I've been having some fun with the free video tool for Youtube - Snip-Snip.
I can grab the URL to a video I like on Youtube and grab a small portion of it to display on my website. It's a little imprecise but I'm not complaining. And I have to assume that Youtube doesn't mind cuz it's well known and they don't block it. Plus it still feeds the clip from their site.
Here's a small clip from Howard Rheingold's TED presentation on collaboration - 2008
So GoogleDocs has been teasing me with a "New Features" bolded link in the top right hand corner of my Googledocs screen for a while now.
After a curious question from a co-worker, I thought I better explore a little further. Turns out that you can take advantage of the new features for new documents you set up AND you can switch back to the old version if you want. Follow these steps to change to the new version and reverse the steps to go back to the old version:
Click theSettingslink in the top-right of your Docs list.
Select the option labeled "Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor."
According to Google, the new features include:
chat while you're working on a document (you could always do this with spreadsheets so it's nice to see it available here as well - just makes sense)
I tested this and it's actually collaborative commenting. I do like the fact that it's clear who is saying what about what in the document.
I also checked out the new functionality on inserting images and you can set them to be fixed relative to the text or inline. I don't have enough text on this sample but you can also drag and place them into different parts of the paragraph and (if set to inline) the text will flow around the image as it does in Word.
you can set tabs in a document
You can set left align, centred or right align tabs - and they work!
faster editing and scrolling in both docs and spreadsheets
linking directly to sheets in a spreadsheet (I like this feature!)
On the down side, you've lost the ability to do offline work on docs using GoogleGears and you can't edit CSS or HTML - but they say these features will be replaced soon.
They are also trumpeting news about new features in the Drawing tool but some of what they say is new I thought was already available? Haven't had a chance to test using drawing with docs but here's the help page if you'd like to explore and report back to me so we can share what we learn here!
I'd played around a little with Evernote, a popular web notebook-type service that Grant pointed out to me several months ago. He was excited about the fact that their search engine could recognize handwritten (actually hand-printed) words in a photograph of a whiteboard or flipchart. We tested it and it was quite impressive. I've been looking for an opportunity to use it with instructors but we had only one response to our email invitation to YCstaff.
Last week I used it to capture our workshop participants' final feedback. Mark and I had them identify some themes and then they all took turns writing down some of their reflections on what they'd learned (or hoped to learn) about related to those themes. I took the pictures and realized that I had to rotate them so that they'd be readable (I took them with the camera turned sideways to get a vertical perspective to match the flipchart paper dimensions). I couldn't find a built-in photo editing tool in Evernote and while I didn't find it a huge impediment, Amanda G. thought it would be a deal-breaker for her...as it would require too much fiddling and use of another service to turn or crop the images before collecting them in Evernote.
So on Monday I'll fix the images and post them (I'm fiddling with seeing if I can put all the images into one Note or if I have to create separate Notes. So far it wasn't successful. I was pretty sure I had all my images the same size but when I attached the 2nd image into the first Note it displayed in a very large format. I'll try again on Monday to make sure.
So far the most interesting functions (to me) are the searchability of images and the ability to share notebooks. Apparently I can choose to make a notebook public OR I can email people to invite them to share it. I can also link a notebook into another service such as Delicious (not really clear on why I'd want to do that).
The other aspect of Evernote I'll test on Monday is to send out the link to the workshop participants to see if they can access it easily. If I'm reading the web page correctly the only way to keep the Notebook private and share it with a group of people is if they have an Evernote account. I'll report back.
Another part of Evernote that makes me hesitate to take it further with instructors is a paragraph in their Terms of Service that seems broader than the terms I've seen in other social media sites like Flickr. Here it is:
In order to enable Evernote to operate the Service, we must obtain from you certain license rights to the Content you submit (so that our storage, technical reproduction, back-up and distribution, and related handling of your Content doesn’t infringe applicable copyright and other laws). Accordingly, by using the Service and posting Content, you grant Evernote a license to display, perform and distribute your Content, and to modify and reproduce such Content to enable Evernote to operate and promote the Service. (You also agree that Evernote has the right to elect not to accept, post, store, display, publish or transmit any Content in our sole discretion.) You agree that these licenses are royalty free, irrevocable and worldwide, and include a right for Evernote to make such Content available to others with whom Evernote has contractual relationships related to the provision of the Evernote Service, solely for the purpose of providing such services, and to otherwise permit access to your Content to third parties if Evernote determines such access is necessary to comply with its legal obligations
Except for these limited license rights, you retain all of the rights you had in your Content before you submitted it. (so what does that really mean??)
At some point I'm going todo a comparison of the Terms of Service and privacy rights of all these services. I did a quick comparison to the new drawing service I also tested during the workshop (Creately) and they don't have the equivalent clause in their Terms.
I uploaded a collection of web resources into my Delicious account so I could test their display and sharing options. I've only used Delicious to follow some of the edtech folks I follow who like to collect there.
