Monday, December 03, 2007

Trying something new ...


Trial post directly from Picasa, not from Picasa Web Albums
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Flip book of Flickr

Very cool new thing to do with Flickr - It's super-easy to create a nifty flip book! You don't even have to use your own pictures ...






Friday, November 09, 2007

All My Life

If for some reason you haven't already seen this amazing clip from YouTube, watch it now. You've always secretly wanted this to happen in real life, haven't you?

Embedded Video

Blogged with Flock

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fun with Ravelry

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Comparing Twitter, Jaiku, et al

Read/Write Web compares the biggest players in the microblogging world.

I would not have categorized Tumblr as a microblog. Hmm. I think of it as being more similar to the RSS feed items I share using Google Reader.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thing 35: Microblogging, or What Can You Do With 140 Characters?

Wow! I still haven't done a blog entry for Thing 35, Microblogging - meaning Twitter and Jaiku and Pownce, pretty much. So this'll be that entry, then, okay?

My initial reaction to microblogging, many moons ago, was a huge "huh? why?" sort of thing. Of what possible use could a blog entry of only 140 characters be? And who on Earth cares if you are wondering what to have for lunch?

But you know, it didn't take long before I saw some really good examples of how to use Twitter and the ilk. For example, there's Barack Obama (which would be better if someone in his campaign would figure out how to update from their cell phone so the feed could be absolutely current), the New York Times (which has feeds for each section too, like Books and Science) and BBCOne, which uses Twitter to notify viewers (or potential viewers) what's on telly. Stateside, The Dr. Phil Show has used Twitter to promote its new season.

I still can't see much reason to use Twitter for personal messages - if I'm arranging to meet someone, I'd use a direct text message or even, you know, an actual telephone call - but for promotion and for things you need to know right now, it's great! For breaking news, weather alerts, and other important stuff, I can't think of anything better. It could also make a fun distraction, maybe as a trivia game: The question is posted, then a few hours later you get the answer?

You may have noticed that all the "good examples" I posted above are from Twitter. Although I have accounts at both Jaiku and Pownce as well, it's harder to find good content on those services. Pownce operates more like an instant message service that lets you send messages to several people at once, IMHO. If there's a way to search or browse entries, I've yet to find it. Jaiku has some interesting participants (and some nice little icons you can add to a post), but I tend to find those when someone recommends them to me. (FakeSteveJobs was marginally interesting at first.) Only Twitter has an easy-to-find way to browse (and, finally, search) postings, which at Twitter are called Tweets. (Wait, I take that back. Here's the same thing on Jaiku. Sorry!)

I'd like to see a listing, somewhere, of the most-subscribed-to posters on all three services, out of curiosity and to make sure I'm not missing something.

Microblogging for libraries? I've got a list of ways we could use these tools:

  • Today's programs and events
  • Latest new book arrivals
  • "Got you interested" things, like that trivia contest or some of the great first lines of literature?
  • A contest for the best 140-character poem?
  • Answers to the 10 most-asked reference questions/reference question of the day
We need to be careful, though, not to microblog without reason. "Just to put something out there" isn't going to cut it. Our postings should be information that followers genuinely want, need or will at least find handy. We might want to take a page from the NYTimes handbook and have many microblogs - one for each branch, say, and even then not lump toddler story times in with news about the latest bestsellers. Create too many Tweets, and no one will be able to hear the bird song because they'll tune it out like background noise.

P.S. - BTW, I'm contributing to the background noise already. Of course I am.




    follow me on Twitter










    And, well, there's a Pownce one too, but I can't find a Pownce widget.

    I'm thinking about starting a Twitter feed - or maybe Jaiku? or both? - that's a Web 2.0 Site of the Day. What'd you think? The biggest problem is that I'd want to post it under a different Tweeter-poster name, which would mean logging out and logging back in, which means more passwords to remember.

    Stuck on Thing 36: Photoediting


    So, I refuse to think of myself as having fallen behind on the Explore ... Discover ... Play activities. Really, it's more like I've gotten stuck on Thing 36, Dressing up your Photos, and I'm having so much fun I kinda don't want to start another activity.

