We have to consider the choices available at our fingertips. They keep on getting better and better.
New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 33
It's the start of a new year in many parts of the world, but my discoveries, techno-gems, and new media picks never stop coming.
Photo credit: Sherrie Smith
Here is once again, the mini-crop of great services, tools and technologies I have run into in the past seven days and for which I have had yet not enough space to devote a full article or review to.
This is indeed my weekly present to all those great companies and development teams which bring to the Internet great new tools and ideas every week without the support of a large marketing and promotion budget to support their need for visibility. It is in many cases to them, to these small great companies that I dedicate this space.
It is also for you, witty early adopter, new media analyst, power user and independent publisher seeking to ride the wave of change as it happens.
And if you think I have been providing a good service to you, or have ideas on how to make it even better, take the time today to drop a positive feedback right at the end of this juicy techno-snack.
Here this week new media gems:
- Private P2P LAN and fully secure VPN over the Internet
- Bloglet replacement sends blog updates to readers via email
- Open-source app manages RSS feeds as emails
- Podcatching tool for mobile phones and PDAs
- Site-targeted bidding-based text-ads marketplace
- Self-service mini-ad display matrix
- Best Web-based Games of 2005
- Free breaking news video player for your site
- Music playlists for joggers
Hamachi is a zero-configuration private P2P LAN and fully secure VPN over the Internet. Hamachi allows to access computers remotely, to fully leverage the Windows File Sharing capabilities, to play LAN games and to run private Web or FTP servers. With Hamachi you can organize two or more computers with an Internet connection into their own virtual network for direct secure communication. Technically, Hamachi is a UDP-based virtual private networking system which is not just truly peer-to-peer, but it is also verifiably secure. Once a connection is established, no Hamachi-based traffic ever goes through Hamachi centralized servers. Hamachi can successfully mediate P2P connections including peers sitting behind different firewalls and/or broadband routers (aka NAT devices). Hamachi software contains no spyware, malware or advertising content. Hamachi is also free.
If you know what Bloglet does, then you will like what FeedBlitz has to offer. If you have a blog, news site or any other frequently updated web publication, you may want to facilitate your visiting readers to have an easy way to subscribe to your new content without requiring them to be familiar with RSS. With FeedBlitz you can email your blog new content automatically to anyone without having to ever touch a button. Readers themselves can simply sign-up, either on your site, if you display a FeedBlitz subscription button, or at FeedBlitz itself even if your site is not an active suppoter of FeedBlitz (something you can't do with Bloglet). FeedBlitz supports also audio and video blogs, allows sending email announcements to all your subscribers, can import all of a Bloglet account subscribers, supports AdSense and Feedburner and supports UTF-8 encoding and international characters. FeedBlitz is free to all - it has no restrictions, and no ads. And if you are or have been a Bloglet user see how FeedBlitz stands up to its competitor feature by feature.
ZipLine FeedMail 1.0 is an open source, web-based e-mail client capable of managing and reading RSS feeds as emails. Using ZipLine FeedMail, users can communicate with friends and co-workers through RSS feeds instead of email. ZipLine FeedMail turns an RSS feed reader into an electronic mailbox allowing you to send and receive feedmail messages without the typical email issues of SPAM or phishing. Complementary to it, ZipLine Server 1.5 creates RSS web feeds that can be sent to an individual or to a group of users with what FeedMail calls targeted web feeds (tFeeds). Also, with ZipLine Server, users can receive workflow and system notifications from enterprise application systems such as PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAP. FeedMail does not integrate an RSS reader and its unique set of benefits comes from its ability to feed personalized information directly to groups or individual users to enhance enterprise workflow.
Online demo available and fully-working trial too. In essence, ZipLine FeedMail turns any RSS feed reader into an electronic mailbox. It allows to send and receive feedmail messages without the fear of SPAM or phishing. More info and download.
- Smart Feed
SmartFeed is a podcatching tool for people using PDAs or Smartphones running the Windows Mobile Platform. SmartFeed allows you to subscribe and download audio and video podcasts directly from your phone or PDA. It is possible to schedule automatic updates of your favorite podcasts and it sports an easy-to-use interface for finding, downloading, and playing individual podcast episodes. SmartFeed can also pause and resume interrupted downloads and it is now available for all Windows Mobile devices, including smartphones and PocketPCs.
Bidvertiser is a site-targeted bidding-based text-ads marketplace allowing small and medium-sized web publishers to find relevant and matching advertising clients. Similar to a text-based version of Blogads, Bidvertiser brings in its own set of innovative features. For the advertiser these include:
- Placing ads only on your selected sites
- Setting your own pay-per-click pricing
- Paying only for clicks received
- Setting the max price you are willing to pay per click
- Self-service creation of your ads
- Ads performance tracking
For bloggers and independent sites innovative traits include:
- Making more money with the integral affiliate program
- Customizing the layout size of your text-based ads
- Blocking unwanted ads
- Generating performance tracking reports
- Only $10 minimum earning needed to get your payout through PayPal
- Having the highest bidders displayed on your website
PixelBannerAds is a new online advertising service which allows small sites and blogs to easily monetize some of their screen real-estate.
PixelBannerAds provides a snippet of code to place inside any participating site which displays a matrix of 20x20 sized squares that can be purchased directly by readers as ad spaces. Since a 20x20 area is rather small, advertisers can only fit in there a small logo, an icon or some other very simple graphic. A single 20x20 ad costs $10 per month. PixelBannerAds are not complicated to install, and they are a discrete though innovative way of monetizing screen real-estate without adding more flashing, moving or intrusive ads. PixelBannerAds can be served in almost any shape and size to fit and match the different needs of a blog entry, a forum post, or even a web-based email, all clicks and earnings are tracked, and payments are made once a month via PayPal.
- Best Web-based Games of 2005
If you, like me, have been searching for some quality selection of freely accessible web games, avoiding that popular crop of flashing ad-populated mega-games clearinghouses, here is a wonderful superlist of great web-based games. Each game has an initial short description and an identifying icon, but if you click through you can read a full review for each one while being able to also play anyone of them. Highly recommended.
- Reuters Video
If you have not yet seen the new free news video player from Reuters, you should certainly give a good look at it. Launched this week, this Flash-based video player can be integrated within any web site or blog in a matter of seconds providing your readers with the ability to watch the latest Reuters video stories as they break, directly on your web pages. Just apply, and receive via email a snippet of code to place inside your next article or within the template of all your web site pages. That is right: you can place and display the news video player on as many pages as you want, while Reuters keeps all maintenance, publishing and bandwidth costs for itself. The Reuters news video player has up to 20 of the latest breaking stories from around the world which your readers can watch right in the context of your page. No pop-ups, no software installs. The Reuters video news player is free though it, next to news items, it may display some advertising.
- Jog Tunes
JogTunes is the music exchange for those of you who look to go out running with a good playlist bumping in their ears. The issue is: how do you find a set of tunes that matches your unique jogging pace? JogTunes makes it easy for you to match your favorite music with your perfect workout. Each song inside JogTunes playlists shows its tempo in BPM and you can also arrange them into your ideal sequence. JogTunes works in synergy with the Apple iTunes store, and through it you can go to our Tunes list and select tunes for your ideal playlist or you can check out JogTunes prepackaged playlists. To start using JogTunes all you need is iTunes on your computer and a portable music player.