Get Connected


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This is a workbook produced a little over a year ago for a low-tech workshop explaining the basics of social web tools. Was viewed in conjunction with "The Machine is Us/ing Us"

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Get Connected

  1. 1. Get Connected Toolkit: free tools for private use, public interaction and enhancing your profile by Clare-Marie White May 2007 Creative Commons Copyright: Attribution-Non- Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales.
  2. 2. Basic essentials: free email accounts • Google Features: - threaded ‘conversations’ - good spam filters - instant chat with other users - use sign in for many other tools - can be disliked by library computers • Yahoo Mail Features: - use sign in for Flickr
  3. 3. Glossary of terms • Blogs: ‘Weblogs’ - web diaries that can be reformed for different purposes and are very easily to update • RSS Feeds: Really simple syndication - subscription service • Wiki - ‘quick’ in Hawaiian - websites anybody can edit • Twitters and Tweets - so-called microblogging. A personal mini-news feed becoming more widely used • Please ask about any other terms used that you don’t know and add them here:
  4. 4. Google’s free tools: iGoogle • A powerful way of organising all your information eg email, news feeds, discussions, online documents • Accessible through the normal Google page - see ‘sign in’ link at the top and use your Gmail account (see page 1) • Right top: classic Google next page: iGoogle, supercharged
  5. 5. This iGoogle page displays, amongst others: News: latest headlines from FT, BBC, most popular news stories and specialist publications Conversations: discussion feeds from email, Flickr, Linkedin Tools: date/time, Google search, my documents, calendar Blogs: global voices, T-shirts & suits Pointless but fun: daylight viewing gadget, ladybirds, friends’ Facebook status updates
  6. 6. How to add RSS feeds on iGoogle • Feeds can be added from any page displaying the RSS logo: usually next to the feed logo there is a link • Copy the link • In iGoogle, go to ‘add stuff’ Select Add feed or gadget Paste in the link, ‘Add’ • RSS feed will appear as a new box in iGoogle
  7. 7. (Almost) universal guide to ‘web 2.0’ websites • No technical expertise is needed, just the ability to fill in forms and the willingness to do so. If there’s something you want to do, explore the web until you find a way. There are free tools available to do just about anything, or at least provide the structure (eg write, collaborate, upload images and videos) • Basic elements are generally the same, partly because many sites have same overall owners but also to help people navigate - it’s a good idea to use the same conventions in your own site, if relevant:- - Help pages will have answers to most common problems & links to forms >>> If you get stuck, try typing your question into Google - answers will often come up on forums (chances are if you have a problem, so do thousands of other users) - About pages will tell you more about the credibility of the company, background, community size etc.
  8. 8. (Almost) universal guide to ‘web 2.0’ websites ii • - Sign in / Register pages will normally give you a more personalised experience. The trade-off of imparting all this personal information when you register is that you save time - the spooky programmers will serve up all that interests you >>> Use the same login name and password on different social network sites to develop a common ‘brand’ name and so you don’t get confused. However, consider using different passwords on any site where financial information will be given out (eg Amazon), in case someone picks up your password. And don’t just use your pet’s name: everyone does it so it’s easy to guess...
  9. 9. Blog hosting • Blogger Features: - free webspace with blogspot (eg - ‘widgets’ include slideshows, link lists, video bars - can add Adsense to make some money with blog - more HTML allowed than Wordpress • Wordpress Features: - free webspace - wider range of templates - unlimited pages - can be more flexible than blogger - ‘widgets’ include long RSS feed lists
  10. 10. Examples of different blogs • • • • • • Features that make a blog interesting: - photos - short articles - regular updates so if you go back there is something new - links to other interesting places - expertise, humour or general interest
  11. 11. How to create a free website with Blogger • Go to • Your basic site is done. Now do some planning before doing too much work on the blog - experiment • Sign in with your gmail account with what you created using the Layout section and play with the • Follow the steps - very easy tools that are available to you. Plan categories: these can be used to organise different sections of your • Choose a name and a design site (eg News, About, Products etc). • If you have registered a domain name, it doesn’t have to go to the front page of your blog. It could go to an ‘About’ page and your blog could be your ‘News’ page.
  12. 12. Developing a blog • The site template can be built by dragging elements around - right: Local Edition’s template • Easy elements can be added along with third-party pieces of code (normally pasting in code is the most technical thing you need to do - if it break the site, just get rid of the page element and start again) • If you find your template limiting, others are available online (try, but build up a little confidence with html code first or experiment on a site that doesn’t matter
  13. 13. Some of Google’s other free tools • All tools can be shared with other people or make public, which makes them useful for collaboration. • Calendar • Word processing package • Spreadsheet package
  14. 14. Flickr • • • Sign in with your Yahoo account - see friends’ photos automatically (see page 1) - tag your photos and get spotted as people browse • Features: - different licensing options available - up to 200 photos stored free - printing tools available - A huge social community - an active and growing Stoke - Add your photos easily with community different tools eg by email or from your desktop, automatically resizing your photos