    As usual, I did way too much. I wound up looking at a whole bunch of online photo editors. I wound up with two favorites, and a third I've used the most often! For comparison of the pictures linked below, the original image is here, and the Picasaed image is here.

    Fauxto
    Fauxto looked great; I really liked the nice set of drawing tools and the drop shadow effect. However, I was perplexed when I tried to upload a picture - I could only find a way to import an image from the internet. I was also disappointed that crop lines drawn with the marquee could not be adjusted once drawn, meaning I had to get them right the first time. That might be fine for some of you, but my hand isn't that steady. (I found this problem at several other sites as well.)
    Worst of all, though, I crashed Fauxto before I was able to get my picture finished.
    Sample here.

    Fotoflexer
    I found Fotoflexer late in the game, after I thought I was finished playing around for Thing 36, but for actual photo editing, this is hands down my favorite. Fotoflexer makes it easy to change colors in an image, or even knock out the background. Everything works pretty much the way it's supposed to, and there are some cool tools that let you artistically distort your image.
    The only annoyance with Fotoflexer, and believe me it's minor, is that I continually have to log in; the site can't seem to hold on to my information. But it works with Flickr, Picasa, MySpace, Facebook and probably other sites, and the Fotoflexer photo album is easy to navigate and download from. In fact, you can download an entire album at once, a very nice feature.I just can't emphasize enough how pleased I was with Fotoflexer. The editing process was very smooth, and stuff just worked here!
    Sample here.

    Phixr
    Phixr had a few nice features - it automatically zooms out on an image so you can see the whole thing at once, offers a thumbnail preview before it completes any action, and has a handy option to save a cropped picture as a second version of the file so that the original remains intact.
    But I kept losing my image while I was trying to work on it, so I gave up.
    No sample. I can't even manage to login anymore.

    Picnik
    Picnik is one of the first online image editors I used, months ago. I was kinda early on this one, and the site has come a long way since, and I really like it! I thought the Auto-Fix option was exceptional, and I really enjoyed the special effects like Doodle and Lomo-ish. Picnik integrates seamlessly with Flickr, Picasa and Facebook, and generally works well, not to mention the slick interface and nice photo album displays. And the "Create" options are terrific, although I dread the thought of the day Picnik goes big-time and the "plus" features like Doodle and Lomo-ish are only available for paid members. Saving to almost any photo site or your own computer is super-simple, too, and you can do it right from your photo album. And the print option is really nice!
    The absolute best feature of Picnik, and what made it the "killer app", is the way it integrates with Firefox. Install one little extension, and a right-click on any picture on the internet sends that image into Picnik, waiting to be edited and added to your photo album. Oh, the convenience! Even if I had a marked preference for another online photo editor, I'd use Picnik most often simply because of the convenience.
    And that, my friends, is what web applications are supposed to be.
    Sample here.

    Pikifx
    Pikifx
    was a surprise discovery. The actual image editing here is okay ... nothing to write home about, but not bad either. But if you want to add a cool border to your image, or a frame, or a really unique "artsy" effect, Pikifx is the place. (Look under "Borders," not "Effects," BTW.) Pikifx also loads faster than the other image editing sites, because it starts out showing you a very low quality image - you can force it to display a better one, but that takes longer. Pikifx also lets you see thumbnails of how your image will look before you apply each change, and makes it easy to remove effects you've already added.
    Sample here. (And sprinkled throughout this blog entry. Yes, all three of them are from Pikifx.)

    Pixer
    Pixer looked nice. Unfortunately, it kept losing my picture. In fact, I didn't even have time to mess with it before the picture went away, if it ever loaded.
    Sample here.


    Snipshot
    Snipshot is a very basic photo editor, but as such it works really well. I was impressed with how well the crop function works, and was very happy to feed the pixel size of an image displayed in the "adjust" options, because patrons often need image with very precise pixel dimensions for web posting. Other than that, Snipshot wasn't very exciting. A good, basic workhorse.
    Sample here.

