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Review: WordPress launched a poll feature

I think everyone was waiting for this specially those that host their blog on WP. You can now create polls in WP using Poll Daddy. When you're writing a post, you will see an orange icon on the toolbar for Polls.



If you don't have a Poll Daddy account, you will be prompted to create one the first time you access it.







You can also manage your polls in the Manage section.



And for those that have an account with them you will be able to import your polls.

After this post was published WP is allowing you to add a poll on a sidebar. All you have to do is get the poll link and paste it in a text box. Now you might have to play with the sizing... but PollDaddy does have a custom poll feature that allows you to create your own look and feel and size.

This was a long time waiting and I'm glad WP launched it so kudos for WP.

How do you like the WP poll feature?

VS: Bookmarks vs Red Delicious App

If you're like me and do a lot of research then you are a big fan of Social Bookmarking. My favorite
site is Delicious and I was happy to see the Delicious app appear in my apps store some time ago.

The app that I was using is called Bookmarks, and it's free. You can program your Delicious username and password, and it will display all yours tags. By just touching the tag name, the websites you have tagged are displayed and you can navigate to the website by of course, touching the name of the site on the screen. Download it to try it out, it's free.

The app was working fine for me but then last night I decided to visit the app store which I had not done for a while and I noticed another app called Red Delicious. The icon is the same as Delicious, the only difference is that they blue area in the Delicious logo is red. If you're buying through iTunes, the app is filed in the Social Networking category which is different from the Bookmarks app which is filed under the Utilities category.

The Red Delicious app is only $1.99 and I think it's worth every penny. To start, as soon as you open the app a list of the most recent tags you used appear. At the bottom of the screen you have your standard icons to navigate to Recent, Bookmarks, Search, Features, and More....

The app defaults to the Recent screen which again displays the most recent tags used which are linked to the most recent sites you've bookmarked.

My favorite thing is the search, I'm a Googler at heart and search for me is very important and it works very well. The Featured screen shows you the featured bookmarked sites on Delicious which is another great feature of this app. Download it now.

There is another app called "My Delicious" which looks very similar to Red Delicious. This one I haven't tried because it's another $1.99 and I read in the reviews a lot of complaints on the app crashing.

By looking at it on iTunes, it has the Bookmark screen which shows you the sites you've bookmarked, including the title, notes, and tags which I like. It also has the search feature but that is all I see. This one is filed in the Productivity category. Download it now.

Have you used any of these apps? if so, share your reviews or any other app you're using to bookmark.


Review: A graphical interpretation of your website.


This site is great for developers, it creates a graphical representation of your website. It's like looking into the soul of your website and spilling your guts. All you do is enter your website URL and it will instantly start creating a graphic. The colors in the graphic represent the links, tables, and other html tags you have in the website. This gives a developer a picture of how many html tags they have in their code and they can make changes accordingly.


Here is a graphic of one of my sites:



What do the colors mean?
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

The site is: http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/

You can see my site graphics on my
Flickr page.

If you create a graphic for your website, add it to Flickr and tag it as websitesasgraphs. You can view other website graphics by searching for that tag.
If you've used this service before post the graphic url below and share it with us.


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Making How To Videos for Free with Jing Project

A friend reminded me the other day about Jing Project and I'm glad she did. Some months ago this software was on beta and It was not available to download. Yesterday when my friend reminded me of this I went ahead and download it to try to out.

I don't know how may people use Camtasia Studio or SnagIt but anyways Jing Project is from the makers of these two applications and also of Screencast.com which makes using this new application even better.

When you download Jing Protect you automatically get a free acount with 2GB of storage on Screencast.com which is more than you get if you sign up for a free account on their site.
With Jing Project you can create videos with audio and annotate screen captures. You can post your content on your website, and share through e-mail or IM. The good thing is that everything gets stored in your Screencast.com account. That's not saying you can't store your content in other places because you do have that option.

To share any content, you can click on the History icon that gives you access to all your content thus making it easier to share anything you need to.

Oh but did I mention, it's FREE.