  15. 15. Flickr: wider uses • Add photostreams to your blog (go to Flickr’s help section for easy-to- follow guides or use the tools in Blogger • Add your photos to a group: local groups include Stoke-on-Trent, Burslem, Local Edition • explore photos by location, camera used, tags and many other criteria • very easy printing tool for cards, sticker books and more
  16. 16. Social bookmarking: • • Features: - Access favourite/saved webpages anywhere - Bookmarks can be kept private - Share your bookmarks with friends more quickly than by email - See how many people have saved a page or what has been saved about subjects you are interested in (eg right: Stoke-on-Trent) - Categorise your links - create RSS feeds for lists - use it for quick blogging
  17. 17. Social Networking sites: best for... • musicians: Myspace • Your own groups: Google groups or Yahoo groups • photographers: Flickr • experts: Wikipedia not an obvious networking site, but contributors to • staying in touch: Facebook the site form communities of interest that have often gone on to collaborate on other projects such as (good for grassroots campaigns too) Wikinews, Wikiversity - you never know who you might meet here. • Jobhunters or professional networking: Linkedin • Film-makers: Youtube
  18. 18. Tips for networking online • Read any community guidelines and • Never give away anything you don’t watch the site for a while before want to: whether time, information contributing (known as ‘lurking’) or personal details. Always remember in many sites your details are public, searchable and • Be a friendly, knowledgeable and permanent (see also Safety tips). helpful presence and most Check privacy settings - better to be communities will be very welcoming seen only by your own contacts. • Beware of writing in a rush and • Keep your contributions short and remember that language can be concise - remember people have ambiguous without all the non- limited time and sometimes limited verbal signs we normally use: you web access. can cause offence easily. Equally, assume good faith with other people
  19. 19. Your own online shop • Joining services like this takes a lot of the hassle out • Both sites use Paypal (, which is free to of handling transactions or building sites for use but takes a percentage of transactions. It is however a simple way of creating transactions in different currencies yourself, although building your reputation on the and it is secure - but beware it, like Ebay, has been a sites can also take a while. In addition, it puts you frequent victim of ‘phishing’ - look out for emails that appear instantly in front of buyers to be from the sites. • Etsy - community selling handmade items - 100,000 members • Ebay - biggest online market in the world – sell anything - fix prices or sell by auction - millions of sales each day
  20. 20. Small payments x lots • iStockPhoto - well used by photo editors for its simplicity and cheap photos - two million photos of excellent quality - although rewards start small, ‘stock’ type photos that could sell many times could build up a good • Key tip: Use your networks to revenue determine which services you will use - they will all take time to build sales so there is no point in wasting • Adsense time on sites that will not bring in rewards. Check the community - popular way to add value to your forums to find out more about user’s blog or website - ads are relevant experiences and problems and targetted
  21. 21. How to get to the top of Google: a simple guide • Add links to your main web • Building your profile on Google presence on every profile you have takes time and patience, but remember your business or community name is probably unique • Swap links with friends (ranking is and you are fairly likely to be the based on number of links, only person in Stoke doing exactly suggesting reliability) what you do. • Create content-rich websites that • If you ever appear on the BBC are updated frequently website, it will haunt you for the rest of your life. (try Google search: “Clare-Marie White”).
  22. 22. A few safety tips: protect yourself & your work online • Only give away as much of yourself as you want • Be aware that creative theft is common (kids of online - if you have a professional ‘brand’ in your today don’t understand copyright and neither do own name be doubly cautious about what you post many journalists) - don’t upload large photos and on discussion forums or websites and remember don’t put up any written material that you would that Google often throws up connections you might mind very much being stolen - there’s not a huge not expect amount you can do about it - although if a professional organisation uses your work without permission you should certainly charge them. • On the other hand, Google is a good tool to check That said, commissioning editors fairly often pick up out the legitimacy and background of people you work from sites like Flickr and will contact people to meet online or in real life - use it and assume people ask to use it. You may get a credit or you may get are using it on you. paid. So it is (arguably) better to give a little of your work online and get seen than never get noticed at all. If you are keen to contribute something of yourself • Never follow emails that ask for any personal to the world wide web, consider using a Creative information or passwords - these are often Commons license. ( ‘phishing’ attacks. Always type in the URL or use your own bookmarks when accessing your online services
  23. 23. More free tools you might find useful • Skype - download required (free) - free phone calls between computers - landlines can be registered in different countries so people can call you - very useful for conference calling - both useful sites. Stikipad is tidyer; Wetpaint • Wiki providers allows one person to run multiple wikis. Both have added features eg discussion boards. Neither have quite the basic usefulness of the big wiki sites eg - you need your own server to run a wiki like this
  24. 24. Additional services • Flickr Pro account $19.95 • Small cards from your Flickr photos £9.99 for 100 • Register your own domain names and email addresses at www.123- • Build much fancier websites with a local team: • ...more links at