So, here's my tagroll - can't specific which tag group I want to display (just like Diigo) and I don't appear to have much control on the size and shape of the display (unless I do my own coding?)
And here a linkroll but again I have limited options as to what I want to display. I can set the number of links that display and whether or not I share my annotations and who I am. But I don't have an option to edit font size or colours or the size of the display. Why is this hard? Flickr has provided this kind of personalization for years now.
I have been a fan of the TED conference when the "dirty old man of design" Richard Saul Wurman was the owner and organizer of several successful (for the most part) conferences. In those days, they didn't have funding to videotape and present short videoclips of speakers but they did have a few promo video clips that gave you a flavour of what you'd missed by not being invited to the conference each year.
Then, after the dot.com debacle, a one-time millionaire Internet guy called Chris Anderson bought the rights to the TED conference from Richard and built it into the mega-hit conference and website it is today. Check it out for leading edge thinking in a range of fields (from "technology-entertainment-design"). Of late, the flavour has been rather heavy-handed "we must save the world" stuff but there are always videos to find that will inspire you or your students.
They have generous funding that allows them to post videos in different formats, to allow downloads, embedding in your web site, sharing as podcasts and to encourage social network interactions. Take the time to read the comments under each video and you'll often be even more inspired or enlightened (of course, you may also find it pedantic or repetitive but that's your risk).
So check it out...an amazing teaching and inspirational resource. If I gave gold stars it would have at least 4!
When you thought we couldn't get more trivial than Twitter...along comes Twitter TV...a.k.a. 12seconds TV.
Instead of limiting you to 140 characters, you get 12 seconds of webcam or mobile phone video to let us know if your nose itches, whether you're drinking your Starbucks skinny latte, or how frustrated you are that you haven't collected enough Facebook friends.
The SCOPE community introduced this newest social networking tool...I'm not initially impressed (can you tell?)
If you want to know what the site is for, here's what they say:
What is 12seconds 12seconds is the best place online for video status updates. It's a super easy way to share what you're doing with your friends and family using short video clips. You can use your web cam or mobile phone. Show your friends where you are, share your thoughts, or tell them how you're doing. We are building a video status platform that will help you keep up to date with your friends 12 seconds at a time.
If you feel the urge to share 12 seconds of your thoughts (and I'm not offering a penny), sign up for a free membership and let us know what you find.
Although you can't view entire films, they have short clips from a wide range of current and historic films. I watched a clip called "Had a Car" (http://australianscreen.com.au/titles/old-man-and-inland-sea/clip2/) where Norman (from the area around Coober Pedy) talks about using a car to kill kangaroos for the old people. That all stopped when the pub opened and then his friends started "humbugging him for money for booze." The setting is surreal and the old man is subtitled (which is good cuz he's hard to understand). But it's a fascinating clip and opens a window on an entirely different reality.
The film clips are available for download in mp4 format and some films have curator or educational notes.
I missed the launch of this new video site but found a link in an edublog - can't remember which one. I tucked the link away and finally got back to it last week to see if the site was worth recommending to you.
Academic Earth is a collection of free videos created by lecturers and speakers at various academic institutions. It looks as though these videos would also be available on the source sites (i.e., MIT or Yale) and on the new Youtube Edu so I'm not really sure why I'd go here instead of there to find them (if you know what I mean. It's somewhat limited - the only institutions represented are Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Yale.
However, the site design is clean and it's easy to find videos that might be related to the subject you're teaching. Videos are organized by "Subject", "Universities" or "Instructors". I'm going to spend more time on it and maybe do a Lunch-and-Learn session?
Check out 'The World is Flat 3.0" Thomas Friedmann.
Google (Youtube) announced on Thursday, March 26th (I'm a day late!) that they've launched Youtube Edu, a site that lists all the educational providers who upload videos to Youtube. Touted as their response to iTunes University, Youtube Edu contains "...lectures by professors and world-renowned thought leaders, new research and campus tours" (from Dan Colman http://www.oculture.com/2009/03/introducing_youtube_edu.html ) Apparently the site provides access to 200 courses from universities. Funny that the site is so overwhelmingly U.S. in focus.
Stephen Downes (http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=48344) commented on the lack of focus on educational content. You'll find as you click through some of the sites that the focus is very heavy on the marketing and "branding" of universities. Also, my thoughts as I clicked around was that I find it a big stretch to call this "open" content...Youtube holds onto the videos that are posted here so I don't see how that qualifies.
If you've never explored iTunes University, this would be a good time to do that and compare. I find that there's an enormous variety of providers and content (and types from audio to video casts). I prefer it (so far) to Youtube Edu cuz it's portable (at least a lot of it's content is portable). If you're not sure how to find it on iTunes...