Have you use it? Tell us your experience with Jing Project.

What to look for in iPhone download sites

As a result of the iPhone launch, many free download sites have popped up that allow for downloading copyrighted material. It is best to avoid these sites as I am sure you do not want the authorities knocking on your door.
However, there are iPhone download membership sites that provide an excellent alternative to itunes. The problem is determining which of these iPhone sites provides the best service.
Here are some tips to help.

1. Per iPhone Download Fee vs. One-Time Fee

Many iPhone sites will offer free membership, but then charge you for each file you download, 99 cents or $1.99. If you love your music as much as me, this can get very expensive. Sites that charge a one-time fee are the way to go. You will save a lot of money in the long run.

2. iPhone Music Download Variety

It is true what they say: Variety is the spice of life. You probably want to find an iPhone download site that offers files from all genres of music.

3. File Selection for Movies, TV, and other Media
Having access to a lot of files is perhaps the most important thing to look for if you want to get your money's worth! Fortunately, most iPhone download sites have overwhelmingly large databases that range in 100,000,000 files. Also, make sure the site you are looking at offers music, movies, tv shows, games, and software, not just music. Remember, we are trying to get the most for our money!

4. Website Interface
This is an important feature because the easier a website is to navigate, the easier it will be for you to find what you are looking for. Although you can't see the member's area until you sign-up, you can get a good idea just by browsing around the non-member's area of the site.

5. Free iPhone Software for File Compatibility
A quality iPhone download site should provide you with free software to help you in downloading those movies and MP3s. They should also provide free converting software for files that need to be converted to play on the iphone.

6. Fast iPhone Download Speeds

Does the site offer fast download speeds? Some sites with small servers will put a limit on download speeds in order to allow more people to connect. Look for sites that do not have any such limits.

7. Safety of Files

When downloading anything off the internet, there is always a risk of the files being infected with spyware, adware, or viruses. The best iPod download sites will screen all their files before you download them. Additionally, you may want to have adware scanning software on your computer before you sign up. This is a great back-up just in case any corrupted files slip through the cracks.

8. Reputation
Does the iPhone download site have a good reputation? You can judge this by the credentials they list on their site and through various iPhone related forums.

9. 24/7 Customer Support

Customer Support is a very important thing. The best iPhone download sites will have an extensive FAQ (frequently asked questions) section that covers most common questions. However, don't hesitate to contact a site with a question to determine how long it takes them to respond and in what manner. They should respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. If not, you may want to consider another service.

10. Secure Payment Processing

This usually is not a problem, as most online merchants accept payments through Paypal, Clickbank, or another trusted source. With these companies, you do not have to worry about anyone reading or accessing your personal information.

Did you find this information helpful? This is a site I recommend for the best unlimited iPhone Downloads at the lowest cost.

Review: Very cool instant Twitter chat - Roomatic

Just a quick post to tell you about a really cool app. Roomatic is an application that allows you to have instant chats on Twitter. All you have to do is sign in using your Twitter username, search for the topic of your choice, and you're own your way.

This is a very creative way to keep up to date on hot topics... just read quick, the hotter the topic the faster the chat goes. What I like the most is that it works great with the iPhone :)

If you're addicted to Twitter then I wouldn't recommend this one. For more information visit Roomatic.


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I love my iPhone....

It's funny how we can say "I love my ......" and it's referring to an object. What does it take to make
some one say this about an object? Well that's the reason I decided to start writing articles about it. In every post I will write a little bit about something that makes me love my iPhone more and more. It can be a feature on the phone, an app, a tip, or just the simple fact that it makes my life a little easier by allowing me to perform functions that I could usually only do on my computer.

Let me start with this. My biggest fear used to be losing my wireless connection until I got my iPhone. A couple of days ago I was without wireless and it was like nothing had happen because I was still connected via iPhone. Of course, there are a couple of things I can't do on the iPhone but they are very minimal. In the other hand there are lots of things I can do to keep myself entertained and these are the things that I focus on.

So that's it for now.....

Why do you love your iPhone?


