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Web 2.0 Services

5

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In this weeks episode we have a little fun. This week we talk about web applications and services that rock our socks off. These are some of our favorite sites and services to use.

Now that we've shown you ours, what are your favorite web 2.0 sites and services?

Yahoo Pipes, Tumblr, Twitter, Good Reads, Remember The Milk, Photo Color Schemer, Stripe Generator, Splashup, Pandora, iLike, Skitch, Stumbleupon, Bright Kite, Mint, Live Maps, Zoho, Slide Share, Jott, Skribit, Evernote, Sky Drive

Note to Self: Bring Dog Treats

Thanks for the great laugh. The comments about brightkite do bring up a good point about privacy and security. We're going around in a big loop. In 1995, everyone who had "a web page" put all kinds of stuff out there. As the Intarweeb became a bigger and scarier place, a lot of us pulled things and got more anonymous. Rob chose to use the pseudonym when you started this podcast to keep a level of online anonymity.

We're being constantly warned to keep stuff private online, but these Web2.0 apps are all geared to let us share way too much. I think most people are confused about what should be kept private and what can be out in the open. (Didn't you guys touch on that when talking about community web sites?)

There are days when I just want to delete all of my accounts and go anonymous again. Why? Have I really shared enough online to put my home and family at risk from some crazy person out there? I don't think so, but if they're crazy enough, they'd probably find what they need without much help from me.

Does Google know too much about me? Maybe, but if they ever decide to take all that info they've accumulated and be evil with it, I'm willing to bet I'll be pretty far down on their list.

Am I risking having my identity stolen? Probably the opposite. In many ways, by being myself and being present on so many servers, I've probably done a better job of establishing my identity.

So maybe that's it. To remain a fully Web2.0 connected Christian, I have to maintain my integrity online. I can't post anything that I don't want my family, or my pastor, to read. I have to be consistent in my behavior. It's hard work sometimes.

The benefits are great. Knowing that my Twitter friends are all being productive means I should stop goofing off and get some work done, too. Knowing someone hurt their foot and taking a second to let them know I'm praying for them edifies the body of Christ. Twittering my own activities opens me up to accountability for getting things done.

Here's a testimony: a week ago yesterday, just before leaving for work I got a call that people visiting one of our web sites were getting warnings from their anti-virus software. Not 90 seconds after I jump on my laptop to look into it, shrop tweets something that sounds related enough that I go read the article. Sure enough, it was exactly what was wrong with the web server. Tell me that wasn't in God's perfect timing!

So, Rob, you don't have to worry about me showing up at the house with dog treats while you're away. But you did bring up some good points to ponder as we entangle ourselves in this Web2.0 world.

Micah

PS: Jott rocks! I listen to G&G in the car, and almost always end up jotting something. I also have our worship pastor and my tech right hand set up as Jott recipients, and have often jotted right from the sanctuary when we're talking and someone says "send me a reminder about that."

Great show guys! Regarding

Great show guys! Regarding twitter I think it's great (look for me to be following y'all soon). I've been using it to network with podcasters and artists that I follow. I've been releasing my novel in weekly podcasts and getting the word out on that via Twitter has been awesome.

I think that you certainly need to be careful about what degree of personal information you put out there. I don't put pictures of my kids on the net for instance.

A few thoughts

Thanks for covering these web 2.0 apps. I will comment on some you mentioned and some you didn't.. kind of hard to cover them all :)

Toodledo - www.toodledo.com - This one is great for folks using David Allen's GTD methodology or just need a free todo list. It also integrates nicely with jott.com.
Jott - www.jott.com - Love it! I email contact groups while on the road with it. I also use it with Twitter. Sometimes it doesn't transcribe the way I intend. I just need to be better about speaking slowly and clearly.
Last.FM - www.last.fm - I use this to listen to music in the office usually. I don't use the community part as much as I could. I do have my music on my blog via Last.FM's embed code.
BrightKite - www.brightkite.com - I agree on the privacy stuff. Can be a big concern. I have decided to be public most everywhere except for home. There, only my privileged friends get the details. Not that it would be hard to figure out where I live, I just figure it is better not to hang it out there.

Thanks for all the others you mentioned. I will check into some of them for sure. Splashup is unreal!

Thanks,
Shrop

Mark Shropshire "shrop"
Geeks & God Forums Moderator
http://geeksandgod.com/users/shrop

Twit

Just listened to your last two shows. I was impressed. Keep it up. And a small correction. The Twit Podcast is wall to wall twitter talk. I think you guys said they didn't use it. Anyway, love the show.

@Kepford on Twitter.

All the twit casters are on

All the twit casters are on twitter. They are twitterholics. But I do recall at one time leo stopped using it because of twitters name. He caved in :)

HiveMinder - Got to Check it Out

If you're doing todo lists, love tags and the command line and instant messenger or twitter...

You've got to check out HiveMinder. I'm sitting in the auto shop with my blackberry and think of todo items so send "c my task [tag]" to GoogleTalk and it's added to my todo list. Then I say do "t car" and it shows me all the todo items I've tagged with car so I can tell the guy what problems with my car need to be looked at.

http://hiveminder.com

Beta has changed meanings

I think the meaning of Beta has changed with Web 2.0. For example, Gmail is still Beta even with tens of millions of users.

It seems to me that the Beta label on Web 2.0 apps is intended to make the users feel like they are on the cutting edge.

A less cynical view would be that the feature set isn't frozen so it remains in beta.

Is there more to the beta label than I am seeing?

Not Ready For Release

Beta, in software development, means "the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world black/grey-box testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety."

