Monthly Archives: November 2009

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for your Taste Buds.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be taking a look at a tool for all you food lovers out there. I wanted to feature something fun for Thanksgiving, and when I stumbled across this site I thought it would fit in perfectly. You can use this site to find new recipies by ingrediant, or browse though vivid and beautiful pictures to choose your next kitchen challenge. I also stumbled upon a restaurant review while clicking around this site. Let’s take a look at Tastespotting.

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Find them on Twitter.

From the site: “Founded on the idea that we eat first with our eyes, TasteSpotting is our obsessive, compulsive collection of eye-catching images that link to something deliciously interesting on the other side. Think of TasteSpotting as a highly visual potluck of recipes, references, experiences, stories, articles, products, and anything else that inspires exquisite taste.”

The first thing that I like about this website is the color and pictures. It’s literally a feast for the eyes, if you pardon the cliche!

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The page is mostly set up as illustrated above: pictures, with short descriptions beneath them. I think that featuring the pictures like this is smart- it draws the viewer/reader in, and makes clicking almost unavoidable.

Once you’ve narrowed in on something that looks interesting….

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…say yummy looking little bread turtles, you can click on the picture to be directed to the page on which the recipe appears. For instance, the turtle recipe comes from a blog named Diamonds for Dessert.

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Some pictures will link to restaurant reviews:

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on blogs like this:

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You can use the search feature on the site to find recipes that include certain ingrediants. For instance, I searched for “persimmons” and came up with this result:

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If you sign up for an account with the site you can submit recipes and mark favorites. I thought the marking is a good though, and won’t clutter up your social bookmarking or browser bookmarks. The sign up was quick and easy.

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There is a lot to experience, recipe wise, on Tastespotting. As represented below, there are too many pages to just scroll through. Enjoy this site, and maybe take home a few ideas for Thanksgiving.

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All in, I liked this site. The one thing I thought might be lacking was some sort of automatic filtering; meaning, if I could set up a search, and any time a recipe came in matching my preset requirements, I got an email. That would be a nice addition to the site. Other than that the site really does do what it sets out to do.

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools to fit your Mood.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be looking at a site that’s…well, it’s probably better experienced than it is toured. I’ll go ahead and give you a walk through, but I think that the best way to get to know this site is to click around it yourself. It’s not a very “deep” site layer-wise, but it’s definitely interesting and different. Let’s take a look at Moodstream.

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I couldn’t seem to find Moodstream on Twitter, but Getty Images is there.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you click on the site are the pictures and the music. Both of these things are copyrighted, with a pretty hefty terms-of-use policy. That said, I ended up speaking with a representative of the company about featuring the site here, and he was extremely helpful. So, thanks again, Erik.

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The basic gist of the site is to give you an option to choose which mood you would like to listen to and watch. The pictures will sort of correspond with the music- which instead of being driven by genre, is driven by “mood” which you can choose by sliding the menu around.

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To make it easier on the user, Moodstream has a “Preset” Wheel from which you can choose moods. I thought this was a pretty handy feature, as I wasn’t sure how “happy” might correspond with “calm.” But choosing the presets gives you insight as to how the creators of the site would like to use their own creation.

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You can use this menu:

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to keep certain channels, or Moodboards, that you create.

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The Moodboards will not remain if you navigate away from the site, but will if you sign in with an account. I didn’t sign up for an account in this instance, but it’s easy enough to do.

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All in, Moodstream is a really interesting web goodie. I don’t really know the practical use for it, but it’s visually interesting and musically intriguing. It took me a little while to figure out how I might want to use the site- and the one thing I keep going back to is having it on while there’s a dinner party. It would be really cool back ground stuff. I’m not sure how it would work on the job, if only because I need to be looking at other things both on the web and off. So the visual element would render itself pointless.

At any rate, I really do suggest that you check it out. It’s cool and fun, and I really dug it.

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Telling Stories.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll take a look at collaborative story telling on the web. I really enjoyed this tool- I recently was asked to be a Godmother to a friends’ first child. Unfortunately, these loved people live in Hawaii, and as I find myself in Oklahoma it will be difficult to be a close part of my little God Daughter’s early years. And likewise, my husband lives a long way from his niece in Maine, and this could be a good tool to encourage communication between family members. Let’s take a look at Storybird.

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Find them on Twitter. (http://twitter.com/Storybird)

About us: a peek inside Storybird on Storybird

One of the things I immediately enjoyed about Storybird was the simple and easy-to-understand clickable interface. The site is so incredibly visual that it’s easy and intuitive to click around the site and build a story.

First things first. Signing up for the site requires very little information. I created a username, entered a working email address and chose a password.

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From there you can begin creating your story. However, you might want to spend some time browsing other stories that users of Storybird have already written. The thing to remember here is that you don’t have to make your story public. It can be a private story, and according to the site propaganda, you should be able to print these stories in the future. I imagine that the art copyright might be a problem, and it will be interesting to see how they solve that challenge.

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Once you’ve gotten a feel for how the site works by looking at other Storybird’s, you can click on “create” to start your own. The first step it to select pre-loaded art that appeals to you (artists join the site and upload art for users to put in their Storybirds).

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Having chosen your art, you can choose a theme if you choose to.

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The art I chose for my first Storybird was created by Victoria Usova.

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When an image strikes you, you can choose to use it in your Storybird. Once you have chosen a particular artist, you will have to choose pieces of her art for the rest of the story. It’s an interesting endeavor, as the options of pictures sort of drive your story.

The single problem that I encountered was that I never realized that I was supposed to create a title page/cover until after I was done with the story. It could be that I just missed the “C” icon at the bottom of the page, but when I went to publish my finished Storybird it said I couldn’t until I created a title page. It took me awhile to find the space to create it, but it’s there. When you make your own, try to click on the “C” at the bottom so you don’t run into the same speed bump.

Below is a preview of what it is like to create in Storybird.

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When you have finished creating your Storybird, you’ll be prompted to add your metadata.

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Then you will have your finished Storybird.

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In closing, I thought this site was adorable. For those with creative kids, or family strewn about the country, this could be a fun and interactive way to stay involved as well as to inspire creativity. I liked the site, and thought that it was fun and easy to use.

As always, leave thoughts and comments if you are inspired to do so.

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