Discoveries

This weekend I decided to go through my phone and make a hard copy of all my passwords.  As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of LockBox, but I have heard horror stories of data loss, so better safe then sorry.

After a few hours, I had several pages with more then 75 passwords.  That’s not the number of accounts, it’s just passwords.  Some places like gmail, blogger, & youtube, or yahoo, flickr, & geocities use the same log in for multiple accounts.

How did this get so out of control.  Anyone I work with could probably tell you.  At least once a week I’ll come in all excited about a new discovery.  “Wait ‘till you hear what I found!” followed by, “Your definitely gonna wanna sign up for this.”  Then my peers check it out, listen to my fifteen minute rant, nod their head and say, “Hmm, that does look cool.”  They never sign up, but they do wait for me to leave the room before calling me a crack-pot, and that’s nice.

So I just though I would share a few of these with you.  You’re already online and obviously have some time to burn.  But remember, I if you commit with “What a crack-pot,” while I may be “out of the room,” I will return later and see it.  What a lead in…

Comment Tracking
If you comment on a lot of different web sites backtype offers a way gather all of those comments into one place.  Your friends can visit your backtype page, see what you’ve been reading, what your thought about it, and read it too if your comment makes it sound engaging.  Here’s how it works.  When you leave a comment, how every you fill in “website” (your blog, your myspace, whatever,) that’s how backtype find what you said.  No one I know is using this, and now that I think of it, I don’t even know why I am.  Still, I think it’s cool. (Here’s mine.)

Tracking Everything Else
Chances are you too have multiple accounts, along with multiple stops around the internet to see what your friends are up to.  Youtube to see if there’s any new videos, facebook to see what your friends are up to, then over to twitter for the latest opinions of Monday morning, and on, and on. Friendfeed tries to bring all that together in one place.  Here’s what I like about friendfeed.  While you really need a network of friend to get any benefit out of most sites like twitter or facebook, friendfeed can be useful even if you’re the only one using it.  It allows “imaginary friends.”  These are basically like RSS feed readers.  You name an imaginary friend and assign accounts to it.  When they update, you see it in your friendfeed.  So you may already have cyber stalkers and not even know it. Creepy huh.  (My friendfeed.)

Video: The Long and the Short
Nothings new about video on the net.  Youtube is a house hold word, even grandparents are getting in on the action.  Two finds I just discovered  are on the long and the short end of video.
First the short, 12seconds.tv.  It’s like youtube but you only have 12 seconds to tell your story.  It cuts down on all the long, uh, rambling, um, vlog, you know, that you see out there.  (My 12second.)
On the long side is mogulus.  It’s a 24 hour channel with lower thirds, over the shoulder boxes, and full screens build right in.  You take your video content from a web cam or an online source (like youtube.)  You record your program and it is streamed until you have new content.  You can also break in to your channel with live breaking news.  What a great idea.  Right now it’s mostly being use to stream movies online.  I don’t think this is legal at all.  But it does give you the power of a complete broadcast station right on a website (kinda.)  (My mogulus channel, with not much there.)
Another in the video category is animoto.  You upload still pictures from your computer, or from an online account (ie flickr or photobucket,) and music (theirs or yours) and animoto puts together a complete custom slide show.  You can make a short for free, other wise it costs $3 per video or $30 for a full year of unlimited videos.  You can upload the finish product to youtube, facebook, or just email links to it.  I hope they stick around for a year since I bought a subscription.  (If you do choose to subscribe be sure to search for promo codes online.  I saved five bucks.)  It’s worth checking out, and making a thirty second slideshow for free.  (A sample of animoto in action on my youtube.)
Qik is exciting.  You can stream video straight to the web from your cell phone, unless you have an iPhone.  If you have another phone check it out.  (I have an iPhone.)

Twitter Accessories
If you don’t understand twitter, I’m not going to try to explain it.  But I will quickly dispel some of the common myths.
1 – “I don’t want everyone knowing what I’m doing all the time.”  All the information posted about you is by you.
2 – “I don’t like the idea of people checking in on me.”  See one.  Plus you can block followers, and others can keep track of your online activities via friendfeed.
3 – “I don’t have anything to say.”  Some of the people I follow on twitter only update every month or so.  And there are ways to automatically generate content…
Twitterfeed. This service posts updates straight to your twitter account.  It can be configured to update from any blog, your youtube account, flickr, or just about anything with an RSS feed.
Tweetlater.  Another service that can auto follow or update your account on schedule.  I don’t suggest auto following.  Spammers are popping up on twitter.  They follow you, hope you follow them, and if you do they post all kinds of helpful information about wait loss and investment opportunities.
Twitpic.  This picture got a lot of press for being a first look at the plane that landed in the Hudson.  You use your twitter account to sign in and get a special email address to send your picture updates to.  And twitpic itself is a great story, one guy runs the whole thing out of his apartment.  (My twitpic.)
Posterous is a bit like twitpic.  It has more of a blog style.  You still email in your post, but with posterous your not limited to pictures.  You can attach pictures, mp3’s, videos, or any kind of file.  While twitpic uses only your emails subject, posterous also saves the body of your email, as well.  It too can update twitter, but it’s versatility makes it useful even if you don’t have a twitter account.  (My posterous, without much there.)

Useful?
One last one.  G.ho.st, it’s a vc (virtual computer) for your pc!  Yeah, I don’t know how useful it is, but I do like saying that.  “A vc right there on your pc.  There’s a little clock!  Did you see the little clock?”  This is the one I would like someone else to try, just so they could tell me why it’s useful.  I have been using it for online storage and file transfers.  But for something like that I guess you could use (get)dropbox.  But does dropbox have a little clock?  No!

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