Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Web 2.0 tools

Happy New Year everyone! I'm back, and I had an extremely relaxing break - right until the very end, when I missed my flight back from Mexico & was stuck there for another week - it's a long story that I really don't feel like going into - point is, I missed my flight and that is why I was not here at school for the last blog post. 

What I missed last time was something called "Web 2.0 tools" - I don't understand it very much, but I know that Web 2.0 tools are a new category of Internet tools & technologies created around the idea that people who consume media, access the internet and use the Web shouldn't passively absorb what's available but instead be active contributors, helping customize media and technology for their own purposes, as well as those of their communities. Web 2.0 tools apply to, but are not limited to, blogs, social networking applications, RSS and wikis. 

My instructions were to choose two, and I may choose another one just in case somebody else has chosen the one I want to present. 

One of them is Vimeo, which is sort of like the counterpart to Flickr. I would do Flickr, but I know somebody else has probably already done that. One of the cons of Vimeo is that to increase from 500 megabytes to 5 GB you have to pay a yearly annual fee of $60. Unlike Youtube, which only allows videos to be no more than 10 minutes in length, Vimeo allows you to have videos that can be however minutes you want in length, but you have to pay for it. Youtube allows you to upload however many videos you want for free, whereas Vimeo does not. Vimeo is more like a video hosting service rather than a social community. A pro about Vimeo is that the compression in videos is almost unnoticeable, and this is good for, say, a motion graphics piece that has a very specific color palette. The aesthetics of Vimeo are great, and one reason for that is that when you hover your mouse off the player, the controls disappear, allowing you to fully view the video without the controls in the way. When you put your mouse back on the player, the controls reappear. For those who don't like the annotations that are stuck on Youtube videos by the author, Vimeo does not have that option to put annotations on videos, which is somewhat good, because I, for one, find them annoying. 

Another one is Writeboard, which is a good collaboration/word processing tool because it is a web-based word processor that allows multiple people to sign in and share ideas. This can be very useful with students who are in a group and are doing an assignment or a project together - with Writeboard, they can all share and see each other's ideas. Another good thing about Writeboard is that you can export "your board" into an email or text file, too. A con with Writeboard is that it's not really possible to make a spreadsheet or a chart on it. You can't change the font color & type, and the basic capabilities such as bold and italic. The formatting is done with a code rather than buttons, which will make it a bit confusing for people without a whole lot of tech experience, like me. Another plus of Writeboard is that it's free.

Of course, Youtube is another, as Youtube allows people from all over the world to post videos and share ideas. Myspace and Twitter are other Web 2.0 tools, and the pros of these are that people of all ages can communicate with friends and family who live in other areas, but a con is that because of social networking sites such as these, less people are going out into the world and actually making new friends, face-face. Another con of social networking is that it becomes easier to write nasty things about others and start rumors. It fuels arguments and lots of drama. 

This post is getting sort of long, so I'll continue on a new post.

& here are the links to Writeboard and Vimeo. 

1. Writeboard

2.   Vimeo

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