While I was browsing through some of the delicious tags for the 2009 Horizon Report, I stumbled across a tool that was tagged as an example of the growth of personal webs and cloud computing. It caught my eye because it said that it would find high quality Flickr photos using more than just tags or headings. The About page claims that the site is able to process large numbers of pictures because it taps into "...the computational power from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Behold is the service they tagged and it claims to combine a concept level recognition with standard tag and file name searching. So when I enter the search term "horses", I'm given an option to select what I think the image will look like. For example, I selected "faces". I got a good assortment of high quality images and they fit the criteria (to some extent - take a look at the blonde on the 2nd row!).
You can take a look at some comparative searches they posted that show the difference between a simple tag-search and a Behold search - About BeholdSearch
How does it work? Well apparently it's based on a technique called "automated image notation" that is fully explained in the PhD thesis of Alexei Yavlinsky and you can contact him for a more detailed explanation if you like!
I just plan to play with it for a while and see whether it's worthwhile. Why don't you try too and let me know what you think.
When I get there I click on the Flickr tab and start searching by keyword.
2. Go directly to Flickr's creative commons search page and search within each type of CC-licensed photos. NOTE: Do NOT search in the main box at the top - it's not limited to CC licensed photos.
The new ways to search:
Try flickrCC, a search approach designed by Peter Shanks. You can search for images to edit by keyword or by clicking on one of the thumbnails that appears on the left. This tool also includes a simple photo editor that automatically appends an attribution block and give you the option to jump to the web-based photo editor Picnik if you want more options.
And a final tip from Scott Leslie who uses the advanced search feature in Flickr to look for CC-licensed works.
Remember Tiddlywiki? The wonderful little portable wiki that you could carry around on a 128 Mb flash drive? Which I have done for the past couple of years?
Tiddlywiki has been a great tool for storing thoughts, notes from readings, random lists of things I don't want to forget, etc. And despite the fact that I can never remember the coding to make long entries easier to read (highlighting, coloring text, indenting items), I carry the editing tips on the flash stick too and it never takes very long to refresh my memory). My notes are completely searchable and I can review them on any computer (don't even need an Internet connection).
Now Backpack (part of 43Folders.com) took Tiddlywiki as a base and made it Web2.0'ish (and called it Tiddly Backpack). And they kept it small for portability (only 20k).
Instead of creating new tiddlers (I know, the language is a bit weird), Tiddlywiki Backpack allows you to instantly create new page (like a wiki page or web page) and create a link to it in the sidebar. You can create various items they call "notes" within each page and you can click and drag them around if you decide they need to be re-organized.
So far, it looks pretty slick. I'm testing it out and I'll let you know if I encounter any problems.
A couple of years ago I discovered Tiddlywiki. I'd been looking for a way to create a bit of an electronic brain -- something that was small, text-based, searchable and organizable that I could carry my ideas and notes on a flash stick. I tried a couple of notes programs but didn't like any of them because they had to be installed on the machine I was working on...an extra step I wasn't willing to take a lot of the time.
Then I tripped across Tiddlywiki by Jeremy Ruston (or Amanda showed it to me) and it seemed pretty much exactly what I wanted. It would save out html files that you could view in any browser on whatever computer you were on. You had to write in wiki-code to get any kind of formatting which is a bit of a pain at times but it does the majority of what I wanted -- stores my ideas and lets me find them again -- and it's totally portable and machine-independent.
Now they've released Tiddly Backpack. It looks pretty slick. Way easier for non-wiki people to use cuz it creates pages and notes. You can choose to display your pages of notes on the sidebar or just access it through the All Pages option.
It supports tables and you can enter code to structure what it displays. Haven't played with the code yet but it has the same transportability as Tiddlywiki. I'll test it out and see how it works. If you do, let me know what you think of it. Might be useful for student data collection or joint projects?
GoogleDocs has done it again. Grant showed me the forms feature a couple of months ago but I didn't have time (or a specific project) so I didn't test it out. This month I decided I wanted to collect some feedback from instructors at Yukon College and I was pondering the different tools I have available to create a simple survey. I wanted something that was fast to build and that I could send through email or post to my web site. Grant mentioned Google Forms again so I decided to try it.
Wow, is it easy. Step 1: Create your form. You have a small range of options for types of questions: text, paragraph text, multiple choice, range, checkboxes or choose from list. I only needed to pose 4 questions so the text option worked for me. It lets you add questions one by one to create a total survey.
Step 2 is deciding how to deploy your form. I had more trouble (and took wayyyyyy more time figuring out how to make Outlook mail behave than it took to create and deploy this form). I chose to embed it in my TATL web page and then send out an email to invite people to express their opinions. BTW, I was also able to edit the confirmation message that people received once they submitted comments so I was able to put in a marketing message for Mark McCullough's Jan 2nd event at the same time!
Step 3 And the nicest part about Google Forms is that I didn't have to tell it to collect my responses and organize them...it did it automatically. Check it out! Sylvia
Here we go...yet another free photo editing service.
I found Flauntr on Emily Chang's Web 2.0 blog, ehub. She's usually pretty reliable for recommending useful tools. I've signed up and mucked around with one image so far. Everything seems to work smoothly and the speed of response is pretty good.
