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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Discover More Websites While Surfing The Web


Israeli-based SimilarWeb is a Firefox extension that helps you find similar content & sites while browsing the net. After you download the plug, it sits on your browser and you can open/close the sidebar in a very easy way. Once you opened the sidebar, it will show you relevant webpages to the URL you're currently at.

There are 3 modes to watch those similar webpages: Thumbnails, List, and Small icons view, and basically all you really need to do is to browse as you regularly do, and SimilarWeb will offer you sites that you might find interesting. You can also vote up or down for the recommendations you get, and I guess that within time you'll get better and more relevant results.

I've created a short Demo to show you how does it work:
SimilarWeb won the Mini Seedcamp competition that was held in Israel on the 29th, and in my opinion, they certainly worth it.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 7:36 PM 1 comments

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How-To Create Impressive Slideshow in 4 Steps



Sometimes I'm just amazed with how simple some of the services are.
Here's one that knows how to turn accessible digital content into a great looking slideshow.

1. First choose where to upload the picture from: Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, or your own hard drive


2. In this case, I've chosen Flickr. One click (seriously), and all the pictures were ready to be presented in the slideshow.


3. Now all you need to add is music, and PhotoPeach allows you to simply search for the desirable track on Youtube. How brilliant is that?!



4. Click "save" and your slideshow is ready. Just quickly signup to the service and you done. In any stage, you can go back, edit and organize the photos, change the music and add comments on top of the presentation.

Click to watch

One thing is missing and that is the ability to embed the slideshow player inside a blog post. But even though, PhotoPeach is simple and fun to use, and will be very enjoyable to share among family & friends (through social networks or via email)

UPDATE:

Orli on PhotoPeach

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:32 PM 7 comments

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Friday, January 23, 2009

5 Delicious Scripts for your Delicious Bookmarks Page

My all time favorite site is Delicious and as much as I like the newest features, redesigned service, etc, when it comes to delicious, I feel so lost after their one and only relaunch. I got used to the old site's interface and it's still hard on me to get use to the new one.

But that is all in the past anyhow because I joyously found some Greasemonkey* scripts that helped me to get over it and here they are some of them.

Delicious Digg Style
This nifty script that I really love and need, made especially for me by @eyalshahar.
In the old Delicious version, the number of people who saved a link to favorites was found under the link, right where the link was started. For me, it's very important to see how many people saved a certain link, so when Delicious changed this number's location on the page at the new version, it really bothered me.
But with this script, I can search and see the numbers even faster than ever.


Delicious Star Rater
Rate your most favorite bookmarks on the site with a great star-rater. Rated bookmarks will be highlighted within the bookmark list for easy recognition.
What I love so much about this script is that it's simply smart! The star-rater actually is made up of tags that you can search based on what you rate. Brilliant.




Delicious Video Thumbnail (animated)
A script that shows video thumbnails for YouTube video links. Unfortunately it doesn't play inside Delicious. BUT! if you'll roll-over the thumbnail, it will display a few screens from the video itself.



Delicious Favicons
There are some scripts that add thumbnails previews to the links posted in Delicious, but I think that favicons are much easier to understand and the page stays clean.


Delicious Sort Visible Links
Just a sweet script that sorts all the links on the page by their title, URL or popularity:



*You'll need a Greasemonkey plugin to start with.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 2:51 PM 2 comments

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Microblogging Platform for Business to be released on February



Blellow has all the good features that your company might want from a Microblogging system.

The problem in this stage, is that no one actually want another Twitter. The problem with this problem, is that we end up using a very basic service, and completing the experience by using all kind of other third party applications that fulfilling our needs where Twitter is failing.

But we can't ignore the fact that Twitter is changing the way we communicate with each other. And to be honest, I like twitter because of its simplicity, and it works. But when it comes to business, you'll need a tool that gives you more than just general socializing. Using a Microblog for business requires the ability to target very specific kinds of people to help you with certain tasks. Blellow helps you organize your contacts and target your message in a flexible and customizable way.

It is a social network that allows freelancers and professionals to collaborate, find work, and solve problems through a friendly and familiar Microblog interface, by answering the question: “What are you working on?



Looks like all the features that you familiar with from Twitter, are already embedded in Blellow, but here are some of the additional features:
  • Create groups & private groups
  • Give feedback & advice - give kudos to your friend work
  • Post a job/find a project
  • Find nearby meetups
  • Search people by skill or location.
Overall it looks very promising, but I'd really love to hear your thoughts about this one. You might think about it as yet another Twitter clone, but I don't think that Blellow are trying to compete with Twitter, I think they recognizes the need, and understand that twitter is leading to the next generation of communication, and adjusts their service to this method.

The site is not open to the public yet (I just found about it while searching for something else, so I don't have an invite too), but you can get the sense of it from this demo-view page.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 7:58 PM 4 comments

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Twitter Suggesting you New Friends



I just came across this today, when I tried to find a friend and saw that this feature disabled (again), but then I noticed a new tab on the search section: "Suggested Users". Apparently, Twitter are trying to connect you with more new users, but I didn't actually understand based on what they're doing it because frankly I couldn't found a match with any of the them.

It will be interesting to see if Twitter will allow you to suggest new users to friends like Facebook does. Anyway, everything new on Twitter is interesting I guess, so that's a good news...
But, will you use this feature really?

