Sue Waters Blog

April 2, 2008
by Sue Waters
10 Comments

Thanks Diigo, CoComment and TweetCloud For The Support

Image of No'sIt would appear that apparently it’s impossible to say NO to me, surely that’s not the case, however I’m feeling slightly sorry for the poor companies / individuals, this weekend, that got dragged into Sue’s World. Image of No!!!! by Claudecf.

Adventures With Diigo

Let’s start with Diigo. The educators have gone absolutely crazy in Twitter since last Thursday about this site — so much so that I had to name it The Site That Can’t Be Named.

I’ve made a conscious decision not to rush off to try every new shiny tool that people rave about because it becomes tiring/draining; it’s much better to let others do all work and wait to see if they still love in a few weeks or moved onto the next best thing (I’m with the cows — read the last sentence at the bottom of the post). However boredom won on Saturday night made me decide to try Diigo out.

Unfortunately installing the diigo toolbar crashed FireFox and kept crashing it whenever I tried to open up my iGoogle page. Nothing worse for me than not being able to do something; drives me crazy. Joel from Diigo immediately contacted me Sunday, when I twittered my problem — poor guy has been working hard since to reproduce my problem so they can check out the issue.

CoComment And Commenting

Meanwhile I’ve been having nice discussions with Christophe from CoComment; we been communicating since he became interested in my comparison between the RSS feed from co.mment and cocomment. I’ve decided to persist with Cocomment because 1) I’m so impressed with the responsiveness of their support and 2) I’m interested in the community aspects of their site (Hey Kim – you seem to be a CoComment power user — do you have any tips for getting more out of using it?).

Poor Christophe — my latest problem with CoComment addon was intermittent problems in FireFox preventing comments from being posted.

After considerable research Diigo wasn’t able to reproduce the problem so suggested I create an entirely new profile of FireFox — which I did last night. Installed Diigo toolbar – no problems. Added CoComment addon — oops now iGoogle is crashing. So we have Diigo toolbar + CoComment Addon + my iGoogle page = FireFox crashes.

Poor guys — now both companies looking into what has Sue done (but fortunately they have now been able to reproduce the problem using an iGoogle page exactly like mine).

So now we have the email competition — which company will enjoy the most email exchanges with me? Your thoughts?

My Own TweetCloud

And not to be outdone I’ve also managed to drag poor John Krutch into it; after he read my reply on Alan Levine’s post at not being able to use TweetCloud cause apparently I’m a prolific twitterer. Thanks to John I’ve now got my own fantastic TweetCloud and he is fantastic. I hope you all notice that Good features strongly in my twitters; this should dispels all myths that I rant and proves I’m GOOD.

tweetcloud.jpg

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks to Joel (Diigo), Christophe (CoComment) and John Krutch (TweetCloud) for all the fantastic support.

Would love to hear what you like the most about using Diigo and CoComment. Please let me know of resources, video etc that you recommend I should refer to for learning how to get the most out of using Diigo and CoComment. And let me know how your TweetCloud goes :)

And if you’re enjoying this blog, please consider Subscribing for free


August 28, 2007
by Sue Waters
9 Comments

Love iGoogle – Get iGoogle Skins!

Gabriela is an ABSOLUTE LEGEND – she knows what I am an interested in and as a member of my del.icio.us network, she adds bookmarks for web sites to my del.icio.us account that she KNOWS I WILL LIKE. If you are not familar with del.icio.us or want to learn how to use del.icio.us more effectively – check out my Getting Out of Del.icio.us information.

igoogleskin1.jpg

Today she gave me a GEM – Gabriela knows I am a bit crazy about iGoogle (= Google’s personalised homepage – read more about it here!), as I am a self confessed Google-aholic. And she has shared with me the link for Adding “Custom iGoogle Skins” to your iGoogle page. I already use google themes on my homepage, which change during the day but with the Custom iGoogle Skin gadget you can either make your own theme for your personalised homepage OR choose themes (skins) that others have shared, by browsing the most recent or the most popular.