    Wiredness
    Wiredness is a new site for me, and maybe that's why I couldn't make it do the basics. I couldn't find a way to zoom out on a picture, so I had to crop it if I wanted to fit the entire thing on the screen. Trying to insert text tended the crash the site, and I was frustrated by the lack of a color picker. However, I loved the "rounded" effect under "Photos," especially when combined with some of the artistic options under "Effects."
    Sample here and here.

    XMG Image
    XMG Image was more frustrating than anything else. I couldn't find an option to sharpen my image, or to undo any of my actions. I also couldn't find any way to zoom.
    Sample here.

    What online image editor will I use? If major editing is required, Fotoflexer. If the edits are simple, or once I'm done with Fotoflexer - in other words, most of the time - Picnik, because of the right-click convenience factor and the fun effects, until I have to pay for them. Then I just might take my image over to Pikifx to play with "framing" it.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Thing 34 again

    Hmm. There were parts of Nutridiary that I really liked, and parts of FitDay that I really liked. I wish I could do some kind of mash-up of the two.

    I hated entering new food items into Nutridiary, but once the items were entered and added to my food for the day, I liked the way the page was laid out. I also liked that Nutridiary would track my daily serving of water and veggies, and recorded the time I ate each of my meals. However, I hated that I couldn't access all of the features without a paid account.

    I found it much easier to add a new food item in FitDay, although it was still rather tedious. I was able to access all the web-based FitDay features. Although the PC version was advertised on nearly every page, the ads were unobtrusive. I thought some of the nutritional info was better arranged in Nutridiary, though, and FitDay did not have an easy way to keep track of your water intake.

    I was disappointed in the goal-setting functions of both sites, although FitDay did have a slight edge. Fitness experts will tell you never to set a goal like "lose 20 pounds by Christmas." A better goal, they say, is "Run a 5k in February" or something activity based; focusing on weight is counterproductive, because as you exercise more you will build muscle mass, which weighs more than fat tissue. In the early days of your fitness program, your weight may actually increase while the amount of fat in your body decreases! If weight loss - which is really fat loss, to be more precise - is indeed your primary goal, experts suggest that you measure it in terms of clothing size or even arm/leg/neck measurements.

    However, Nutridiary only allows the user to set goals for weight loss, in pounds. FitDay has a slight advantage here, because it allows you to set goals for improving your nutritional intake. Neither website lets the user set goals for activities or strength. Although they both allow you to enter fitness activities, neither gives them as much emphasis as I would like.

    My final verdict on these sites? I might use FitDay at least a few more times, although I'm not sure about that. I'd like to at least have an entire day's nutrition and fitness data to put in so I can get an accurate view of how the site analyzes the information. As for the community aspects of these sites, I'm not sure how productive it is to sit at your computer and talk about your weight loss/fitness goals - wouldn't it be more productive to get up and exercise for that half hour instead? Maybe you could pick up a few really good healthy recipes, though, or ask a question about something that's been bugging you, like how to do a proper abdominal crunch.

    Overall, if increased fitness is your goal, I think you'd be better off committing to working with a personal trainer even if it's just once a week. Once the trainer is in place, you might find Nutridiary or FitDay a terrific supplement to your exercise program.

    Thing 34: Nutrition info

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I can't believe I'm up to Thing 34! Seriously, I thought I was much further behind than that. (Yes, I've still got to do the Scrapblog entry, but we haven't had the bandwidth available for me to mess around with it.)

    Okay, so Thing 34 is online nutrition info. Before I've even looked at Nutridiary or FitDay, I feel like neither of these are sites I would use very often. I tried out a similar site, FitnessJournal, and blogged about it for Library 2.0, but I didn't use it enough to renew my subscription when it came due. I think it came down to this: I'm just not very good about going to a specific site just to enter diet and workout information. If it were an option in Plaxo, I'd probably do it since I'm already at that site every day. In fact, though, I'm not even good about recording diet and workout information on paper anymore - I was religious about doing it when I first started working out with a trainer, but with no trainer to check up on me and make sure I wrote stuff down, I stopped.

    So, that said, I'm going to check out Nutridiary and FitDay now.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Thing 29 was Scrapblog!

    which I've only played with about a million times now. I'm not sure why I love Scrapblogging so much, but I wish I could somehow make it my full-time job. I really enjoyed discovering new things that the platform could do and new ways to display my pictures/design my pages.

