IL 2011: 20 Steps to Better Web Services
11/17/2011 02:58:00 PM | Author: Christa
The Librarian in Black.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sarah Houghton

We are broke
Free=useful, maybe we’re becoming too reliant on free stuff. Maybe we should learn and do things ourselves.

#1 – Where to put your website
Blogger – still flexible platform, small, easy.
Drupal – if you have lots of time to learn it. Super flexible, make it look how you want it to. Open source. Good for larger site needing a big redesign.
Squarespace – Almost free. For around $500, did entire city website, CMS that works, mobile platform hosted. Easy to learn. Even staff who hate technology and websites are learning and blogging.

#2 – Images
Gimp – image editing program. Like Photoshop. Open source, free. Intermediate to advanced people.
Picnik – in browser photo editing. Simple photo editing tool. Flickr uses it.
PictoBrowser – Flickr slideshow. – high quality photography. For finding stock photos that aren’t illegal for you to use.
Creative commons search in Flickr.

#3 – Hot Topics
Addict-o-matic – pulls in items from many sites – Twitter, Bing, Google blog, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

#4 – make ur codez priteeez
beautifyer – java, css

#5 – Surveys and polls
Google forms – excel spreadsheet with results.
Polldaddy – simple polls, see percentages, easy to embed in website.

#6 – Slider
Wow slider – rotating slide show, doesn’t use flash – good. 10 minutes to have one up and running.

#7 - Translate
Google translate – free, it works, language of your choice. Put it near top of page, users will never get to the footer. Audience comment – do not use for medical info, terrible.

#8 – Remote assistance
LogMeIn – remote access to pc or mac. Email with link, gives permission to drive their computer. Free. Make sure they know after the session is over you can’t be in their computer anymore.

#9 - Wireframing
Balsamiq – mockup websites. Premade graphics as placeholders.

#10 – Test your mobile stuff
W3C – mobile OK checker, simple, easy, it works.

#11 – Stats
Google analytics – free, simple, easy. Insert tiny snippet of code into your site. Don’t need any skill.

#12 - Skype
Use for online ref/chat. People are using it anyway.

#13 – Social management
Tweetdeck – monitor multiple twitter accounts. Alerts.
Namechk – check for already used user names, when setting up profiles.

#14 - Webcast
Slideshare zipcast – for webcasts, like WebEx but free, live video feed plus slides and chat. Had up to 200 people on at same time, no load issues. Archives.

#15 – Video
JayCut – browser based video editing tool. Upload video, edit, then download finished product.
YouTube - video editing has gotten better.
Animoto – create video of still photos add animation, music. Free pro account to non-profits.
Xtranormal – give it a script, makes an animated movie.

#16 – Audio
Audacity – audio editing tool.
Podbean – host audio.

#17 – Learning environments
Moodle – good, hard to learn and implement. Good for full feature online class.

#18 – Infographics – build your own.

#19 – LibraryThing
Strong, simple.

#20 – Google
Really good free stuff.
Plus – might be able to integrate into our websites.
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