Blatant Bibliophile Blog

…feeling the need to read

Archive for December, 2008

Quick and Easy Blog Image Sources with No Copyright Hassles

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 18, 2008

So here’s the problem: A) You dream of having an attractive blog. B) You want to set an example of copyright adherence for your students and blog followers, be they real or imaginary. C) You can’t get excited about going to prison and/or paying enormous fines for copyright violations. So what do you do to have pretty blog images quickly and easily without fear or guilt? Say hello to my little friends from the World of Web 2.o! You can safely use these sources to create your own images or borrow copyright-friendly images for your blog posts (or for any other school purpose such as your website, handouts, or social network pages). Here are my favorites, and I promise I use them all frequently because they are all so quick and easy that even a novice will find them irresistible:

  • Image Chef: You can create an image in under a minute that not only includes a graphic, but also includes any wording you can type in. OK, this image is tacky, but all I did was go to the site, select an attention-grabbing image, type in my slogan, tell the ImageChef folk I was posting to WordPress, type in my WordPress username and password, and they sent it right to my blog. Not every Web 2.0 utility is WordPress-friendly, but ImageChef passes the test. I have an account, but I didn’t even have to log in.
  • ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
  • GlassGiant works just like ImageChef. I would show you an example, but it is blocked by our school district because there are also games on the site. As with ImageChef, you can select a design and add your own logo to accompany it. It takes just seconds to send the resulting image to WordPress or your website. You’re going to have to trust me on this one!
  • TypoGenerator allows you to type in some text and make an image with the words you typed. Sometimes your first result is ugly or unreadable. No problem. All you do is hit a button to change your text style, text color, or background. You can also change your format from landscape to portrait. TypoGenerator warns you to be patient because sometimes it moves quickly and sometimes it is a bit arthritic. If you are patient enough, you can get a lovely result. Then all you do is right-click to save the file as a .jpeg, and voila, you have a fabulous image of your very own.
  • copyrighttypo1
  • Kwout is a great way to get a sharp, smooth screenshot of a website to use as your image when you want to blog about a website, or a person who has a website, or a topic related to a website, or…you get the idea. To use Kwout, first go to the Kwout site, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to get the bookmarklet. Right click on the bookmarklet link, then click on “create in links.” You then need to click on “View” at the top of your toolbar, then on “Toolbars;” then if “Links” isn’t already checked, you need to click on “Links” so that it is checked. For Pete’s sake, don’t uncheck it! At the right side of your toolbar, you can then click on Links, where you will now see Kwout. Drag it over to your toolbar. This may sound complicated, but you won’t have to do it ever again. When you want to use Kwout, all you have to do is go to the website where you want to snag a screenshot, then click on the Kwout button you just created. If the button doesn’t want to drag, just click on the word “Kwout” in your links. A box will appear asking you to select the area you wish to quote. You drag your mouse to outline the area and click on “Cut Out.” You are given several options. I always select “embed”  and then copy the code. On your blog post, just click where you want the screenshot to go, then click on the HTML tab, then paste the code. The code will go in the right place, just like magic! The gorgeous  screenshot contains a link back to the site and has pretty, smooth rounded edges unlike a regular boring screenshot. You don’t have to create an account or anything. I know this sounds complicated, but, trust me, it only takes a few seconds to grab each shot.
http://kwout.com/