    However, the primary Scrapblog I put together was for my grandfather's 90th birthday party in mid-June, and it got so large and unwieldy that it eventually broke. I think I will take the opportunity of doing the write-up here to go back and fix that, since I'm supposed to be putting it on DVDs and sharing it with assorted family members.

    While I'm at it, maybe I'll embed my other Scrapblogs here too.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Thing 29! I still have to do Thing 29!

    Now what was Thing 29 again?

    Xdrive Slide Show

    Created a slide show to cheer me up 'cause it's Monday, but apparently it isn't embeddable, so here's a link instead.

    Dear Xdrive, make it embeddable! Thank you, the end.

    Thing 32: Online file storage

    Last summer, I needed to send someone a really large PDF. Too large for email, actually. Too large for just about anything. I thought about sending it through the regular mail on a CD, but I needed it there sooner than international mail could deliver it.

    After much searching, I found several virtual drive sites. Most of them were difficult to use, or required paying a fee, or both. I eventually used Box.net, which was one of the few free options, but I was never fully satisfied with that as a solution. It was difficult to upload the file, and even more difficult for my friend to download it.

    I'm glad Julia decided to address virtual drives, because not even a full 12 months later, the situation is very different. Box.net is a lot easier to use than it once was, but there are several other virtual drive websites to consider as well.

    Box.net and Omnidrive each offer you 1 gig of file storage; Omnidrive has partnered with Zoho (which seems to be debuting new stuff every day) and Snipshot to make it easy for you to edit your documents or photos online. Box.net has a really handy widget you can add to a blog or website (or anywhere else you can use widgets) to make it easy for someone else to grab a file. I really like that widget!



    The third contender, for me anyway, is an underdog because it's too popular - in other words, it's from AOL and the Internet snob in me thought I'd hate it. Actually, I love it. Xdrive offers 5 gig of storage, and works with the AOL log-in I already have. (See, I'm not that much of an Internet snob - I already had an AOL account. It's a perfect learning environment, and they are trying hard to be relevant again.) As a nice bonus, Xdrive lets you arrange your photos into easily-shared slideshows, and you can listen to any uploaded music files using a built-in player. They claim to offer the ability to fax an uploaded document as well, but I was never able to successfully send a fax this way.

    All of the virtual drive services I looked at offer a download component that installs on your computer and makes it even easier to save files at their site. I didn't install any of these, although thinking about I think I downloaded the files to install the Xdrive add-ons.

    So, it came down to a choice between Box.net and their cool widget, Omnidrive and their ease of editing and Xdrive and their 5g of storage. Xdrive won, simply because I detest worrying about file space.

    Thing 31: Plaxo

    You know, we've done an array of things in wildly varying categories as part of Learning 2.0 and Learning 2.1. Plaxo is my favorite, hands down.

    I've played around with online to-do lists before, and even signed for a paid account at Backpack, but none of them has been nearly as useful to me as Plaxo. After less than one month, I rely on seeing all my calendar entries (even the supplementary calendars from my Google Calendar) on one screen now - in fact, I enabled Internet browsing on my cell phone last week so I can get to Plaxo there to schedule appointments, check shopping lists, etc. And on Friday, when I had three appointments to get to and a lot of errands to run in between, I used Plaxo on my mobile phone all day. (I'm late blogging about activity #31, but I did the rest of assignment some time ago. Before it was posted, actually, since Julia sits right beside me and gave me a bit of a heads up.)

    There are still a few things in Backpack that I wish were part of Plaxo - the task/to-do section in Plaxo could do with some enhancement (I can't figure out how to edit a task once it's been added, for example), and I love the way Backpack lets me set up an individual page for anything I need to make lists or notes about, and save files and pictures on that same page. In other words, I'm still using my paid Backpack account, but not as much as I did, and I have completely abandoned the Backpack calendar function.

    I just really wish the two could be more integrated, somehow. If I could access my Backpack pages from within Plaxo, maybe, or even if just the to-do list from one carried over to the other ... I might be able to do that somehow using RSS feeds, but I'd rather have a slightly more elegant solution.

