Want to save time, be more effective and still share stuff with friends and colleagues? Then you might want to take a look at Swayy. Basically you connect your different social media accounts to it, and it then goes through them, finding interesting stories for you, based upon what the people that you follow are talking about. Swayy suggests topics that you might be interested in, based on your profile, and you can add to this collection or remove false hits.
It's really easy to share stories with different networks with a mouse click, and you can change the message that accompanies the link. Swayy also suggests useful hashtags as well. Once you have shared a piece of content it disappears from your newsfeed, which I thought was going to be a problem, but it's simply been moved to an analytics section, where you can see how many people have clicked on the link.
The interface is really easy to use - my only gripe is that the stories are in the usual magazine type blocks, and you can only see one or two stories at a time, so it's a little bit labourious wandering through the list and scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. However, that aside this is actually a really nice tool. It won't replace Zite for me, but if they come up with a tablet based version I am definately there!
I think that Privatize needs to go into a category of 'answering a problem that doesn't exist'. The idea is that you log into your Twitter account, write the message that you only want to share with a few people, and post it. Those who are included on the list of VIPs can then log into Privatize to see the message, while everyone else gets told 'sorry, this isn't for you'. Irritating or what?
My first problem with this service is that I have a feeling that all of the people who follow me, being intelligent sensible people are going to think 'this looks like a possible hacked account, no way will I click on that link, I'll check with Phil first.' This then adds to my workload, it doesn't diminish it. It's also going to annoy the people that the message is not for because I'll have to say 'No, it's fine, but it's not for you'. Way to make friends and influence people or what!?
My second problem is that if I know these people then I can send them a dm. Or an email, or contact them on Flickr, or Facebook or LinkedIn and so on. These social networks exist for a reason, so why not use them correctly? Twitter isn't about private messages to selected groups of people - I really don't see the point.
However, if you're interested in trying it out, give it a shot and tell me what you think!
One of the problems with traditional presentation formats such as PowerPoint is that they are linear. This can be a real issue when you're flexible about how you run a training session, and this is where Thinglink comes into play. It's based on the concept of adding information to images with hotspots. You can create your presentation based around the image and add options to follow someone/thing on Twitter, like a Facebook page, go to a specific URL, play a video and so on. I've worked with it briefly and produced an example. It's very simple and easy to use, with lots of examples of things you might want to try yourself. This would be a great tool to use in conjunction with an infographic.
If you're worried about the hacks on different services in the recent past, Have I been pwned? is a reputable site that you can put in your email address to see if it's been compromised. If you have, it will tell you where, and you should consider changing your password details if you haven't done so already.
If you want a quick and easy way to back up your photographs you might want to have a look at MyShoeBox which is a download product. Install it, choose the photographs you want to backup, or let the product do that for you. You can also add folders from Dropbox for example. You can arrange your photographs chronologically or by time of day, location, season and so on. You can also share galleries with your friends. Add the app into your smartphone and add your pictures to it.
Wonder when it's best to tweet? Clearly not all of the people who follow you are going to be online at the same time, so you need to know when it's best to post a tweet.
Tweriod can help with this. Connect your Twitter account to Tweriod and it will give you a series of handy graphs based on the last 1000 of your followers and is generated according to the timezone you have on your Twitter.com profile. It will give you various charts for weekends, mondays, weekdays and combined accounts. This is mine for weekdays:
which is quite handy to know. Perhaps I should delay posting this for an hour or so? :)
If you enjoy being involved in Twitter chats you may sometimes find it difficult to keep up with the discussions - you might find that running a search for the appropriate hashtag and then refreshing the search just doesn't really cut it for you. If that's the case, you might want to explore TWchat They say of themselves: "Our public service allows you to create realtime chat rooms based on twitter hashtag. Invite users and perform the presentations online without any additional software! Add your friends or colleagues to help you with moderation." I have seen a few of these tools before, and this looks a nice easy to use one.
