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Mashups – Putting it All Together September 22, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in mashups.
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Many Web 2.0 services have the potential to share content with blogs. For example, in the sidebar to the right there is a window that displays recent photos from my Flickr account. There is also a section that displays tagged links from my del.icio.us account. Elements that display information from another source are called “mashups”. In this instance, these mashups are accomplished by selecting “widgets” from the WordPress presentation dashboard, a relatively simple process.

Mashups can present an amazing range of materials, including video, audio, photography, links, news feeds, maps, and communications tools.

The Wikipedia entry for “mashup” provides a lot of additional information.

Social Bookmarking September 21, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in Social Bookmarking.
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Social bookmarking allows participants to store and share their bookmarks on the Web.

Why? First of all, your bookmarks are available on all the computers you use. Bookmark it at home and find it again the next day on another computer at work. You can point friends at your bookmark by giving them your account’s URL or adding them to your network.

Your bookmarks also become an element on a social network. Here’s how it works: I find a site I’d like to record. Let’s say it’s a film festival site. I post it to a social bookmarking site (I use del.icio.us). This is easy to do, often a single click on a toolbar link gets you started. As I post, I’m asked to write a description and provide tags, keywords that help to group my bookmarks. For a film festival, I might choose tags like film, festival, cinema, movies, or entertainment. Once posted, the information is recorded on a web site at del.icio.us. Mine is del.icio.us/kruchoga/. The site provides additional information, such as the number of other members who have bookmarked the link, and provides the means to communicate with other members.

These services also report on the most popular and fastest growing sites, providing surfing guidance for members.

In addition to del.icio.us, popular services include simpy, stumbleupon and furl.

Educause has a PDF publication called “7 Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking.”

Web-based Video Distribution September 19, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in Presentation, video, YouTube.
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YouTube is a breakthrough product, becoming one of the Web’s most popular sites in less than two years. Established in February 2005, its growth has far outpaced MySpace. The site claims to download more than 100,000 video clips per day. According to the Nielsen/NetRatings, it has nearly 20 million visitors per month and is dominated by a teen demographic. (Source for the above stats is Wikipedia).

While YouTube leads the pack, they are just the first of many video hosting sites. Others include Motionbox, Metacafe, Veoh, youare.tv, blip.tv, video.google.com, and revver.com.

Content on these sites includes everything from movie trailers from the major studios to cell phone captures. In a few minutes of browsing you’ll encounter feature length movies (in the public domain, of course), a full range of student films, home movies, clever animations, as well as some very objectionable content.

Why should you care? Well, you may have already been “YouTubed.” Students with video capable cell phones are documenting just about everything in their lives, including embarrassing moments in the classroom.
The sites can also be used as a cost effective way to distribute your content. We’ve posted promotional video and commercials to these sites to be able to share them throughblogs and other linked media. For example…

But be careful, you’re just one click away from something you don’t want your children to see.

There are also compatability issues and posting rules to follow. For example, it’s easy to include a YouTube video in a WordPress blog, like this one, but other service’s clips are more complicated to insert or not allowed at all.

YouTube Offers Edu Only Site September 19, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in Blogs and Blogging, Presentation, video, YouTube.
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YouTube has announced a new version of its video hosting service that will be for college students only. (Are they’re getting into Facebook’s face and MySpace’s space?)

Link to a campus-technology.com news item about it at:
http://www.campus-technology.com/news_article.asp?id=19242&typeid=150

Wikis September 14, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in College, Wikipedia, Wikis.
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Wikis are shared work spaces on the Web. The best-known example is Wikpedia, the free online encyclopedia that (according to its masthead) anyone can edit. Is your organization listed? Check it out. You may be surprised. The college I work for is, yet no one on the PR staff knows who provided the information.

I have a wiki for collaborative writing projects. I’ve found that is an effective way to draft and rework documents, especially if you are working with individuals who are hard to schedule or at a distance. The web-based products make it easy to revise documents and track revisions.

We also have several college committees using wikis to document and edit research projects.

Here’s a link to HowStuffWorks.com’s article about wikis.

I’ve used JotSpot and PB Wiki; but, like blog hosting services, there are dozens – maybe hundreds of providers. Many offer free services. Wikipedia offers a comparison of Wiki “farms,”

Your First Blog September 14, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in Blogs and Blogging.
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If you are interested in getting started, a list of developer-hosted blog providers (copied and pasted from a Wikipedia entry) follows. Most of these provide easy-to-use web-based tools to publish blogs. Posting text and graphics is fairly easy; video and mashups are more challenging. As with all things technological, patience is required, especially when you get past the basics. I’ve used WordPress and Blogger personally and can recommend them both.

We currently are publishing a blog as our staff newsletter. Content is automatically organized chronologically and as it is developed. The expectation that the newsletter will be published once a week on a deadline is gone. Sample our blog/newsletter, The Wave.

Blogging – You’re Reading One, Dude. September 6, 2006

Posted by greentreadmill in Blogs and Blogging.
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“50 million blogs…some of them have to be good.”

– someone named Matt quoted on Technorati

It’s a little silly to write an entry about what a blog is in a blog, but it is a topic I cover in my presentation, so I feel obligated to say something. Here’s a link to Wikipedia’s entry for “blog.” It provides a basic definition and lots of links to detailed information.

Technorati’s list of the 100 most popular blogs (measured by the number of links) provides an idea of the range of possibilities. Politics, technology, pop culture, and media are among the most common themes, but just about anything is fair game.

Technorati currently tracks 53.2 million blogs.