Archive for ‘DIY’

March 17, 2011

Geek speak

by Lotte Agten, Christina Schraml

AstroTurfing – a way of advertising or promoting a product, service, or idea, but designed to mask its origins and create the impression of being spontaneous and popular.

Champions: to get conversations started in an online community, a group of enthusiast people is needed to get things moving by posting stuff, interacting, and helping each other: the champions!

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March 7, 2011

Lost! in cyberspace?

By Jeroen Van Looy

Web 2.0 refers to a trend where the world wide web evolves from a collection of websites to a platform of interactive applications. Technological innovations made it easier for people to publish, share information, collaborate, … over the internet. By now, most content of web 2.0 websites is referred to as user generated content. Let’s glance quickly over some tools used.

Blogs – Weblog, or blogs, are easily updated websites covering subjects ranging from personal diaries to professional tools.  The articles are usually texts, but fotoblogs, videoblogs or audioblogs (podcasts) are also common.  Often readers can comment on articles.  You can easily read blogs on the site itself, but you can also use RSS or e-mail to get new articles pushed to you. To find interesting blogs, Googleblogs or Technorati can get you started. If you want to set up your own blog, WordPress is an easy to use blogging-platform.

Microblogs – Microblogging is somewhere between blogging and Instant Messaging. A very well known microblogging service is Twitter. Twitter allows users to share tweets – short snippets of information of less than 140 characters in length – in real-time and to connect to other users, allowing them to follow conversations and find the latest information of what they find interesting.
Looking for tweets regarding Manchester? Try ‘#mcr’ or “#manchester” and “#smc_mcr”, “#NDJobs” or “#blab” for directing your search. Or attend the local Twestival on March, 24 2011 where you can tweet, meet and give to local charity.

RSS – When you don’t want to spend the whole day drifting around on the internet, RSS just might make life easier for you. Short for “Real Simple Syndication” or Rich Site Summary, RSS is a tool you can use to subscribe to a website and let you stay in touch with the latest information on them. Instead of screening every webpage time after time for new content, RSS allows you to gather all new content of these websites on 1 location;, the RSS-aggregator or feed reader. Ready to start? Here are some feed readers you can use;Google ReaderBloglinesNewsgator online.  Just look for  on the webpages you visit and click to subscribe.

Social bookmarking – Now you’re on your way of gathering heaps of interesting stuff. So why not share them? Social bookmarking as a method allows you to store bookmarks online, categorize them by using tags and share them with other site visitors. By browsing the tags or by looking for specific tags, bookmarks can be shared with others interested in similar topics.  This way, social bookmarking can also be used as a peer-reviewed alternative for the more common search engines.  DeliciousStumbleupon,ClipmarksDigg are just some of the many tools you can use.

Mash-up – Instead of checking your bookmarks, feeds or a website, why not make a mash-up of them?  A mash-up is a webpage or a webapplication where multiple tools and web sites can be combined to create a new interface, product or tools. Examples of mash-ups are amongst others combinations of data – pictures for example – with geographical coordinates, incorporation of tweets or RSS-feeds on a blog or a combination of favorite websites, blogs, feeds, pictures, calendar’s, podcasts, a list of things to do,  … functioning as a personal homepage.

Interested?! Well iGooglePageflakes and Pipes can get you started. Saves you a lot of time!

Wiki – Okay, well you’re on your way to becoming quite a figure in the digital society… You even get asked to collaborate in fun projects? Wikis may come in handy now. These collaborative web sites where anyone can create new content or edit existing content, allow people to share knowledge, communicate and brainstorm, making it an interesting tool for working on projects on-line. Probably one of the most well-known wikis is the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia. Starting your own wiki-page is easy with Wetpaint,Lis Wiki and many more .

Quora – Lost? Don`t worry, that actually happens quite a lot. There are a lot of friendly people out there in cyberspace whom you can ask (almost) everything. Just post your question on Quora and you`ll be back on track  again in no time.

Social networks – Now you can do all of that, let’s not forget for whom you’re sharing and creating stuff on-line. As an extension of the classic everyday social life in the virtual world of internet, social networking platforms create virtual communities.Facebook,Myspace, Ning, LinkedIn, … Social networking platforms probably don’t need much of an introduction.

Calendars – But to be honest, we still prefer the real stuff! Go out and show your face to the world! Why not go to one of Manchester’s many meetups and digital social events?! Just in case you don’t know where to go; check out the many digital events calendars such as manchesterdigital, socialmediamanchester manchesterdda to name just a few.

Want to know more ? Check:

→ Blogs in Plain English (Commoncraft)
→ Twitter in Plain English (Commoncraft) or on TED
→ Podcasting in plain English (Commoncraft)
→ On-line Photo Sharing in Plain English (Commoncraft)
→ RSS in Plain English (Commoncraft)
→ Social bookmarking in Plain English (Commoncraft)
→ Introduction to Mashups
→ 7 cool “Mashup”Websites – What Are Mashup Websites?
→ Wiki’s in plain English (Commoncraft)
→ Social networking in plain English (Commoncraft)

What is your favorite on-line tool? (Feel free to comment in a constructive way)