May 06, 2008

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.


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, 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 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!

May 01, 2008

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.