Category Archives: web site

Tuesday Two.Oh! 2.0 Suicide, tools for those of us who have had enough.

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! I’d like to welcome you guys back with a dose of reality. Sometimes people have just had it with the social networks (what!?!?!) and would like to live a simple, un-pokeable life. Today we’re going to talk about a site that will help you do that without having to go through any lengthy de-registration process. Today we’ll be talking about The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.

From the site: “Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alterego. The machine is just a metaphor for the website which moddr_ is hosting; the belly of the beast where the web2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our service currently runs with Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and LinkedIn! Commit NOW!”

While I like the idea of committing web 2.0 suicide, I’m just not ready to do that yet. So, I decided to create some dummy accounts. Here we have 123FakeTweet (My humble homage to The Simpsons), and Zee Zee Jacobs (I’m going to go with Flamenco Dancer on this one).

So, to kill my fake Twitter and Facebook accounts I need to select which social network is going to drink the kool-aid.

Then, the logo of your hated social network will appear in the circle in the middle of the screen.

Then all you have to do is “Commit” and enter your user name to start the process.

And here is where I started running into problems. At first I could not get the 2.0 Suicide Machine to even take my account information (you can’t hit enter more than once), and I would get a message saying that their suicide booths (here “machines”) were currently busy and to try again later.

So, I tried again later with Zee Zee’s account. And….SOMETHING HAPPENED! It actually accepted Zee Zee’s account.

Be Forewarned, if you want to watch your social network life die, you need Flash Player 10.

Zee Zee went from the famous no-face on her Facebook account to this:

I am imagining that if I check back later it’s possible that the profile will have been deleted. I did not upload the pink noose picture, which leads me to believe that the 2.0 Suicide Machine was successful in accessing my account- at least on some level.

I have not been so lucky with 123FakeTweet. Maybe it’s an omen, and I’ll keep it. It wasn’t meant to die. We shall see.

Overall, I thought the site had a fun, albeit slightly kafkaesque feel to it, it had it’s fair share of problems. The more often you try to kill your online alter-ego, the less the 2.0 Suicide Machine seems to work. If you do decide to take that plunge, please let me know if it was worth it.

*Poke!*

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for the Social You (and me).

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 a tool that puts you out there: you can represent your pictures, your music, your tweets! Anything, really, provided you belong to the included social networks. And, as a bright spot, this Tuesday Two.Oh! goes out by request for a lovely friend of mine. Hopefully it’ll be the tour you’ve always wanted! 😉 And to the rest of you, enjoy enjoy enjoy! Let’s take a look at Flavors.me.

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I could not find them on Twitter.

They don’t have an “about us” page, per se, but you can learn a bit about what they’re all about by looking at the homepage.

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There isn’t a lot of initial “depth” to the site- but it is what you make it. Essentially, from what I could see, Flavors.me is all about what you want to display to the world. If you’d like a great tour, check out their video posted on Vimeo.

The first thing you need to do is sign up for an account. If you need a hint, look here. Signing up could not be easier.

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Once you’ve gotten an account, you need to set up your identity.

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Once you’ve accounted for your basic information, you choose which social networks you would like to represent on Flavors.me.3

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One interesting thing, you can’t “flavor” your tweets unless you have them unlocked. So when I entered my twitter handle, I got:

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No big deal! I protect them for a reason, so threading them on Flavors.me wasn’t exactly high priority. I do wonder how google might search the content on your Flavors.me, though. If you protect your facebook under layers of blockage, will connecting them here lead to pictures or other information being shared in a fashion you might not want it to? At any rate, as with anything, protect yourself on the web.

I did go back to see what Facebook information was linked, and there appear to be holes in what’s displayed on Flavors.me. So, if you protect your Facebook, it appears that only things you don’t protect will show up.

Once you’ve chosen to connect to the various networks (I chose Last.fm and Facebook) you’ll be given your blank Flavors.me page.

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From here, you can sort of take it anywhere. You can upload an image, play with the font, change themes. Though, I thought changing themes was a little more annoying than it had to be- but overall, it was still very easy. You can change the orientation of your information, the placement of your picture, and basically create anything you want within the confines of the page.

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Your information will appear once you or the user clicks on the (+) button. My last.fm appears like so:

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My facebook like so:

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It seems like only pictures from facebook are linked. The music that shows on my last.fm feed are probably correct- it’s been awhile since I synced.

Overall, I found it to be an interesting and fun site to use, but I’m not all that convinced of it’s usefulness. That said, I’m willing to be convinved. I suppose you could send a link to this site to your internet-wary parents who may just want to be checking up on you in one place as opposed to on several different networks.

Have you used Flavors.me? What do you think? Comments and thoughts are welcome!

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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 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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Tuesday Two.Oh! The home-buying edition!

I’m sorry, folks! Due to the fact that I’m buying a house, and turning 30 (yes, on the same day!) there will be no Tuesday Two.Oh! today. However, I will leave you with some real estate related 2.0 sites to check out.

In no specific order, please enjoy:

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From the site
: “We aim to be a delightfully smart partner when you are looking to buy a home. The smart part should help you find your dream home (or at least the dream home within your budget) and arm you with data and information about local real estate (without too much work). The delightful part should make you smile and keep you coming back.”

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From the site:”HotPads strives to build the most comprehensive, interactive marketplace of real estate and location-based services, presented with an innovative user interface and a memorable brand.”

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From the site:”Our roots go back almost 6 years but unlike many new “real estate technology” companies we are not trying to change the business model, but rather provide the technology to augment an existing one. Over the years we’ve worked very closely with agents and companies both large and small, providing the technology to support their core business, selling homes. Our goal is to “Empower the real estate professional” and as an extension empower the consumer. We don’t believe in placing additional barriers between the consumer and the agent.”

