New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 20
Here again today, like every Sunday, my selection of new media picks selected from all those greart new resources and tools that I have seen pass in front of my eyes but for which I have not had enough resources and time to create a specific review or news post.
Photo credit: Annette Gulick
Sometimes there are great tools that while not having come out yesterday, are quite unknown and which I amy end up discovering much later than the more adventorus of you. In my picnic there is always space for some of these tasty online resources too.
These are the little gems I have found this week:
- Contextual Auto-Search Tool
- Tags Search Engine
- Personalized Web 2.0 News Page Creator
- Podcast Player And Web Site Integration Tool
- Automatic RSS Feed Submitter
- Cross-platform Web-based Free Blogging Platform
- Ajax-based Multi-Protocol Instant Messenger Aggregator
- Convert Mobile Phone Photos Into Re-Usable Images
- Compare Alternative Text Formats And Styles For The Web
- DVD Self-Publishing And On-Demand Distribution Service
A Windows-only search program that works out of a sidebar appearing on the right side of your screen, Watson begins searching before you ask. Watson in fact monitors what document or web page you are working on and processes the information you are working on to find and deliver relevant news, web, and blog sources relating to that very topic. Created by researchers at Northwestern University, Watson utilizes web search engines, blogs, news web sites, research services, internal knowledge repositories and even your computer's own files to find information while you work. A free trial version is available for download.
- Guten Tag
GutenTag is a tag search engine allowing users to input any keyword and discover what has recently been published on that "tag-topic", not only in terms of posts but also as social bookmarks, images, podcasts and video clips. Hailing itself as "The People's Web Search Engine," GutenTag takes grassroots content coming from tag-based Web archives like Technorati, Flickr and Delicious and brings it back as a set of search engine results. It also allows users to re-post selected items to Delicious or Blogmarks. A tagcloud provides a visual overview of the most researched terms.
From paris, France, here is a customizable web 2.0 homepage solution called Netvibes. It gives users the ability to create a personalized home page by assembling RSS feeds and services from web 2.0 applications easily. The aim of Netvibes is to provide a place on the internet where you can set just the content you like, a super easy way of building a personalized, self-updating content home page page available anywhere, anytime. No registration is needed to use Netvibes unless you want to access your page from computers other than yours in which case you'll indeed need to register. Netvides is completely web-based and it can be accessed from any internet-connected computer. Netvibes allows users to browse, modify, and import RSS feeds with an integrated RSS/ATOM feedreader, import OPML files, download and listen to podcasts without additional software, and perform e-mail checking on one or more GMail accounts. Netvibes is in Beta and it is available in French, English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. Beta version available for free.
- Bigcontact Feedplayer
Feedplayer enables podcasters to play and promote their own podcasts from their web sites, as well as providing several features that make accessing their podcasts much easier and more enjoyable for their listeners. The software installs easily, allows podcasts to play immediately upon opening, makes it easy to set-up links for show notes, to add general information about your podcast, to place a subscribe link on your pages and to provide your readers with the ability to even launch use a standalone player. Feedplayer uses BigContact's podcast directory to help publicize your podcast. Free of charge.
FeedShot is a new online service that allows you to submit your RSS feeds to 19 of the major RSS search engines and blog directories including Feedster, Blogdigger, IceRocket, and Google Blog Search. Free and easy to use.
A cross-platform, standalone blogging application, Thingamablog makes writing and publishing a weblog quick and user-friendly. Unlike other blogging applications, it does not need a third-party blogging host, a cgi/php enabled web host, or a MySQL database, making it possible to blog with FTP, SFTP, or network access to a web server. Thingamablog enables users to write and manage multiple blogs, import entries from RSS and Atom feeds, customize layout and templates, set up archiving options, syndicate the blog to an RSS or Atom feed and more. It is available free of charge.
Meebo is a cool cross-platform, multi-protocol, Ajax-based IM and presence awareness aggregator. The one-page application allows anyone on any computer platform to access and log in to Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, AOL IM and ICQ from one unique interface. Similar to desktop applications like Trillian and Gaim, Meebo provides a single buddy list that is automatically populated upon signing into the meebo web site. It is still in alpha development.
ScanR is a utility for converting digital images coming from mobile phones into usable Acrobat .pdf files or digital faxes, while making it easy for the user to also eliminate image background noise, soft focus, and the poor picture alignment common to mobile phone pictures. The magic is achieved by ScanR sending out your selected images to its online servers and executing the assigned task in a matter of minutes before sending the corrected digital images back to your mobile phone. ScanR can be used with mobile phones with at least one megapixel of resolution and it is compatible with several mobile service providers. A free trial is also available.
The Typetester is a nifty and elegantly designed online application which allows designers to evaluate three possible alternative text formatting styles side by side. The one-page interface makes it easy for designer to include any sample blok of text and to be able to easily configure font face, size, style, spacing, leading and a lot more in three different ways. Results are displayed immediately and in three adjacent columns allowing the designer to see at-a-glance what works best.
- On-Demand DVD Publishing
CustomFlix is a company enabling anyone wanting to sell her own DVDs to outsource complete production and shipping duties. The company simply takes your self-produced master material and it prints, packages and ships your own DVDs as orders from your customers come in, eliminating completely your inventory and shipping costs. CustomFlix allows independent DVD producers to set their own prices, and can accommodate both large and small production requests.
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