kwout | A brilliant way to quote via kwout

  • PollDaddy was once all alone and probably lonely out in Web 2.0 land, but then a few months ago it joined up with WordPress and now you can add it to your WordPress blogs automatically without ever even leaving your blog. You can use your poll as your image. Can’t think of anything on which to poll your real or imaginary audience? Oh, please! Get creative! Like take this blog post, for example. I could poll you about your favorite Web 2.0 image tools, or about whether or not you have ever violated copyright in your blog posts or about why you think people don’t laugh more at my posts, or…well, the list goes on. Anyway, you can go to PollDaddy, or when you’re adding a post, just look up a couple of inches and you’ll see a circle. When you mouse over it, you’ll see that it says “Add Poll.” You just type in a question, then a few options for answers. There’s even a choice of allowing your readers to enter their own response. After that, select from one of nineteen different styles. You can even insert images to go along with your poll (keep them copyright-friendly, please!). If you create your poll from the PollDaddy website, be sure to tell the nice people that you are working with WordPress, if you are in fact doing so, so that you get the right code. You can also create great surveys for your patrons, by the way, so they can let you know how well you are doing.
  • Wordle allows you to create a cool image of a word cloud using words related to the topic on which you are blogging, or even all the words from an entire website or blog. For example, I could copy and paste all the words I have used thus far and paste them in. This takes zero time. Like TypoGenerator, Wordle wants to make people happy, so if you hate your results, you simple “randomize” or edit them, which changes font, color, whatever. If you post directly to WordPress, you get a tiny result. I like to do a screen shot, paste it into Paint, cut out the Wordle image, then paste that into a new page which I save as a .jpeg image. This creates a larger image. Again, much faster than it sounds. These are words from the first paragraph of this blog. All this took less than a minute.
  • copyright-wordle
  • Flickr Creative Commons is great for finding photographs taken by people who are willing to share their creativity, usually only asking in return that you give them credit for their work. The site makes it easy to tell what the creators want in return; right this minute there are over ten million pix available for just an attribution. I like to tell our students that the further you scroll down the page, the more people want, so it’s easier to stick to the top of the page. The explanation to the right of the page explains what the photographers (and videographers!) want in exchange for use of their work. Usually if it’s more than just giving them credit, it’s just that you not use their work commercially or that you don’t make derivatives from their work, like adding mustaches to the pictures of their moms. We can comply with that, right? Just click on the “See more” link in the category you decide to search, then type in your search term. And don’t forget to search for parts of speech other than nouns. Sometimes a verb, adjective, or adverb might work. When I find what I want, I save the attribution info in the title, so that if I ever want to use the file again, I will be sure to give the proper credit each time I use it. Here’s a great copyright logo courtesy of MikeBlogs.
  • copyright-symbol-from-mikeblogs1
  • Thanks to Sandi Adams, the Web 2.0 guru of Cherokee County, and Buffy Hamilton, the Sandi Adams MiniMe, for all their great Web 2.0 advice.

Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

What You Need To Know

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 15, 2008

Image created at GlassGiant.com
Are you a fan of Sonya Sones‘ fab books? Of course you are; we all are! And What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is one of her best. So if you’re a fan of What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know and you think you could write about what happens next after the story ends in Sonya’s cool verse style, why not enter the contest from Gotham Writers’ Workshop and Teen Ink. Here’s a sample from What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know:

My name is Robin.

This book is about me.
It tells the story of what happens
when after almost 15 pathetic years of loserdom,
the girl of my dreams finally falls for me.

That seems like it would be
a good thing, right?
Only it turns out to be
a lot more complicated than that

Because I’m not gonna lie to you —
there are naked women involved.
Four of them, to be exact.
Though not in the way you might think.

Don’t get me wrong — my girlfriend’s amazing.
But the way things have been going lately,
I’m starting to believe that the only thing worse
than not getting what you want,

is getting it.

So read the book, go to the website to find out the rules, and then write your own series of poems describing how you think the story should continue. The contest starts tomorrow, so get busy! Click here for the official rules.

Posted in Authors, contests, Poetry, writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Absolutely, Positively Yes!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 12, 2008

absolutely

By the way, we have several copies of Absolutely, Positively Not in now, if you’ve been waiting for it. Please stop by to check out a copy if you’ve been waiting for it. If you check out a copy, please read it as quickly as possible so that other members can get their hands on it and we can be ready to discuss it in January.

Posted in Books | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Envelope, Please…

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 12, 2008

purple-drank1

Wow! What a blast! We had a full day of trivia in The Unquiet Library today with ten teams participating during fourth lunch, eleven teams during fifth lunch, and nine teams during sixth lunch. In all, it was about a billion people. 😉 But who ruled the day? Was it the conquerors from the November round of trivia? The Pink Draculas? Team 3? Whatever the Ricky Bobbys were known as in November? Heck no! We had a whole new round of winners who came in and cleaned house and took the trophy (or should I say the pizza?) right out from under last month’s winners’ noses! The winners will have a pizza party during their lunch periods on Tuesday, December 14. Go winners! And the winners are (drum roll, please):

  • Fourth lunch: Chocolate Thunder (Kendall L.,  Austin N.,  Mark M.,  Joni L.,  Kate J., and Lindsay G.)
  • Fifth lunch: Purple Drank (Brittany Y., Miriam H., Matthew L., Laura L., Brittany R., and Elise S. )
  • Sixth lunch: A Cubed: Alisha W., Haley P., Alyssa P., Genay M., Natalie H., and Trianna B.

