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20 July 2009

MemberKit Lets Non-Programmers Create Their Own Facebook-style Site

MemberKit LogoThe astonishing popularity achieved by social media sites like Facebook has spurred developers to try and imitate that kind of success, and although a number of web form builders have been rolled out lately, one of the most promising is Memberkit. It's an online membership content management system for websites that can be used on new or existing sites.

Memberkit stands out from the crowd by being aimed not at other developers but by regular folks like you and me. In effect, someone with only minimal knowledge of programming - or at least, can follow WYSIWYG directions - can set up their very own Facebook-style website. Once up & running, your Memberkit site will allow you to collect subscription payments from your members and create an advertisement based community on a fully custom, professional looking site.

The man behind Memberkit is Aytekin Tank, cofounder of Interlogy Internet Technologies and the creator of JotForm, from which Memberkit has its roots. Memberkit is more general in scope compared to JotForm but still relies on the user-friendly WYSIWIG interface and a straightforward drag and drop builder similar to the builder used in Visual Studio. It's been three years in the making but Tank & company have used the time well, as anyone who takes the software for a test run will learn. It should be mentioned that right now Memberkit is compatible with both the Firefox and IE browsers and plans are in the works to extend support to Safari.

In a nutshell, you can use Memberkit's drag and drop tools to create listing pages, display pages or search forms. Not only can you can create multiple forms, but it's easy enough to program working relationships between them. All of this - and more - is possible without having to write a single line of code!

After reading through the information at the Memberkit website, I thought I'd give it a spin and was pleasantly surprised! The interface seems quite polished and responsive, and I like the narrow focus. It'll be interesting to see how Memberkit evolves over the coming months but I'm very impressed with its practicality, flexibility and above all: ease of use. I heartily recommend visiting the Memberkit website where you can check out a demo of the framework, view a flash-based screenshot tour, even watch a video:

At its present stage of development, Memberkit is targeting a particular market niche but it has ambitious plans for the future. Explains Aytekin Tank, "We have released this first version specifically for membership and social sites. Our plan is to first make it perfect for these specific tasks before turning it into a complete web framework."

Indeed, Tank is not letting the grass grow under his feet. As of March 19 of this year, the full Memberkit documentation file "Memberkit: The Definitive Guide" is now available. The full-featured guide is over 100 pages long and can be downloaded as a single PDF book or can be referenced from the online version which is searchable and commentable. Check it out - the next great social media website just might start here!

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22 May 2009

Claudiopolis: Legendary History Weaved Into Nature of Mut

Not only is “Mut” the first syllable of "Happy" in Turkish but it is also the name of a historic town nestled in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains. This part of southwest Turkey has been settled for many thousands of years. Hittites, Cilicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans came, saw, conquered and stayed to enjoy Mut's refreshing climate and delightful scenery. Please allow the post to be loaded for there are many HD wallpaper images [click to enlarge].

Mut (Claudiopolis)

The history of Mut which carries all the tracks of Anatolian and Mediterranean civilizations dating to the years of 2000 BC. Mut, which was in the hands of Selefkos in 300 BC, the name of ‘Mut’ was originated from the King’s name who governed here, which was captured by the Romans after the year 60 BC. Then, Mut, according to the documents in hand, has been found as a colony in 41 BC by one of the kings of the Romans, ‘Oudiopolis’, Mut has been annexed to the Ottoman Empire by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1466 AD. Mut became a township in 1868 and the municipality was founded in Mut in 1869.

Mut Today

Mut and its surrounding district is situated in the province of Mersin. It is a rough land; the Taurus Mountains boast lofty peaks 10,000 feet high or more, and the area around Mut is home to the rare and endangered Anatolian Leopard. It is this isolation that has allowed the preservation of the old ways of doing things. Contemporary Mut demonstrates its strong connections to the past and its friendly people still hand down the old traditions from one generation to another.

Kozlar Plateau

This high plateau is favored by Mut locals who come here to stay during summer. The plateau is 1300 meters above sea level and attracts people for its natural beauties, clean weather, and cold spring water.


It is a natural ground bridge over the Ermenek River and is about 35 km away from Mut. It flows into the Goksu River and joins it near the Village of Sucati. The river flows into a deep calley and passes through a tunnel which is about 250 meters long. If you go to Yerkopru you can see this wonderful natural miracled with its waterfall and spend an unusual day.


