Archive for Posts Tagged with "tech-tools"

BloglinesAfter a burst of posts over a three day span that had me thinking I would be posting more regularly, it’s now been over a week since that last post. I have a very good reason for this. You see, this post is being typed with one hand, as the other is currently being occupied by a sleeping baby.

Okay, so that’s not really the reason, but you would think that my temporary typing handicap would make me somewhat less long-winded. No such luck! The real reason that I’m updating is to talk a bit about newsreaders, which I discovered quite a while ago, but have selfishly kept to myself this whole time.

For me, the term “newsreader” is somewhat inaccurate, as I don’t really use them to read “news” at all. I use them to keep up with my circle of friends who have web sites, and read other blogs of interest to me (like Dooce and the Flickr blog). The benefit behind these things is that you don’t have to click on all of your various bookmarks to see who has updated recently. I know that some of you use Kevin’s list of links for precisely this purpose (that list is darn handy, Kev). A newsreader allows you to check those and any other site you may read that publishes a feed.

What is a “feed”, you ask? In laymans (my) terms: a feed is basically all the content of your site published to a file in a format that can be read by any number of programs. So my feed consists essentially of each title, post, date, time, etc. No links, no navigation, no pretty formatting. Those are all (or should be) secondary to the point of this (and every) site: the content you want to read. Sites that publish a feed allow you read all or a portion of their content (with a link to the full article) in a newsreader.

Until recently, I had been using Google Reader, which I like. I’m going to continue to keep an eye on it as they add features and turn it into a better tool. But after seeing that someone was viewing my site using a tool called Bloglines, I decided to give that a try. I’m a big fan. There’s any number of different newsreaders out there, and they make your surfing life a lot simpler. Give them a try sometime.

Oh, and for those of you who don’t currently publish a site feed, consider doing so. Because I’m lazy. And don’t you just want to encourage that?

Cute Boy!I recently added a Flickr badge to the right sidebar. I discovered Flickr, and have found it to be the most user-friendly photo-sharing software on the Web. I’m a big fan of the application.

I’ve been particularly happy with the ability to mark photos as available to the general public, as we have folks who want to see little Simon for whom registering with a Web site is. . .difficult. Even if we didn’t have technically-challenged friends and family, I’m all about applications giving you the ability to customize to your heart’s content. For those who want to keep photos private, you can limit who sees them by indicating that other Flickr users are family or friends.

The ability to share photos is only one of the many features that I like about Flickr. The ability to add tags, comments, and notes (which are different from comments) to photos, as well as easy upload tools, and the ability to order prints online (and pick them up at a local Target, if you so wish!) are all features that draw me to the service.

I’m currently only using the free Flickr offering, but I’m considering upgrading. I want feedback from anybody who is currently a Flickr Pro user. Is it worth the upgrade? It seems like it might be worth it for the increase in bandwidth alone. Oh and for those people who recommended another tool, I looked into it and just wasn’t as happy with the interface.

So check out Flickr when you get a chance, and upload your photos!

Kevin posted recently about Google Maps. There were services out there before that provided satellite views, but Google’s interface makes it super-easy. In screwing around with the site, I found a couple of really cool pictures. My favorite is the picture of Hoover Dam. So here are some sites of interest.

What other places of interest have people found?