Main

April 6, 2008

Searching Flickr with more power

As we dive further and further into our Wiki work I thought I would share a Flickr tool with all of you. Compfight does a great job of searching through all of the material on Flickr better than its own advanced search feature. I just tried it out tonight and thought it worked pretty well. It found what I was looking for included some bridge photos that I had not already found while searching through.

Once again I found this great tip on Boing Boing click here to see the entry.

Here is the direct link to Compfight incase you want to check it out and bookmark it.

March 23, 2008

Drupal

I have recently accepted an internship, and I needed to do research on the programming language PHP. I really don't know where to start, but my boss told me to look into Drupal which is a free and open source modular framework and content management system. I investigated the homepage and its contents, and it seems that it would be an excellent resource to have if your interested in managing, organizing and publishing web content in a variety of different ways that are shown through, blogs, collaborative authoring environments, peer-to-peer networking, newsletters, podcasting, picture galleries, personal or corporate websites, resource directories, or social networking sites. I am attracted to this because I want to build and design websites but I have no knowledge of programming and Drupal sounds like an excellent site with an excellent community that gives great feedback and support. I encourage everyone to check out this site.

http://drupal.org/

March 2, 2008

Google Wiki

Google has just launched a wiki on their applications platform. The idea behind it is to make the creation and editing of wikis much easier. There is a downside however. To use Google sites you must be signed up for Google apps which you need to do as a company. Below is the direct link to the entry on the Web Worker Daily Blog regarding Google sites. Go check it out and see what you think!

http://webworkerdaily.com/2008/02/27/google-sites-finally-launches/#more-1827

February 6, 2008

What is RSS? Why should you care?

NOTE: I'll expand this entry later when I get a second (or one of you steps up). But for now, since people have questions, I'm putting up some small notes.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, will make your life much easier because it will help move all the various things you need to check for this class into one place. David managed to set up his RSS in such a way that all the tweets, all the FB updates, and all the blog posts into his. I use an aggregator called Bloglines to read 135 blogs each day -- a number I could never keep up with if I was clicking on them individually. Here's a screenshot of what a typical RSS reader interface looks like while you're using it.

You don't need to know code or even how this works in order to set it up. Seriously.

Here is a pretty good one-page intro to RSS. Here is a quick little tutorial.

Here is a link to Bloglines, which will aggregate anything with a feed, not just blogs.
Here is a link to Google Reader.
NetNewsWire, a premium reader, is now offering a free lite version.
If you use Safari or Firefox, they also have built-in aggregators. Checking the Help pages will, well, help you with that.

If you are among the happy few in the class who already grok the magic of RSS and you use a different reader, pipe up in the comments (or volunteer to flesh out this post!). kthxbai!

January 30, 2008

A Little Zen for Your Life...

I am addicted to the Web Worker Daily Website now. I check it multiple times a day and have found many useful tools for my job so I thought I had to share. My favorite thus far is something called DarkRoom (Windows) and Writeroom (Mac). I spend several hours a day writing between my classes and work. By the end of the day I tend to become easily distracted so this program is a blessing in disguise. It makes your entire screen black except for the brightly colored text so that all distractions are out of eyesight. You can't tell when emails come in and you aren't drawn to surf the web wither. It reminds me of the really old desktops we had with the black screen and green text but it works wonders. I highly suggest it, especially for anyone who is writing difficult material such as dissertations or proposals.

January 29, 2008

Twitter aggregators

I’ve been fiddling with Twitterific, a Twitter aggregator, this afternoon. It's proved surprisingly useful: I don't have to remember to check twitter.com, since all of your tweets automagically appear on a little widget on my desktop and I can also enter tweets there. The end result looks like this:

Twitterific screencap (for 4662W students)

You can see the grey Twitterific bar over on the left-hand side. It makes Twitter much more useful and real-time. (For instance, Amber and I just had a very briefly worded conversation via Twitter and email.) There are a couple of other, similar programs available if you're interested in fiddling with this sort of thing. Here are links to all of them that I'm currently aware of:
Twitterific (for Macs)
Snitter (for both macs and PCs)
Twhirl (for both as well)

Btw, this is the first entry in our "awesome apps" category. Feel free to post to this category yourselves, since I'm sure you're all also aware of cool apps that make your lives a little easier (or more interesting).

UPDATE 1/31: I twittered this yesterday, but I’ll say it here too: Twitterific’s ads are so annoying that I dumped it for Twhirl. One of the things that really irritated me was that there was no obvious freemium option — that is, no option to upgrade to a paid, ad-free version. I’m fine with paying for things, but not with being forced to accept advertising.