The focus of Flauntr is as a social sharing tool I think. It's certainly not for someone who's serious about photo improvement. It's set up to allow you to upload, edit and then publish your photos to any of the popular personal home pages, or social sharing sites like Facebook. Social photo sharing is not really my thing right now but I'll test it out and report back.
I've explored some of the editing choices. There are a series of choices from StylR to EditR to TextR to PicasR to ProfilR to MobilR
StylR offers the ability to save your image as a card, album, magazine cover. You can:
size your photo to frame
crop your image
select a standard decoration to frame your shot
create an overlay or custom frame
apply distortion or light effects
set it up as a magazine cover design
EditR provides standard editing functions (somewhat limited) and special effects:
resize, rotate, crop
sepia, grayscale, solarize (fun!), monochrome
boost, blur, soften, sharpen, emboss
nightvision, infrared, vignette
pixelate, posterize, grain
Textr allows you to add fonts and shapes (objects)
Picasr turns your photo into a painting and allows you to select different painting backdrops.
Profilr publishes your photo to your social sharing site (e.g., LastFM, Twitter)
Mobilr publishes to your mobile device (e.g., iPhone)
So, my quick conclusion is that this service is not useful for someone like me. Although I plan to play with some of the photo effects a bit more. but for someone who is active on social sharing sites, this could be a fun and useful service.
and listen to some of the postings. It's handy for keeping up while you move around your office.
Thanks to the creative people at odiogo, you can now embed a nifty little device into your blog that automatically renders the content into speech. The quality is pretty darn good considering it's a machine voice and it only stumbles occasionally.
The service is free and I've signed up (keep an eye on the Lunch and Learn blog site) but I'm waiting for my confirmation email and the little code snippet
Publishing and photography (Blogging, content management, photo sites)
Search and reference (Search engines, encyclopedias, mapping)
Social (Social networking, family sites, recommendations, online worlds, contests)
Utility and security (Infrastructure providers, storage, online protection )
Video (Video storage, playback, streaming, editing, and animation)
Webware100 allows the users of the Internet to vote for their favourite from a list of nominated Web-based applications. You have until March 31st to cast your vote for the best software app in each category.
Thanks to Grant Dunham for passing on the information about the annual competition!
Visit the site even if you don't feel like voting. It's an amazing collection. I thought I was pretty much aware of what choices we had in web-based apps but I've now had to expand my list of apps to try. You might find some worthwhile tools to add to your toolkit. Go and take a look!
Google must have been reading my mind. I've always wished that I could read the new postings for the educational blogs and others I subscribe to when I was traveling. Sometimes getting Internet access on the go is a pain (or very expensive i.e., at Vancouver International Airport!)
I have been using Google Reader more often than my old favourite Netvibes because of a feature that Grant pointed out -- you can search old posts if you're trying to remember one that was interesting. My Netvibes can't do that (although they may catch up one day...they're not slackers).
Now they've made it possible to read your subscriptions OFFLINE! It's a bit flaky (it took Grant and I a bit of time to get it working) but essentially all you do is click on the Offline link that appears at the top right of your Google Reader page, download Google Gears and then reboot your browser.
If everything is working correctly, a small green arrow appears at the top of your page. If you click that it will download 2000 items (quickly!) and then you can browse them offline. So far I haven't tested out where the content goes but I will.
Suffice it to say that I'll be doing a lot of reading this weekend. Thanks Google.!
Thanks to Grant Dunham and the Scripting News blog (Dave Winer) for pointing out yet another (and even easier) way to put audible content on your website or blog.
BlogTalkRadio have combined the power of mp3 audio with RSS feeds. They don't even ask you to create an account (although they will know who you are after you record your first message). All you have to do is:
1. Call the special phone number: 646-200-0000 (yes, it's long distance so there is a minor charge depending on your phone plan.
2. Record your message.
3. Go to a web browser and type in the RSS feed with your phone number at the end:
Depending on the traffic on the site it might take some time. My recording was there almost instantaneously.
4. Download the mp3 file.
5. Because I have a Manila page and Grant has put up Wimpy audio players, I have a choice of making the mp3 file available for download or allowing people to play it while they are viewing my web site. Note: The Wimpy Player will not display in Internet Explorer).
You can see how it looks (I used it for my Introduction in my new open content course from Wikiversity)
Thanks to Grant we've been reading and exploring a new, free, 'video at your fingertips' site called
The direct link to their site will only bring you to the membership sign-up form so, if you want to get a better sense of what the excitements about, go the the Seesmic Blog and watch their product demo at a recent DEMO 2008 event.
Loic Le Meur, a well known European entrepreneur (now based in San Francisco) recently launched an online video discussion network that allows you to sign up for free (although you'll have to be patient as they are quite overwhelmed with new users right now) and, with a webcam and microphone at your desk, record and instantly post brief video comments or conversations on their site.
