Well the trend since the beginning of school is that my blogging has decreased in frequency…so it seems the my Web Picks is becoming more of a monthly occurrence…so for the future, I’m just going to plan on getting in the groove of irregularly timed Web Pick lists that happen to be about a month apart:
- The Behance Network is an interesting online hub for the wide variety of designers and other artistic creators out there. It allows you to upload designs for your own portfolio and get feedback from the community and also has job listings and a collaborative tips section that encompasses everything from print to digital to web design. I am not a designer but I spend quite a bit of time around a few of them so I have started to appreciate design work a lot more than I used to and I think this site is really pretty cool for stumbling upon a variety of designs that are very well done. I cannot speak to the benefits of the job listings or the tips sections as I am not in the industry, but it seems to me that they are very well laid out and easy to navigate. if you are not in the industry, check out the site and just peruse the galleries for some really cool designs! Or if you are a designer, try out their portfolio features and let me know what you think!
- A few weeks ago, I was cruising the internet and I stumbled upon an ABC News site called i-Caught that is a place for everyday people to upload their own media for possible inclusion in ABC stories. It is essentially the same model as every other video sharing site out there except this is targeted specifically towards developing news and relevant information. I have not been able to figure out yet what level of censorship they have, but I’m sure that the site is moderated to some extent. There is a page called TalkBack that allows users to submit questions and content to specific ABC programs for contribution or comment. I think this site is a pretty good idea from the MSM as it tries to adapt to the YouTube era. However, I do wish they had spent a bit more time of designing the site…it is very nice that the ads are limited and all focus is on the video content but check out the i-Caught logo. It looks exactly like what you see on sites that make fun of Web 2.0 logos, like this logo generator or this page of hilarious mock logos. Other than that, this site is a pretty cool idea…there are others out there too, like this one from MSNBC, but I think ABC has the best handle on how to harness the community. In fact, if you look at the actual URL for their site, it is http://ugv.abcnews.go.com/ I’m guessing the “ugv” at the beginning means User-Generated Video…kudos to ABC on slowly starting to figure out the world of social media.
- I am a big fan of the band The Spill Canvas and a few weeks ago I went to their website to buy their latest album (see RIAA, just because I download albums I would never buy anyway doesn’t mean that I don’t ever send my wallet over to the band I like!). Anyhow, I was poking around the site and found a really cool page promoting their album which happens to be called “No Really, I’m Fine.” Well on this page, there is a a bar that asks “How are You?” and when you enter in your response, it will display it to other site visitors as “No Really, I’m yourresponse”. (see screenshot to understand a bit better) While this does not really have off-site impact, I think it is an awesome way to get fans engaged in the site. It is a page out of the twitter playbook that asks “What are you doing?” but it tailors perfectly with the band’s site.
- AbbyMe is an awesome site that allows you to send audio messages to people’s phones by typing in whatever text you would like them to hear. The computer voice is actually pretty good and you can enter in more than one number at a time so if you need to send a quick message to lots of people it makes it very easy to do. Of course, I’m sure the most common application is for prank calls (4 of my coworkers and I just finished up a 30 minutes funny phone call round of sending each other very inappropriate messages…all in good fun, of course!) but it could have some really good real-world uses as it gets fine tuned. If they develop a mobile version of it, it could be used to send audio text messages, etc. Definitely a fun site to play around with that someday might develop into something super useful!