A new way to read

This is a cool concept and it comes courtesy of the New York Public Library. They’ve embarked on a program to make traditional books available on Instagram.

Now, if you think of it, classics like Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” are available in text form in just about every library in the world. It’s even available for download on your device since it’s in the public domain. I have a printed copy in my bookshelf and a copy on my iPad.

It’s been interpreted in many forms…

Alan Parson’s Project (second song)

Vincent Price (a reading)

And now on Instagram, courtesy of the NYPL!

It was interesting to see what it looks like on a cellphone.

The collection, so far, is available here: https://www.instagram.com/nypl/

What do you think? A viable new media format?


Tag, You’re It

I had a good conversation with a friend of mind a few years ago.  I was going to visit her and she was starting to give me driving directions.  I told her that I probably didn’t need them because she had been broadcasting her location via her Twitter account.  Surprised, we took a look at her timeline and she had no idea that she was broadcasting her location.  A couple of clicks later and we were looking at her house on Google Streetview.  All because the new Twitter client she was using had geo-location turned on by default … it was probably in the terms of use use but neglected.

A new utility “Ready or Not” is designed to help in the cause of tracking location of Twitter and Instagram users.

It describes itself as:

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

I poked around with myself and some of my friends with some mixed results.

  • I couldn’t find myself which was good.  I do make sure that auto posting my location is turned off.  But, I was surprised that it didn’t identify that I checked in at Petite Côte during my dog walk tonight;
  • I could find some locations from some Twitter friends that did make sense.  I hope that they read this post and check to make sure that they know what they’re doing;
  • I found some that were out and out incorrect.

How to use it?  Just visit the site and enter a Twitter name.  After a search, you’ll get the location results displayed on a Google Map or a message that no location could be found.

Rather than identify a particular person, I chose a commercial entity.  In this case, it was one of the Big Three Car Manufacturers.  A quick search later revealed posting from the following locations.

Those familiar to the location should recognize Windsor, Detroit, Woodward Avenue


Not included in the screen capture, but you’ll see when you visit the site, along the right side of you screen is the actual messages that help identify the locations.

The site isn’t perfect but the results are certainly interesting.  Some who don’t know that they’re broadcasting their location might even call it alarming.  Regardless of where you stand on the concept, it’s worth checking your own account and those of your close friends – you may decide to pass the information along to others.

If you are concerned, click the padlock to get instructions about to tighten down your location information.

It’s worth the time to check yourself out.  Do it now.

Tweaking Rebelmouse

I’ve had a Rebelmouse account for a while now.  I think it’s a terrific way to summarize things that I’m doing with social media.  Quite frankly, I’m just using it to gather my activity from Twitter so that it’s all in one spot.  I could add links to Instagram (I don’t use), Tumblr (not really using it now), Pinterest (which is a collection of my blog posts) or an RSS feed (I use Feedly for that.)  So, it could be bigger but I’m good with what I’m doing now.

I’ve blogged a couple of times about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

Just recently, the developers have added a great deal more functionality to this wonderful program.

1)  You can now customize colours and fonts.  Those that know me know that that will involve Verdana fonts and lots of green.  It’s not one of the standard templates that they provide, however, a little editing of the CSS to create a customized theme.  I’m not done with it yet but am pleased with what I’ve done so far.

2)  Now, that’s really cosmetic.  The really handy feature in the revised Rebelmouse is the ability to create pages based upon the source of your content.

Now, instead of everything being lumped into one stream of resources shared, tabs across the top of the landing page let you zero in on, in my case, the source for what I’ve shared.

I’ve just started to get the knack of this and really like the way that it allows for a review of what I’ve done recently.  I suspect that anyone who is interested in what I’m doing will find it helpful as well.

If you don’t have a Rebelmouse page tracking and sharing your activity, why not?  Give it a try – you’ll like it.

It’s a terrific way to review and organize your resources – if you’re looking for a handy way to organize classroom resources, this may be the tool that you’re looking for.

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Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall on Twitter) tossed out a Twitter message last night inviting people to check out Kurrate – a new curation tool for teachers using video in the classroom.

I had to check it out immediately.  First, you’ve got to be interested in what an Ontario educator shares and secondly, I know that so many teachers are effectively and increasingly using videos as key in their lessons.

So, off I went.

I wasn’t expecting to see what I found.  It was actually in a directory off the root of Brian’s website.  It was another one of his projects released to the wild.  Now, if you go to YouTube or Vimeo, there is already search functionality in place.  What makes Kurrate different?

He’s searching them all, or you can selectively choose the services that you want.

We had a little back and forth discussion.  I think he’s done a very nice job putting this together.  My only comment surrounded the embedded scroll bars.  With a trackpad, I had hit the wrong scroll bar and had the wrong thing scrolling.  The individual results are embedded inside a window of results.  It seems, from our discussion, that he’s wondering the best way to handle the results as well.  We both agree that popup windows should not be an option!

We talked about opening the results in different tabs and having each individual set of results in a window and buttons to step through the results.  This seems like a puzzle to be solved.  How do you best return the results?

In the meantime, this is a really well created and I think it will be well received by teachers or students looking for a search engine to give them all.  Give it a try and see what you think.  He’s actively looking for feedback through Twitter or he’s got an email address on the page.  I’m sure that he’ll be appreciative of your thoughts.