Category Archives: Web tools

Find feeds with Page2RSS

Page2RSS is a service that helps you monitor web sites that don’t publish feeds. It will check any web page for updates and deliver them to your favorite RSS aggregator.

You simply type the URL & hit the ‘to RSS’ button and Page2RSS will give you a feed for the page. You can add instantly to Google Reader, Bloglines, My Yahoo! and Netvibes.

You can add a button to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar that will create Page2RSS feed for the page you are currently viewing. This is an easy and convenient way for you to create feeds for pages you are surfing. 

A word of warning – I tried it on our LearnTel website and it returned the message: The page doesn’t look like valid HTML page. I wonder if this is because it’s written in cold fusion?

Try Page2RSS

Visualise your del.icio.us bookmarks with Favthumbs

If you’re a visual person you’ll like this. Favthumbs is a neat little online app that will visualise your del.icio.us bookmarks. You just enter your del.icio.us account details & it will offer you two visualisations – grid & carousel.

The grid shows a thumbnail of each home page. Part of mine looked like this:

favthumbs-grid

The carousel version allows you to scroll through each thumbnail in a circular manner. Mine looked like this:

favthumbs-carousel

Try Favthumbs on your own del-icio.us bookmarks.

50 Best Websites 2008

Time has published what they consider to be the 50 best websites in 2008. There are some interesting sites that I didn’t know. And there are more than 50 because they often sneak one or two ‘like’ sites on the page.

If you don’t have time to go through the 50 best, you might like to check the 10 essential sites that we can’t do without. They consider these to be:

Mmmm – I agree with half of those.

Time also lists 10 Social Networking Apps. They include:

Enjoy…

Top 10 tools for 2008

I’ve been meaning to list my top 10 tools for Jane’s page for quite some time now. Inspired by the effort of my mate Steve Wheeler in listing his top 10, here they are – it was a hard fought contest as we saw so many great new tools emerge in 2008. Oh – and it doesn’t include the iPhone that came into my possession in November – without doubt THE best tool ever!!! And of course my 2007 favourites still remain: delicious, Facebook, flickr & Netvibes.

  1. Plurk: without doubt this is my favourite tool since it launched in about May 2008. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a micrblogging tool. You have 140 characters to tell people what you are doing – not too exciting so far! However, many people have taken microblogging & turned it into a way to share ideas & resources with others.  I’m connected to an amazing group of educators in many countries who freely share their thoughts & ideas & come to the rescue when anyone is looking for a particular resource. What I like about Plurk over Twitter (see next in the list) is that it encourages conversations amongst users. The fact that comments can be made in a drop down box under the original plurk makes it easy to collect thoughts on each particular topic.
  2. Twitter: another microblogging tool that appeared before Plurk. Your 140 character staements appear in a list down the page. I originally saw Twitter as a useless tool and am on the record for saying so. However, I’m also connected to a great group of people on Twitter who freely share their ideas. I’m caroldaunt on Twitter if you want to follow.
  3. PBwiki: I have wikis for everything from the business plan to project planning to my doctorate. This is a fabulous way to work collaboratively and share files with distributed teams. There are various free wiki platforms available but PB is my favourite.
  4. Ning: the app that allows you to build your own social network. I belong to numerous Ning groups where like-minded people exchange ideas and resources. I’ve set up a Ning for our Learning Technologies Group and we always have one to support our Learning Technologies Conference.
  5. Google Docs: I’ve really been using Google docs in a big way in the past year. We’ve used them for shared ‘Word’ documents that we can work on collaboratively and also as ‘Forms’ to gather information from people – which then goes automatically into a spreadsheet.
  6. FriendFeed: a social-network-activity aggregator that acts like a funnel for all the updates from my various networks and brings them into one master stream, relieving me of the responsibility of visiting a dozen or more sites. You can follow my FriendFeed directly if you’re not connected to me in any other way.
  7. Slideshare: I’ve been a member of Slideshare since early 2007, but only started using it in earnest during 2008. It allows me to post my slide shows for others to see, but, more importantly, allows me to find great slideshows from others. There’s some amazing infromation there and all free of charge.
  8. Scribd: where I place my documents so others can read them online or download them. It’s also a great place to find articles and papers written by others.
  9. Animoto: a terrific little app that allows you to create videos from photos and/or text. You upload your photos – choose a piece of music & Animoto does the rest. You can make a 30 second version free of charge or pay $3 for a longer version. You can direct people to your video on the Animoto site, embed it in other websites and download a copy. Click here to see a fun one I made for my Plurk buddies for Christmas.
  10. Live Blogging: we experimented with Cover it Live’s new live blogging tool for the Learning Technologies Conference this year. It worked a treat and allowed those both on and off site to get a running commentary of selected sessions and to interact real-time with our live blogger. Click here for an archived version of the George Siemen’s session.

That’s it for 2008 – if you haven’t tried any of the above, I hope you enjoy experimenting with them.

Search flickr photos: Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is a neat tool for searching flickr. It works like this….

Go to the Tag Galaxy page & type in your search tag. In this instance I used ‘koala’ – so you can follow along.

Below is the screen that appeared:

I then clicked on ‘cute’ & Tag Galaxy gave me this:

Clicked on ‘furry’:

From here I clicked on the large green globe & saw:

You can use your cursor to turn the globe around & view all of the pictures. I clicked on one particular picture:

Click on the picture & you’ll see who took it & their comments. You can click out to their flickr page from here.

So – if you like this visual way of searching try Tag Galaxy.

Search flickr by colour

This is a fabulous little tool that will let you search flickr by a particular colour – or set of colours. You can click up to 10 colours to search on at once – and you click the same colour several times to increas it’s prominence.

I did a simple search on purple and this was the first page:

Go and try it out for yourself.

Ask 500 people – polling app

I just discovered Ask 500 People and to try it out I’ve set up a quick poll about cell phones in classrooms. I can’t embed it here so it’s over at the videoconference blog if you want to try it out – sidebar to the right. If you take the poll you’ll then get to see the current results.

It’s easy to set up – you  can have 4 types of questions:

You can choose what your poll looks like – I chose the small version to fit in the sidebar (above right). You can choose your colour from a limited palette.

When you go into your account you can get a variety of information such as:

A map of where responses came from:


You can see a running list of where & when responses came in – as on the right – and an overview of the results:

So go try your own Ask 500 People poll.