    But beggars can't be choosers, and I love Plaxo! Thanks for introducing me to it, Julia.

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Thing 33: Out of order, but oh well


    So, Online Art.

    I played a bit. I'll post some videos at Ning.

    Here's a picture, actually. Some String Art.

    I'm having all kinds of blogger trouble today - Now I've got my string art pic out of proportion and can't get it back. Oh well, guess I'll just die over it or something else equally tragic. ;-)

    BTW, my favorite online art site is JacksonPollock.org. Draw with your mouse; the color changes when you click. The color schemes are adapted from Pollock paintings.

    So I'm going to upload a Pollock piece as well.
    Why is it that every time I add pictures I wind up with extra spaces between my paragraphs?









    Friday, July 20, 2007

    And as a slide show - much better this way!

    Harry Potter, from Photobucket. Yes, I'm a bit obsessed today.

    Photobucket Album

    Thing 27: Photobucket

    Posting a Photobucket album ... Well, see my next post for that. It's Harry Potter day, people! And the books are in the building!

    Thing 26: Widgets

    One of my Discovery Exercises, so I won't say much about it, but I will pop in some widgets!


    For more widgets please visit www.bestweekever.tv/widgets




    For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com




    For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com




    For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com



    I'm jaie22!

    jaie22

    This is the 3D me.
    Make your own,
    and we both get Coinz!

    Make a Meez

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Thing 28: Magazine Covers

    Well, I think I stopped updating here along about Thing 26, Widgets. That's 'cause I was the guest discoverer on Explore ... Discover ... Play for the month of June, and didn't blog here about my own discoveries.

    There was one June discovery, however, that wasn't mine, and that was Helene's wonderful Thing 28, magazine cover generators. What fun!

    I can never find pictures of myself that look right for these things, so I played around with using Meez avatars to create some covers, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. They look quite natural, especially "on the cover of the Rolling Stone" which often uses illustrations.

    As you can see, I got a little carried away with my "Ain't-your-granny's-blue-hair" librarian.

    As frivolous as it seems, I could see tons of ways these magazine covers could be very useful. For one thing, patrons would love 'em! What a neat thing to do with the pictures from a scanning class! They'd also be good for creating promotional materials, although in that regard I'd be happier if I had a little more control over the text - as it is, you only control two lines, and I might not always want something about upcoming summer tours on my publicity piece.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Template woes

    Back to the boring old template again, since Blogger is giving me some kind of message about the photo at the top taking up too much bandwidth. It was a template I found elsewhere, and I loved it but don't know what I can do about reducing the file size ... Especially today, when I just don't have time to figure it out.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Thing 30: LOLCats


    i-can-has-cheezburger
    Originally uploaded by scottelsdon

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    A test post from Photobucket

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    So, where have I been?

    Just in case you're following along a little bit but not quite all the way, I forgot to mention here that I am the first guest blogger over at the Learning 2.1 blog for the month of June. So there won't be many posts from me here in June, and since I'm creating the discovery activities, I'm not going to blog about them here.

    Julia takes over guest blogging in July. I've promised to help her with it, but I should be back to regular posting here anyway. See you then!

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    Guest blogger? Me?

    So, I'm the guest blogger for June for Learning 2.1 - and I'm not sure what my first activity is going to be! But look for something coming toward the end of the week.

    Saturday, June 02, 2007

    One more thing about Letterpop

    before I move on to other interesting subjects ...

    As much as I love Letterpop, printing needs serious improvement. Clicking the "print" link opens a new window for the browser to print from, but with the print dialog box already open. Closing the print dialog box closes the new print-formatted browser window, so you can't do any page setup or even preview your printout to see what you'll be getting. I just tried printing a newsletter I've been fooling around with, and instead of the two pages I expected, I got five pages printed landscape, with a good portion of my text lopped off.

    A minor quibble, since I don't need to print anything from Letterpop very often, but a disappointment after such a good experience.

    Oh, wait! Letterpop again!

    Oops, I totally forgot to include a link to my sample newsletter! If you look at it today, and then again next week, it may have changed, because I love to play with the templates.