I know it sounds crazy, but the colours and feel of my themes on my iGoogle page do effect my emotions – the right theme has a calming influence. The hardest task with the iGoogle Skin gadget is actually choosing which is most calming.

THANKS Gabriela!

UPDATE

Just discovered that the iGoogle Skins is affecting my Google reader gadget and stripping out all links posts. So I have had to turn off skins – SORRY. However Christine has reported she has installed and is having no ISSUES with it interfering with her Google reader gadget. So I suggest you try for yourself and report back outcomes. If you know a solution, for me, please let me know?


July 20, 2007
by Sue Waters
4 Comments

My Everyday Tools

In the last couple of days I have noticed people blogging on tools that I have been using for quite awhile – I assumed that everyone knew about them – wrong assumption. So I thought today I would post about tools that I use all the time:

1. SnagIt snagit2

Don’t care that it costs money – was worth every cent – they let you download and trial this software for a month – give it a go. Thanks Evil Sue for putting me onto this great screen capture software. This is how I create all the great “How-to-do” images for my web sites (check out “how to create instructional videos” must transfer this to Mobile Technology in TAFE wiki).

2. Microsoft LiveWriter live

All my blog posts are written using LiveWriter. Definitely much quicker and easy than using my blog dashboard. Thanks Frances for getting me to try it. If you have not tried LiveWriter – TRY IT

3. Flickr Creative Commons photos, Lynetter’s Interesting Snippets, Flickr Storm

I use these to locate photos that I can legally use. Lynetter’s Interesting Snippets contains great images with excellent quotes that I have been using for some of my different web sites. These snippets have inspired me to create some of my own. [Snippet by Lynetter].

If you do not have your own Flickr account (online photosharing website), I recommend you get one – here are some of the reasons why I have a Flickr account.

376632696_3f4d7a3755_mmagazine7797076

4. fd’s Flickr Toys

This site has so many excellent toys that you can use to create posters, badges , mosaics etc from Flickr photos. Thanks Robyn for putting me onto Flickr toys and Storm.

This is a magazine cover that I created using Flickr Toys. Yes – we can all agree that I am not that creative – so I shall not be leaving my day job yet – tip if you want the photo to work it needs to be 619 pixels wide by 800 pixels high.

5. Audacity, MovieMaker and SuperC

I use Audacity for creating audio podcasts, MovieMaker for my video podcast (would like to use a Mac for video – but that is a really long story) and SuperC for converting my videos from .wmv to .mp4 format (less problems when I upload to my podcast site). Here are my instructions on “how to create audio podcasts“, “how to create video podcasts” and “how to convert .wmv to .mp4“.

If you have time, please give me your opinion on which tool to use – screencasting software, Photostory or MovieMaker (definitely worth time to read this post and the comments because of the differing in opinion by my readers).

6. Managing my online World

I use Skype, Google Talk, Twitter, iGoogle, Google Reader and del.icio.us to manage my world online. My preferred method of communication is now through chat – have to admit Google Talk is now my favorite because you can search gmail and chat history to easy locate information you discussed.

I am really into my Personalised Google Home page because the homepage makes it easier to manage my online world. Also there are so many Gadgets (Widgets) you can add to your Google Homepage (just click on add more stuff).

If you liked this post on My Everyday Tools then I suggest you read my post on Tools of the Trade (about Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, delicious, blogs that I recommend every lecturer should use and why. I also suggests ways they can use these tools with students).

Read my detailed tips for managing your World online if you want to know more.

June 5, 2007
by Sue Waters
11 Comments

Tools of the Trade

tool2.jpgDarren at Drape’s Take did an excellent post today on Why Every Teacher Should Have A Google Account. This is a list of basic tools that I recommend to lecturers:

Bookmarking

Definitely a bookmarking site is a must. It is so great to be able to bookmark a website online that you can then view from any computer. I just love the fact that where ever I am I can go yes I remember reading an article on a particular topic and pull up my del.icio.us site and locate the articles I want to read without having to relocate the article again (and normally I fail to locate the original article). You can also set up del.icio.us sites with students so that they can collaboratively bookmark sites to select the top sites for information on topics.

