Web Tools

I have intended to write an article about “web based tools for learning”, but when my comprehensive committee did not choose that topic, I haven’t gotten back into it. This is a brief substitute to put some tools before you, so you can just go and try them out and see what benefit they have for you. All of these are tools that I use as a grad student, and quite frankly, I’m not sure how I would have worked without them. Some have been around awhile, and some are fairly new. They art tools often described as “social software” applications, because of their feature set including the ability to post or sent content to anyone or any web site you choose. I would be glad to talk with anyone about the various tools, but I think most of you would do best to just go to the site and see what they are about and try them out if it moves you. Here is an unorganized list, slightly annotated:

Furl

http://www.furl.net

With a menu button added to your browser menu bar, furl will capture any web site you select, allow you to add a category from a dropdown menu, and any notes you choose to identify it. You can then search by keywords any resources you have “furled”, bring the site back up, and even send a list of your items to someone else, or to your Weblog. They provide the hard drive, you get a great research tool, and its FREE.

Flickr

http://flickr.com/

A great way to store, search, sort, and share your digital pictures! Also Free.

del.icio.us

http://del.icio.us/

A social bookmarks manager. Same concept: menu bar button, click, saves whatever web page your on as a bookmark. Uses their storage facilities, you can sort, export, import, and format to any number of file types, including IE Favorites, or Mozilla style bookmarks.

Technorati

http://www.technorati.com

A Technorati Watchlist is a customized report that tracks incoming links to people and places you care about. With your Watchlist, you can track the daily conversations that develop between people on weblogs and the sites, news, products and topics they are talking about. 3 free watchlists are available.

Feedburner

http://www.feedburner.com

For Weblog authors, feedburner can provide several services. It captures your RSS or Atom feeds, and stores them, and makes them available for publishing in an RSS newsreader, or export to wherever you like. It also can track traffic using your RSS feeds.

Blogdigger and Feedster Blog Search Engines

http://www.blogdigger.com

http://www.feedster.com

Blogdex

http://www.blogdex.com

A research project from MIT Media Lab that tracks ideas as they move across the blogsphere.

I have another group of tools, more in the “Personal Information Management” category that will require another article due to the platform differences of the applications. This category is primarily software that you download and use on your own computer. More later.

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