Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, October 30, 2005

New Media Picks Of The Week: Sharewood Picnic 24

Sharewood Picnic is Robin Good's weekly basket of hand-picked goodies discovered and found in the last seven days; it includes new web sites, software tools and online resources that can further enable your ability to become effective independent publishers online.

Photo credit: Justyna Furmanczyk

You are welcome to test, download and freely use any of the little gems listed here below. They are all powerful digital weapons to start more actively participating in the user-driven publishing revolution I am chronicling.

Here is what I have found this week:

  1. Blog editor for experienced bloggers

  2. Video blogging software
  3. Video blogs content host
  4. Video clips clearinghouse and distribution outlet

  5. RSS feeds creator for video and podcasts
  6. Top 10 reasons to use RSS
  7. Search engine indexing message boards
  8. Software for uploading photos directly from cameraphones
  9. Software for creating professional photo albums at home
  10. Cutting-edge painting software
  11. Custom bookmarklet builder



  1. Qumana
    Qumana is a free, easy to use blog editor designed for experienced bloggers. The editor sets up easily, is compatible with most major blog platforms, and makes posting simple in one or more separate blogs. Qumana enables quick addition of text, pictures and links, has a built-in spell checker and thesaurus, allows editing of multiple blogs, supports WYSIWYG functionality, allows offline and multi-window editing, and fully supports Technorati tags. AdGenta, the program's built-in advertising system is designed specifically for blogs, and gives bloggers more freedom than other ad integration tools. AdGenta lets bloggers choose what ads will appear on their blogs and RSS feeds, what format they will have, where they will be positioned and when they will be displayed, giving a lot more control than possible before to anyone blogger.

  2. Vlog it

    Vlog It is software for creating video blogs, allowing users to drag-and-drop self-created video clips into their blog easily. Vlog It lets users do voice-overs, use TV-style transitions and sound effects, and even deliver their own newscast using a custom screen-based teleprompter. Vlog It even comes with its own green chromakey screen, the long-established television and film technology that allows to replace the background of a video image with a different video image/background/feed than the one existing in the original shot. Vlog It is compatible with many major blog software platforms like TypePad, Blogger, My Space and a new beta version is available for a free download. Windows only.

  3. Vblog Central
    vBlog Central is a new service (still in beta) that hosts video, audio and photo content for blogs, turning any blog into a vlog easily. vBlog Central supports Windows Media, Real Player, QuickTime and motion JPEG formats, and is compatible with Blogger, Moveable Type, TypePad, WordPress and other blogging platforms. Video and photo are easy to add to blogs and can be presented as an embedded feature of your blog or as an external link. Free trial version available. Web-based, cross-platform.

  4. ClipCandy

    ClipCandy is a site that allows home videomakers to post video clips online and to charge a small price for people who want to view them. Accounts are free, and registered users can search for videos by category or by keyword, viewing clips for prices ranging from $0.10 to $0.20 each. ClipCandy is a great resource for anyone to distribute their videos and get paid for it. However, ClipCandy is less professional than its competitors and is still in the beginning stages, with very few clips posted. The site also only supports Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers on Windows-based platforms.

  5. Castsource
    CastSource is a simple but helpful site that automatically creates video and audio RSS feeds out of your own keyword searches. Users need only enter in the topic, theme or keyword they wish to create a podcast or video feed about, and the AJAX-powered Castsource automatically creates a custom video or audio RSS feed containing relevant items immediately. CastSource utilizes Yahoo! video search and the Digital Podcast Search Service to scout, find and assemble your custom video or audio RSS feed. While the same queries and RSS feeds could be manually created by using Yahoo Video Search or the Digital Podcast Directory, CastSource streamlines the overall process and makes it extremely easy to do.

  6. RSS... And the Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using It
    Cory Threlfall recently compiled this list at which clearly outlines and describes the top ten reasons why RSS is so important. While experienced RSS users can skip this article, newbies to the technology will find much value in the piece. The list begins with simple definitions for RSS, and explains how "this new technology will absolutely change the way you keep in touch with your subscribers and/or readers." The article touches on the ease of use of RSS, advantages it gives to communication, the technology's financial benefits and other valuable points.

  7. Boardtracker
    Boardtracker is a message board and discussion forum search engine that enables users to easily monitor their favorite threads across thousands of discussion boards. Users can receive notification of new posts via email or instant messenger, or can use Boardtracker as an ordinary search engine. The site enables users to customize their search criteria by topic, author, date and board category (Entertainment, Health and Medicine, etc), and new boards can be added to the search database easily. Boardtracker is still in beta and it shows, as the site is somewhat difficult to use. Basic account is free.

  8. FotoJive Turbo
    FotoJive Turbo lets you upload photos from your camera phone to a personalized online gallery. The program is available as a free download to a mobile phone, and simplifies the photo-sharing process by enabling one-touch uploading. Users can also use FotoJive without a camera phone, uploading digital pictures from their computer. FotoJive personal galleries provide up to 100 MB of photo storage with organizational capabilities, and are available for free.

  9. Zoomalbum

    ZoomAlbum is photo album software that specializes in creating unique, professional image galleries that users can print out easily on any inkjet printer. Users only need to upload photos from a photo camera, select the preferred order of display, add captions and print the photos on one of ZoomAlbum's specialized, high-quality photo sheets. Users can then proceed to fold the photo printed sheet according to a set of specific instructions which allow the easy-creation of a pocket-sized photo album. ZoomAlbum comes with several creative templates and themes, and is even equipped to turn your digital photos into attractive album covers. ZoomAlbum can also import PowerPoint presentations. The software can be freely downloaded. ZoomAlbum is Windows-only software and it is available both in English and Chinese. The price to buy it is $25 (€20) and the photo paper refills cost $18 (€15).

  10. I/O Brush

    I/O Brush is a fascinating new physical drawing tool allowing users to "pick up" colors, patterns and textures from the real world and use this new synthetic "ink" to paint on a computer screen. I/O Brush is a project of the MIT Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is not yet available on the market. The device looks like an oversized paintbrush, but hidden inside are several LEDs, a CCD camera and touch sensors that work together to capture the look and feel of the surface. I/O Brush software then saves the attributes, allowing users to create art using a completely original and personalized palette of colors, patterns and even moving images. Watch this QuickTime video showing off I/O Brush's abilities (available here as .mpg). I/O Brush is designed to allow artistic pieces to be appreciated not only as stand-alone works, but as a by-product of the artist's environment, so that "stories about the evolving creation are part of the creation that could be shared, and hopefully appreciated by its viewers."

  11. Blummy
    Blummy is a tool for quick access to your favorite web services via your bookmark toolbar. It consists of small widgets, called blummlets, which make use of JavaScript to provide rich functionality to its interaction and use. Blummy allows you to bring together different bookmarklets, and access them easily from one unique location. Blummy's customized bookmarklet folder can be accessed from any net-connected computer. The free service sets up in minutes and is completely customizable, allowing users to place all their favorite bookmarklets within their personal Blummy folder with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. Created by Alexander Kirk, Blummy is perfect for people who access the net from many computers and need their favorite bookmarklets at their fingertips. While Blummy is somewhat amatuerish and can be slow at times, it is still a valuable resource.

Robin Good and Kevin C. Borgia -
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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, October 30 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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