Review: Visual Search Engine - Searchme

In my quest for finding new and cool tools to use I ran into this visual search engine called "Searchme". I'm known by my coworkers as the Certified Googler because I'm a search fanatic. I don't rely on my memory anymore, why if you have Google? And now Searchme?

Unfortunately for Google, Searchme does something they don't. They return visual results which makes them very unique. After entering your search terms, Searchme returns the following:

The first search result is displayed in the middle of the page, and the others are located to the right. You can view the other results in three ways; by clicking on the result image, on one of the blue arrows below the main result, or by using the slider.

Now you're probably saying but how can I know which sites these are if I don't see a URL? Well Searchme has taking care of that as well. You can view the site's URL by using the mouseover functionality and to visit the site you click the image.

You can also click on the arrow below the slider to display the results in a Google manner.


They also have a new feature which let's you save and stack your own results. View this video to see how this feature works.



Have you used Searchme? What is your review on it?


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Social Traffic Network Training Videos

The other day I received an offer that I couldn't pass, and I think you won't be able to pass yourself. As you know, Web 2.0 applications are taking over the internet and their life span is not short. They are here to stay and those of us that want to succeed on the Internet will need to get on board or else we will be left back.

The new opportunity I have for you is a collection of Social Traffic Network Training videos that will teach you how to use the top social networks which is what you really need to understand before you can incorporate them in your business. Not only will you be able to use them for yourself but they also include Private Label rights so you can brand them instantly and even resell them if you want.

These are just some of the videos you will find and every month 3 more videos are added:
  • Del.icio.us
  • Bebo
  • MySpace
  • Digg
  • Google video
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Stumble Upon
  • Reddit
  • Ning
  • Squidoo
  • LinkedIn
  • 43Things
  • Fotolog
  • Multiply
  • Meet up
Membership includes, instant access to all of the videos, and 3 more brand new videos each month. Videos come in Flash and Windows Media Files for Private Label Rights members so hurry and claim your membership today.
Now if you still need help deciding which Web 2.0 services to use visit our Web 2.0 Applications Review Wiki in which I explain and review Web 2.0 applications that I've used. Stop by and join our wiki and even add your reviews, why not it's free.

How to set up your own Social Network with Ning

Ning is an online platform that allows its users to create their own Social Network and join Social Networks created by other members within the site. This service is free and very easy to use. This online platform has pretty much the same features as other Social Networks such as MySpace and Facebook. Some of the features available are blogs, forums, groups, and of course you can add videos, photos, widgets and profile customization. By creating your own Social Network you can build an online community of people who share the same interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.

You can use it to:

  • Engage coworkers, friends, and family
  • Connect to other departments within your organization and globally
  • Post projects and project team members so the entire company is kept informed
  • Allow individual blogging, discussions, groups
  • Share videos, photos, and messaging
  • Socially-engage - interact with others that have similar interests
Here is a video that gives you a quick look on how to set up your own Social Network in Ning.

video
Ning also offers some premium services such as domain name, remove Ning promotional links, remove ads or control the ads that appear on your site, and space and bandwidth upgrades for a small fee.
This is a great service, and if you're looking to start your own Social Network I really recommend you look into Ning.
Ning anyone?

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Top List: My Top 10 Favorite Web 2.0 Services

For those of you that don't know me I'm a huge web 2.0 fan and spend most of my free time playing around with new tools. There are so many services out there and a lot of them do the same that sometimes you don't know which one you should use. So I've decided to share my can't live without sites with you, and give you at least one reason why I prefer these services to help you out.

Here I go by category:

Blogs
Blogger - To me this is by far the best blogging service and it's not because I have a free hosted blog. Other blogging services (like WP) restrict you from customizing the look and feel and also don't let you add a lot of cool things available through widgets or code.

Social Bookmarking
Delicious - I use to be a Favorite's fanatic until I discovered Delicious... no more browser favorites for me. This social bookmarking service is easy to use and very convenient. The only thing I didn't like was the site design and they just redesigned it. Looks great, kudos to the designers at Delicious. By the way, feel free to add me to your network.

