Tag Archives: social media

My thoughts on the tools for the Thirty Day Challenge ’08, part 2

1 Aug

Yesterday I told you about some of the tools we’re using in the Thirty Day Challenge this year and as my post got a little long-winded, I decided to break it up into 2 parts. So, here’s Part 2!

So, today we’re going to talk about StumbleUpon, YouTube, Google Subscribe and FriendFeed.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a tool we used last year as well and if you’re not familiar with it, basically, it’s a social bookmarking sharing site. (That’s a mouthful!) You “stumble” sites you like (or don’t like) and let everyone know what you think. You can share links to just about anywhere and anything. Like most social networks, you can add friends and you have profile page where others can view what you’ve liked/disliked. There’s also a handy toolbar you can install on your browser if you choose. Personally, I find toolbars annoying as hell and only use them sparingly. The one exception, of course, is the 30dc toolbar.

YouTube

If you don’t know what YouTube is by now, I think you’ve been hiding under a rock. 😉 My 3 year old even knows what YouTube is. (He likes to watch Thomas the Tank Engine videos.) For the 30dc, YouTube comes in very handy for a variety of reasons, the major one being that this is where Ed Dale shares all of this seasons training and tidbits. Ed teaches you how to search, subscribe and effectively use this handy site.

Google Subscribe

I’m still a little mystified with this one and don’t really quite it fully. I’m sure by season’s end, I’ll have it down pat, but right now, not so much. According to the pre-season training,

“What it means for you as a 30DC participant is that Ed will be able to help you with your searches on Google. Including opinions reviews, and any relevant info depending on what you’re searching for.”

So, I guess it’s usefulness truly remains to be seen at this point.

FriendFeed

This is another awesome tool. FriendFeed allows you to see what your friends are doing all over the web. Yes, of course, it’s another social media networking site but isn’t that what it’s all about? 😉 There’s just much about it, I can’t even begin to describe it. If you use Twhirl (which I talked about yesterday), you can follow your FriendFeed as well as your Twitter updates. Very cool.

So there you have it. Those are all of the tools we discussed in pre-season. I’m sure there’s more awesomeness coming down the pike, so stay tuned!

And if you’ve figured out the whole Google Subscribe thing, please feel free to tell me all about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

See you again soon,

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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My thoughts on the tools for Thirty Day Challenge ’08

31 Jul

Ed and Dan have introduced some great tools for this years challenge during pre-season and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them so far.

Flock

Flock is a “social media” browser built on the Mozilla engine (the same engine Firefox uses). Part of it’s awesomeness is that *most* firefox extensions will work in Flock. In fact, so far, of all the extensions I use (about 20), I’ve not found one that isn’t compatible. Another great thing about Flock is that a lot of the other tools (like twitter, youtube, facebook, etc) all integrate with the browser which means you can sign in to those accounts automatically. It even integrates with all your Google accounts, including gmail.

One of the coolest things about Flock, is that it makes subscribing to RSS feeds super simple. On any page with a live feed, a little RSS icon will turn orange on your address bar. All you have to do is click that icon and it subscribes to the feed for you. It’ll even remember your favorite feed reader and load it right in.

And the second coolest thing about Flock is the Media Bar. Anytime you land on a page (like flickr, youtube, and the like), that has media like videos and pictures, a bar opens up at the top of the browser window and shows you all of the content on that page. You can subscribe to the content, even! Just like an RSS feed!

Twitter

Twitter is definitely awesome! It’s like a mini conversation hub. You can share thoughts, ideas, links and just about anything else – as long as it’s only 140 characters long. It brings “social” to your desktop and allows you to interact, in real time, with other twitterers all around the world.

Twhirl

I’ve actually been using Twhirl for quite some time (at the prompting of some of my Twitter friends) and at first, I didn’t really like it. But I’ve gotten to where it’s one of those tools I’d rather not be without. Twhirl is simply a desktop client, compatible to both Windows and Mac, that uses Adobe Air as it’s platform and allows you to Twitter from your desktop as opposed to Twitter’s web interface. (You can even use Pownce from Twhirl.) If you Twitter – and you SHOULD – check out Twhirl.

Google Reader

This is one awesome reader! I used to use bloglines and although I liked it, it was lacking function that I found frustrating. I then went to a desktop client for a while until I finally decided to try Google Reader. One of the things I like best is the ability to use what’s called list view. This allows me to see the blog name, the post title and brief snippet of the opening paragraph. It lets me decide if I want to open it up and read it or not. And I’ll tell ya, with over 300 feeds in my reader, it sure makes reading A LOT faster.

And just like gmail, Google Reader has a star system so you can save the ones you like most for easy finding later. It also allows you to organize your feeds by folders. I keep all of my “must reads” in a folder called Favorites and browse it first every day.

You can also set it show only new posts or to show all posts. I love this feature and keep it set on show new that it’s easy to find new stuff and be bogged down by stuff I’ve already read.

If you have the greasemonkey and the stylish extensions installed, you can even view the actual post page form the originating blog. This is great if you want to leave a comment but don’t want to have to go to the blog to actually do it. A very big time saver for me.

Ok . . . this is getting rather long and I’m only half way through the cool tools. So, for your sake, dear reader, I will break this into 2 chunks and post part 2 tomorrow.

~ Annie (lsandrsn on the 30dc forum)

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Other blogs:
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