Seesmic is being referred to as 'video Twitter' (Note: Twitter is the text messaging social site that is all the rage among many educational technologists, theorists, instructors, etc. who like to 'stay in touch' with others at all times) Most of the prominent tech writers or educational bloggers seem to think it shows promise (see Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs, TechCrunch, CogDogBlog, elearnspace Feb 15, 2008 post, although Robin Good and iMeshed seem to feel it won't work.
Grant believes that Seesmic's video service is a significant step forward in enabling online discussion between individuals but particularly for students and instructors. While I see his point, it just seems like more 'noise' on the Net and I'm not sure whether it will be meaningful in educational terms. I'm also uncomfortable with how wide open this is -- I'd like to control my content more than this.
One blogger referred to Seesmic as a 'video bulletin-board' (iMeshed) while another instructor pointed out the difficulty of refinding conversations or unsaying what was said. Tools like Seesmic will boost the level of talk on the Internet but I'll wait and see if it actually stimulates much in the way of two-way conversation. It seems like it could very easily become an ego-stroking self-absorption kind of place where people would post their opinions but not take the time to actually engage in conversations.
With its slick Flash/Ajax design, Seesmic is a far more compelling tool than some of the earlier social video sites such as Stikam (which also provides easy video posting, sharing and chat areas). It remains to be seen whether it will change the nature of the online video community that has been developing as it gets easier and cheaper to put your face (and voice) on the web.
Note: I found this video chat tool...it may solve my discomfort around losing control of my videos to a social networking site....I'll do some testing and report back!
Desktop-based ooVoo 1.5 combines the highest quality video chat available online (adjustable to up to 30 frames per second), video conversation recording and calling to landline and mobile phones, beginning with worldwide calling to the continental U.S.
Wow, this is a great feature (actually a pair of features) of Diigo and it may mean that I retire my Furl files and move over to Diigo for good.
I noticed the webcasts option in Diigo before but hadn't had time to explore it. I was in Diigo this morning looking through some of my recent saved bookmarks and noticed a little button on the right of my bookmarks that said "Lists".
"Lists" is a function that allows me to group bookmarked pages (including my annotations and highlights) into topics or themes and to share them with others through a distinct URL address (see http://www.diigo.com/list/Yukonsyl/groupwork ). I can move the bookmarked pages up or down in the list and I can insert section headers (which pleases my Germanic need for order). Now Furl has a similar function but I've always had problems with it and it's not as easy to setup and organize.
But, that's not all....I can also choose to share my lists through a feature called "Webslides". When I click on the Webslides button, it throws my bookmarked pages up into a Flash slideshow that actually displays the saved web page. Then my viewers can choose to email it to each other or save it to their bookmark collections.
I can also embed a webslide of a series of bookmarks into my blog!
Thanks to Grant, I'm facing a potential upheaval in the way I research and share information. He thinks it might just be that the tool he shared with me (Diigo) should be added to my toolbox. I hate clutter so I'm thinking, if it's good enough, it might have to replace my Furl tool!!
I've been using Furl to store and retrieve all my web site URLs for over 3 years - you should see my collection! Furl bills itself as your 'personal bookmarking tool' although it is designed to function as a social bookmark sharing site as well. I have to admit I don't generally use it's 'social' aspects -- I use it primarily to store and access my own web site URLs complete with topic folders, tags (key words), comments and clippings (snipping parts of the web page I want to remember to revisit). It's been great. (see Furl Features)
But the one thing I found is that it's sharing functions seem awkward. I've created Furl files on particular subjects for my students in TNT classes and I've been partially successful at displaying links on a specific topic on a web site. But I always felt is was a little awkward.
Now Grant presented me with Diigo, a 'social annotation' tool that will allow me to do much of what Furl does PLUS I can create groups where I store annotated web pages that I share with others. With a Diigolet bookmarklet on my toolbar, I can collect web pages that contain interesting information related to a theme or topic and I can highlight sections, comment on them and share them with a specific group. Members of the group can add to the discussion by highlighting and commenting and it all gets stored in our Diigo accounts. I'll be exploring this function first as I see it as a potentially valuable tool for developing learning activities. I'll keep you posted.
But if Diigo does everything it says, my Furl files may become dusty unused online archives.
I can't believe how much you can do with photos online -- and it's all free! Well, nothing is ever totally free but none of them ask for money. Some sites don't even require you to be a member.
I'm testing them out and I'll post a shared document online (through my ZohoWriter page) detailing my experiences. I'll be signing up some of you to contribute to the shared document so, if you're interested, post a comment or send me an email and I'll give you access so you can share your experiences.
