Blatant Bibliophile Blog

…feeling the need to read

Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

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 »

Sputtr: New Competition for Google?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on September 25, 2008

Ahhhh, Sputtr. You are so pretty, customizable, clean, and simple. And fast. But not in the way your Mama warned you about. Sputtr is this cute little search engine that is really three dozen search engines in one. You just type in what you want to search for, then click on the appropriate button for one of thirty-six different sites, and then you are immediately searching for your topic on that site. Not happy with the 36 choices that make Sputtr happy? Not to fret! You can customize this lovely little site and delete any of those, or add dozens more. Still not happy, you demanding person, you? Well, then, you can submit even more sites to Sputtr, and if you ask nicely, they just might add your favorite site as an option. Maybe. And don’t forget to save your page when you’re finished customizing. You can even ask the nice Sputtr people to open your searches in a new window. I like to do that; I don’t know why. I guess I’m just a multi-window type person. 

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Are You the Meister of Your Domain?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on September 25, 2008

 

You know, you can never have too much brainstorming. Sure, you’ve got your Inspiration. And maybe you remember bubbl.us from a previous Web 2.0 newsletter or blog post. But suppose you want more? Enter Mindmeister! And now there are cool new features on Mindmeister, such as the ability to add task information to your ideas: things like priority, completion, due date, and owner. You can also add attachments to your ideas. Upload file attachments to ideas and preview images through inline thumbnails. “Wunderlink” allows you to magically add links via an invisible Yahoo! background search. “Wundernote” uses a freebase database lookup to enable you to add notes to your ideas. The geistes blitz feature lets you insert ideas directly into your mind map from your Windows desktop with brilliant speed. There’s also an automatic text wrap feature, email support, and the ability to share maps. There’s also a better printing option, more formatting options, and…well, some more stuff. It is a cool and fun option for your own mindmapping or to share with your students, if you have students. Because their lovely little brains need to stay in shape!

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I’m Stuck on Stixy…and Stixy’s Stuck on Me (Maybe)

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on September 25, 2008

 

Why haven’t you tried Stixy? Don’t you know that Web 2.0 applications get lonely, too? Well, apparently they do. I signed up a while back for Stixy, forgot that we were friends, and then Stixy sent me a needy email begging me to come back and play. So I, being a kind person, did. You can post “stuff” onto stixy boards and allow your friends to view them so that you can share information such as pictures, documents, post-it notes, and  to-do lists. As with many Web 2.0 sites, you can invite your friends to join you. Stixy works sort of like a wiki in which all the friends can share and edit each other’s information, only prettier.  Once you decide if you want a note, picture, document, or to-do, you just drag it onto your stixyboard. You can resize it, change the color or font (except not on the to-do note—apparently they are always sacred pink!). Then upload the document or picture you want onto your document or picture area. You can even do all four options in one stixy! Then you click on options and save your stixy, decide if it is public, whether or not you want to invite friends, save the URL if you wish, and voila! A star is born! Well, maybe just a planet. Or whatever they’re calling Pluto these days. 

 

 

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43 Things Rocks!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on September 25, 2008

Draw Customized Symbols - ImageChef.com

We all know that you’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. Likelier still if you tell someone about it. So why not tell millions of strangers? Oh, come on; they’ll cheer you on! That’s what 43 Things is all about. You can create a list of up to 43 things you want to do with your life. You can encourage the hopes and dreams of others, and they (maybe?) will encourage your ambitions. Don’t have any purpose in your life? That’s OK. You can study everyone else’s and then be a copycat. Sure you’ll feel like an underachiever for not thinking of it sooner. But at least you’ll be on your way to accomplishing a goal you needed to complete. After you set your goals, you can also look at comments from those who say “I’ve done this” (Who knows if they’re telling the truth…) and get some advice, for better or worse. You can give advice, too, on goals you’ve already accomplished. You can share your progress, and follow the progress of others with the same goals, or interesting goals. One of the guys who cheered my goals is studying Latin and Ancient Greek! Is that cool or what! I feel like such a slacker now…