Wikis
WetPaint - If you need a Wiki I highly recommend this service. They have several features that other wikis don't have. For example, when you create new pages they automatically appear in the navigation, you can create sub-pages from the start, they have a photo gallery, it looks very professional, and if it's an educational wiki they remove the ads for free. You can check out one of my wikis to see what I mine - Web 2.0 Applications review or Cynthia Medina.

Microblogging
Twitter - The first time I heard of microblogging I asked myself "why would I do that?" Well let me tell you that the best resources I've gotten have been through Twitter. This is the best way of keeping up with your network, news, friends and family. You can Twitter using your computer or phone which makes this service very addictive. You can follow me on Twitter.

Social Networks
Hum - It's hard for me to pick a favorite in this category. I'm in several social networks because the people I keep up with are completely different. I use Facebook to keep up with siblings and coworkers, MySpace for friends in the U.S, HI5 for childhood friends and cousins in the Dominican Republica, and Ning for work related communities. Now if I go by the features I would go with MySpace hands down because just like blogger they are not restrictive and I like to put my creativity to work. I also like Ning, they actually let you create your own social network for free, and it's very easy to set up.

Video Sharing
YouTube - Do I have to explain?

Readers
Google Reader - The application looks like an e-mail inbox which makes it easier to use, and most of the RSS widgets have their one step icon for subscribing.

Online Photo Sharing
Here I have to admit I've been using Shutterfly way before all these other sites were launched and I still use it. They just finally added a community feature to it so I'm a little excited. It's hard to change photo sites after you've been saving your pictures for years some where else. Now from the newest sites, I like Photobucket and Flickr. These two sites just make sharing so easy, they have lots a cool features, and you can embed your pictures in other web 2.0 sites in a few clicks.

Photo Editing
Picnik - Why pay so much money for Photoshop when you can do a lot of photo editing online, for free and without having to download anything. You can also edit pictures that you have saved on other online photo sharing sites.

Creating movies
Animoto - You can create free movies using up to 10 pictures, and you can add music and credits to it. They also have a paying option for larger movies which you can also download and save on your computer. What I like is that your pictures appear to the beat of the music and they look very professional. They also have their own music selection but you can also add your own which is a great feature as well.

For more services and reviews you can visit my Web 2.0 Applications Review wiki.

OK, these are my can't live without sites, what are yours?


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Top List: My Top 10 favorite Google Products


Am I the only one that thinks everything that Google develops is awesome? I'm not saying this because I really want to work there (my dream job), it's just that I really think they know what they are doing.

Not only are they developing great products but they make them available to the public for free, what a concept? Another great thing about their products is the ease of use. You can pretty much figure out their more complex products in a couple of hours and that's with some bells and whistles. OK, I know. Enough about the company let me tell you what my top 10 favorite products are.

Google Search - What can't you find using their search engine? You can also create your own custom search tailored to your needs.

Blogger - This is my favorite blogging service because of the ease of use and it's not restrictive. You can customize pretty much anything and add almost anything to your blog, actually I have yet to find a restriction.

Google Analytics - Great way of tracking your site's hits, referring sites, keyword search and visitors in general.

Google Docs - No more spending hundreds of dollars on Ms Office for your home computers, do I need to say more?

Google Alerts - If you're researching a subject this is the best tool you can use to receive the latest updates on that subject.

Google Sites - excellent collaboration application and I specially like they way it connects you to other coworkers by your e-mail domain.

Google Video - A lot of video sharing sites add ads to your video so the fact that Google doesn't is a big plus.

Google Earth - Wow, just by being able to see your house is pretty incredible.

Google Notebook - Let's you take notes and save them while you search the Internet.

Google Labs - You can play with their prototypes and send your feedback to Google. I just noticed they have a new one called Lively by Google - Hangout and chat in 3D, I must check that out.

I know the title of my article is the top 10 favorites but I think these four other products should be mentioned.

YouTube - OK, this wasn't developed by Google but they have added a lot of features to it after they purchased it.

