is not for corporate communications as you don't fully own the content that is placed there, despite any settings in the application. You can't even delete your account as they retain all data. Facebook is for Public Relations. A business, or person for that matter, using it for anything private, deserves what they get.

Facebook's Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over
Why You Shouldn't Trust Facebook with Your Data: An Employee's Revelations

Facebook Terms

Just a few links to show clients. That will help them understand the cloud a bit better.

Facebook's marketplace (if you can call it that) isn't the same as Content Management Systems. Why? Cause Facebook and similar services are in the cloud.

Twitter is not a competitor of CMS' either. Yes it has it's place as a Public Relations Social Platform, though they do seem more careful about accepting user generated content. Plus you can permanently delete your account.

I'd say with Geeklog's 10th birthday fast approaching, it's time for a new slogan.

bye, Dirk


Geeklog is not for blogging. That would be an insult as it is so much more than a blogging application. Hence the problem with the name geek(b)log. The slogan doesn't make sense as you said. Razz

Can I recommend a new slogan? "This CMS will save your life" LOL You might get a little more interest.

6) This is related to 4, but I think GL really needs to consider why it exists, what its strengths are, and what market it wants to appeal to. Some frameworks are fast and light, some are slower but powerful, some are extremely simple to use, and some have a great community, etc. What is GL's 'selling point'? If someone asked me right now, I really wouldn't be able to tell them even after nearly a year of working with it.


Cloud services whether they are social or corporate are never going to take the place of the CMS. The CMS will only become more localized in time.

A contract a couple years ago found me working for a fortune 10 company for about 6 months. They are known for making detergent, diapers, tp, and make-up. They have about 120,000 employees world-wide. They were Microsoft Licensed on everything out the wazooo. Windows XP here, IE 6 there. It was a nightmare. Though interestingly enough, their internal CMS and Employee Profile System on their Intranet was running on PHP and MySQL. This company blocks Facebook and Twitter. Though they need a CMS to offer the same services and often communicate outside the intranet with content. This is something I know has continued for them to this day. And in fact has become more important.

Every business whether small or large that is going to be on the web is going to need a CMS. They will not and should not be relying on Cloud Services to maintain their web infrastructure.

The selling point for any CMS is.

WIth Geeklog/glFusion your content is or can be:

PRIVATE
SECURE
NOT IN THE CLOUD
YOU OWN & CONTROL COPYRIGHTS

The rest of the selling points are left for additional functionality. Plugins and such.

The future should be how your Geeklog / glFusion website communicates with other Users & Visitors. And how it interacts with external & approved social services. The ones we know, Google Wave, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, mobileme, and the ones we haven't heard of yet. But the CMS' should always maintain control over content and communication for the owner of the website.

Seems like a waste of time to discuss this here, when they already understand and have been developing for it here. Even still, I am thankful for all I have learned from Geeklog and I thought I'd share my point of view.

I may have to publish this on my Blog… 8)

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::Ben

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Hello everybody,

Just few words to add my opinion.

About the name:
Geeklog name is not an problem in the Geeklog french community, users and customers like (love) it. Maybe it's the same in some other languages (japanese, spanish...)?

About the slogan:
Could we try something like :
The Ultimate CMS Smile
CMS, themes and plugins opensource
CMS for everybody

About the theme:
Did someone try the online theme maker? This tool allows users to create thousands different site layouts with just a few clicks of the mouse and download them! Based on modular CSS, and a pure <div> driven layout. You need to log on geeklog.fr to test it.

::Ben
I'm available to customise your themes or plugins for your Geeklog CMS

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beewee

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Since the word "portal" is a bit out of date, Geeklog is still a great tool to make an online newspaper, which is an interesting market. I'm running GL on some sites with sometimes 10k visitors/day, and my programmer has tested the setup and told me we wouldn't have any problems with GL if there were 100k or more visitors/day, but we would be using the caching library in that case.

Especially in GL1.6, where you can configure which static pages will be indexed in the search function, proper use of center blocks and [staticpage_content_**] can make a great frontpage.
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net

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beewee

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Well, since Geeklog needs a second life, renaming it to glNext or something like that would be enough, unless Blaine complains since that's a bit similar to the name of his company.

And the slogan? "The ultimate platform for your web entrance" offers everything GL offers.
Dutch Geeklog sites about camping/hiking: www.kampeerzaken.nl | www.campersite.nl | www.caravans.nl | www.caravans.net

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