Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Sunday Picnic 4

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Here it is again, a full basket of great resources, tools and services I have collected during this week. If you like what you see, or if you want to share some of your won related discoveries, feel free to chip in via the comments link at the bottom of this cornucopia.

Photo credit: Christy Thompson -

This Sunday too there is a great deal of delicious stuff to pick from:

  • Traffic and Popularity Trends Tracker

  • Open-source Ad Manager and Tracker

  • Essential Bookmarks for Web Designers and Developers

  • Great Web-based RSS Aggregator From MS

  • EPIC 2015

  • Western Australia Flash-future Clip

  • Autocasting: Generate Audio from blogs and RSS feeds

  • Multi-Topic Content Clearinghouse

  • Internet-to-SMS Gateway Service

Have a taste!

  • Traffic and Popularity Trends Tracker

    UrlTrends was developed by Joel Strellner to allow Webmasters, Search Engine Optimizers, and domain buyers to determine a websites (or a specific pages) rankings in the various search engines and directories. UrlTrends was designed from the beginning to have a different approach to viewing link popularity and other pertinent information. The theory was that webmasters would like to be able to see their link popularity stretched out over time, not just for the current day. This unique approach to viewing the information allows people to make a truly accurate judgment of the website and not be subject to artificial inflation that the instant link popularity reports suffer from. Currently, URLTrends allows webmasters to view their linking trends for eight different search engines (Google, Alexa, Yahoo!, MSN, AllTheWeb, Alta Vista, Teoma and Gigablast), as well as the PageRank and Alexa Rank. A recent addition also allows them to view the number of end-users of the website that bookmarked their website using Furl or
  • Open-source Ad Manager and Tracker

    Probably one of the best ad management system out there phpAdsNew is an open-source ad server, with an integrated banner management interface and tracking system for gathering statistics. With phpAdsNew you can easily rotate paid banners and your own in-house advertisements. You can even integrate banners from third party advertising companies. phpAdsNew can handle regular banners and buttons, pop-ups, text ads, DHTML banners and even the tracking of Flash banners. phpAdsNew can also deliver different ads based on unique variables such as keyword, IP address, domain, weekday, hour of the day, language, browser or operating system, on how often a banner has already been shown to a specific visitor or on how long since the visitor last saw the ad.
    phpAdsNew offers a facility that allows advertisers to log in and view statistics about how their banners are performing. They can view monthly, weekly, daily and hourly statistics. Advertisers can also export reports in CSV format for use in Microsoft Excel. phpAdsNew is free for both commercial and personal use. In addition to this you are also allowed to modify phpAdsNew to make it do exactly what you want. The only requirements to run phpAdsNew are that PHP and MySQL are installed on your webserver.
  • Essential Bookmarks for Web Designers and Developers

    Recommended by a reader, this one is a site made up completely by an updated list of essential web-sites, tutorials, references and examples to support and facilitate the typical needs of web developers easier. The list includes over 450 manually selected resources, compiled by Vitaly Friedman, a freelancing web designer from Saarbruecken, Germany, on topics relating to CSS Navigation Menus, CSS- & HTML-Techniques, Layouts, Accessibility, Usability, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and more. User can also suggest directly new valuable links to be added to the category-organized collection.
  • Great Web-based RSS Aggregator From MS

    The third version of Microsoft Start is out, providing even the best web-based RSS feed aggregation I have seen so far. I really like the direction being taken by Microsoft on this front and applaud to the simple design and great usability that this free service provides. It is a must-try. (Make sure you also give a look to the two previous versions which incorporate some complementary features at and
  • EPIC 2015

    The follow-up to the fascinating EPIC 2014 video clip is now out and it smoothes out some of the harshest and apparently less welcome sections of this journey into the future of news. As a matter of fact this is basically the original EPIC saga with a few changes here and there and a less scary ending. If you have not seen yet the original piece I strongly invite you to do so before giving a possible look to this newest installation by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson. The Flash file is now easier to get to, it is available from multiple sources and it is also downloadable via fast BitTorrent distribution. Recommended.
  • Expanding Horizons - Western Australia Flash-future Clip
    (based on format style of Epic 2015)

    Based on the unique style and presentation format of EPIC 2014 this is a corporate, institutional-type presentation that models itself after the stylish job of Robin and Matt. Produced by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia this is the first institutional and "serious" EPIC-style Flash future-doc to appear online. While its content and final message leaves little beyond the usual pathetic self-appraisal, the overall design and communication approach mark an interesting departure from the classic PowerPoint presentation or the fancy and super-expensive institutional film, providing ideas and fragments of approaches that can be used for design inspiration.
  • Autocasting: Generate Audio from blogs and RSS feeds

    Speakwire is a new online free service which allows you to listen to your preferred RSS-based feeds. It is basically a RSS-to-voice news reader. The service converts the text of the feed into speech and reads the newsfeed content aloud for you. Whether for those of you who need to do something else while listening to incoming newsfeeds or for those many handicapped users looking for alternative solution to RSS feed reading Speakwire is worth giving a look to. Speakwire uses the PanaVox Speak Perfect Speech Technology to achieve its litle magic. The interesting thing is that you can pick your newsfeeds, collate them together and then play them back as one unique custom newswire service while you work. "Autocasting" is an automated form of podcasting that allows bloggers and blog readers to generate audio versions of text blogs from RSS feeds. Autocasting software uses XML parsers, TTS (text-to-speech) engines, and audio conversion utilities to convert text blogs into audio files that can be placed on a blog for download, synchronized to a portable audio device, or played on a desktop computer.
  • Multi-Topic Content Clearinghouse

    Associated Content is an information resource and publishing venue for those who want to exchange their knowledge on any subject. Associated Content features guides, news, reviews, opinion pieces and the latest breakthroughs from all academic and professional disciplines. Anyone can become a Content Producer and contribute new information to this collection. Associated Content provides individuals and enterprises with a new, very usable outlet to showcase their work. The news is that Content Producers are paid, and that they can also submit content that has already been published on their sites previously. Content Producers either opt to publish their content free-of-charge or select to submit content for payment consideration. All content is subject to approval by Associated Content's Editors. Content Producers who submit items for purchase are paid on a per published submission basis and the amount paid to them is determined under the sole subjective discretion of the Associated Content's Editors. Amounts paid vary between $5 - $100. Content producers can keep or surrender exclusive rights to the content they submit. Note: Non-US citizens do not qualify :: unless they have a friend in the US that can do submissions for them. Interesting, promising.
  • Internet-to-SMS Gateway Service

    Vgsmail is a non-profit making internet-to-SMS gateway which provides SMS access at bulk-rates to the individual as well as to the small businesses. Vgsmail provides low-cost SMS text messaging with no minimum usage requirement and the ability to do Web-to-SMS, Email-to-SMS, RSS-to-SMS and IM-to-SMS (MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Jabber, ICQ or AIM) and more. The cost of sending messages might vary (and this page will be updated) if gateways change their charges or cheaper gateways are located. The current cost of sending messages is set at $ 0.07. By registering your phone with vgsmail you will be given $ 0.36 free credit.

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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, June 12 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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