GOOG-411 - no more paying the telephone company for each 411 call when you can get it for free from Google.

Google Health - You can organize and gather your medical records in one place. You can have doctors and hospitals link their records with your account, how cool is that?

And their newest release Knol - This one is similar to Wikipedia in the sense that anyone can add information, the difference is that the author gets recognition for the article. A Knol is an article you write on a specific topic and as the writer you are tagged as the author. The other great feature is that the author can manage how the collaboration is handled, is it moderated or not?

There are so many other Google products that I don't mention here, it's not because they are not great products, these are just my top 10 favorites.

Which are yours?

My hat's off to you Google!


App Top List: Top 20 Favorite iPhone Apps

I have the first generation iPhone and now with the v2.0 software us oldies can download iTunes and synchronize your phone.
applications to our phones to make them snazzy. A new icon "App store" appears on your phone that gives you access to lots of applications or you can download them on

I just upgraded my iPhone last week, and I haven't been able to pull myself away from the app store. The good thing is that a lot of them are free because if not, I would be bankrupt by now. Some of them just add little cute things to your phone but some really are useful.

I've downloaded over 30 of them but have also deleted almost half because they weren't what I expected but again most of them were free. If you're going to pay for some I would recommend you really read the reviews specially if you're paying a lot and some of these applications are worth the same as PC applications. Now, to help some of you out, I'm listing my favorites that I think are worth every penny even though most of these are free.

These five applications let you access your accounts on the corresponding websites and perform the same functions you can online. They work very well and they are free.

Twitterlator (Twitter)
MySpace
Facebook
WordPress
Google (for all Google apps)

Shazam - have you ever heard a song on the radio that you can't remember the song title or the artist? Well now all you have to do is play the music and this little nifty application tells you the artist, title, genre,album,and it will show you links to iTunes and YouTube if the song is available in these locations. Even songs that are sung by different artist are spot on by this application. Price? It's free.

Audio Recorder - This one cost $2.99 but it's worth it. It's like having a hand held audio recorder. Imagine creating your Podcast right from your iPhone. You record yourself and the file can be e-mailed to yourself or some one in your contacts list. Now, if you're going to use this one, you need to have a player that reads .caf files like QuickTime.

Tipulator - Ever been at a group dinner party and have to split the bill and no one has a calculator? This nifty application will add the bill amount plus tip, and then split it between the number of people you choose. You can change the bill amount, percentage of the tip and number in party of course by just touching the screen. Price - $0.99

CheckPlease - This one is even better than Tipulator. It does all the above plus it also adds taxes and you can also set a default tip and tax percentage so you don't have be adding it every time you need to calculate the bill. Price - free.

ReQall - Did you ever forget to buy a birthday present before going to a birthday party? With this application you can set up to do's, reminders, shopping list, and even photos that will recall your memory. You can set up your reminders to be sent to you in several ways. I have it to remind me via my iPhone default e-mail but you can set it for text as well. It's free.

Eventful - You can search and buy tickets for upcoming events without having to enter an address because it reads your address on the phone. You can search by event name, performer, venues and even by users. It's free.

Where - This application also reads the address on your phone and gives you the nearest Starbucks, restaurants, gas stations (using gasbuddy.com), events, mountains, and more. By touching the location the address is displayed and by touching it again you see more information on the location including in some cases reviews. It's free.

BoxOffice - Want to see a movie and you don't have a computer or a newspaper close to you? This application displays what's playing at the box office with a touch of the screen. You can set your default zip code and radius and what's better, you can buy your tickets as well and it's free.

vSNAX Videos - Do you like celebrity gossip? If you're like me then I would recommend this one. You can keep up not only with celebrity gossip but also breaking news, models, funny snippets and more and it's free.

My favorite games:

iPint - The goal is to slide a pint of beer to the person at the end of the bar. You're probably saying what is so fun about that? Well it has three levels so it can get a little tricky but the best part is when the person catches the pint. Your phone turns into a glass of beer and if you tilt your phone the beer disappears as if you had drank it. Hey, it's free.

