New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 17
This week Robin Good's new media picks selection includes:
- Open-source server-based RSS feed aggregator
- RSS newsmastering tool self-discovers hot topics
- Blogging to the Web from within Microsoft Word
- Free online content storehouse (1GB) and sharing platform
- Web site traffic ranking and popularity reporting service
- Web search via SMS
- Multilingual web search interface
- Usability testing community platform
- Site for would-be developers of Virtual Earth applications
- Low-cost fully-featured web conferencing service for non-profit organizations
Photo credit: Michal Bierzgalski
New media picks of the week is my weekly basket of tasty new media resources, online tools and new software tools I think are worth your attention.
Try for yourself, download, install and learn some pretty interesting things with these great new resources and tools.
- Feed on Feeds
Feeds on Feeds is a server-based RSS news aggregator. It keeps track of what items you've read no matter from which computer or location you are connecting. It knows what you have read and what you have not. Whenever you want to see what's new, you just bring up a web page and scan the newest items. To install and use Feeds on Feeds you do need full access rights to a Web server running a recent version of PHP and MySQL. Be forewarned this software is ""itch-scratch-ware", and as the author candidly admits "I worked on it just long enough for it to be usable for my purposes, and then stopped. There are rough edges, and the code is awful.". Steve Minutillo, the author, also doesn't hide the fact that Feeds on Feeds is his first project in PHP. Feeds on Feeds is fully open-source (GPL), integrates RSS auto-discovery, OPML export and import functions and full integration of MagPie RSS providing gzip support.
- The Personal Bee
The brainchild of François PLANQUE, the Personal Bee is a truly ingenious RSS filtering aggregator that can provide some useful services to any would-be newsmaster. While François refers to it as a "discovery engine" that helps you discover information from a collection of RSS feeds this is indeed part of a second-generation of RSS feed readers adding intelligence and ability to search, select, filter and customize the content or topics you want to closely follow in a number of interesting ways. In contrast, popular client-based RSS readers and web-based RSS aggregators merely catalog your RSS feeds. I must agree that most of these tools are adequate if you subscribe to a limited number of feeds. But when you start to have some hundreds of them, you know well that "scobleizing" them is not generally perceived as what would call an enjoyable activity. In essence, compared to traditional RSS search engines, the Bee identifies captures the most relevant concepts, ideas and "buzz words" in any given topic area without requiring you to pre-specify search terms. The Bee's algorithms does a bunch of statistics to figure out which terms get the most mentions in the feeds collection it has access to and then it reports "new topic terms" that it identifies as more and more data sources talk about them. The Personal Bee tracks multi-word keyphrases rather than single keywords and essentially auto-tags its own content by finding the most relevant new keyphrases. The Bee, is a web service and is accessible from any computer connected to the Internet.
- Blogger for Word
Blogger is the Google free platform to publish a personal blog. Now you can use Blogger right from within your Windows Microsoft Word. Just download and install the Blogger for Word add-in and a Blogger toolbar will be added to your Word application allowing you to:
- Edit full articles and posts
- Save drafts
- Publish to your blog
all directly from within your most used and familiar application. Free to download and use.
eSnips is a new online service allowing you to store most anything you can find online while providing you with the ability to easily share it with anyone else. eSnips offers 1GB of free web storage space in which you can save real web content and not just links, text snippets, digital images, web links, files, audio and video clips, PowerPoint presentations and more. You just upload your document and files from your computer and can later access all of your stored contents from any computer connected to the Internet. eSnips is secure and does even track who and when accesses your online stored "snips". Totally free.
SearchForecast is a new online service that leverages the Alexa database data (from what I can see) providing insights of 100,000 top ranking site domains. As the name suggests, SearchForecast, provides metrics on how search engines rank websites as well as providing website visitation metrics, industry comparisons and relative market shares.
- Google SMS
Google SMS is a new service that enables you to search for certain kinds of information with Google from a mobile phone or handheld device (such as a Blackberry), and returns your search results as text messages. Get phone book listings, movie show times, weather, facts, dictionary definitions, product prices from Froogle, and more. Google SMS works for now only in the US though you can fully test it out through its virtual online interface from any location.
- IM Translator Multilingual Search Tool
If you're looking for an easy way to search the web in many languages this free online tool may provide just all of the features you need. IM Translator search provides an online search facility integrated with a multilingual spell checker, a translator, a virtual keyboard, and a Russian decoder.
- Open Usability
The idea behind is simple: There are many Usability Experts who want to contribute to software projects. And there are many developers who want to make their software more usable, and as a consequence, more successful. Open Usability offers a free open platform in which any development work can be openly tested and reviewed for usability issues. Making it easier to use? Finding out where user may stumble upon a confusing set of buttons? Open Usability gives you the opportunity to find out all you need to know about how to improve the usability of your new software product or web site service before you launch it online.
- Via Virtual Earth
What is Virtual Earth?
Via Virtual Earth is an independent site dedicated to helping developers build applications that use Virtual Earth. Not everyone knows in fact that Virtual Earth can be used by online publishers in a commercial web site and at zero cost. Virtual Earth is a new map and search system released by Microsoft. The components consist of maps, aerial imagery, photos, business directories, ratings and reviews.
- The World Dialog Project
The World Dialog Project is a new and independent initiative to provide cost-effective and feature-rich web conferencing services to non-profit and charitable organizations around the world. Based on the WebTrain web conferencing platform, The World Dialog Project offers access to WebTrain full feature set, which included text chat, VoIP, video, PowerPoint presentation facility, application sharing, whiteboard, recording and more at a hard-to-believe cost of only 2 cents per minute/per user including audio.
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