Like those amusing little discussions on smartphones? Want to make your own? Then try the SMS conversation generator. Simply type in a conversation, then save it, and embed it. Great for pretend conversations, discussions that may or may not have taken place in history, or for cinema quotes:
They say of themselves: "Zaption, a San Francisco based tech startup, is revolutionizing online video for education. Teachers, trainers, and content publishers use Zaption’s intuitive web app to quickly add images, text, quizzes, and discussions to existing videos from YouTube, Vimeo and private video libraries. The result is an interactive learning tour that transforms video from a “lean back” experience to an engaging “lean forward” activity. With Zaption’s analytics, instructors get immediate feedback on how students interact with the content and understand key concepts."
This tool lets users comment while a video is being run, so that they can react in real time. I can see some real uses for this - if you have created a video that's about library induction for example, you can use Comment Bubble to get feedback on up to five different concepts such as clarity, usefulness, confusion and so on. While the video is being watched, people can simply comment by clicking on the buttons that you can create. This is a cool idea, and worth using, especially if you need feedback.
If you are looking for an alternative to the usual PowerPoint stuff, try Slidebean. I found it really easy to use; add in your text, images, video and so on, and Slidebean does the rest. You can share on Facebook or Twitter, but to download and keep your presentation you need to pay them money. My very brief example which took about 2 minutes to knock up is available.
Is a new bookmarking platform. With Listango you can save your bookmarks online and access them from any device, anywhere. Access your bookmarks from any computer, phone or tablet. Listango works on all modern web browsers. You don’t have to share your bookmarks with the whole world. Create private lists that only you can view. Easily share your bookmarks with friends. You can share your bookmarks using Facebook, Twitter, or email.
The question really is 'why would you want to?' If you are already a bookmarking sort of person, you're using Delicious, Diigo or one of the many other alternatives. If you're not, this doesn't add in anything new that's going to make you want to start now. Nothing wrong with the tool in the slightest, but I see no value in actually using it I'm afraid. I'd love someone from Listango to point out to me exactly why it's different.
Filemail.com - Send large files - fast, easy & secure This looks to be another good tool to send large files to contacts - up to 30GB in fact, which is a hugely generous amount. It has unlimited downloads, but the file is deleted after a week. No registration required.
If you have ever wanted to remove a background from a photograph, you'll be aware of just how hard it can be. However, with Background Burner, this problem is overcome quickly and easily.
Start by uploading your photograph, and then the program magically deletes the background automatically, without you doing anything. It then displays several versions so that you can chose the one you like the best:
Next, you can go in and edit the image to add or remove content to get the picture exactly as you want it. Then you can go back in and add in a new background if you wish, from their selection, or upload your own. Once you have got that, you can then download your finished image. Great if you want to do some nice pictures for eBay and get rid of all the background nonsense.
If you're after something more than a quick yes/no poll (which is done well by Yarp, next down in the blog) then you might want to look at Flisti. Nothing to download, install or even join. Just ask your question, have as many answers as you like (with multiple responses if you prefer) and Flisti does the rest. You can also embed it into a webpage or blog:
You can also add comments as well. Seems nice and easy to use - doesn't seem to be a time limit either. Do feel free to answer the question as well - I'm just curious as to the result - I don't believe that I can see who responses came from since you don't have to register, but if I can, I won't be telling anyone.
If you need a quick yes/no survey then you might want to try Yarp. It's as simple as they come - add in your question, decide on the ye/no type of response from the options they give you, get the URL and then share it. No multiple choice etc - this is as bare bones as they come. That's both its strength and weakness of course. Here is my version, in case you want to see what one looks like. Feel free to try it out, or I'll feel like Billy NoMates when I go back in a few days to check! :)
Need to send large files? Try Dropsend and let it do the work for you. Nothing to download, install or register. Simply upload the file, tell Dropsend who it's for, and they do the rest, by sending them an email. You can send files of up to 4GB in size, which is very impressive.
Poster My Wall says of itself "The Best online Custom Poster and Photo Collage Maker" You can use it to make poster sized images, calendars, flyers and so on. There's a nice set of templates that go with it, backgrounds and stock photographs. They make their money by selling high quality downloads that you can take to a print shop to get made up for you. However, if you're just looking at digital stuff, or lower quality prints, it costs you nothing.
If you're looking to narrate some slides, PDFs, a Prezi, Google document and so on, you might want to consider Present.me. Upload some material, view it on the screen, edit what you're going to say, record it and then share it across social media. Free and commercial versions. Nice and simple.