However if you are going to bookmark using del.icio.us I suggest you:

  1. Use tags that have meaning e.g podcasting, PodcastingEquipment (if you put a space between Podcasting and Equipment you will have two separate tags and Equipment to me may also mean aquaculture equipment. Alternatively you could separate with an underscore Podcasting_Equipment)
  2. Sort your tags by setting up bundles and put your tags into the correct bundles – this way you can located the articles you want to read easier)
  3. If you are using Firefox as your browser there is a new cool Add-on for del.icio.us. If you are not using Firefox then think about installing it because it is a great Browser, I now use it more than Internet Explorer.

If you want to know more about using del.icio.us check out my information on getting more out of del.ici.ous.

Wiki

I like using wikis as a quick and easy web site to share information with others. They are also excellent for encouraging collaborative learning between students. Personally I like using Wikipaces because their wiki is very easy to use and they have excellent customer service. If you want to know more about using wikis check out my information on getting more out of wiki.

Blog

I like both blogger (easy to use) and edublogs for blogging. I strongly recommend that you download and use Microsoft Livewriter which makes writing blog posts so much easier; and what a fanastic program. I had a hard time getting into blogging until I watched the following videos on blogging: Video: Blog History – shorten version and Long Video : Blogumentary – (1 hour) Thanks to Kate from Waxlyrical blog for recommending these videos. Check out Vicki Davis’s at Cool Cat Teacher’s blog tips on how to be an incredible blogger. While I agree with Darren about the value of teacher’s blogging I do think that Derek’s thoughts on online participation that for new people starting by commenting on blogs may be a good starting point.

Podcasting

I use Podomatic for podcasting however occasionally use Odeo. I prefer podomatic because it gives me a great podcast page which Odeo doesn’t. There are things about podomatic that I don’t like. For ideas for setting up a podcast page check out my podcast site aquaculturepda.podomatic.com

Comics

I have used two different free comic makers ToonDoo and Comeeko. No reason other than it is fun!!!!

ToonDoo is really easy to use (as they made it easy for kids to use) and they have lots of great characters, backgrounds and props that you can use. Basically anyone can easily create nice comics using ToonDoo – great fun for all ages – my 8 year old really enjoyed using ToonDoo as do I. The only issue I have had with ToonDoo is embedding my comics into my blog posts, these are my instructions on how to embed ToonDoo comics into an edublog blog.

The difference between ToonDoo and Comeeko is that with Comeeko you can use your own photos to make the comic. Comeeko is considerably harder to use than ToonDoo however a lot of fun because you use your own photos (which is very appealing).

Photosharing

Finally started to appreciate the value of photosharing and now am using Flickr.

Google

I am definitely a Google addict. Here is my list of Google MUSTS:

1. Personalized google homepage

I have set up my own personalized google homepage. If you haven’t give it a try. All you need to do is set up a Google account and then click on “Personalize this page” at the top of Google. You can add lots of little cool gadgets to the page (e.g. “to do list”, news feeds, Weather information, world clock, Google video) and whatever computer you are on you can sign into your personalized Google and access the items on the page (if you become too addicted you can add extra tabs – yes I know I need a life).

2. Google Reader

I use Google reader to subscribe to blogs and podcasts feeds. It is really easy to use, and I can put a gadget for it on my Personalized google homepage that shows me the latest 9 blogs and podcasts. Also I love how people are embedding Google Reader in their blogs and sharing their items that they like from their reader. I was totally unable to get into blogging until I started appreciating the value of blogs by subscribing to blogs using Google Reader

3. Google Talk

I use Google Talk for chatting with others but prefer Skype for VOIP. OOPS occassionally with Google Talk I have sent the wrong chat to the wrong person. If you don’t have a VOIP application on your computer. Definitely a must – you can talk or chat to anyone, anywhere, using the Internet, at no cost.