So....from the simplest to the most complex
Shrink Pictures http://shrinkpictures.com (most basic)> - no signup required - can upload up to 6 mB picture - resizing - proportionate - set output quality - add sepia effect or grayscale
Pixer http://www.pixer.us/(basic) - no signup required - can't see a file size limitation - resizing - proportionate - uses slide control and shows pixel w x h changes - click and drag cropping - rotate (left and right turn by 90 degrees) - flip (vertical or horizontal) - brightness and contrast (slider controls) - saturation (slider) - colorfx (greyscale, sepia, red, green blue (slider) - blur or sharpen - some special effects possible ---- Snipshot http://snipshot.com/ - no signup required - interesting service focus - set up to 'snip' from a web site or upload a picture from your computer - bookmarklet - so you can 'snip' from your browser as you search the web - can host your image on a site called Webshots - http://allyoucanupload.webshots.com/ - can save out in range of formats (incl.GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG or TIF) - can post to Flickr or save to your desktop - file sizes up to 10 MB - click and drag resize (proportionate) (clicking on handles will give you size in pixels or percent) - click and drag crop - click and auto enhance - Adjust - brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness - click and auto rotate by 90 degrees clockwise ---- !PhixR http://www.phixr.com - signup required - only email - ''can use OpenID login!'' - can upload picture from desktop, from the Net or from Flickr (or a couple of other social photo sites) - can save out in pdf, png, jpg, gif or OCR? or email or send to online photo sites for printing or posting - no zooming - button controls - resize (proportionate) - crop - convert to black and white, sepia, remove colors or colorize - brightness, saturation, hue, contrast (slide controls) - fill bucket for color - sharpen or despeckle - blur or apply photoeffects - red eye - border - mix photo with other images - make round corners or add text ---- !Pixenate http://pixenate.com - no signup required - provides basic service for free - couldn't determine upload file size restriction - Enhance - Fill light - Crop - Resize (proportionate, no change of units possible) - Rotate (no choice for units, just goes 90 degrees in clockwise direction) - Save out to disk or upload directly to Flickr - Spirit level (straightens out a crooked horizon line in your photo) - Red eye - Whiten (teeth or selected area of image) - Sepia - can select color for duo tone - Brightness, Saturation, Hue - Fun effects - haven't played with those yet ----
Picnik (Flash) http://picnik.com - you can play without signing up but sign-up is simple - email & password - upload from your desktop, from Flickr, Picasa WebAlbum, Facebook, Photobucket, Webshots - Autofix (automatic exposure level correction?) - rotate photo left-right or flip (claims to straighten a crooken photo) - click&drag crop, crop to precise measurements or scale - resize by percentage or precise measurements (proportionate or not) - color options - sharpen and red-eye removal - save to computer, email, upload to Flickr, etc., print photo
So a small company called AdventNet has managed to produce a suite of web-based office applications that are free, flexible, powerful and a surprisingly sophisticated alternative to GoogleDocs and Spreadsheets. Their products, under the name of Zoho include:
Online Office Suite:
ZohoWriter (free) This application provides an amazing range of editing options including the ability to import Word or Open Office docs, images in jpg, gif or png formats, or html or rtf text. You can export docs in different formats and collaboratively build and edit group documents. A nifty little plug-in for MS Office allows you to work on a document in MS Word or Excel and then sync it with your online Zoho version.
ZohoSheet (free) Allows you to create and share spreadsheets online. With the MS Office plug-in you can work from your desktop and sync your changes to an online version of your spreadsheet. It claims to support the development of mashups (I'll have to test that out!)
ZohoShow (free) You can import existing Powerpoint or Open Office presentations and share the results with others. You can embed your presentation in your web page or deliver presentations remotely.
ZohoWiki (free) Your wikis can be public, private or accessible only to selected group members. At this point it doesn't look as though you can post images, except in a header file.
ZohoNotebook (not quite ready yet) It should allow you to collect "...text, graphics, photos, audio, video, RSS feeds and documents."
Zoho Virtual Office (free for individuals) includes email, calendaring and documents.
Note: The Writer, Sheet and Show options are also available as desktop applications.
They also offer a range of productivity tools - some free; some cost. I've signed up for an account and I'm going to focus on the office tools first and I'll report back about how useful I find them. Then, I'll move onto the rest!
Now there's OpenID - a way to make logging in to multiple sites relatively painless. I haven't tried it yet but I'm betting that Grant will try it soon cuz there's a module to make it work with Drupal !
If I'm understanding the FAQ list correctly, it will only work on OpenID-enabled sites so far and it looks like that's still fairly limited. But I think this has some real potential.
Just think, I might be able to throw out my Subscriptions/Membership list with all my 'secret' passwords!
As per usual, reaction to this is mixed with some people enthusiastic about the potential time-savings and others still hesitant because of privacy issues
'Even though the system is completely decentralized, OpenID still raises privacy concerns. Some people don't want to have a central place that binds all their accounts.' Emre Sokullu, Read/Write Web
My response is, if they don't want a central place to hold all their accounts, just don't use OpenID. Leave it to those of us who are sometimes impatient with multiple log-ins.
What do you think?
Thanks to Tim Topper (via Grant D) for this link to a clear explanation of how to use OpenID - It's athttp://simonwillison.net/
WOW...Thanks to AMANDA - this looks like the ultimate tool for an information junkie like myself. Now I can collect anything I want and store it all together without worrying about resizing, saving, posting or anything. I can create jetpaks of text, images, hypertext...I wonder if I can do mp3s or videos...mmmmm. The great thing is I can store it all online and access it from wherever I have an Internet connection.
