Category Archives: blog

Snagit Image Capture

I was asked what I use to capture some of the images on my Blog posts. I use TechSmith’s Snagit software.

 It has several effects that help with the image capture. The drop shadow effect I use on almost all of my images as it gives that 3D effect. It has a wide range of capture options. Including full screen, window or selected area. It also works on web pages and video.

Digg What?

So you may be wondering what these Digg This buttons are on my blogs. Digg.com is a web site that has become hugely popular over the last 6 months. How it works, is people post news stories, then people vote or ‘digg it’. The stories with the most Diggs usually is including in their weekly podcast. From a blogging perspective, this can drive a lot of traffic. When you hit the Digg button next to my posting, you are casting a vote for the post. It will get posted on the Digg site, where others will see it. If they Digg it as well you will see the counter go up. All of this will drive more traffic to my blog.(if you want to add the Digg buttons to your blog, check out http://ottodestruct.com/wpstuff/diggImplementor.zip )

So Digg away…

Online Web Applications I Use

I have noticed that more and more I am turning to online applications as opposed to desktop applications. As I work on 3 different computers; work, home and notebook, it just makes things much easier. There is no synchronization required, everything is just there when you open it and you can start where you left off. Here are some of the applications I use to keep myself organized.

First there is 2Go SyncIT. This is a small application that runs in your system tray. It automatically will synchronize your Bookmarks in real time as you add or delete them. This is one of those amazing applications that you never know is there and simply works all the time. I posted about it a couple of months ago. They also have some other great features that saved my butt once. Somehow my favorites folder got corrupted and I lost all of my bookmarks. The downside of having all your bookmarks synchronized is that if you lose them all on one PC, you lose them on all PCs. Now I don’t know about you, but my favorites have evolved over the past 5+ years. I emailed 2Go and asked if there was some way for me to retrieve my bookmarks; all 700+ of them. Turns out that one of the standard features of the product is that it keeps all deleted bookmarks from the last 30 days. I just went into their utilities and restored all of my bookmarks.

Next is keeping track of To Do’s. For simple lists I use Ta-da. This simple application allows me to keep multiple lists. I can add the different todo lists to my Links folder in my bookmarks. I also did a post on this. This allows quick access from any computer when the thought strikes me. I use this for personal todo’s for work around the house (this list is shared with my wife…not sure that was a good idea 🙂 and for blog topics. Since I use the SyncIT program above, when I add a todo list on one computer, it is replicated on all of my computers.

Another new offering in this simple todo list application is WallNote. This application is both an online app. and a desktop app. at the same time. What it does is reads your todo list online and keeps a list on your desktop wallpaper.

Ta-da is great for simple todo lists. For lists that are a little more complicated there is activecollab. This is an open source, on line mini-project manager.

One of the other online apps that I have been using is Bloglines for my RSS feeds. As you can see in my toolbar above I have 2 links in my bookmarks. One is for adding a new feed to Bloglines and the other is for reading my feeds. Bloglines also has some other features for bloggers. if you notice down the right side of my blog, there is a section called Blogroll. This lists all of the feeds that I read. Bloglines makes it easy to quickly scan a large number of feeds. As it is an online app. when I read a post on one computer, it is flagged as read. So when I pull up my list at home, I only see new posts.

One of the new online apps. I am going to try is the new meebo online instant messenger. Everyone knows about instant messengers. Yahoo, MSN, AOL all have their own version. With meebo, you can login to all 3 at the same time and never have to install any software on your computer. This is great for users who work at companies who have locked down their systems, or Internet Cafes.

Sociable Tags

What is this at the bottom of all the posts?

Co.mments–del.icio.us–Digg–Furl–Newsvine–RawSugar–Reddit–My Yahoo

Looking back on my post about Web 2.0. I talked about the social aspect of the new Web. There are several sites that now share or link to blog posts. On some sites users vote on the top story. On others it is posted as news articles. The end goal is to build traffic to your blog.

So try clicking on one of the icons below.

Tags: co.mments, , , furl, newsvine, rawsugar, , myYahoo

IN.ovation Accepted by Blogburst

BlogBurst.com I received the email confirmation that I was accepted by Blogburst. Blogburst is a publishing/syndication service. They syndicate many blogs to newspapers across the US such as The Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle. When a post is used, you get a byline added in the publication. So I’m asking everyone for help. Send me post topics. Some of the upcoming posts I’m working on: Building traffic for your Blog Opinions on downloading music Staying organized with MS Outlook Do you have a Terabyte at home? So what technology do you want to know about? Click on the Comment link below and let me know.


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What is Web 2.0, Part II

This post will cover the second part of What is Web 2.0. The rich user interface. I believe the first wide user experience to this was the new Google maps. These maps use a programming language called AJAX. Which is a combination of Java Scripts and XML. The key point about AJAX is that you no longer need to reload the whole page, each time something changes. Previously, on MapQuest for example, if you wanted to move the map, you had to reload the whole page, which can take time. With Google maps, you simply grab the map and move it. AJAX is quickly becoming the standard for web development. Where it gets really interesting, is that suddendly, you can have a web page act just like an application on your computer. To see more of this technology here are some of the more popular Web 2.0 sites.

Backpack by 37 signals is a project management and todo list tracker.

If you really want to see the power of AJAX, check out Protopage. You can customize a personal homepage by dragging and dropping right on the screen. Give it a try it is remarkable what you can do.

Microsoft has noticed this trend and are developing their Live platform of Web services. They have a long list of services that have been coming out quickly. By using the Web as the platform, development is very fast.There is also another reason for Microsoft’s focus on the Web as a platform. First, there has been speculation for some time that Google is coming out with an online Office platform. The recent purchase of Writely (an online word processor) by Google added to this speculation. Mary J. Foley also speculates on her blog that going to the Web platform also helps Microsoft on the legal front. As there will no longer be issues with what they bundle together.

The other trend you are seeing with Web 2.0 applications is Mashups. The unique characteristic of AJAX is that it is an open language. Because it uses scripts, anyone can look at the source code of an application. Therefore it is easy to take Google Maps and mashup the map with a listing of apartment rentals and create a web site called Housingmaps.com.

So getting back to the original question. What is Web 2.0. It is open source, coopetition, cooperation, social networking. And to coin a popular description of Web 2.0 it is Folksonomy!