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Fun with Wordle!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on August 29, 2008

Can you say "simple?" Wordle has simple down to an art form. I only wish that my wordle was just a little bit larger here so that you could so how beautiful it is. You don't even have to register or log in to use Wordle. All you have to do is go to Wordle, click on "Create," and, as they say, "paste in a bunch of text." Click on "Go" and voila, you have your own Wordle. Not happy? Click on "Randomize" to get a whole new look. You can randomize all day long if you have the stamina. You can print, save, and EVEN POST ON WORDPRESS!!!!!! Easily! Although it is tiny. Maybe it went on a diet somewhere in cyberspace between Wordle and WordPress. It is still fun!

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PollDaddy Rocks!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on August 29, 2008

Have you tried PollDaddy? PollDaddy is a cool Web 2.0 tool that lets you quickly and easily create polls and surveys to post online on your blog, website or social networking site. PollDaddy has cool skins for your surveys, or you can create your own skins in CSS. You can get advanced online reporting of your results in real time as your data is collected. There are eleven question types for surveys that you can choose from, so you and your readers won’t be bored even when you become PollDaddy-addicted, like Ms. Hamilton. With the new advanced survey editor, you can easily create multi-page, multi-question surveys. You also get unlimited free polls, fourteen poll skins, and you can view results online, as XML, CSV, or subscribe to them via RSS. You can even add text, video, or pictures to your polls. There is full foreign language support, and you can block repeat voters by IP address or cookies and block fraudulent voters. You just have to try PollDaddy today to get started on your own polls and surveys!

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Eddy for President?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 16, 2008


Create your own FACEinHOLE

Huh? Have you tried FaceinHole? All you have to do is select a scenario from their collection, upload one of your photos, slide the photo around so that the face fits in the hole, then stretch or shrink it (don’t panic! It’s easy!) so that the head is the size of the “head hole.” Voila! In less than a minute you  have your own “FaceinHole.” It’s very addictive! You can email the pictures to your friends or embed them in your blog, web page, FaceBook, MySpace…the list goes on. They embed quickly and easily into numerous sites, or you can copy the code to save it to your website. The only problem I ran into was that for some reason, this one scheduled itself to wait five hours before publishing. Why? Who knows. But another one posted immediately. If you have this problem, check your dashboard or wherever to see if it’s somewhere waiting in the wings to go onstage, and then change its publication time. Something this wonderful deserves every minute in the spotlight it can get!

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Have You Tried GlassGiant, Bibliophiles?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 3, 2008

HollywoodSign

Remember all the cool graphics you can make on ImageChef? Well, if you have already made millions of cool ImageChef images, you might also want to try GlassGiant. You can make lots of cool graphics, enjoy some “fun and games” (for example “Pumpkin Masher” and “Word Scrambler”) and even try your hand at “geek stuff” such as counting to 31 on one hand or making a trebuchet that can fire balls of Play-Doh! The images can be posted to your blog, website, or your MySpace or FaceBook page. I did have some issues with embedding to WordPress, but all I had to do was save my lovely image and upload it.

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Is TypoGenerator Your Type?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on March 11, 2008

Typo Generator

Have you tried Typo Generator? If not, then you are definitely not in the cool. Typo Generator lets you make wild graphics with letters and numbers; then you can save them as picture files to upload to your blogs, social networking sites like MySpace or FaceBook, or other websites. Just type in the letters and/or numbers you want to use, then click on “Generate New.” Don’t like what you see? Then check “Destroy” to change the text style, colors, and/or background. Then check “Try Again.” You can try again all day and all night if you have the stamina. Once you’re satisfied, just right click on your graphic to save it as a picture file, then upload it to your desired location. Voila! You have a beautarific design like the one you see in front of you! Some kinda fun, huh?

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