    Thing 25: Letterpop

    I must admit that I love Letterpop. (Almost as much as I love the new Scrapblog, but that's another story.) For creating newsletters, Letterpop is easier then Word or Publisher, and the templates look better too. Plus, Letterpop automates the process of sending your newsletter via email.

    Really, using Letterpop is a breeze. (And no, I'm not actually obsessed with making videos for websites. This is one I made earlier for my 60 Sites in 60 Minutes class. I'm not all that happy with it - it needs some editing, and it may eventually get some. But I thought you might get something out of it.)



    Account options
    With a free Letterpop account, you can create 10 newsletters, mail them to 25 address ten times a year and have 25 pictures in your toolkit. You will have to put up with a few advertisements on the Letterpop site. (The free plan has been plenty for the library users I've introduced to Letterpop, BTW.)

    The next Letterpop level, aimed at power users, is a little under $25 a year, and gets you 52 newsletters a year, mailed to up to 500 addresses. You'll get 100 pictures, too.

    The most expensive account at Letterpop, created for corporate users, is a little under $180 a year, still quite inexpensive considering you get 365 newsletters, sent to 10,000 email addresses, and special "business" templates. Any organization needing more newsletters than that should really consider hiring a designer to create them and an email service to get them distributed!

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Sale at Threadless

    Threadless, the indie-cool tee-shirt company that was mentioned in Learning 2.0, is having one of their periodic $10 sales. So if there was something at Threadless you've been craving ...

    Zamzar: We have found the problem, and it is us

    So, Zamzar is working great this morning. The difference? I had the bright idea of using a different email address to receive notification that my conversions are ready for download.

    So the lesson is: If you're having trouble, don't use your PLCMC email address at Zamzar. Try Hotmail, or Yahoo!, or Gmail, or whatever else you've got.

    Because the service itself works well, and works quickly. Wait, I'll show you.



    I also converted several YouTube videos with good results, although they could be a bit balky at times. And I converted a PDF into a Word document, which worked quite well.

    I did notice that quite often, Zamzar doesn't look like it's finished uploading a document or a video, when actually it has. If you have an upload that seems "stuck" at 24% (or any other percent, for that matter), check the email address you supplied anyway. Most of the items I've had this "trouble" with have in fact been in my Gmail box waiting on me. (I suspect it's some kind of bandwidth issue on the library's end.)

    I can imagine many, many uses for Zamzar, but the most intriguing is converting from PDF into an editable document. We see many, many patrons who want to edit a PDF but, of course, can't do so.

    Zamzar will also be useful the first time a patron brings in a file they created in Word 2007, which of course we have no way to convert to a document they can use on our computers. (You can use Zamzar to convert the Word 2007 docx format to a plain old doc.)

    And for personal use, Zamzar is absolutely the easiest way I've seen to download a YouTube video! And I can watch it on my iPod! That totally rocks.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    I have a bad feeling ...

    that the reason I can't upload a file to Zamzar for conversion is bandwidth. Virtual Village is full of patrons watching videos at YouTube, playing games at Yahoo! Games and messing around on MySpace pages. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except that it means I can't connect to the Internet with enough speed to get anything at all accomplished. Other than Zamzar, I need to be trolling new sites for my 60 Sites in 60 Minutes class and grabbing screencasts from the ones I decide to feature.

    It's this hot outside on a Tuesday afternoon, and it's not even June yet? It's going to be a long, hot, dry summer, with no bandwidth to speak of. I may go insane before the end of July, and it's hottest here in August.

    Zamzar update

    Just as a quick update to last Friday's Zamzar post - I still haven't gotten any emails from Zamzar saying my file conversions are ready! So I'm going to try again ...

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    Thing 24: Zip, zam, zot

    The name of the website in the first exercise for Learning 2.1, Zamzar, reminds me a a tennis-ball-on-a-pole came my sister and I had when we were kids, called Zim Zam or something. My sister used to make really horrifically lame jokes about zim zam zot all the time.

    Hopefully, the Zamzar service won't be as lame as those jokes.

