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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tweet any Text (super easy)



Meet TweetThisText - Yet another Bookmarklet that is good to have.
After dragging it to your browser, Just highlight text from anywhere in the web (it can be more than 140 characters), then click on the Bookmarklet. TweetThisText redirect the note to your Twitter account and creates a tweet with a link to the quoted text. Plus, it also link to the source where you actually grabbed the text from.

Not only TweetThisText enables you to create quick quotes, you can also use it to Retweet your friend updates.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 5:04 PM 6 comments

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The little things that make us happy

Pictures are emotional in general, but when it comes to computers it gets a stronger meaning, because for lots of people this is where they spend most of the day - on their computer. Unfortunately, most of the time people can't really download additional software to their work computer, nor have a computer that strong enough to stand heavy software. However, you can still use the web to create an amazing Wallpaper that can be easily downloaded to your desktop.

I found Photovisi to be a very charming application that can help you create a wallpaper in the most easy way that you can think of. All you REALLY need to do is to choose your desirable template, upload photos from your machine or Flickr, then download the final creation to your computer:


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posted by Orli Yakuel at 12:14 PM 1 comments

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Short Communication is Better?

You may or may not have noticed, but the Internet has made communication much more brief and that is probably one of the most important phenomenons that has occurred over the past year . Of course, it's is only logical due to content overload and part of a natural evolution of the web - But is this really beneficial to us as web users and content producers?

My first impression is yes - this must be a good thing. When you have shorter posts, (most of them in the context of status), you have less to read, which in turn allows you the ability to consume even more content. So you're not really saving time here, but the bonus is that now you can be exposed to more content at a faster rate.

At first, when people were saying they blog less because of services such as: Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed etc., I didn't agree. But now I know for sure that it's true. We're so accustomed to sending short messages through those services, that it feels weird to begin a blog post just to say: "check out this great service". Moreover, if you have a breaking news, it's much faster to send a tweet or update your status somewhere than it is to write a whole post.

But here's what I think is wrong with this kind of fast and short communication. Maybe it's superficial mode of communication...?
The focus is missing. We're getting excited about a new piece of news, or a new service and then quickly moving on to the next new thing. Eventually, the amount of publicity that something get is much less than before. And, here's another important issue: When you write something valuable and get referenced to/credit for it on a blog or a news site, it is very different than when someone Retweets your tweets. Retweets are not credits. Most of the time, people will Retweet without even look at the attached link.

So what's my point?

Clearly, a whole new and more open source of communication is now available to everyone and that is wonderful, of course. Being able to freely network and be visible to anyone you want just by replying to his/her tweet can lead to great friendships and business opportunities and is highly entertaining.

However, from a blogger's point of view, I really need to start focusing on my blog again, because here I can 'talk' as much as I want and go in-depth about new tools and services I find and like. Even more so, if someone posts about something I posted at my own blog, at least I'll get the credit I deserve too.

Because frankly, no one gives you credit under your Twitter status URL and when you the first to find reveal/discover/broadcast it credit should be given where it is due.
posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:10 PM 22 comments

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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Power of one Bookmarklet

Lizzer is one of those wonderful tools that can make a difference in your daily web work and surf. It works with any web mail platform, blog platforms, and only recently with Twitter & Facebook as well.

After a quick sign up, customize your bookmarklet with your favorite search services: Google, Yahoo, Flickr, Delicious etc, then drag & drop it to your browser. While using your Gmail (for example), simply click on the bookmarklet and search for links, videos, and pictures. Click on the chosen file from the results, and it will immediately insert inside the email like never before. You can also search and easily attach documents from Docstoc.


For your tweets - just launch the Lizzer bookmarklet when you’re at Twitter. You can add images, weblinks, videos, and document (same goes for Facebook).
To see how it works on Gmail, Blogger and Twitter, watch this short Demo:
posted by Orli Yakuel at 10:12 PM 3 comments

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Visual Knowledge Search Tool


eyePlorer is a Germany based company that visualizes knowledge graphs derived from Wikipedia content, that can be interactively explored. The service offers a visual user experience where the user does not work with documents but with knowledge & facts. It's done in a graphical, interactive, almost dialogue-like kind of way.

So how does it work?
There's no registration needed. You can search for any term, get a visual topic results for your query, then drag & drop the chosen facts to the notepad on the right side. After gathering all the information needed, you can copy the facts to clipboard or share with a friend via email.



I think it's a great personal work tool, but it can turn out to be an helpful public knowledge-base. Here are some suggestions to the eyePlorer team:
  • Allow people to save their notepad as it is - for that you'll probably need to enable registration
  • Let people choose between private and public projects - the public one can be shared among eyePlorer visitors
  • Add a search engine for finished project, and let people create a new project from an existent projects.
I found this Demo on the web, it looks a bit different from the actual product. I wonder if it's the before or after version... it simply looks better:

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 4:44 PM 4 comments

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All new Go2web20 - Faster, Friendlier, Richer!


This post was written by Eyal Shahar Go2web20 Co-Founder, which is a user experience specialist the site couldn't exist without.

