Happy new year to you all! As 2009 has now come to a close we thought it was appropriate to have a look back at all the wonderful technologies we have found throughout the last year. Below I have listed some of the Internet based tools and sites we have come across when exploring options for disseminating the activity of the T-SPARC project.
Random Useful websites
• Zamzar – http://www.zamzar.com/
Free online file converter. A life saver when your ‘PDF’ really needs to be a ‘JPEG’ for your blog!
• Tiny url – http://tinyurl.com/ and bit.ly – http://bit.ly/
Both equally good for cutting down URLs for ‘no mess’ tweets and blogs. Although Tweetdeck has its own ‘URL shortener’
• TED – http://www.ted.com/
‘Ideas worth spreading’ indeed! Some free lectures/ speeches/ talks from some truly inspiring and fascinating people on a variety of topics.
• YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/TSPARC
All T-SPARC’s stakeholder videos in one place (including xtranormal videos and captions)
• Xtranormal – http://www.xtranormal.com/profile/1831779/
This is an excellent tool for anonymity of our stakeholders in interviews. Also great that it is compatible with ‘YouTube’ and ‘Overstream’.
• Overstream – http://www.overstream.net/
Overstream is a fantastic tool for captioning videos to create greater accessibility. To find out more about T-SPARC’s use of ‘Overstream’ read this blog: http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/tsparc/2009/12/16/168/
Twitter and other sites
• Twitter – http://twitter.com/TSPARC_BCU
Twitter is a new and innovative way to connect with like minded people and has proved invaluable in creating an online community here at Birmingham City University. It is a quick and easy way to communicate with only 140 characters available in a tweet so your message must be quite concise. I feel that it is best used in a project management style to update stakeholders on the project’s progress and to also send out links to the project blog or other informative websites.
• TweepML – http://tweepml.org/23dcb09/
A very useful way to keep lists of people from certain groups. The above link is a list of all the ‘tweeters/ twitterers/ tweeple’ in Design Cluster B, and here is a list from Birmingham City University http://tweepml.org/BCU-Twitterers/
• Tweetdeck – http://www.tweetdeck.com/
A superb way to manage more than one Twitter account, with quick and easy viewing of direct messages and mentions and a facility to search for words, phrases and hash tags, as well as a ‘URL shortener’.
Other T-SPARC sites
• Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsparc/
A place to keep all of the project’s photos and pictures. We’re hoping to add a lot more to this over the coming months.
• Netvibes – http://www.netvibes.com/tsparc#T-SPARC
Netvibes has proved to be one of the most useful tools that I have found. Through this marvellous site I have built our own web page for T-SPARC which brings all the information and technologies we need together. I have created 3 tabs: ‘T-SPARC’, which has the T-SPARC blog, our Flickr and YouTube accounts all easily accessible as well as education news websites and Birmingham City University website. There is also a ‘Twitter tab’ which has links to #dcb09 and #jisccdd aswell as the T-SPARC twitter account. I have also created a JISC tab where there are links via RSS feeds to various updates from the JISC.
• WordPress Blog – http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/tsparc/
This blog has also proved invaluable. It is a space where we can document the trials and tribulations of the project and keep people up to date with the project with more than 140 characters!