Category Archives: Cool Tools

For the Content Creator a New Website is a New Car

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Photo courtesy CCL

Seeing an appealing new website come online is to a content creator what an exciting new model of car is for the auto enthusiast: One is itching to get behind the screens to an operating dashboard and take it for a rich content-creating spin.

Because the best sites make it a delight, not a burden, to create and showcase new content – particularly if you’re an enthusiastic writer and photographer.

The Coastal Conservation League (CCL) of South Carolina has just such a new website. It’s gorgeous. And immediately displays the astonishing amount of conservation work done in the southern United States lowcountry by the CCL.

However, as a media professional, I went right to the press releases portion of the site, and I am now busily touting how the CCL has presented their releases within the new site.

As someone who is often called upon to write press releases, which too often serve as a client’s only new content, I am constantly bemoaning how releases are not getting the “workout” some deserve.

Not only are too many of them poorly written (not by me!) and merely fired-out via PR Newswire, they are not made interactive (live, working links), they are not visually appealing, they’re not easily found on websites, and they’re not made easily share-able in social.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

CCL’s Laurin Manning, working with Wide Eye Creative, has clearly conquered all those media-related hurdles within their new site. I’m delighted to have their example with which to beat folk over the head with.

Rather, show them. Of course, it’s up to clients where they wish to spend their time and money. But nudging them towards investing in a better website and a better press release is always a media professional’s time well spent.

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Google Glass — Can I Get A Witness?

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Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand gardening. But the first thing that came to mind when I put on Google Glass was my mother’s organic garden.

You won’t catch me outside in broiling 98-degree southern humidity struggling to hack through a dense, painfully stinging row of okra, or pulling nasty, squirming wormy things off dozens of tomato bushes. No siree! But you will catch my mother doing that crazy stuff. For hours on end, day after day, week after week, throughout the south’s high summer months.

That said, if you can get past the oppressive heat and humidity there really is no more verdant and glorious vision of bounty, robust health and natural beauty than a southern organic garden at its summer harvesting peak.

Thus the thought of me strolling, beatifically wired, through rows of an organic garden in full, wearing a pair of Glass with my mother narrating the purvey and provenance of every lush plant and vegetable, set my pan-media-tuned mind into high and sunny gear.

Who wouldn’t want to document and share that kind of rich media in our connected world? To be fresh content-enabled, breezily so, by merely putting on glasses, something I’ve done every day since I was 7-years old anyway.

One of the great things about living near the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, of course) is participating in some of the innovations and events churned from there. Whether beta testing products in development, networking, attending concerts or lectures, there’s a wealth of experience and knowledge available to the university’s surrounding community, so last night (July 11) I hopped over to nearby startup nurturer, Flashpoint on West Peachtree Street.

There, Randy J. Mitchell, the founder and CEO of Plisten, along with Google and Hypepotamus, hosted a meetup for Google Glass developers and designers. My friend/mentor and sometime colleague, veteran political reporter Tom Baxter, who’s always up for some new media-creation adventures, tagged along too.

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Guest Post – Real Time Web Is Hot

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There is a new way to search the web, and boatloads of users who have experienced the real time web have been impressed with the results.

Traditional search engines rank sites based on relevancy. Because of this, the results don’t change a lot. A search today will reveal most of the same sites and information that were there last month.

However, with companies like Twitter and Facebook having millions of users continue to post content and status updates – there is now real time content on the web which updates each second.

Search engines and startups have leveraged this information to offer internet users instant access to what is happening right now.

So, when breaking news happens a real time search will instantly give you the public’s thoughts, opinions, and experiences in relation to the breaking news.

A search on Google news would give you links to articles written by people in the media. A real time search will allow you to sift through all internet users comments and thoughts.

There have been several startups which have launched search engines and tools to try and offer users a good experience in searching and navigating through the real time web.

Here is a list of three startups… along with a quick overview of what makes each of them stand out:

1.)       Topsy (http://topsy.com)  What makes Topsy’s real time search engine stand out is that it is focused on real time links as opposed to real time content.   So, when you perform a search at Topsy, instead of seeing what people are talking about on the real time web, you are going to see what the most popular and prominent links are being shared on the real time web.  You can ever sort to see the most shared links over the past hour, day, week, or month.

2.)       OneRiot (http://oneriot.com/)  Rumors have been swirling all over the web in regards to a partnership Yahoo is discussing with OneRiot.  OneRiot offers users a real time search engine which can be sorted based on web results and video results.  OneRiot also announced in early October that it will be rolling out a platform for advertisers to pay for listings to featured content on their results pages. While most real time web companies have been focused on technology and traffic, OneRiot seems to be an early leader in the monetization of the real time web.

3.)      Sency*  (http://sency.com)  Sency has built a free feed for websites and blogs  (http://sency.com/feed.php).  The feed brings in real time content which updates automatically on the site or blog it is published on.  The site and blog owners are able to select which keyword they want the feed to scroll for.  So, a blog about sports, can for example, have automatically updating real time content anytime someone uses the word baseball or football shows up on the real time web

*This article was written by Evan Britton, founder of Sency.

Atlanta Tech-Media Notes of the Day. August 11, 2009

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Atlanta tech-media items of the day. Click here to listen.

Sites where goodies mentioned in audio note can be found are:

VM provided by ShoutNow.

CNN Broke Twitter?

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I bet @ricksanchezcnn finally broke Twitter for good. The fragile thing wasn’t meant for heavy MSM lifting. Between Sanchez on CNN at 3pm and the anti-Motrin ad moms today, the damn thing may never recover. Call some lawyers quick!

Messin’ With Kyte.tv

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I haven’t streamed any video yet to my Kyte.tv channel(s), chiefly because I have an iPhone and iPhones are not video enabled. Will have to borrow my kid’s cell to stream vid using Kyte. But you can send stills via the iPhone. Kyte has more bells and whistles than NASA. Love clickin’ and draggin’? Then Kyte’s for you. My fave Kyte discovery so far? Atlanta rapper David Banner’s live musings.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/74017&embedId=37890640]

Viddler Blows Out Your Online Video

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Since I just gave you the what-NOT-to-do with your online video scenario (see post below), let me give you the what-TO-do with your online video message too. Rather, I’ll let the Viddler explanation video do the talking for me. Not only are Viddler vids embeddable, you can comment and tag and add ads along the video’s timeline. Hell, you can add video comments along the way, instantly with your web cam. (I just did.) Now how awesome is that?!

Vodpod videos no longer available. from blog.viddler.com posted with vodpod