Author Archives: Janeth Howarth

About Janeth Howarth

I'm passionate about web developments and excited by new trends and web technologies. Love travelling, dance, photography, books, music, and the arts.

Protect your digital identity and information on social networks

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace , LinkedIn, Orkut, Zorpia, Flicker, twicpic, yfrog and YouTube.etc, are social media sites designed to share information such as who and where you are and what you are doing, photos and video. This is a comical example of how information is shared using social media sites to tell the Digital Story of the Nativity.

Social media sites are a great way to connect to close friends and family, or even re-connect with old classmates and old co-workers. Also it can be a great way to find and connect to new groups with interests common to your own.

With just a few clicks people can access messages, know where their contacts are, what are they doing. All this makes for an entertaining experience network. The speed and immediacy that characterizes them are useful to inform and share content, true, but it can also jeopardize your own job or worse and compromise your privacy and security. Also the content posted on the site stays on the server even after you disable your account and is searchable.

The trouble starts when it becomes an addiction, if people spend too much time discussing everything that happens in their lives without taking the necessary steps to protect what is shared. It is logical to enjoy safely social media sites, which have the ability to control how visible your information and pictures are on the site as well as any search engines who parses that data.

Below is a series of recommendations to protect the identity information in digital networks and it is up to you to decide how visible you want your contact and profile information, videos, photos, and other posts need to be, and take the time to set the appropriate controls within the media site in question. For each one of us it is important to have a good view of what is published and learn to manage and protect our identity.

Although this presentation is from last year some of the information is still relevant

Exposure Level

The search is an important aspect of social networks. It is up to the users if they want to be seen by all members of a network or just want to be seen only by their contacts.

It should make a conscious choice and set the profile, rather than leave it to the default settings, they usually allow some of the profile information such as name and main photo to be found on page and through Internet search engines.

Personal Data
Be cautious about posting and sharing personal information. Do not reveal passwords, keys, date of birth, home address, phone number and place of birth. Do not put your full resume online, if you must, remove it when you find a job. Protect the answers to secret questions that make social networks. The combination of that publicly available information and your public post about hanging out with friends on Saturday night across town could be enough for someone to take advantage of the situation and break into your house.

Information Policy
Generally every page has a link that explains how to use the information by users and gives tips for safe keeping. Note that when entering a network, it is giving license or right to use any information that is on these sites.

Privacy
All sites have a link to a “Privacy” page that explains how your information is used and provides tips on staying safe. Determine how visible the information is that you post on social networks and search engines (profile, photos, videos and posts.) Each page allows you to select privacy settings, read them and adjust by trial the level of control and privacy you want.

Twitter Safety
There is an option that messages, pictures and videos that can only be seen by their followers, for this you must change the default settings of Twitter.
Think twice before posting or even clicking on a post. Consider what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect both on you (as the poster) or your family, friend or workplace. i.e. Jason Manford quits The One Show over sex messages

With a little effort and some common sense you can enjoy and safely participate in social media sites. Ultimately though, it’s up to you to manage your digital identity. You must use good judgment about what you post and learn how you protect your personal data and reputation from the digital networks.

Happy Christmas.

Learn about Social Media

The Social Media has had a major social impact by changing the way we interact by using different forms of online communication, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts. We share what happens to us in real time in Twitter or Facebook, publish our photos on Flickr, Twitpic, see videos on YouTube and subscribe to multiple pages to use RSS feeds rather than searching the internet for information.

Let’s take a look at the following videos to see how social media has become the new form of conversation between individuals, institutions, brands and companies, how it affects communication, and the importance of online conversations through social choices.

What the HELL is Social Media?
This is an interesting way to explain how Social Media marketing has gained enormous popularity and why more companies are adopting it as a part of their marketing strategy.

The effect of Social Media in Europe
There are millions of Facebook users in Europe that spend hours updating their profiles, uploading photos or interacting with friends “Social Media is changing the Communication Industry,” brands such as Nutella, Axe and Adidas, started advertising using Facebook achieving and excellent response by earning millions of followers.

