Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, December 25, 2005

New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 32

Sharewood Picnic is Robin Good's weekly gift to you. It consists of hand-picked goodies discovered in the last seven days, including new web sites, software tools and online resources that can further enable you to become a more effective online independent publisher.

Photo credit: Ronen

For Christmas 2005, I have compiled a selection that is truly exciting. I invite you to test and freely use any of the gems listed here. They are all powerful digital weapons in the user-driven publishing revolution Robin Good is chronicling.

  1. SMS to Skype instant messenger
  2. Online bookmarks and content clips manager
  3. Wiki-like storage service for web clippings
  4. Video file formats conversion tool
  5. Online video clearinghouse
  6. Stock online image library
  7. Search engine shares ad profits with site owners
  8. RSS newsreader and podcast aggregator for Pocket PC and Smartphones
  9. Outlook plugin enables intergrated RSS reading
  10. Poll generation service



  1. SMS to Skype

    SMS to Skype lets you send instant messages from GSM mobile phones to any Skype user. Produced by Connectotel, the creators of an early SMS to email service, SMS to Skype allows users to send SMS messages of up to 160 characters to any Skype user easily. Users just send their message to a UK mobile number, prefaced with the words "skype" and the recepient's username, and the message is delivered instantly. A counterpart to the company's Skype to SMS service, Connectotel offers SMS to Skype for free but users incur charges from mobile providers.

  2. LookLater

    Looklater is a private, online bookmarks manager. Functional with just a simple bookmarklet that appears on your browser's toolbar, Looklater lets you save the links, text, images and other web content in a searchable, tag-ready interface. The intuitive service is easy to use and integrates with, Google and eBay. Free registration.

  3. ClipClip

    ClipClip is like a storage facility for your favorite web content. As simple as any wiki page, ClipClip's personalized wikis can become the home for anyone to store their favorite clips, images, links text or other materials. The site is useful for posting information for others to browse, accumulating online research, creating lists and other purposes. ClipClip pages can even be used as simplistic homepages. Free to register.

  4. Videora

    Videora Converter is an application to convert video files into formats your portable media device can play. The software is able to easily convert files from .avi, .mpeg and other formats into usable videos for the iPod, PSP, TiVo or Xbox360 or other device. PC only.

  5. VidKing

    VidKing is a clearinghouse "archiving the net's best videos." The free site hosts or links to videos ranging from sexy to funny to shocking and allows registered users to post their own videos easily. Complete with a search feature, the site provides a wide range of material with high bandwidth so videos load quickly.

  6. Totally Photos

    Totally Photos is an online warehouse of stock photos. Started by a group of professional photographers and graphic designers, the site offers a large number of photos with a visual brillance and design capability not provided by the free stock photo sites. However, users pay for this quality and all images are available for flat prices of $10 - $25 (€8 - €21) per photo. Totally Photos also accepts photographers and offers to share 50 percent of all profits. Note: unlike free stock photo sites, all photos are assessed to ensure high quality.

  7. Gravee

    Gravee is an ambitious search engine concept that could equal more revenue for website owners. A response to "flaws" in the current economic model of internet search (where search engines profit from advertisments that appear next to the search results), Gravee gives the top 10 results a share of the advertising revenue the search generated (if the sites are registered with Gravee). The creators feel this will help money to "flow in all directions," and will benefit the content producers who made the search results possible in the first place. The engine also features a twist on traditional search, using "human evaluations," along with aggregated results of the major search engines. Although there is great potential for this site, the effectiveness of Gravee remains to be seen.

  8. BeetzStream SmartRSS

    SmartRss is a news reader/podcast aggregator for your Pocket PC or Windows Smartphone. The free download features an easy-to-navigate interface that allows one-handed functionality without using the stylus. Compatible with RSS 2.0, 0.9x, RDF and Atom, SmartRSS allows importation of OPML, Bloglines feeds and iPodder (a.k.a. Juice) channels so you never miss your usual feeds. The program contains several customizable options, including the ability to schedule download times for feeds and podcasts, specify notification options and font options. The service supports video podcasts as well.

  9. Attensa for Outlook

    Attensa produces this plugin that turns MS Outlook into an RSS reader. Functioning whether Outlook is running or not, the program keeps your feeds updated constantly so they are ready when you open the program. Attensa offers a useful IE or Firefox toobar plugin and networks podcast feeds easily with iTunes or Windows Media Player. Attensa allows easy importation of OPML, easy tagging that is integrated with, and the ability to publish to a blog easily. Designed to network with all of the company's RSS reader products, Attensa for Outlook synchronizes desktop, web and mobile RSS reader clients by Attensa so all articles kept up to date no matter where they are accessed. Free to download.

  10. Quimble

    The brainchild of Topper Bowers, Quimble is a poll-generation service for websites and blogs. Similar to iMediaPoll, the service lets anyone create a poll in seconds, complete with unlimited options, instantly tabulated results and bar graphs displaying statistics. The polls are perfect sidebars for blog entries but could be used to make decisions within offices or social groups, like in this poll. Quimble polls are inserted into a site with just one line of code and can be accessed via weblinks as well. The poll below was created in less than five minutes. Free to use for everyone.

Robin Good and Kevin C. Borgia -
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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, December 25 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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