I had a few problems at first. Being a literal person I followed the first step and signed up. It took me to a blank page (cuz of course I had no jetpaks to display). There wasn't a link anywhere I could see at first to show me what to do next. I was too impatient I think because the next time I went back it offered to show me the Jeteye sidebar. You can work with this but it's tedious. Much better to install the plug-in to Firefox and it becomes an integral part of your browsing experience.
So go join and then go and get the plug-in - https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1508/ Don't bother clicking on the 2nd image (step) on their intro page as it just takes you to a jetpak sample - not to where you download the plugin.
Thanks to Cam Good at the Department of Education for sharing yet another gem from his focused surfing...
JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) from Britain has embedded learning in a common Western cultural artifact...that's a pompous way of saying they used the Advent calendar to encourage people to explore Web 2.0 tools to get a sense of what Web 2.0 means in our digital world.
I, like Cam, loved my Advent calendars as a kid. I still like the ones with the chocolates behind every window. So I decided to begin exploring this digital version and I was hooked right away. I'll add to this posting as I discover tools you might find useful...or, don't wait for me...go and explore yourself.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers. You can, for example, coordinate your student group's homework assignments, access your family to-do list from work or home, or collaborate with remote colleagues on a new business plan.
Multiply gives you an easy way to share all kinds of digital media, including photos, blogs, videos, music and more, all in one convenient place: your own personal web site. With Multiply, you can share and discuss your stuff with everyone in your "social network," and also be alerted whenever they have something new.
Flock is an amazing new web browser that makes it easier to share media and connect to other people online. Share photos, automatically stay up-to-date with new content from your favorite sites, and search the Web with the most advanced Search Toolbar available today.
Managing tasks is generally not a fun way to spend your time. Remember The Milk was created so that you no longer have to write your to-do lists on sticky notes, whiteboards, random scraps of paper, or the back of your hand. Remember The Milk makes managing tasks an enjoyable experience.
Zapr is an application which lets you create links to any files on your PC. You can then send these links to friends (via email or IM) and they can get the files directly from your computer via their browser. It's safe and secure.
YouTube is a place for people to engage in new ways with video by sharing, commenting on, and viewing videos. YouTube originally started as a personal video sharing service, and has grown into an entertainment destination with people watching more than 70 million videos on the site daily.
I'm not sure whether I find this development frightening or seductive....
I wrote a while back about a new software that let you grab images of products you like and bookmark the images. StyleFeeder lets you make visual bookmarks, browse other people's lists, and keep a 'Watchlist' on their site. Now another visually oriented bookmarking-type service is gaining popularity.
Wists.com is a slicker, more user-friendly (at least at first inspection) application that allows you to shop online, grab images of your favorite products, share them with others in a social shopping environment AND then publish your favorites (and others) to your blog or mySpace profile. Guess which market sector this is aimed at????
The process seems very straightforward: 1. Find: Search or browse the best products from around the world, hand picked by real people 2. Collect: Install browser buttons to add images to wishlists and recommendations from ANY website 3. Publish: Publish your Wists to your website, weblog or social network profile
And speaking of market sectors, they launched a shopping blog especially for women called
... it's nicely designed and not overwhelming and it's designed to draw in retailers and manufacturers to contribute. It will be interesting to see how much participation they get from the business world.
While I loathe shopping, I'm attracted by pretty images of things in tidy boxes that don't overwhelm me - so this application appeals even to a rabid non-shopper like myself. I could see this as a way of minimizing the actual sites I would have to browse to find gifts...but I'm not sure if it will work that way. I plan to force myself to test it out over the next little while and I'll report back about what I find!
If you decide to check it out, please let me know what you think!
Gadgets are now available for use in your own personal information pages - you don't HAVE to use them in the Google Personal Page. SMART! Those Google guys are really smart.
Check it out and try one or two. Just a quick glance on the list showed that there are gadgets to display:
I'd be curious what you all think of the new options. What's your favorite gadgets? And do you call them 'gadgets' or 'widgets'?
It's not just about the tools, Web 2.0 is much bigger than that. It's about rethinking business models, rethinking the ways we work and learn together, rethinking how design happens...
The impact of developments like Ajax, RSS, permalinks, direct linking for vblogs, Ruby on Rails, etc. is being felt in the farthest strands of the web or, as Chris Anderson puts it - in the long tail.
Trying to keep up with what Web 2.0 developments mean to you can be overwhelming as part of the characteristics of Web 2.0 technologies is continuous improvement (which translates into continuous change sometimes). Try checking out the Web 2.0 Workgroup.
You'll find blogs that monitor:
design and usability
tech and development
The concept is a little elitist but I've checked out a number of the blogs and found them very thought-provoking and informative. See what you think. Let me know if you have any favorite Web 2.0 blogs that aren't part of the Group and I'll list them here.