This village provides water for drinking and plants to villages surrounding it. Its name "Forty Springs" comes from the abundance of offspring water to be found in the region. Kirkpinar isn't known much but is a very pleasurable tourist destination.

Dere Canyon

Located near the village of Mut, this canyon can be observed from the stairs on a rock. Even though there is not much information about this canyon, you can still see a few bridges around the village left from the Ottoman dynasty.

Kestel Canyon

The Kestel Canyon is five kilometers long and its wild goats flock within. It is worth seeing with its awesome view from the steep rocks.

Apadnos Monastery (Alahan)

It is on the road of Mut-Karaman, about 20 km away from Mut and 3 km far from the main road. It was built on a rocky side of the Toros Mountains. The monastery contains the church first, church second, church third, famous portik and surroundings for monks. Its altitude is approximately 1200 meters. The monastery complex is thought to have been built in AD 440-442. It is deemed as highly important due to its historical and institutional value. Also the building shows typical architecture of the fifth century.

Corapissus Church (Dag Pazari)

It is 35 kilometers to the north of Mut. Its ancient name is Corapissis and the ancient road highlights the importance of it’s historical environment. It shows a compromise between the barrel-vaulted churches of mesopotamia and the Isaurian basilica with central tower as found at Meryemlik and Alahan.

Mavga Castle

The Castle of Mavga is about 16 kilometers from Mut, near the plateau of Kozlar which is a resort site for tourists. The castle was built carving in the steep rocks of the side of the mountains. The inscription of the north side of the castle has shown that the fortress has been used by the Seljuks in 1230 AD. There are stable feed racks and cisterns carved into the rocks. It has been suggested that the castle belonged to the Hitittes.

Mut Fortress

The first construction of the castle in the centre of the city has not yet been identified. The keystones of the castle demonstrate a small farrison built by rectangular flat cutting stones. The castle which was restored by the Byzantine and Karamanogullari has four towers along with a tower called the “inner fortress” inside the castle.

Laal Pasha Mosque

The mosque was constructed by Laal Pasha upon the orders of Karamanoglu Ibrahim Bey (1356-1390). The mosque is square planned and the middle dome has been constructed with the flat cutting stones. In one of the tombs there are 3 graves and in the other one are 4 graves. According to Evliya Celebi’s Travelbook, Laal Pasha was buried in one of these tombs.

Mountain Mosque

Its 2 kilometers south-west of Mut. It is claimed to belong to the Seljuks era. It was constructed with the stones which were collected in the same era.


In all villages of Mut, you can see the coloured world of loom. Different kinds of weaving, sack, haircloth, player rug developed here. Especially in Haciahmetli village weaving is done traditionally through use of madder roots. Rug making is one notable craft, perfected over the centuries, that has brought the weavers of Mut recognition the world over. These rugs are "kilims", flat-woven rugs without a raised pile that often display complex patterns and magnificent colors.

Mutlu Kilim

It is thanks to the efforts of the Public Training Center (PTC) in Mut that many of these charming patterns and distinctive weaving techniques have not only been re discovered, but taught to a new generation of self-sufficient weavers.

In the words of a Mutlu Kilim spokesperson, "Our purpose is to keep the regional kilim models, colors and handcrafts of Mut alive. Before starting this business we searched the region for authentic models of kilims which reflect our old traditions." The search was a difficult one - kilim rugs do not have a pile to protect their structure and it is rare to find a used kilim rug more than a couple hundred years old. Finally however, after visiting outlying farmsteads little changed from the pre-industrial age, enough original patterns were found to jump start kilim production on an organized basis.

Mutlu Kilim knows that the best kilim rugs are crafted in the weavers' comforting home environment. Most kilim weavers contributing their wares to Mutlu Kilim are housewives whom, by working in a supportive network of weavers, can help their families economically and expose their skills to future generations. Happy crafts-people leading productive lives creating a world-famous product - handmade rugs - that's the name of the game at Mutlu Kilim.

How appropriate, then, that Mutlu Kilim weaves happy rugs in traditional ways in a town as old as the hills!

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