Hangman (MobilityWare) - I don't think I need to explain Hangman, right? You either figure out the word or get hung. It has different levels of difficult and it's just $1.99

Solitaire (MobilityWare) - The is the standard Solitaire game that you play with a deck of cards... not that fancy kind. It's $1.99.

Tap Tap Revenge - This one gets a little challenging. You have to tap the fire balls to the beat of the music. It has four levels, the easy level can get hard so I don't want to imagine the extreme level. You can also have one or two players. It's free.

UEIpong - WOW, remember back in the day when you played pong on the original Atari? well this is it. The only thing is that you don't see two paddles, you see one and you play against a wall. It's $0.99.

JirboMatch - Don't laugh at this one. This is like playing matching with a deck of cards like you use to play when you were a kid. The only thing is that you're matching animals, it's pretty entertaining and it's my niece's favorite. This one is also free.

Now, there is another application called ShoZu which gives you access to a bunch of Web 2.0 applications. Just to mention a few, you can access Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa, WordPress, and the list goes on. This one is also free but I don't think it works very well. I've tried several things and they don't seem to work plus it loads pretty slow but again it's free, so download it and try it out. The worst that can happen is that you delete it later.

So now go on and download some and come back and share your favorites but beware it's ADDICTIVE.


Review: Got MiiSelf a Wii Fit

I like other WII fanatics did not wait to read reviews on the WII Fit, on the contrary, my husband rushed out to buy me one the same day it came out. I figured if I love my WII why wouldn't I love the WII Fit.
The WII Fit is basically a balance board that is able to read your weight, body mass, keeps track of your progress and allows you to set up a goal to lose or gain weight and all of this is tracked by your MII profile.

It offers four categories of exercises; balance, aerobics, strength, and Yoga and amongst these categories it offers 50 different types of activities. All your time is tracked and displayed to you after every activity and from the menu. My favorite is the advance step aerobics and the boxing even though one of the reviews I read said that you don't even break a sweat with the aerobics... I do.


The incredible part of the system is the way it praises you, gives you tips, and can also be a little harsh when you're not doing the exercises right. The Yoga trainer says things like "Hey, your muscles won't train themselves you know" when you step off the board in the middle of an exercise or something like "you're a little too shaky" when you can't hold a Yoga pose but it also gives you praises such as "you're doing great", "you got an excellent balance" so it's basically like having an actual trainer watching you. It also has a way of knowing the time of day, I usually start using it after dinner and it greets me with "Good evening! Isn't a little too late to exercise". It's like big brother is watching.
I've read several articles after it came out and I had tried it myself. I'm not one that goes 100% by other people's reviews, I usually like to have an open mind. I did it with the iPhone and I'm going to say it again, I LOVE MY IPHONE even though a lot of people have trashed it. Well back to the WII FIT, the reviews I've read in newspapers and magazines have been mixed, some say it's great for those that want to get into shape little by little and others say it's a dumb down version of yoga.
The bad reviews have been mostly from those that are Yoga or Fitness experts but let's be real.... we all know this does not replace the gym or other exercise classes but it's certainly a good way to start exercising and getting into the habit. At least that's why I bought it.
So in my eyes the WII Fit is doing what it's suppose to do, kudos to Nintendo.
Now wouldn't it be great to be able to use this same type of technology in our eLearning courses? Even though usually positive and encouraging feedback is provided through out courses, I think it would be great to be able to provide more interactive feedback. Can you imagine saying to a student "Hey, you know you need to read the content before you continue" when they are just clicking through screens... or "that's excellent, you're a quick learner" when they answer correctly in a very short time, What do you think?
How would you use this technology in training? Or what is our opinion on the WII Fit and your favorite exercise?

View the trailer here.




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My kind of Social Network

For those Web 2.0 fanatics like me out there... if there is any book you buy it should be Blogs, Wikis, and More by Terry Burrows. The book categorizes the different types of technology, provides a list of the most popular sites in each category and explains them in plain English. It also gives you steps on how to use at least one application in each category and gives you tons of sites. It's my kind of book. It's also a great guide for those that are starting to learn and work with Web 2.0 applications.