4. Google Video

I prefer to upload videos to google video if I want to embed them in wikis or blogs.

BTW I keep failing Vicki Davis’s 3 Rule of 10 habits of bloggers that winRULE 3 Write and then cut in half! :) There is no hope for me? :D

May 2, 2007
by Sue Waters
1 Comment

i + Google = iGoogle = I’m not happy!

Yesterday I thought I had gone slightly crazy because suddenly my Google had an i and became iGoogle. Honestly to me you just can not do this! You just can not play with my Google logo (even if you own it) because I love my Google and have come to expect to see my Google everyday.

So are you seeing iGoogle? Well, you won’t be seeing it if you have not personalised your Google homepage! And if you have not personalised your homepage you are definitely missing out of lots of great benefits. Having a personalized homepage is a great way to place all of the information important to you on the Internet in one place – for example on my personalised Google homepage I have my deli.cio.us feed, my google reader feed, my gmail feed, News feed, world clock and more! And have also added a theme – which changes with the time of day.

So why the name change! Well Google wants to let us know that it is increasing its effort on personalisation. Google has added seven new templates that all you to make your own gadget and share it with your friends. For example you can easily create a gadget that you shares with your friends (which also changes everyday):

  • a series of photos
  • a gift which messages
  • what you are up today

With the most popular widgets (called Gadgets by Google) being widgets that are easily created, shared (social) and are personal (it is your baby’s due date, your website or your blog, your videos, your playlist) then it would look like a good move by Google.

I strongly suggest that you check out the screencast tour of iGoogle by Molly McDonald (demogirl). It is an excellent video that shows you what being able to make your own gadgets means to you. Also shows the great benefits of having your own personalised Google homepage. After watching it I suggest you also read Google’s Personalization Push: iGoogle, Localization, Gadget Maker.

:( Check out what my personalised Google Homepage looks like below (notice the iGoogle – click here to get the i in your Google while I don’t like (at the moment) having the i I cannot live without my personalised google homepage:

igoogle.jpg

phone.jpg

PS I know this is a me thing when it comes to my personal items. At work they removed my normal phone and replaced it with a VOIP phone. The new VOIP phone looks so different from the traditional phone that it took me a few months to accept the change (I kept insisting they give me a Garfield to improve the look of the phone!) I still have not received my free Garfield yet! Thanks Philip for sending me the news article altering me to reasons for iGoogle .

April 19, 2007
by Sue Waters
3 Comments

Google Personalized Home Page

What I can not believe is that it has taken me so long to realise that I can set up my own personalized Google home page which I can view from any computer I am on. I feel a bit better in the knowledge that when I tell my friend about it, they also did not realise. Amazing something that was sitting right in front of me – and I did not see it.

So I googled this morning information on Google Home Page – shame on you Sue – it has been around for 2 years. You have been missing out for 2 years.

With my personalized Google home page I can add whatever Gadgets on my home page – there is too many to choose from. If I run out of space I can add more tabs for more Gadgets (this girl has become gadget crazy). I have a Google Reader gadget that feeds the latest posts directly onto my home page (regretfully this is how I learnt about the shootings at Virginia Tech). Local weather (I should have looked at it rather than the newspaper because I did not wash clothes on Tuesday because the newspaper said rain – Google said fine). News feeds – you name it is there!

googlegadget.jpg

And they are coming out with new features for your Google home page all the time – you just have to look more closely at the page. For example – I can access it on my PDA (it is mobile) and they have now just introduced themes. These themes change with the time of the day – mmmm – wonder if they will also show my mood? Read more about themes at internetnews.com.

googlethemes.jpg

If you have not set up your own Google personalized home – do it well worth it. Just click on “Personalize this page” at the top of the Google page.