Soundimals


If a website engages and keeps my interest so long that I want to read it all, it’s really worthy of tucking away.  Such was the case of the Tumblr site Soundimals.

I was hooked after viewing the graphic “How to Sound Like a Dog in 14 Languages“.  So, I backed off to the root of the site to enjoy them all.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good bird?

The artwork is courtesy of the genius of James Chapman.

I can only imagine how checking out the graphics would work in a second language classroom.  Or when addressing world languages or different cultures.

The works are also available for sale should you be looking for some unique classroom decorations.

 

Science ASAP


Actually, the Tumblr site is called ASAP Science.

This was another site that passed my litmus test.  If it holds my attention, it’s worth bookmarking and sharing for future reference.

One of the powerful things about working the web is the power of visualization that’s available.  At this site, images, movies, animations all make the curated fare.

It’s a typical Tumblr blog – entries appear as they get posted so don’t look for easily categorized science facts.  Instead, the blog calls itself “Your Daily Dose of Awesome Science”.

If you’re like me and get engaged, you’ll just keep reading and reading and reading and …

ASAP Science has a YouTube Channel and a Facebook page if you’re looking for more focused content than just reading the Tumblr page.

Sometimes learning engagement just needs to be random!

The Online World Isn’t Perfect


It would be really nice if everything that you do with technology worked, worked well the first time, and never had a problem.  Of course, you can add those wishes to the hundreds of others that you might have.  It doesn’t always work that way.

For some, it’s the end of the world.  For the hesitant user who you’ve finally convinced that doing something is good, a hiccup in the process can often be the excuse that’s needed to bail out.  After all, it can sure be frustrating.  The sophisticated user might slap their monitor and then move to fix the problem or just move on to something else.

A couple of examples have arisen in the past little while.

Posterous will turn off on April 30

The Posterous blogging platform has been a very easy platform to curate and share photos and others have made it their primary blogging platform.  I would equate it to Tumblr in its functionality and appearance.  Posting has been a slice when you install the bookmark tool or use Shareaholic.  But, it’s going to close.

One Approach:
Get mad.  Get frustrated.  Shut down.  After all, you’ve put so much work into your Posterous presence and now it’s gone.  See, I told you the internet doesn’t work.

Another Approach:
OK, I’ve got until April 30 to do something about this.  What can I do?  First of all, you have until April 30 to enjoy your efforts.  Unless you do something, it will ultimately close and all your work is gone.  Nobody wants that so read the entire post and you’ll see that Posterous gives you instructions about how to get your content out of Posterous so that you don’t lost everything.

Or, read and follow the instructions elsewhere

OK, so WordPress is the answer?

It’s not perfect either.  Check out this story from yesterday.

WordPress.com goes down, taking millions of blogs (and us) with it
That’s interesting.  This blog is hosted by WordPress.com.  I didn’t even know that there was an interruption in the service.  But, I suppose that it could be that you were affected.  I hope now.  Fortunately, WordPress seems to have recovered nicely.  All is good as I work on this post.

That does it.  I’m moving my blog.
Well, you could over react.  There are many other very good blogging sites – Jux, Blogger, Tumblr.  They’ll never have problem.  (tongue in cheek)

That does it.  I’m going to host my own.
That’s always an option.  After all, the WordPress code is free to download and install.  It absolutely is and thousands of people use their own WordPress instance daily.  That only requires that you purchase hosting space, install and maintain your code and do your own backups.

The best approach?  I think that it’s pretty clear that there are many alternatives and that’s the joy and the power of being online.  Despite the small moments of frustration and inconvenience, the stats lie heavily in favour of stableness and continuity.  You just need to calm down, take it easy, make intelligent and informed decisions and then move on.  After all, there are a lot of smart people working behind the scenes and they really are aiming for 100% uptime.

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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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