The ‘Social Media for Firefox’ Extension

Useful tool that uses API’s to scan Digg, Reddit, and others to helps you find stories becoming popular on one site so you can be the first to submit them at another.

“…the ultimate time saver to building powerful social media accounts”.

Perfect for all you news junkies and addicts.

read more | digg story


Highly interactive website that pushes the browser to the limit – ‘Red Interactive Agency’

We don’t know how to describe it.

It seems to be a webpage by a web design studio. Showing off their skills, they push the conventional browser to the limit.

With a 19th century theme, users can join ‘chatrooms’ and talk to other users. There are a range of avatars to pick from, including uncle sam on stilts, a convict, a rich man holding sacks of money and even a horse.

You need to take a look for yourself.

WWDC – The aftermath

Leopard DesktopToday Steve Jobs revealed many new and innovative products for both the Macintosh platform and the Windows PC platform, as well as developer news for the iPhone.

The main feature of the conference was the release of the next version of Apple’s OS X, named Leopard. New features included an updated graphical interface with semi-transparent dock and menu bar, a more consistent look across the platform (no more brushed metal look) an improved dock with an ability to ‘stack’ several items into one slot and a completely 64-bit operating environment.

The finder has also had a large overhaul – it now has a interface fairly similar to iTunes, with a 3 column view. Full previews of documents and media (including video) has been added. Coverflow has been integrated into the finder as well, allowing the user to ‘flip’ through documents.

Data back-up software called “Time machine” that allows users to go back to previous versions and revisions of a file in an unconventional interface.

Another important feature of Leopard is “Spaces“, where a user has four virtual desktop spaces instead of the usual one to work in. This allows a more streamlined use of the workspaces, and an ability to separate workspaces so as to focus on different projects.

The “one more thing” announcement surprised many people, with the launch of the Apple Safari browser for Windows XP and Vista. It is thought that the reasoning behind this move is to reap the royalties given by Google and Yahoo for every search done in that browser.

Other Apple programs given updates are iChat and Mail, with screen sharing and upgraded audio quality in iChat.

The iPhone is still slated for it’s June 29th release, launching at Apple stores and AT&T stores across The United States. Developers are able to create third party programs within Safari for the iPhone, however there is no word on whether a SDK will be released in the future.

Unfortunate blogging trends….

A little trend I’ve noticed in blogging – there are so many blogs that are full of details about someone’s life that we don’t care about. What sport they regularly do and what the score was in their last game. Photos of their dog showing how cute he is. How they love long walks around their suburb. What they did in the garden yesterday.

If you are going to make a personal blog, write entries that people have a reason to read and feel involved. A great example of this is one I found recently – Violent Acres. The author does not give out many details of herself, rather she tells of many extraordinary and not-so extraordinary events in her rather hectic life. She has admitted to embellishing her posts, however (she says) that this is only done to make a point. I really don’t care too much of the truth, more of a good read. I’m not saying that you should make-up cool stories, but I am saying that you should either write a good story or embellish a boring one.

You also have the option (certainly my preferred one) of taking a more citizen journalist perspective and ‘report’ on stories. No surprise here that I’m a Journalist student. Try to have a particular focus or angle if you follow this path. For example, I’m going to report on many technology stories, anywhere from the latest press release from Microsoft and the newest iPod available to the retirement of the shuttle fleet or the best electric-powered car.

Just remember to keep your focus and not let your readers strongly dictate what you write. Be yourself. However, you have the responsibility to check your facts, maintain a proper writing standard (something we do not always achieve all the time) and appropriately respect for others.

But I suppose from time to time you can let loose that fiery tongue.

Why I still use Myspace… Part 2

Here’s part two of my article ‘Why I still use Myspace’.

4. I can keep contact with people I otherwise wouldn’t

As I have already stated, email isn’t for everybody – especially the younger generation. I find that I can keep in contact and stay up-to-date with many of my previous school friends. Some are getting married, some are moving overseas, etc. etc. I wouldn’t be aware of any of this as I have changed my email many times, but with Myspace your profile address stays static and the same.

5. Band profiles and info

Myspace has recently pushed promoting music and bands in the past year to survive and adapt to the changing online and social-networking climate. This can be seen with the increase of focus on band and artist profiles and promotion of local performances. I have become aware of several release dates and news of upcoming albums and performances, such as Nine Inch Nails.

Well there we are. Of course keep in mind everyone’s reason for using Myspace or Facebook or Beebo or whatever will differ. And the features are also an important factor. Facebook opening up their API to third parties has played a strong hand in winning many communities over.

Why I still use Myspace… Part 1

I get posed this question a lot these days. ‘Why do you use that stupid thing? Well I’ll give a few reasons why I still use the internet’s worst website, ranked by PC Wrold.

1. Everyone else did when I signed up.

This is probably the number one reason people join a social-networking site. Everyone else they know are either aware of it or are active in it. When I was in high school, I heard about it through a friend. It grows. Before I knew it, I had all my other friends on it as well.

2. It was a new way of communicating.

For me it replaced email. I still had msn for chatting and a proper email address for signing up and subscribing to content, but I just used Myspace. It was really easy. Just going to a different webpage that communicated everything about that person and leaving a message felt more… right than email. It was a personal message, email felt a little distant. Like writing a letter. That’s it. More personal.

3. You almost felt like you ‘owned’ your space.

Yeah, to me it kind of felt like ownership. In reality when you sign up you agree to a contract in which they kind of loan it to you and accept no responsibility. You can do anything to your space, even going as far as completely altering the look and feel though. You typically fill in tables with text, but I have my entire space covered with custom CSS and applied my own layout. Myspace don’t seem to mind this, and I think this is one reason why it has lasted so long. I feel that other social-networking sites lock down your ‘space’ or personal page and stifle creativity.