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:49 AM 6 comments

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some thoughts about BonzoBox - Interactive Bookmarking Tool

When I first saw the video intro of BonzoBox, I thought to myself: Now this is something I'd like to try!



BonzoBox is an interactive web tool that allows people to build their own customized page with links to their favorite websites, for an easy access to them. It is also a search engine that is divided to three: Google search, your own favorite search, and the community choices search.

The problem (for me), started right from the registration. I mean, why do I need to sign up? It looks like a search engine, and I believe this is the whole point of this service, so it felt really weird to sign up without having the ability to search for something first. It would have been better to just open this option and allow the users to choose when to sign up. (probably if they want to save the page).

The other problem, is that the site refresh itself constantly and there's nothing that you can do about it (not in the setting anyway) - A-n-n-o-y-i-n-g.

But I guess what really bothered me the most is the site colors. The navigation, functionality, features, are all great, but the colors are too bright and confusing. I'd go with a darker color instead of this light gray (it will be much easier on the eye):


You're welcome to try this yourself by clicking here: BonzoBox
posted by Orli Yakuel at 9:02 AM 2 comments

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A New Version of ScreenToaster Is Out



ScreenToaster, currently the best way to create a screencast online, released a new version today with lots of new features. I've wrote about this service a while ago, and I'm so happy to see all the neat additions. After all, this is one of the most useful tools for Bloogers.

Among the new features, you'll find:
- Live audio capture
- Embed webcam in screen capture
- Accelerated or slow-motion playback
- Pauses during recording
- Download the completed screencast (.avi / experimental)
- Redesign and improved content organization
- Personal profiles

An API, direct upload features (to Youtube & DailyMotion) and downloads in .swf will come soon.

I was trying to find other online editors that allowing users to create free screencast, but except for Screencast-o-Matic (which is very low with features & quality), no one is actually giving this for free, and without the need to download a desktop client. So right now, ScreenToaster is the best choice that you'll find, and the results are very good.

Seriously, I couldn't find any reason not to use it. Overall, you'll save yourself time & money.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:52 PM 6 comments

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Monday, January 12, 2009

More than just a Link Shortening Service



If you're using Twitter, short-URL services are a must-use because the characters limitation. But overall, those services are also great for IM chat apps, email etc.
I've been using Cli.gs lately and really enjoyed their great features. However, being a blogger I'm always searching for an ultimate tool in a certain category, or a one that gives the users that extra something... In this case, Go2.me is a terrific choice for people who want to create a very short URL, plus have an open conversation about the submitted link.

Go2.me enables people to exchange comments on every link page. All you need to do is to pick your nickname, then to write your comment. In addition you'll be able to get a summary of all your shared links (no registration needed), and see the stats of each link.

See example here: Go2.me/L3

You can explore more of the site features in this demo below:


One thing is missing for sure, and that is the ability to share a link directly to Twitter. (FYI @Go2me)
posted by Orli Yakuel at 12:24 PM 3 comments

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Why am I Waiting to Prezi Beta Invitation...

Because this incredible service will change the way we create presentations!

Prezi - A zooming presentation platform, allows people to create and perform stunning non-linear presentations with relations, zooming into details, and adjusting to the time left without the need to skip slides.

I can't say much about the service, simply cause I haven't got my invite yet, but I've tried the DEMO on the site and it's a WOW!

However, based on what I saw there, I'm not sure their round menu was a good choice, it is just too complex. Hopefully they'll change it to a simpler menu. Also, I don't see any generating code ability, so I couldn't grab the nifty movie from the site, but I suggest that you go to Prezi's webpage and see it there.

In the meantime, here's something that I found in Youtube:


UPDATE: Want to try it?
When you sign up for the beta invite at the site, write down that you heard about the service at Go2web20 blog (where?), and you'll get an invitation :-)
posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:06 PM 7 comments

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Do your Kids a Favor and Download KIDO'Z

KIDO'Z is an Israeli startup based in Tel-Aviv that will give your kids a much safer, better experience over the Internet . The service is suited for kids at the age of 3 - up to the age of 11 (and more). In any case, the children don't need to know reading & writing to use this site, they just need to have good motor skills to be able to click the pictures and the icons at KIDO'Z.

So what is KIDO'Z?
It's an Adobe-Air-based application that open a small activity world for kids - right on the desktop. They call it "The Kids Browser" and after I installed the new version, I'd have to agree with that term.

The service allows kids to:
  • Visually browse through tens of safe links - links that punctiliously chosen in order to ensure only safe content.
  • Game zone with a wider view, and most important: without any annoying banners what so ever.
  • Video area - KIDO'Z filtered the videos for you, and displays only the stuff your kids will want, and need to see.
It's really important to know that once the kids open this application they can't go out unless they click on the icon that allows that, so it is most likely they'll stay in this safe environment while they're surfing.

I've tested this with my nephews (ages: 5 - 6), and they seemed to have a full control over this right from the beginning. And moreover, all they want to use is this service.

From what I know, this is only a small piece of the main product, and based on what I already saw, you want to put an eyeball on that one!

There's nothing like a visual sight - Watch this quick DEMO:
posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:58 PM 2 comments

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