For the past two years, Go2web20 has been one of the biggest web2.0 directories out there. We built this application to enable people to stay up to date with all the new & hot services that are born daily into the web. In many cases, Go2web20 has been the first to report the existence of a new application. Today, Go2web20 launching a new version, reconstructed from the ground.

Some background for newbiez

Go2web20 is an index of web applications and services. The index was founded on mid 2006 by Orli Yakuel and Eyal Shahar.
The site was built as a flash-based catalog, which is still available at http://www.go2web20.net. Today, prior to relaunch, it indexes around 3,000 web applications from various categories, and draws thousands of daily visitors.

This upgrade is not about minor fixes, but a change of approach.
So what's new?

Perfomance!
The original site was never planned to get so big. It wasn't scalable, and we know it turned to be awfully slow and heavy. So this was our primary goal - make it fast! The new site is based on HTML+Ajax, and loads data in pieces as necessary, unlike the previous version, which loaded the entire data when initiated.

Search
Go2web20 is about getting updated for many users, but it's also about research. So we built up a rich search mechanism:

* Search using free text - also searched the applications description and tags, not just their titles.
* Combine tags and free text in search
* Search suggestions (by tags) as you type
* Also suggest applications by name for quick access.
* Use the tags bar to filter your results deeper and deeper
* Unique URL for search results - helps you get updated on a specific subject.
* Browser search add-on.

Rich info on applications
There's a lot to say about each application on the index besides the short description and tags we provide. So we built a unique page for each application and used some APIs and partnerships to provide you with this data:

* Screenshot
* Blog posts about this application
* Videos and screencasts
* Twits
* Biz info from CrunchBase
* Delicious as a popularity rank
* User comments and rating

Main page and search results
1. Text-search with suggestion for tags and for quick access to applications.
2. Switch between the classic go2web20 gallery mode and a list mode that shows description and metadata.
3. Use the next-back to flip pages, or the pagination at the top
4. Use tags filtering to get more accurate results. Easily add/remove tags to navigate your way through the directory.
5. Get the full list of tags, sorted alphabetically or by popularity.
6. Many options to get updated on new results
7. Install the Go2web20 open-search to your browser
8. The classic Flash based go2web20 is still accessible for now.

Application page
1. Added screenshot of the application
2. Recent blog posts related to the application
3. Videos and screencasts related to the application
4. The application profile on Crunchbase
5. Comments and ratings
6. Delicious as a popularity rank
7. Recent twits mentioning the application name
8. Quick sharing links

Partnerships
As the gate to web 2.0 applications, we believe in mash-ups and cooperation. We used some open APIs and some direct partnership to enhance our site.
Here are some examples of what we used:

* Google Friend Connect for user comments & ratings and members page
* ShrinkTheWeb for screenshots
* Notify.me for email and SMS updates
* Conduit for the web 2.0 toolbar
* Google for blogs info
* Youtube for application videos
* Twitter search for relevant tweets

We welcome any cooperation suggestion that will enrich the user experience on Go2web20. Submit your thoughts to info@go2web20.net.

Advertisers
We currently offer static advertising that run on front page and all search results, on the right end column. Please contact advertise@go2web20.net for price offers.

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posted by Eyal Shahar at 7:53 PM 4 comments

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Twitter Support Paradox

Twitter may change the way companies think about the way they support their customers, but when it comes to Twitter themselves, not only do they not use their own platform to give quick and personal answers, but they are far far behind from what the service could really offer.

I'm sure that by now, hundreds of companies are using Twitter accounts to enhance their client support. Nothing wrong with that of course. On the contrary, if companies are using Twitter, it's probably because they want to give their costumer a quicker way to say what's on their mind. And in most cases these companies will answer to anything you have to say, whether it's a question, feedback or whatever. This kind of accessible communication has a historical influence on the web, and it's all enabled because of Twitter, so how come their support is so unsocial?

I understand, Twitter is a big company and I assume they gets lots of emails per day. But I would expect them to at least have some people to answers the emails. Twitter ignored my emails more than once. Even when I had the biggest problem ever, no one was there to help me.

Right now when you send an email to Twitter, you get an auto-massage that says: it may be 5-7 business days before you receive a replay. Well, I sent my email on Feb 18, still no answer... I'm still optimistic though. But based on these people complaints, I shouldn't be.

You also get this very harsh warning in the auto-message from twitter support:
PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT MULTIPLE REQUESTS FOR THE SAME ISSUE. DUPLICATE REQUESTS WILL BE DELETED AND YOUR ORIGINAL REQUEST WILL BE PUSHED TO THE END OF THE QUEUE.



My good friend Allen Stern said the other day:

Here's the rest of our conversation about this issue:


I totally agree with what Allen said. And being involved strongly in the web for the last 5 years, I know for sure that this is a wrong approach to handle costumers today. This shouldn't happen in this web era, not when Twitter teaching us how to communicate better.

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posted by Orli Yakuel at 1:39 PM 7 comments

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