Social Media Revolution
“Social Media is not a fashion”. Surprisingly, the number of users of YouTube, Facebook or Twitter have reached higher numbers for the amount of the population in some countries. Consider the effect of Social Media in figures and percentages:

Social Media Did You Know?
While Social Media increases exponentially, traditional media such as radio, television and print media decline each year. In 25 years the print media have fallen in an amount of 7 million readers, while online readers have increased by 30 million over 5 years.

Social Media Marketing
Jody Underhill and Eric Kurita of Upside Down Iceberg tells us four steps to the success of Social Media and its benefits to become what they call “Top Of Mind”

How Obama used Social Media during his presidential candidacy
James Burnes explains how Obama became president of the United States, showing that their technique was to have a clear goal, implementing strategies, integrating the Internet to all and offer a credible change, not to talk about change, be the change.

Social Media Blues song

After a series of videos about Social Media, its effect on society, how users of traditional media have become social media users as we see a Blues song dedicated to Facebook, YouTube and Linkedln, Twitter.

Social Media will continue to develop and evolve. Who knows… what’s after Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube?

Edit your videos online!

The production of video has become very fashionable on our Corporate site and there are a lot preparation, recording and technical aspects to consider before creating and publishing the videos.

So I invite you to discover a series of free services to create online videos, editing in different formats or develop through images and sound. Free video editing software is an easy and convenient way to edit your videos, and is great for beginners.

Be aware that most of the free video editing programs have limited editing features, but it is good to know that at least there are some alternatives on the web and they are useful for people that do not have video editing tools to work.

Youtube Video Editor:

YouTube Editor

YouTube Editor


YouTube Video Editor is a free tool in your YouTube Account which allows you to edit, combine various clips and produce an entirely new, edited video without worrying about file formats.

The editor that offers YouTube is in an area called TestTube. This requires users to use the tools and share their options about the service. Take a look at the tutorial here.

JayCut

JayCut


JayCut is an excellent free online video editing tool that people can use to make their own movies and video clips without investing in expensive software and equipment. It offers a number of features, though overall it’s a pretty basic editing platform. But what it does, it does really well, making it simple to edit and share your online videos. The program gives editors multiple tracks to work with and various effects, titles and transitions.

For aspiring filmmakers and businesses alike, JayCut offers all the tools necessary to take those edited videos and create powerful campaigns aimed at engaging audiences and promoting new services.
Cons:

  • Uploading uncompressed video footage can take a long time.
  • Jaycut offers only a very limited selection of video effects.

Movie Masher

Moviemasher

Movie Masher

Allows you to sequence and trim clips, add effects, transitions, titles. The Movie Masher is a free open source online video editor that provides advanced multi-track audio and video editing for your web site, with custom transitions, titling, effects and filters. It offers a wide-range of video editing tools, flash tools, XML code snippets that will help you to remix and reshuffle videos for your website. It is simple to use, all you have to do is just drag and drop the video bits and the tools do it all.

Movie Masher allows you to design and customise videos to suit your taste and gives full control in editing videos via its tools. There is no doubt that this website with its innovative set of tools and widgets, takes desktop video editing to the internet platform.

Photobucket

photobucket

Photobucket allows you to upload, manipulate, share photos and videos for free. You can access the service from mobile phones (iPhone, Android and Blackberry) and it is a service that lets you organise your photo albums, edit and create videos. Also you can keep track of statistics of your material created and shared across the services. Photobucket is easy to use, popular and provides a good sense of community.

Avidemux:

avidemux


Avidemux is a free option and open source for basic video editing, it supports formats: avi, mpeg, mp4 and asf. It is available to install on Linux, Windows, Mac OSX. In the tool room will find a Wiki with documentation and a forum where you can participate with the community by sharing your experience with the tool and doubts.

Despite not being the most powerful video-editing software available, Avidemux does have its share of features. It works comfortably with most video formats, handles subtitles and audio editing, converts between different video formats – and all this from a graphical interface. One of its highlights is that a whole project – including all options, preferences, and everything else – can be saved into one project file – pretty neat.

Most of the free video editing programs have limited editing features, so after a while you may want to look at the mid-level digital video software or the top professional video editing programs. I hope these free tools for creating online video bring something to your productivity and work quality. Do not forget to share your experience with them and if you know similar tools do not hesitate to share in the comments.

