Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thing 69: Feed My Inbox

Really Simple Syndication is a key tool in understanding the new architecture of the World Wide Web. So important, that it was one of the original 23 things (Thing Number 8 to be exact.)

Now, as an expert in the Read Write Web, you are showing blogs and websites to folks and telling them that they can subscribe to the feed for the reader and see it either in their browser (iffy at best) or they can use a web based RSS readers such as Google Reader or Bloglines.

But they get don't want to have to learn another program.

Here is the solution: Feed My Inbox.

Simple interface.

Add the feed address/URL. (make sure it is NOT the website address but the RSS address!)

Add your email address.

Then you get an email to confirm the address and you are done.

And there is a link in each feed email that asks if you want to unsubscribe to the email.

Discovery Exercise:
1) Go to one of your favorite websites that updates frequently.
2) Find the RSS feed for that site or section of that site.
3) Copy that URL information.
4) Go to Feed My Inbox.
5) Add your feed and your email address.
6) Wait for a new feed and discuss the content, how it was arraigned and were there links to follow?
7) Write about your experience.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thing 68: Filtering Flickr

Flickr has become a great resource for finding images on the web. As you all know, sharing and tagging photos is one of the killer applications of web 2.0. Flickr can also be rather overwhelming when searching for that one right photo.

There are two sites that effectively and visually blow my mind when searching FlickrCC and TagGalaxy are two ways to graphically search flickr.

FlickrCC uses a keyword search to bring up a window of pictures tagged with that search tag. Click on each picture gets you the proper attribution link, editing link and different sizes to move directly into your presentations and websites. All of the images are copyright with Creative Commons licensing, which encourages sharing.

Tag Galaxy lets you visually search Flickr. Yes, visually. You can then filter down through refined tags to get to your desired image. Some images are not shared with Creative Commons licensing, which you should be aware of before using them in your presentations or on your blogs and websites.

Here are both sites searching for the Flickr tag Church:

First FlickrCC:

Now Tag Galaxy:

and tag galaxy refined from they keyword church:

Discovery Exercise:

1) Explore both FlickrCC and Tag Galaxy by searching for the same keywords on each site.
2) Did you find similar or different results? Which method of browsing pictures worked better for you? Did the images you find match your expectations?
3) Write about your experience with both resources. If you are able to use the photos on your blog, website or presentation write about how easy it was to add the image to that blog, website or presentation.

Thing 67: Stress Savers

The web should help you save time. These three sites will help you use life without stress. Tow of them are "web 1.0" ish tools but very useful.

The Dial A Human site helps you get around those phone trees. It gives you what option you can press at many national service providers to talk to a person.

Custom Guide provides free computer training tipsheets on a variety of programs. If you need some quick help with various Mac, Windows, and Adobe programs this is a great site for some quick assistance.

Where is your Username Registered? is a site which will check multiple sites to see if your preferred username is available at a bunch of readwriteweb sites.

Discovery Exercise.
1) Explore Custom Guide. Are there any places that you call normally that you are now glad to know how to talk directly to a representative.

2) Explore Username Check: Check for your username "brand" on many different sites. If you want, register your name at sites that you want to use in the future. Keep this bookmarked and share with your friends who use the readwriteweb.

3) Write about your experiences with each of these sites.