    The first thing I tried to do at Zamzar -- convert a YouTube video of the inside of a hard drive as it works to an mpg so I could include it in the PowerPoint presentation for computer basics. It took me several attempts to realize that to convert something from a URL, I had to click the URL link about the "Browse" box at http://zamzar.com. Clicking that link takes you to http://zamzar.com/url, and the "Browse" button now says "Add URL." I tried converting a YouTube video to a couple of different formats; the only one that I was able to get to even complete the conversion process was mp4.

    I also uploaded a Word document for conversion to a PDF; we'll see how that worked.

    Right now, I'm waiting for Zamzar to email me with a link to either one of my conversion projects. I'll let you know how they turned out!

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Wow!

    Old Hardwick Hall

    richardr posted a photo:

    Old Hardwick Hall

    technorati tags:,

    Blogged with Flock

    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Ah-ha! New scrablog!

    The new version of Scrapblog is even more fun than I thought! The stickers and backgrounds, for example, are much easier to use but they are also a lot more fun to look at. The themes are pretty great too. And coming soon - the ability to put a Scrapblog on DVD as a gift, and to get a nicely printed and bound version.

    This Scrapblog is one I'm creating for my grandfather's 90th birthday party this June. I had planned to use PowerPoint to make it, but I actually think Scrapblog is easier and more fun. (Especially if I can get the presentation on a DVD. There won't be any Internet access at the party.) Although I must admit this one Scrapblog has taken the better part of a day. (But then I'm at work on the service desk, so I've done it in the minutes I've been able to snatch between users needing help.)

    Scrapblog's embed/post to blog function doesn't seem to be working right now, or at least it isn't working well. I'll try again tomorrow, but right now it is time to go hoooooome!

    Wait, let's try it right now:

    Scrapblog, again

    Scrapblog recently released a new version of themselves. It's a whole lot easier to use (as long as you have the latest version of Flash), there's great new art and themes -- an overall improvement that makes this service worth considering again.

    I'm in the process of creating a new Scrapblog, and I'll embed it here as soon as I can. So far, I'm really having fun!

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    There's gotta be a better way!

    By God, I write too many words sometimes. There's gotta be a way to do "extended posts" in this new version of Blogger, so that you see the first paragraph or so and then have a "read more" link to click for the rest. I could do it in the old version, but I don't know about this one.

    So, off to track that down.

    Wow, It's been a long time.

    Hmm. So. It looks an awful lot like I've fallen down on the job and not kept up with my Learning 2.0 adventure.

    But I have, really I have!

    I just haven't blogged about it.

    If I'm not careful, this is going to be one of those horrid catch-up posts where I wind up listing a lot of links. So I'll just list a few of my favorite new discoveries, and catch up with a few more next time.

    Recent Web 2.0 goodies

    • Backpack has taken its rightful place as the ruler of my world. Okay, not quite, but it's incredibly useful. Backpack lets you create pages for just about anything; each page can contain lists, notes and links. For a small charge ($5 a month, paid monthly) you can also add pictures, files and whiteboards. Regardless, you can share your page with anyone you want to see it, which makes it great for collecting notes for a joint project. I'm essentially using it as a notebook; after every meeting or brainstorming session, I transfer my notes to Backpack. I've also got pages for shopping lists, knitting projects, stuff I need to blog about, etc. I've tried websites like this before, but for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, Backpack really works for me.

    • Weatherbonk, which is a lovely mash-up of weather data with Google maps and traffic cameras, even helps you plan a trip by car based on what the weather is forecast to be along your route.

    • Twitter is meant to let friends know what you are doing at exactly this moment. Most of what's there is one-line posts like "Check out this neat site," but political candidates are putting it to really good use. See the John Edwards Twitter, for example, to see how this "vanity" site can actually be quite useful.

    • I've become a follower of The Consumerist, a shopping advocacy blog. Before you go shopping, check here! You'll learn about bad products, bad customer service, how a certain cell phone company really can't do math ...

    • Finally, I really like using the Flock browser. Flock is based on Firefox, but has been created specifically for web 2.0 tasks. Flock makes it easy to blog, use Flickr and other photo services, and read RSS feeds. It is a program that must be installed on your computer, but if you have the drive space for it, it's worth it! (Actually, there's a lot more to Flock, but I'll get deeper into the topic later.)

     
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