Making the best use of the Information Screens

Digital SignageIT Services Information Screens (Digital Signage) are located in some of the most vibrant areas of Edge Hill’s campus. These screens are able to display announcements as well as play video clips such as the recruiting TV advertisement for the University.

These signs improve communication as well as provide an important and compelling information resource, a real opportunity to capture the imagination of viewers.

What Can Be Displayed?

The screens can be used for advertising events, displaying University information such as: Conferences, Seminars, Awards, Special Events, Faculty recognition, Community information i.e. Rose Theatre, Sporting Edge and much more.

The information on the Digital Screens differs from other communication mediums such as websites, (newspapers), posters, circulars, TV and other types of advertising, as each medium is unique in what a viewer is typically doing when they see messages. Web users interact with the information by clicking, TV viewers are sitting and flicking within the channels, (newspaper) readers are flipping pages, etc.

DS viewers are typically on the move from one place to another or involved on some other activities such as eating, studying or resting. Therefore they will only see your message for a few seconds as they won’t stand in front of the screen waiting to read all the information on them.

The content is most effective when it is clear; fewer words are better combined with a clear headline and/or an eye-catching graphic. The best messages present basic information and ask for action in a succinct and direct manner. The duration (i.e. length) of a message should be in the context of the viewing time and the overall playloop time.

“Content” messages are composed according to a style guide that assures that branding and messaging are suitable and the presentation through fonts and colours are “professional” looking and compelling.

Communications objectives are achieved based on information presented along with a “Call to Action” implicitly or explicitly directing a viewer to do something such as “plan to attend”, “visit the site,” “remember”, “take note”, register, visit, dial, etc…

For more information please contact: webteam@edgehill.ac.uk. Web services will initially request 2 weeks notice where possible and may not be able to accommodate a late submission so please plan accordingly. Events must be advertise at least 4 weeks before they are taking place.

Xmas Digital Art Wallpapers

We are very close to the Christmas holidays again and I thought it’s about time to decorate my desktop while counting down the days. I’ve been browsing the web to see what is available and I found some awesome designs from VLADSTUDIO, which offers the usual kind of digital art given away as desktop decorations. Just to keep you and I on the Christmas spirit.

Download instructions are pretty obvious, and there are plenty of resolutions to choose from. The low quality wallpapers are free to download, the quality is good enough, but if you prefer the high quality you will need to register on their site. Unregistered users can download several different resolutions – 800×480, 800×600, 1024×600, 1024×768, 1152×864, 1280×1024, 1600×1200px.

These are for personal use on your desktop only! Do not use for anything else without the authors permission!

Snegovick

Christmas Nights Christmas Nights

Christmas VolcanoChristmas Volcano

Christmas TrainChristmas Train

Waiting For The Miracle
Waiting for the Miracle

Christmas Ice Skating
Ice Skating

Snow Man Snow Child
Snow Man Snow Child

Christmas Bag
Christmas Bag

Siberian Winter
Siberian Winter

A Small Gift For Christmas
A Small Gift for Xmas

Waiting for the Spring
Waiting for Spring

Where Christmas Gifts Are BornWhere Xmas Gifts are Born

Google Wave is coming soon! – Part I

Google Wave was launched on the 28th May, 2009 at the ‘Google’s I/O Developer conference’ in San Francisco. It has been developed by a team working in Sydney, Australia. Which consist of two brothers, Jens and Lars Rasmussen and has Stephanie Hannon as the lead project manager, all of whom were previously involved in Google Maps.

What it is Google Wave?

It is a new platform for communication and collaboration on the web in real time coming later this year. I can’t wait!

It is based on a “Wave”, a different way to communicate by integrating many of the tools we are currently using such as email, maps, videos, photos, blogs and chats in just one interface. So, we can create a wave and invite our collaborators to join the conversation by giving them access to send simple messages and edit the wave directly. Truly Impressive.

It combines some of people’s favourite aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, blogs, chats, projects and social networks. There’s even a twitter client (Twave robot) – you can tweet into and out of a wave!