MySpace

I haven't read the entire book but I went through most of the categories, and looked at some of the sites and I've already have about 20 applications that I want to test so stay tuned to this blog for updates.

Now knowing me, I had to at least try one today. The one that peeked my interest was Singshot.com, it was in the Music category and it's classified as a Karaoke Social Network. OK you got me, I admit I'm a singer wanna be.... Not that I can sing but I still hurried over to the website to look around and of course ended up creating an account.

To my surprise the site was much more than just a Karaoke Social Network. You can also record yourself telling a story, doing stand up comedy, and even poetry reading. All you need is a working microphone and a webcam if you want to record the picture as well but that's optional. You can also create mashups.

I was ready to record a clip of myself singing but unfortunately I can't find my microphone but trust me, you'll have the option to hear me soon enough. I will continue to look for that microphone : )

As any Social Network, you can make your clips public and allow other members to comment and rate your performance. Boy, there are a lot of people that have a very nice voice.... but also a lot that don't :(

It looks like the site changed URLs after the book was published because Singshot.com directs me to The Sims on Stage but who cares, the site is great and it's lots of fun.

Is there an instructional use? Well I think so, maybe not in Corporate America but I can see a teacher using this in school. Children can write their own stories or poetry and create videos to share with classmates and in turn their classmates can rate their work. Works for me.

If you come up with any uses for corporate training let me know....

So sing and write away!


Review: Another tool for PodCasting

I was reading an article the other day and it mentioned this tool called "Yakitome" which is a Beta version and it triggered my curiosity. What the tool does is that it converts your text into a PodCast which you can embed in your websites. You have the option to create your PodCast in English (US) or (UK), Spanish, French, or German language and female or male voice. You also have the option to select the file output from wav or MP3. The idea of the tool is very clever but I just have one issue with it, the voices sound too creepy. I think they should give you the option to add your own voice like Voki does. The robot sounding voice just doesn't cut it.

The Yakimote website also performs very slow but again this is a Beta version. Hopefully when they launch the full version they will make some modifications because this could be a great tool for educators. Just imagine being able to paste your lecture, notes, or syllabus into this website and having an instant PodCast available for your students, that would be really cool.

A similar PodCast version of this post was created with Yakitome, click Another tool for PodCasting to listen to it.



My own Twitter site

I just finished reading a post called "Classroom Twitter Using WordPress" at Will Richardson's blog. It's all about using a new WordPress theme called Prologue which gives your blog a Twitter look. It actually works very well, and it's great for organizations that require security and privacy.

And of course, you know me.... I went ahead and created a blog of my own to test it, you can see it here at Tech Yakety-Yak. The only disadvantage of using WordPress is that you're not following your friends and no one is following you and I must admit I like that Twitter feature.

Now you do have the advantage that you are not limited to a number of characters per post like Twitter and you can have a secure blog at the same time. Maybe now some organizations can incorporate microblogging into their training programs.

What do you think?

Kudos for the developer of the Prologue WordPress theme.


Are you thinking of implementing Wikis?

If you're thinking of implementing Wikis in your organization I would recommend you review these episodes created by Stewart Mader, the author of Wiki Patterns. He provides some great insight on how to implement and grow your organization's wiki.

21 days of wiki adoption




Review: Video and File Sharing with your Twitter friends...

If you're hooked on Twitter then sit down before you read this. Starting today, you can now share videos, pictures, and other files using a new service offered by Twit+. This services works with the Twitter API and it allows you to share pictures, videos and other files with your Twitter friends.

How does it work?

1. You can log in with your Twitter username/password at: http://twitplus.com/

2. Enter your message, and click Browse to select the file you want to share.



3. Select if you want to make the Twit public or send it to an individual follower. If you select Individual Followers then a list of your followers will be displayed for you to select the individual.



4. Click Send twit+ msg button.
In a couple of seconds your followers will receive your files... and the best thing is that your followers don't need to use Twit+ in order to receive your files but it would be great that way they can twit+ you back.......
Does this mean goodbye to e-mailing YouTube links?