In the web 2.0 world it has been used as a marketing ploy by many. Being included as a beta tester was a status symbol for a long time (and still is outside the marketing term). Marketers have successfully used the term beta to make people feel like they are on the in.

There are a lot of places that have closed betas that really are betas now. Gmail was a closed beta initially.

Such is life, marketers take a part of the development cycle and turn it into a status symboled marketing play.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

For managing your tasks and

For managing your tasks and implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:

http://www.tdagenda.com

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version is available too.

As with the last update, now Gtdagenda has full Someday/Maybe functionality, you can easily move your tasks and projects between “Active”, “Someday/Maybe” and “Archive”. This will clear your mind, and will boost your productivity.

Hope you like it.

Organic?

In episode 86, you guys were talking about designing a huge "organic" Web site for a client...I hope this isn't a really dumb question, but can you elaborate a bit on what you mean when you use the term "organic" with respect to Web site architecture?

I love the show, by the way, and have found it enormously helpful.

Thanks, Doug

Tough to explain

Hey Doug,
This is a tough question to explain becuase it's more of an abstract concept than it is a set definition.

I think it all starts with giving the power to the user. In a traditionally structured website, the entire structure and content is pre-planned by the 'owner' of the website. Basically, you're saying to a user "Welcome to MY website".

On the other hand, an 'organic' website is added to and (in an informal way) 'structured' by the users. It's like saying "Welcome back to YOUR website" where they can add content and interact..taking part in the creation of the website.

This 'organic' feel is what you want on a church community site because it's more closely approximates "life" and how life really works...as opposed to how a corporation might work (controlling it's 'image' at every turn). This even affects things such as what you name your menu elements. Rather than naming them something 'corporate', integrate them with life....Instead of using "About Us", you'd use something like "Viewpoints"...a small thing, but a big difference on your visitor's experience.

Now, as we talked about, the problem comes in when you want to give some things some heavy structure...things that need to 'fall in line' so they can be easily found. An organic structure makes this hard because it's not as clear for visitors seeking specific information.

I suppose when it comes down to it, an "architected" site is good for finding information, while an organic site is better for enhancing life and community.

Hope that helps...

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

organic

This organic approach is very interesting... but I'm assuming that there has to be some underlying structure for proper content flexibility. So, for example, social networks are somewhat organic but have parameters in place.

The problem I have is "how" flexible do we design organic sites. I'd love to see some examples of this in practice. It sounds like it will be the wave of future... like web 3.0?

whups

sorry guys... I just listened to your last podcast and you elaborated more on 'organic' sites. When you mentioned Flickr, it suddenly made sense to me. Thanks

Mint freaked me out

I tried mint, but I was just freaked out by the fact it had all my vital information. I canceled my account because of that. Just not ready for that yet.

Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Nothing to be ashamed of at all. Not at all.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Warning label needed

I just listened to the latest episode and you guys were talking so fast, and throwing out so many ideas, my head almost exploded. I'm gonna have to listen again, and pause it once in a while to catch my breath. You could warn us, you know.

First podcast I ever listened to

Just wanted to give a shout out to you guys as I finally got an iPod and this was the first podcast I ever listenend to (see Please welcome me to 2001) Great stuff, btw.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have an hour to listen each week. I wish there was a transcript I could skim. That would be a cool tool - an automated podcast transcription service. ;)

Thanks For Listening

Welcome to G&G, Paul.

It would be nice if there was a transcription service for people to skim. If it were out there I'd be all over it (especially for the hearing impaired).

Just to share how I listen to podcasts, I tend to listen to them instead of morning talk radio when I go to work or when I'm cleaning around the house.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

There is...

You could pick up a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Don't know if they have a version for Mac, though.

http://www.nuancestore.com/v2.0-img/operations/sca...

-NP

PS: This software works well, but it's a hassle while you to train it to recognize your speech. Also, the tech support is lousy.

Hearing impaired transcript services

Here's a link to a place that will transcribe your podcast for you. We are working to provide transcripts for the deaf at no cost (other than donation and/or link) from the podcast owner.

http://www.transcriptlibrary.com/deafservices.html

If you have a question about the service, email and they will work with you.

Animoto

Hey Guys - great episode. I've used several of the services you mentioned, but am excited to try out a few more that I've never touched. Jott in particular. I can see that being very useful.

Anyway - I thought I'd throw out another Web2.0-ish site that I've been enjoying:

http://animoto.com

If you've never seen what these guys do, you need to go check it out. In a nutshell, they make really cool photo slideshows that are set to music. You can either upload a batch of photos or point it to an online photo album (I know for sure they support smugmug and flickr), then upload an mp3 file you want as an audio track. It then looks at the "feel" of the music track you uploaded and then, using some very cool video effects/rendering, assembles the photos into a slideshow. The end product is available via an embeddable flash player, or I believe you can download the video files. I've used them several times for personal photo slideshows, and it's a quick, cheap way to get something a bit more dynamic than your standard "dissolve-based" slideshows.

As a sidenote, the backend "geek" stuff that Animoto uses to collect the collateral files, render, and present them is pretty cool. They're using Amazon's EC2, S3, and SQS extensively. There's an article here about their setup. The long and the short of it is that through their use of Amazon's services, they were able to scale on-demand (within the span of a few days) from 50 EC2 compute instances to over 3000. I believe they got featured on Facebook somehow, and that's what caused the big spike in customers.

Anyway - just anther fun toy to play with. Have a good weekend, all.

--
Erik Anderson
http://andersonfam.org

--
Erik Anderson
http://andersonfam.org