Google Wave interface

The following are few of the cool features from the demo:

  • Real Time: Drop photos onto a wave and see the thumbnails appear on the other person’s machine before the full upload is finished. Just watch the demo to view this
  • Embeddability: The waves can be embedded in any blog or site
  • Drag and Drop: Wave lets you drag and drop files directly onto its interface
  • googlewave1editdoc

  • Open Source, Applications and extensions: With open APIs developers will be able to create different applications for the waves. There will be plenty volunteers.
    The API has been used to build a bunch of cool extensions such as:
    • Bloggy, a blog client, lets you make a blog post as a wave
    • Linky is a link-recognition engine that is clever enough to recognize that the link you just entered is a YouTube video
    • Buggy, a bug-reporting tool that can also be a participant in a wave
    • Bidder, You can turn a wave into your own eBay
  • Wiki Functionality: anything within the Google Wave can be edited by other members
  • Playback: We will able to reproduce any part of the wave to keep track of what is being said or done and to see how it evolved
  • Translation: Wave has the capacity of autocorrecting and translating in real time, which allows collaborative work among people that don’t share the same language
  • Spell Checker: an extension called Spelly which uses the entire corpus of the web as its dictionary

googlewave4spelling

Google Wave is promising to change the scope in: Education, e-learning, collaborative projects, companies and organizations, as it can be the most popular tool to create Personal Learning Environment or Personal Learning Networks.

Could Google Wave really redefine web communication? We’re going to have to wait a while though to find out, as this product is still under development. Right now it’s only available to a select group of developers who attended Google I/O conference and have an account to create their own Wave servers. I’m sure there will a lot of articles on the web keeping us informed of the development process, pros and cons.

If you want to find out more about Google Wave, allow yourself some time to watch the full demo, then you will be able to understand why people are extremely excited.


Encarta bit by Wikipedia: Another triumph for Web 2.0

Microsoft announces the closure of Encarta later this year after losing ground over the years to freely available reference material on the Internet and on web sites like Wikipedia.

“People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past,”

the software maker said in a notice posted on its MSN website. As described in a Bits blog, the Wiki-dominance is so far-reaching that it got 97% of the visits that Web surfers in the U.S. made to online encyclopaedias, while Encarta was second with 1.27%.

Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopaedias and reference material has changed. Now Encarta itself has fallen victim to changes in technology. Well, it looks like Wikipedia is here to stay without strong rivals on the net, the question is for how long?

The plug will be officially pulled in October of this year but Microsoft will also stop selling the Encarta products by June. RIP Encarta 1993 – 2009.

Janeth

Get the most of your twitter experience

I know there are a lot of sites and blogs talking about the twitter phenomenon and I don’t intend to turn our Web Services blog into a Twitter blog. Just take a look at this sites and tools for getting the most out of your twitter experience:


Twitter Tools to optimize your twitter service:

twhirl desktop application
Twhirl: one of the most popular desktop applications, which allow you to synchronize to multiple services like Twitter, laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic. It’s worth it to take a look. Love it!

Twitterdeck: is a real-time desktop that allows users to monitor that information in a single concise view. TweetDeck currently integrates services from Twitter, Twitscoop, 12seconds, Stocktwits and now Facebook .

Twitpic: this service allows you share photos on Twitter from you mobile phone.

Twitterrific: Mac’s desktop application, recommended for iPhone.

There are more sites related to Twitter that allow you know more about interacting with the services, the users, statistics and much more:

  • FutureTweets: a free service that lets you schedule your Twitter messages.
  • Search.twitter: search that explores Twitter services allowing you to find subjects of interest.
  • Twitterratio: is the ratio of your followers to friends (or people who you follow). It is measured with the TFF Ratio (Twitter Follower-Friend Ratio). The higher the ratio, the more Twitter heat you pack. Try it!
  • Twitag: Twitag is a #tag finder, that facilitates and organizes the most recent content tagged by users.
  • Tweetrush: a service that aims to provide estimated stats on Twitter usage over a period of time. I need to tweet more.
  • TwitPickr: publish your photos from TwitPic directly in to your Flickr account.

I thing this is enough to give you more control over your experience using Twitter. Enjoy it!

Janeth