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From the site
:”Zillow.com is an online real estate service dedicated to helping you get an edge in real estate by providing you with valuable tools and information.”

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From the site
:”Homethinking is an online service that helps home owners choose the most remarkable neighborhood real estate agents to sell their house. We measure performance by monitoring real estate transactions to know which houses each real estate agent has sold, for how much and how long on average it took them to do so. There are also user reviews by home owners who have sold their house with the particular agent that helps determine the rank of them. If you’d like to know more, read our manifesto and why the decision to engage a real estate agent is possibly the most financially significant you will make.”

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for fun.

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’re going to have some fun. I am not going to be able to post next week- or at least that’s what I’m thinking right now. For now, let’s take a little bit of time to take a look at Friv.

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Friv is extremely easy to use- and it’s all about currently popular flash games. The site consists of small picture previews of the game, which you click on to get to the embedded version in Friv. Then play. It really is that simple. Your choices are any of the 264 games currently featured on the site. I’ve used Games.Com in the past, and this is more visually pleasing and has a (in my opinion) better and easier interface than Games.Com.

Games are set up like this:

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You just click on the picture and start playing the game:

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On just one game I noticed ads during the load time, but they were not intrusive.

So, get out there and have some fun killing time. I enjoyed this site- especially since this time in the semester is busy busy busy!

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Building Web Forms.

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 a site that helps you create web forms. I know that a lot of you out there are very good at html, but for those of us who might be a bit….rusty, a site like this will help us to create something that looks good as well as being functional. Let’s take a look at Wufoo.

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Find them on Twitter.

When I was working for NSU I thought a lot about web forms. The librarians there disliked email contact, but I kept thinking that a web form with a report would be a good way to go. I wanted our patrons to be able to go to our site, fill out a form with their research question, and have it counted, sorted and archived as well as answerable. If the questioner fills out a form, it would be easy for a group of librarians to route it to the correct research professional.

Currently, however, I no longer have the need to create an online reference form. We are interested in creating a course reserve request sheet, and that’s what I’ve experimented with while using Wufoo.

Overall, the site was extremely easy to use and navigate. The first thing you might want to concern yourself with if you’re interested is site pricing.

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There is a free account option, but I definitely think that if your institution is interested in using this site, one of the paid accounts would be optimal. Sign up was very simple, with no need to check your email for a confirmation link. Simply fill in the information and you can begin building your web form.

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The site has some humorous qualities, and I enjoyed that as I went through.

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Creating the form was extremely easy. Essentially any user of the site (who doesn’t know CSS) will have a basic template to work off of- and I use the phrase “template” loosely. Essentially, you can create whatever kind of form you would like. The site allows for complete manipulation of page elements. Simply use their drag-and-drop interface and you will have created a unique form. Keep in mind, though, if you choose a free account as I have done, the form has a limited amount of fields that can be entered.

Your choice menu for page elements will look like this:

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Which you drag and drop to get something like this:

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From here you will edit what each element says. This will be where you can add directions for the user if something on your form is a little more complicated than “yes or no.”

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One of the things that I appreciate most about the set up to these elements was the option to require a response from your form-taker. For instance, if we decide to use Wufoo to build a Course Reserve Request sheet, we will require the professor to fill out the course information, because without it the request would not make any sense. So, when submitting an unfinished form, the site would send a pop-up asking that the user finish all required fields, hopefully eliminating error and time spent tracking down this information.

When you have finished adding and editing all of the form elements, save your form. You will get a pop-up that will tell you that your form has saved and that you can either return for more editing, check out the sharing options, or quit. Since I’m interested in sharing my Course Reserve document, I clicked on sharing.

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To share your document in Wufoo, you do actually have a lot of options. From a weblink you can copy/paste into email to embedding code to put it on your website. There are also mobile/emailing options to share your web form.

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Also, you can choose how to receive notifications that your form has been filled out.

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Now we’ll move on to the only part of the site that I found frustrating: adding pizazz to your web form. There is a “themes” tab that you’ll see at the top of your screen, and the creation of a them is easy enough. What I found a little frustrating is figuring out how to apply it. But, first let’s take a look at how to build a theme.

Pick a heading image, which will appear live in the preview screen below.

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Then, choose a background.

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There are a lot of other options you can choose while setting up your theme like “shading” and “highlighting.” I really didn’t mess around with all of that too much, but the set up of your options is pretty straight forward. I enjoyed the creation interface here.

The problem I ran into was trying to figure out how to apply my created whale theme (which I named “Busy Busy Whale) to my already created web form. Luckily this moment of confusion and several minutes spent clicking from my form to my theme lead me to the extremely well put together help wiki.

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Keep in mind, that help screen might only be accessible through your own account setup.

The next step is to get your user to fill out the form. Go ahead and fill mine out if you would like.

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When someone has filled out your form, you will get a notification in whatever form you had chosen previously. You’ll click on the link and head back to your homepage, where it will show that a new response has come in and that you are able to look at it.

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All of the answers:

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Take a look at my finished product here.

In closing, I really do think there is a lot of potential for this site to be used in libraries as well as other business entities. Students might even be able to mold the options here to conduct surveys for classes. I felt that the site was easy to use, and though I did run into some confusion their help page was excellent. And there’s nothing better than a well put together help page.

One drawback that I saw would have to be the limitations of their free account- but they are a business and they are offering a product. When I spoke with my colleague about using this site potentially to solicit course reserve requests we wondered if 100 responses were enough to meet our course reserve demands. In this economy it’s hard to justify a small expense in order to ease life when the “way it works now” does actually work. I’m interested to see how people have been applying this tool. If you use it or have any ideas, I welcome your input.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcomed and encouraged.

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