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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 13:27

eduCanon is a really nice, simple and free tool that can be used to enhance the videos that you create. It's made by teachers for teachers. You can choose an existing video, bring it into the eduCanon dashboard, add in questions in various formats, choose the appropriate actions to use for the responses and you're ready to go.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Broadcasting - video, Education 2.0, Mul..."
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Date: Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 13:09

Twipho is a twitter photo search service. They find images on any search terms that you care to try. This does include adult material: I did a quick check, and there's no filtering option and no safe mode that I could see which does rather limit its use in for example a school environment. Consequently, don't just hit the 'search' box when it's empty, since they'll give you a random selection which could include NSFW material.

However, you can explore using keywords, locations and people to view images you'd normally never see. It's a really useful way to find images of whatever is in the news at the moment, and of course, once you've viewed the image you can click through to the original tweet. 

via twipho.net

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Twitter"
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Date: Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 12:47

There are lots of Twitter tools, and most of them are fairly underwhelming, but I'm very impressed with Twtrland. It's a free tool, and you just need to register and authorise it with Twitter, and once you've done that you get a whole host of really interesting information.

The overview of your profile tells you what your daily Twitter activity is, your popularity (tweet and RT ratio), and how communicative you are. There's a list of the main people that you interact with on Twitter, your most popular tweets and some key followers.

You can see an analysis of your account; audience, activity, amplification and engagement. There are some interesting insights - my tweets are generally seen by about 1, 011 people on average, out of a total of just under 9K followers. I also share about 14 links a week, and just under half of my tweets are replies to other people.

Followers is another useful category, and you can see who follows you, if they are celebrities, power users, casual or novice, and where they're from country wise. I can also quickly see who I spend most time in conversation with.

Demographics is based on your first 5K followers - if you have more, or want them all to be covered, you can pay for the professional version. However, you can see what the male/female ratio is (mine is 38% male, 62% female), age range, locations and cities. You can also see a couple of audience interests (mine are libraries and librarians) but you have to pay to see more.

You can also share your profile, so if you want to take a look and see what mine looks like, you're most welcome to. In summary, it's a nice tool, lots of interesting stuff, and if you want to know more about how your Twitter account ticks, this is a good tool to play with.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Twitter"
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Date: Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 12:04

MyTopTweet.com analyzes any Twitter account to show you their most retweeted tweets. They look at the past 3200 tweets sent by the account to show you their top 10 tweets. It does the job quickly and efficiently.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Twitter"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 14:30

For some people, this is a really big deal. They are desperate to keep tabs on who is following them, who they are following, who their friends are on Facebook and so on. If it's really important for you to know what the score is, there are two useful tools that you might want to consider using.

Twitter

There's a very simple tool called Friend or Follow. Simply log in with your Twitter credentials and it will tell you who you are following who is not following you back. You can then decide if you want to continue to follow them, or to unfollow them. Of course, this only works for those people that you're already following, but you may have plenty of people that follow you, but you don't follow them back. At which point, you want to consider using Who Unfollowed Me. This has both a free and a commercial version, and it keeps lots of details on following/ers. You need to be signed up for a while to get the details, so it only works on data collected after that, it's not retrospective. 

Alternatively, try Unfollowers which is free, covers Facebook as well, but also isn't retrospective. This one also tells you who you are following who is inactive (and gives you the chance to unfollow them) and fake accounts. I'm doubtful as to the accuracy of this element though, since it found a fair number of accounts from LIS folk, and although some of them haven't tweeted for a while, they're certainly not fake. (I did laugh however when I saw one biography in this section which said that the user was keen on following their interest in information and digital literacy and had tweeted 3 times!).

Qwitter does a similar job, but it sends you an email once a week with the bad news. There are plenty of other tools that do the same job, but how many of them are you going to want to use? My favourite (for what that's worth) was Unfollowers.

Facebook.

Trot along and register with Who Deleted Me on Facebook? Once again, it won't be retrospective, so you need to register with this service just before you post something outrageous, and then you can see the effect that it has. Alternatively, just add your Facebook account to Unfollowers and let it take care of the rest of it for you.

Alternatively of course, you could simply decide that you just don't care at all, life isn't long enough, and you just want to get on with the rest of your life! :)

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Facebook, Twitter"
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Smallpdf   New window
Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 10:26

A Free Solution to all your PDF Problems This is a very flexible little tool. It can:

  • Compress a pdf
  • Convert jpg to pdf
  • Convert pdf to jpg
  • Merge several pdfs into one
  • Split a pdf in two or more
  • Convert Word documents into a pdf
  • Convert an xls spreadsheet into a pdf
  • Convert Powerpoint slides into - yes, you guessed it, a pdf

Nice, simple and secure. And free - though donations would be kindly accepted. :)

 

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Miscellaneous: file formats"
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 16:55

Create simple buttons to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn and so on. Very quick and easy.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Images: buttons"
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 15:20

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!

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Collaboration: general resources"
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Date: Friday, 18 Jul 2014 14:53

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!

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Microblogging: Twitter et al, Twitter"
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 11:56

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Collaboration: presentations, Education ..."
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Date: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 15:12

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Miscellaneous: miscellaneous"
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Date: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 15:05

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Backups, Photographs: sharing/hosting"
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Date: Monday, 23 Jun 2014 11:35

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? :)

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Twitter"
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Date: Monday, 23 Jun 2014 11:28

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Twitter"
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Date: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 10:21

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:

 

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Education 2.0, Humour: images"
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Date: Monday, 16 Jun 2014 13:16

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."

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Collaboration: presentations"
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Date: Monday, 16 Jun 2014 13:09

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. 

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Collaboration: presentations"
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Date: Monday, 16 Jun 2014 13:01

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

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Collaboration: presentations"
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Listango   New window
Date: Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 11:05

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Webpages: bookmarking"
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Date: Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:32

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.

Author: "philipbradley" Tags: "Communication: send/copy files/data"
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