Video sharing sites
Youtube – I have favourite Youtube videos categoried as music (by artist for some of my favourite musicians), dogs (by activity for some), humour, and more). I’ve been using Youtube mostly for leisure activities, but lately have been finding news and instructional videos to be very useful. I haven’t yet uploaded any of my own videos. I have a few I’ve taken with my camera and more recently with an inexpensive camcorder, but I doubt they’d be of interest to anyone but my family (think videos of my dogs…).
I haven’t spent much time exploring other video sites, though I find I’m taken to these at times when I’m viewing a video I’ve found during a search, or when I get emails from friends with links to videos. Sites in this week’s exercise to check out in the future (since if I start looking now, I’ll wind up frittering away a few hours):
- VideoJug – lots of “how to” videos from site users.
- Metacafe – a site which pays creators once the number of views of popular videos reach and exceed a critical mass
Meta search engines for videos include Metatube, searchforvideo, and blinx. I tested all of them using “rally obedience” or “rally obedience” (a dog sport). Adding in terms for boxer or dog doesn’t help with the search. I’ve been looking for examples of boxers doing Rally O, with little success, since my boxer, Freckle, and I have just started competing. I did find a Boerboel (a mastiff-family relative of the boxer) doing a fun match, though, using blinx: Sebastion the Boerbol to add to my small collection. One of a boxer I already had saved in my Youtube playlist is Bounce competing in Rally O at AKC.
Podcast search tools
I checked out the podcast services which won Web 2.0 Awards as suggested in this week’s exercises.
Odeo – searches for both podcasts and videos. Here, I searched for and found a long list of CBC podcasts. I also searched for dog treats and found one from Good Dog Podcast on cutting pet care costs, which is an interview with a veterinarian. I did a search on “author reading” and found two items, one being an 8-episode reading of “And She Was.” There wasn’t any information on this publication, but a quick Google search led me to Cindy Dyson’s website, which lists the novel, which is set in Alaska. I also browsed the Science, which has 201 channels and is further divided into Medicine, Natural, and Social.
PodShow – searches for both podcasts and videos. The search function wasn’t working when I tried it; an error message offered up choices from the hosts from 4 channels: meviotech, meviowomen, meviomen and meviomusic. Even though I clicked on the Audio tab, much of the page was taken up by videos offerings – navigation isn’t very sophisticated. Clicking through to various channels (Going Green, Hot Gadgets) was exceeding slow and accompanied by the irritating sound of a music video from what appeared to be the Xtreme Sports channel. Short of turning down or shutting off the volume on my computer, there was no peaceful way to navigate this site.
PodOmatic – searches for both podcasts and videos. Searches can be limited to either or both media types. Podcasts play in a pop-up window. Searching for CBC found only 4 items. A featured site when I checked this site was DJ Floyed’s music stream, featuring some wonderful digital music. Also featured on the homepage is Chin Stroker VS Punter, subtitled Irreverent and Irrelevent Film talk out of England. These are lengthy discussions about movies (not necessarily current ones – examples are Dark Knight, Citizen Kane, This Is England). Navigation on this site isn’t very intuitive.
I browsed the Technology>Gadgets of each of the above podcast search sites as a test of the channels or categories available (simply Hot Gadgets in PodShow). For ease of navigation and searching, I recommend Odeo over the other two. With the exception of Odeo, these sites are lacking in description of specific podcasts, so it was necessary to listen to a bit of each to get a sense of it. It seems you need to know about the podcaster or the series from other sources before you head to these sites to do your searching. An example of the description available through Odeo is The Tech Night Owl Live program.
One of the uses I can see for podcast search engines is finding audio files in other languages to practice listening skills and hear how native speakers use the language and what they sound like.
NetLibrary: online eBooks, eAudiobooks and eJournals
I watched the demo videos at NetLibrary to get a sense of the service, which I can access through a subscription at Vancouver Public Libary through the electronic databases menu. This requires users to have a VPL library card number. I created a free account through the NetLibrary interface. I discovered that the VPL subscription to NetLibary includes only eBooks, not eAudiobooks as well. There doesn’t appear to be a way to download the eBooks for reading later or transferring to an iPod or MP3 player. I’ll have to contact VPL to find out if there’s a way to do this.
Thoughts on SLA 23 Things
This week marks the end of SLA 23 Things, but not the end of my exploration of web 2.0 applications. It’s been a great program for me personally. I’ve learned much during my work on the program – and most of this work was more like play. My favourite applications are the image and photo tools and sharing sites. I also enjoyed getting a blog up and running, and am hoping I’ll continue it. I do want to change the template I’m using – but that’s for down the road. I’m also looking forward to creating a personal wiki as a project management tool for my business and possibly creating ones for projects with other consultants. I already have friends and colleagues asking me about various tools I use in my work and play, and now I have even more to show them. Finally, since I didn’t fully explore each and every application suggested in SLA 23 Things, I still have more magic to discover myself!