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IT News

Tag: web 2.0

Spotlight: Make websites easier to visit with URL shortening services

Tired of trying to point your friends to that one picture on Facebook, or that great blog post with the ridiculously long URL (web address)? There’s a solution out there for you. Many websites have started offering URL shortening services. What is URL shortening?

Imagine you want to point someone to an article in InfoTech Tuesday and the article’s URL is itnews.itac.k-state.edu/2009/07/simplify-internet-browsing-by-using-tabs/ . Obviously, that URL is too long and difficult to dictate to someone. What if, instead of that gargantuan URL, you could give them tinyurl.com/muzhwa or bit.ly/3WASwn?

Those are a lot more manageable and won’t take up an entire line in an e-mail, which is the beauty of URL shortening. Continue reading “Spotlight: Make websites easier to visit with URL shortening services”

Social bookmarking with Diigo

tagcloudSocial bookmarking is the process of users storing and organizing webpages and web content in an open and public fashion. The end result of this is something called a folksonomy. Where a taxonomy is a strict categorization of the formal structure of a given thing, a folksonomy is a categorization and organization of the structure of a given entity by the common people (“folks”) who choose to help organize the information.

This organizational schema is created by individual users “tagging” bookmarks with keywords that the user think can be attributed to the content (and is usually expressed using a “tag cloud” — see image above). Different from the concepts of folders, tagging allows any individual piece of information to be attributed with a countless number of keywords or “tags”.

More than a subtle shift, the development of social bookmarking — which helped reconceptualize organizing information through the use of tags instead of folders and resulted in the creation of a human-powered folksonomy — is one of the foundational elements to the current dynamic and ultra-networked Web (2.0).

Continue reading “Social bookmarking with Diigo”

Textbooks in a Web 2.0 world

Ideas such as collaborative development, information sharing, and social computing have powered Web 2.0 innovations for several years. Among these recent advances are new ways to create and distribute human knowledge. This has begun to dramatically change how books are written, published, and distributed. Although mainstream textbook publishers have resisted change, new paradigms are emerging. One exciting example is BookBoon (BookBoon.com), run by the Danish company Ventus Publishing ApS.

BookBoon.com homepage
BookBoon.com homepage

BookBoon provides a new method for educational-material delivery compatible with the future of ubiquitous information, accessible by everyone. Its revenue stream removes the burden from students and finances textbook distribution with advertising space sold to carefully selected organizations. Rather than digitize existing printed textbooks, BookBoon works with authors to develop new material according to guidelines that more closely resemble how modern students use books. Continue reading “Textbooks in a Web 2.0 world”

Skype voice-over-IP arrives for iPhone

On Monday, March 30, the official Skype client arrived for the iPhone. This application offers inexpensive voice-over-IP calls to anywhere in the world. It also allows individuals to chat with other Skype users via instant messaging and make free Skype-to-Skype calls.  Currently, the voice-over-IP feature only works on WiFi networks. Check out the iTunes App store for more details and to get this much anticipated app for free.

Customize your RSS feeds with Yahoo Pipes

yahoo-pipesHave you ever had a bunch of RSS feeds that were very similar and that you wished were just one aggregate feed? For instance, many sites publish a number of feeds for different parts of their content, and it would often be more useful to have all that content in one feed so you don’t have to check multiple sources for the content.

Or, have you ever had a bunch of feeds that share a certain topic and that you’d rather be in one feed rather than separated?

Yahoo Pipes offers a simple way to aggregate feeds. Yahoo Pipes is a service that has a wide range of applications and can be used for some fairly complex tasks. For this example, we will use it to easily perform three tasks:

  1. Retrieve a number of RSS feeds
  2. Aggregate and sort the feeds
  3. Republish the feeds as a single RSS feed

Continue reading “Customize your RSS feeds with Yahoo Pipes”

TechBytes Feb. 19: Facebook in the Classroom

Marcus Ashlock and Chris Lavergne will present “Facebook in the Classroom” at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in 501 Hale Library (Hemisphere Room). Join this session to learn how Facebook, an interactive online tool, is being used to enrich teaching in the classroom. This session will include ideas and tips for how to use Facebook. Continue reading “TechBytes Feb. 19: Facebook in the Classroom”

TechBytes Nov. 6: Twitter and Web 2.0

Kevin Champion will present “Twitter and Web 2.0; Twitter? What’s that?” at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in 301A Hale Library. In the current and ever-evolving technological environment, we are presented with an increasing number of mediums through which we can communicate in our school, work, and personal lives. To compound this issue, we also are at a generational nexus — where a new generation of young adults is graduating and entering work environments, having grown up and gone through college versed in many of the new emergent mediums. This presentation will address some of the new forms of communication; expectations the new generation has for its work and school environment; and how we might more effectively and appropriately communicate. Continue reading “TechBytes Nov. 6: Twitter and Web 2.0”

RSS explained

RSS is one of the single most important technologies to spur on Web 2.0. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. What it does is exactly that — it syndicates (publishes) content, so that instead of you going to the content, the content can come to you. Because of this, it’s a real paradigm shift for navigating the Internet. Consequently, creating a structure that is RSS-friendly was one of the biggest motivating factors for the new InfoTech Tuesday format.

Unfortunately, RSS is like many other technologies that don’t make any sense until you give it a try. The video below, “RSS in Plain English,” is a good, brief explanation of what RSS is, how to use it, and what it can do for you. Continue reading “RSS explained”

TechBytes Oct. 2: zCubes

A representative from zCubes will present “Overview of zCubes” at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in 501 Hale Library. zCubes uses a simple drag and drop method to create a personalize homepage, photo album, on-screen painting, virtual blackboard, design e-cards, video and create powerful presentations.

TechBytes seminars are free and open to the K-State community. The series is also video streamed live for off-campus viewers and others who wish to view it from their desktop. Use the “View live video” link on the TechBytes homepage to watch the next live video as it’s being recorded. The TechBytes archives contains a wealth of information on IT tools and topics. It includes programs, handouts, videos, and resources from seminars in 2003 to the present. Continue reading “TechBytes Oct. 2: zCubes”