Monday, June 30, 2008

26. Evernote

Evernote isn't exactly a "social" application. It is, however, very Web 2.0 in its insistence on making data entry painless wherever you happen be - on your phone, on the web or on your desktop. You can use Evernote to clip parts of web pages (or the whole thing), enter free-form notes yourself or save images and other media in a single spot. Evernote comes with a desktop client, a Firefox browser button and an email address that you can email to (or text to an an email address) notes/media/thoughts as well. For those of you who got into the Jott application when it was featured earlier, you can take that Evernote email address, add it as a Jott contact and "Jott" your notes via your phone to Evernote. It is free and offers 40 MegaBytes of uploaded data per month - that's a lot of random thoughts you can capture pretty easily!! Their own description of their services comes from their Help section:
Evernote is a Web Service that helps users manage all the digital information most relevant to them. The Service can be accessed through free, user-friendly Evernote software running on a personal computer or mobile device, or any Web browser.
This isn't the only note-taking software that is available, but it is the best example of a note-capture system that uses Web 2.0 theory (be where your users are!) that I've seen. No matter where I am, I have no problems dropping information into my Evernote account. While it isn't precisely social, it does allow you to share portions of your data - any of your notebooks can be easily shared with the public. It also takes advantage of tagging to help you organize your thoughts and your notebooks in a way that makes sense to you!
Evernote is free, but it is still in beta and requires an invite. I have 19 of 'em left and I think Bobbi might have a few as well. Just leave a request in the comments or email me and I'll hook you up!

Monday, June 23, 2008

25. Friend Feed

By now we've explored so many Web2.0 accounts, you and your friends have accounts on Twitter, Flickr, a blog, Facebook, YouTube and a lot more. So how do you keep up with all your friends accounts without spending half your day by going to all these sites to check in? FriendFeed!

Users sign up for an account from FriendFeed, add in the services they'd like to share then friends can create an account and subscribe to their feed. It's that easy! You can see when they upload pictures to Flickr, add a new book to LibraryThing, bookmark a new site on, start listening to a new station on Pandora or Lastfm and 30 other sites.

Check out MRRL's feed patrons who want to keep up with MRRL's happenings can do so in one place. You can even have the Feed digest sent to your email each day.

This can be a great time management tool. You can even great Imaginary Friends to follow the feeds of friends who haven't signed up for FriendFeed.

Like many sites there are some great privacy settings, your feed doesn't have to be public.

If you're interested My Feed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

24. Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is a browser add-on (extension) for the Firefox browser (no equivalent in Internet Explorer, sorry) that allows little snippets of JavaScript code to manipulate the web pages visited by the browser. After you install the extension, you can then use it to install and manage scripts that do everything from change ads on pages from the original ad graphic to random Flickr pics to adding information from one site (say, your local public library's) to another site (say, This is all done via the JavaScripting language. You aren't a JavaScript expert? No problem, people have been writing scripts - and sharing them - for years. Just about any site that gets more than a couple of visitors a day will have some scripts that can adjust its user interface, functionality or both. You can find an exhaustive list of scripts, arranged by website, on the Greasemonkey User Scripts wiki or you can find a number of "best of" lists that link to the most popular, useful or fun scripts that author can find, some specific to particular sites like or Gmail.
I use Greasemonkey to add a "twit this" link to my Google Reader web page - giving me a quick way to share what I'm reading with my Twitter buddies. I also use the Better Gmail script to improve the way the already very cool Gmail service works for me! Spend some time browsing around the various script sites, seeing what is available and what might improve your browsing experience (pay attention to all the social sites that have scripts - FriendFeed, Twitter,, blogger, Facebook, etc. - some of them are handy in helping with information overload).

Monday, June 9, 2008

23. gnod

There are so many new tools for book lovers, ways to connect with your friends, write and read reviews, but what if you just want a good old fashion recommendation?
Today we're gonna look at a Reader's Advisory tool that's not just for books, but movies and music too!

Start at the home page

We'll start with the books option. You have 4 choices when looking at this page, the "Map of Literature" is my favorite. Type in one of your favorite Authors

Then you'll get this visual display of similar authors, the closer they are to the original author the more like they are supposed to be.

You can do the same with movies or gnovies

Again, the closer it is to the movie you entered the more like it it is. There are some other search options where you put in 3 authors, movies or bands to get different results. There are also some discussion forums.

Monday, June 2, 2008

22. Web 2.0 Office

Those of us who worked on the library's Library 2.0 program are aware of the very cool features offered by Google's Docs and Spreadsheets applications. They take the basics of office documents (word processor, spreadsheet and a new presentation slides application) and allow us to use those functions without downloading (or paying for) standalone software. Google, as cool as it is, isn't the only player in town, however. There are many options for those who want to use standard office software without paying big bucks for a standard office suite - or for those who work on multiple computers with multiple people and have office document format issues. I work on 4 different computers with varying access to Office 2003, Office 2007 and Open Office. This makes keeping my documents in some sort of common format necessary - and difficult to sync up!
If you have the same sort of issues, you can use online office suites to keep all of your documents synced up, no matter what computer you are on, or in the same format, no matter what software is available on the computer upon which you are working. One site, the Office 2.0 Database, offers a comprehensive list of the sites available for use in an online office suite, including a page which lists the applications the author uses with a bunch of alternatives to the one he likes.
Since the use of any of these applications is free (though some have "premium" accounts that give you more storage in return for a monthly fee), sign up, try them out and find out which one(s) suits the way you work!