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Do you know which web 2.0 application to use?

I'm always testing new web 2.0 applications and services and some times I forget why I don't use some and why I use others a lot. So I decided to do the logical, document it. I created a Wiki called Web 2.0 Applications to keep track of these software and services and at the same time add a quick review of each and make it available to everyone.

In my Wiki I explain what that service is, how can it be used in training, and provide videos and tips when applicable. I also list the services I've tested along with a review which includes their ease of use, fees (if any), URLs, if customization is allow, my star rating and any other information I think will be helpful.

Hopefully my trial and error will help others.

Is there any software or services you use or wouldn't use because of a bad experience that you would like to share with us? You can post your reviews here or add them to my Web 2.0 Applications Wiki.


Review: Another great way of using Avatars - Voki

Here I am on a Saturday night with nothing to do other than surf the Internet for new tools. I decided to read up on blogs in education and I ended up visiting a wiki that spoke about a specific class blog. The teacher mentioned how his students were using more and more Voki on their blogs after he introduced it to them. So what did I do? I had to find out what Voki was of course so I visited his class blog called A Really Different Place and clicked on one of the student's blog and there it was. It's a personalized avatar which you can use to create small videos. Voki is free to join and it's very easy to use, as you can see below I created a small video using my own voice.

I can see Voki being used to introduce concepts, maybe small instructional pieces, for help or just to make your blog a little more personal.

I've always been interested in avatars but I've noticed that not a lot of use is being given to them in the classroom. Has anyone used Voki before? Better yet, have you used avatars in your training programs, and how?




Get a Voki now!


Do you Twitter?

Several friends and family members use Twitter all the time, and to be honest I just started using it and I'm getting to like it. I usually don't text message but since I have an iPhone now, even if I don't want to text I can still twitter online.

So now the question is how can you use Twitter in training programs? Although a few uses have been found, it seems like micro blogging is still something that is in the watch. But just because there is no clear need now, doesn't mean it won't be useful in the future.

Some ideas on how to use Twitter to collaborate:

  • Sharing resources and links
  • Keeping your project team up to date
  • Sharing your class notes
  • Summarizing a lecture, meeting, conference or presentation as it occurs
Have you found a use for Twitter in the classroom?

The power of the iPhone....

Santa brought me an iPhone this year and I have to say I love it. I don't care what features this version is missing, what bugs they have found, how sometimes the internet is a little slow because for me, it rocks. You have an iPod, cell phone, driving directions, weather, e-mail, camera, internet and more, all in one with the touch of your finger. What else can you ask for?

Yes, it doesn't have word processing applications but hey, for those of us that have laptops we don't need that, do we?

How can we use an iPhone in training? Well the iPhone can be used in all sorts of ways... you can blog, mobile blog, twitter, network, collaborate on wikis, text messaging and the possibilities are endless. I think this is one of the most collaborative tools out there, what do you think?




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Adding comments to traditional content

Well one of the features we would like to add to some of our traditional content is to allow users to leave comments and also rate the content. You see our users are not too techie and we want to gently get them to start collaborating with each other and we thought taking baby steps was more appropriate.

We are planning to implement blogs, wikis, and discussion boards this year but we have so much traditional content and it's not interactive. It's great content but again you can't collaborate.

So we have formed a team to look into collaboration tools, and one of them is adding comments to our traditional content. In researching off the shelve applications I found Joomla CommentBox which looks pretty neat but I think the look and feel would be too different from ours.

I'm a big fan of widgets, and I usually use Widget Box for all my widget needs. Just now I visited their site and something told me to search for the word "comments". Oh wow, here it was. There is a widget called Easy Comments that you can add in the body of any web page and it allows users to leave comments. How cool is that? And it has a five start rating. I also found another widget called Instant Rating which combines star ratings with comments or star ratings with reviews.

We will probably continue to research this but in the meantime I've added the Instant Rating's widgets below to show you how they work. Has anyone found another way of adding threads and user ratings to their traditional content?