Another approach to keeping information gathering interesting! Wired News just ran an article on the different ways that graphic designers (information architects like Jonathan Harris - a favourite of mine and Amanda's) have been integrating images with RSS feeds.
We've all seen Phylotaxis - Jonathan Harris' application of the Fibonacci principle into a news image and article gathering tool that looks like a giant mass of quivering seeds that vary in size and frequency as you move from Science to Culture related articles (check it out at http://www.phylotaxis.com/phylotaxis.html )
The article also cites FlickrFling - a new open source application from Flickr folks that allows you to point to a news feed like CNN and receive articles as images drawn from the Flickr database. Haven't tried it yet cuz I won't have time but I'm betting Amanda will have fun with it.
So take a look at the article (linked under the main heading above) and keep your eyes open for new blends of text and images in Web 2.0 apps.
From sunny, windy, rainy (all within 20 minutes) Claremont, Alberta.
A new web tool recommended by Jill Walker, a PhD researcher in hypertextuality (yes, you can make a living studying blogs and wikis!), H2O Playlist is a way to share your reading lists with others and to explore and learn about new topics. The site description says it represents "... a new way of thinking about education online. An H2O Playlist is a series of links to books, articles, and other materials that collectively explore an idea or set the stage for a course, discussion, or current event."
I've signed up for a free account and I'll build some playlists through the summer (what is it they say about roads and good intentions?)
Check it out if you have the time and let me know what you think. If there's enough interest I'll start a Writely page to collect ideas of how to use it in classes or for self-learning.
BTW....CiteULike is " a free service to help academics to share, store, and organise the academic papers they are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library...." Note: it can only add the reference with a one button click if the journal or source is in synch with the CiteULike service - I found that not all of them are and entering citations manually is as tedious as doing them for papers.
Furl is " a free service that saves a personal copy of any page you find on the Web, and lets you find it again instantly by searching your archive of pages." Not intended to actually create reading list, but it does allow me to group my web page finds by topic (and file them in topic folders that I can share with others by filing them as Public and sending a URL link). So...still the easiest to use...just not as targeted.
Welcome to the power and flexibility of an online audio service that lets you record sound files with a telephone OR a headset with microphone, allow you to easily record and post sound files on your Manila page with a simple cut-and-paste of code, and allows you to send sound file messages to friends that are not yet subscribers!
Check out Odeo Audio - a new (well sort of new) company based in South Park!
Here's what they say about themselves:
"...we believe strongly in the democratization of media. We think that giving more people powerful tools for the creation and distribution of media will result in more knowledge, ideas, art, truth, and amusement available to all. This, we see, is one of the most important roles (if not the most important) that the Internet is playing in society today."
If you want to follow along during the development phase, check out their blog: http://odeo.com/blog
Enjoy and test - remember to share things you learn about it !
Voice Recording - tools for podcasting and emailing
Start Pages - more personal information pages
Online Databases !
From SolutionWatch - " Solution Watch surveys the new generation of the web, reviewing and providing in-depth walkthroughs of today’s best products and services. Owned and maintained by Brian Benzinger"
If you're interested in exploring even more options - not necessarily Web2.0-type products, our very own Chris Wheeler published a comprehensive and interesting review of Mac and Windows products that you can use to collect ideas, notes, data - personal information management tools or knowledge management software. Chris will supply us with the highlights (hopefully tonight!) but if you can get your hands on the free newspaper How's Business Yukon for April 7, 2006 you can catch Chris' column.
And yet another application that's not quite ready for public use yet - this is a new wiki-type tool that Tim found at David Wiley's blog. It allows an even greater ease of collaborative work than Writely. ocwwiki sends web pages to a wiki tool where they can be shared and jointly edited.
Not ready for prime time yet but still quite interesting!
Grant shared a link that Cam Good passed on to him...an O'Reilly choice that isn't ready for primetime yet - Dabble looks like it might be a very powerful tool for those that want even more functionality from online spreadsheets.
You can view the demo at the link under the title.
I just noticed that Netvibes has a connection with Box.net and is allowing a direct connection from your Netvibes page to a Box.net account. Box.net has a free 1GB storage capacity for files you want available from many computers. You can manage your Box.net account through the Netvibes module.
Picture Clouds is an application that allows you to show a 360 degree rotation of an image. It's not great quality but might be useful for creating small modules to illustrate something within a lesson?
This is a find from either Tim or Grant - can't remember which one. But I just realized that I hadn't actually recorded it anywhere.
Emily Chang's e-Hub "is a constantly updated list of web applications, services, resources, blogs or sites with a focus on next generation web (web 2.0), social software, blogging, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, location mapping, open source, folksonomy, design and digital media sharing"
Emily Chang was the first listing like this that I found....I've since found others. I'll add them to this post as soon as I find which part of Furl I stored them in!
Here's another one Sacred Cow Dung (he's grouped web 2.0 applications in categories)