Posted in contests, Library Events, trivia | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Officers Needed

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 9, 2008

officers

The Blatant Bibliophiles met this morning and this is a brief summary of what we accomplished:

  • We updated the blog post so that students can start entering book reviews on LibraryThing
  • We decided to nominate members for offices, which is what we are going to do on this post
  • We ate, which is our area of expertise
  • We distributed some info to Reading Bowl participants
  • We decided that everyone will try to obtain a copy of Absolutely Positively Not and read it by the meeting in January so we can discuss the book during lunch meetings next month. Please stop by the library to check out our copies this week or next week or check to see if we can locate a copy for you at the public libraries.
  • We need two people to come by TODAY and give me a quick summary of your opinion of the club and why you participate for the yearbook staff.
  • WE NEED EVERYONE TO MEET IN THE LIBRARY AT 8:30 FRIDAY AND TO REMIND EVERYONE ELSE TO MEET HERE FOR YEARBOOK PICTURES!
  • The offices for which we need to nominate members, in my opinion, are President (to conduct and plan the meetings), Vice President (to assist the President and to conduct the meetings in the President’s absence), Secretary (to record what we do in the meetings), and Social Chair (to help us plan other activities such as Trivia). Right now we don’t have any money and we don’t pay dues, so I don’t think we need a Treasurer. If you have a suggestion for another office, feel free to toss that into the mix.
  • To nominate someone for an office, click on the title of this post “Officers Needed” and then leave a comment (scroll down to the bottom of the post to look for the reply box)  with the first name and last initial of your nominee and the office for which you are nominating them. You will have to enter your name, but the person you are nominating won’t know who nominated him/her. I will write another post NEXT TUESDAY, December 16, with the nominees. You must get all your nominees in by then. I will then tally the votes and the winner will be announced by next Friday. Here is a list of members to help you in your nomination:
  • Alex D.
  • Alexis B.
  • Alisha W.
  • Amanda F.
  • Auburn M.
  • Blake F.
  • Breanna R.
  • Brett M.
  • Brooke G.
  • Casie W.
  • Deanna B.
  • Elizabeth P.
  • Emilie Ko.
  • Emilie Ku.
  • Emily S.
  • Haley P.
  • Huma A.
  • Jake J.
  • Jessica H.
  • Jessica P.
  • Kaitlyn C.
  • Kayleigh L.
  • Kim P.
  • Kristen C.
  • Lindsay P.
  • Marlize S.
  • Mary M.
  • Megan B.
  • Mubeen A.
  • Nicole W.
  • Paul B.
  • Perry H.
  • Sarah D.
  • Shelby F.
  • Sky H.
  • Trianna B.
  • IF YOU CAN THINK OF SOMEONE WHOM I HAVE LEFT OFF THE LIST OR YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE SOMEONE WITHOUT A LAST NAME, EMAIL ME OR COME BY THE MEDIA CENTER TO LET ME KNOW.

Posted in Meetings | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Let’s Resuscitate Our LibraryThing Account

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 9, 2008

Our LibraryThing account is sad because no one has entered any books in a long time. I entered a few last year as an example, and one of our Bibliophiles entered a couple, and then…nothing.  So I’m sending you a new link and directions for entering your books. Remember you can win a Barnes & Noble gift certificate for submitting reviews, so add your first name and last initial (ONLY) as a tag when you enter your review. OK, here are the steps:

  • Click on this link to go to LibraryThing
  • Log in with our user name and password. I will send this to you via email. If you don’t check your email often, ask me for it.
  • Click on the tab at the top of the page (near the left side) that says “Add books.”
  • Type the name of the book you wish to review in the search box and click on the search button.
  • Click on the title of your book in the results list that appears on the right side of the page.
  • Click on the link that says “edit book” beside a tiny pencil.
  • Click in the “tags” box to add some keywords that describe the book. You might want to look over our book list for ideas, or look at reviews of the book on Amazon. Be sure to enter your first name and last initial as a keyword.
  • Beside the word “rating,” give your book a rating of one to five stars. If you click on a star two times, you can make a star into a half star.
  • DO NOT ADD YOUR REVIEW IN THE BOX THAT SAYS REVIEW; add it in the box that says “comments.”
  • Please enter your own review, not one that you have copied from Amazon or some other source. Use your own words! The review can be very brief, just a few words, up to a long paragraph, if you wish. The review doesn’t have to be in complete sentences; it could be just a phrase.
  • Click on the “save” button.
  • Click on the “Your Library” tab at the top of the page to look at our book list and make sure that your review has been saved. Occasionally there is a glitch.
  • If you decide to change your review, you can click on the pencil to the right of your review to edit it. Be sure to save at the end of your edit.
  • You can create your own LibraryThing account (FOR FREE) to keep a list of all the books you have read for yourself if you want. All you have to do is log out, and from the sign in page, click on the link that says “Join Now” to set up a free account. Just create a user name and password, enter your email address, and you are all set! This would be a great way to keep up with all the books you have read or all the books you read starting today!

Posted in Books, contests, Reading, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Forget to Meet (and Triviatize!) (New Word for You, Mr. Webster)

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 8, 2008

read2

OK,  some things to remember for this week. The Blatant Bibliophiles are meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, at 8 AM. If you are doing Reading Bowl and you missed Mr. Bradford’s meeting today, I will have a little bit of info for you. Also, we are having Trivia on Friday, December 12. Trivia will begin promptly at 11:45, 12:45, and 1:45. You can come to the media center at the beginning of each lunch period and bring a sack lunch or something from the cafeteria. We will have snacks and drinks. The winning team from each lunch will have pizza next Tuesday, December 16 during your lunch period. If you are participating in Reading Bowl, I have a list of rules and some sample questions. You also need to let Mr. Bradford know for certain that you are participating and what books you are reading so that we can make sure that we have all twenty Peach Books covered.

Posted in Georgia Peach Book Award, Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Let’s Say Thanks To Our Soldiers with Help From Xerox

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 8, 2008

[clearspring_widget title=”Xerox – Let’s Say Thanks” wid=”47d6d01110aa5765″ pid=”493d460c729fb13b” width=”307″ height=”361″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Use this cool widget from Xerox to send a fab card created by elementary students to our soldiers. It doesn’t matter if you support the war; we still need to support our troops who are keeping us safe and free. While we are here at home with our families for the holidays, they are far from home and lonely. Make their holidays brighter by sending a free card, compliments of Xerox. It only takes a moment to send a card that can brighten a soldier’s day forever. You can visit the website whenever you want and share it with your friends and family so they can send a card as well. Just click on the artwork on the widget to go to LetsSayThanks.com or click on “get & share” to get the widget. You can borrow the widget and post it on your website, blog, or social networking site like MySpace or FaceBook. You have a choice of artwork for the card as well as greetings for the soldiers. Why not send a card every day and ask everyone you know to send one, too?

Posted in holidays, soldiers | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Live Blog on the Georgia Peach Book Awards

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 5, 2008

peach-book-award 

Click Here

Hi, Guys: I will be live blogging from the Teen Conference in Macon at 9:45 about the Georgia Peach Book Awards for Teen Reacers. Stay tuned!

Posted in Authors, Books | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Bibliophiles are Meeting! The Bibliophiles are Meeting!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on December 4, 2008

In case you haven’t heard the announcement or read your email, we will be meeting on Tuesday, December 9 at 8:00 in the media center. We have some copies of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and we should have some copies of Absolutely Positively Not by then so you can check them out. I thought that in the meantime, we could discuss the differences between Twilight, the book and Twilight, the movie (if you have seen the movie and read the book, as most of you have). Of course we’ll have refreshments. By the way, if you are planning on doing Reading Bowl, Mr. Bradford is borrowing the Quiz-o-matics from Ms. Martin, so that will add to the fun! Also, our first challenge will be the county-wide competition on January 12 at Freedom Middle against the other county high school teams. As far as I know, there are only two other teams, so we have a good chance. Mr. Bradford is holding a meeting for Reading Bowl participants in his room, 1105,  on Monday, December 8 at 7:45. If you are participating in Reading Bowl, be sure to be there!

Posted in Books, Library Events, Reading | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »