Anne Taylor: Flock
“About six months ago, a friend said she’d show me hers if I showed her mine. How could I resist? So I showed off Pidgin, which allows you to run multiple chat clients on one platform, and the ridiculously addictive Twittervision, which charts live Twitter posts on a map.
“Then she unveiled Flock ( href=”http://www.flock.com/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.flock.com”www.flock.com), the Ã¢Â€Â˜social web browser’. I fell in love. It cleverly integrates social networking services. Three of my favourite features are being able to organise RSS feeds into folders; the web clipboard, which allows you to drag and drop text and images to use later; and its blog editor. A cousin to Firefox, most extensions will work here too. It’s clever, seamless, smart and Web 2.0.”
Anne Taylor is a freelancer and consultant who specialises in writing online content and rebuilding websites for picky clients.
Jude Mathurine: Apture, Twitter
“While big media can afford off-the-rack content management systems that deliver dynamic content and interactive features, small publishers have to make do with Web 1.0 sites built in the last century.
“!_LT_STRONGApture!_LT_/STRONG ( href=”http://www.apture.com/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.apture.com”www.apture.com) lets publishers turn any hypertext link into a colourful preview of any related blog, document, wiki, video, mp3 or map using a free customised snippet of code.
“Users get a sneak peek at publishers’ value-added links and social content (blogs, podcasts, online videos) from within their website, and small and local publishers improve their site stickiness. Everybody wins.
“!_LT_STRONGTwitter!_LT_/STRONG’s ( href=”www.twitter.com” target=_blank mce_href=”www.twitter.com”www.twitter.com) simple micro-blogging technology helps small publishers distribute just-in-time SMSstyle headlines including hypertext to subscribers. “The 140 character messages can be sent from reporters’ mobiles to applications or feeds on Twitter subscribers’ desktops, cellphones and PDAs. Properly deployed, it’s a great way to keep news junkies informed, promote upcoming events and flag your online content to global communities of interest.”
!_LT_EMJude Mathurine is a lecturer at Rhodes University’s New Media Laboratory and digital editor of!_LT_/EM Grocott’s Mail!_LT_EM.!_LT_/EM
Mike Stopforth: Twitter
“My find for the year would have to be the micro-blogging trend, most notably in the form of startup Twitter, which has been around for some time but exploded in popularity in local circles earlier this year. Twitter allows you to set up a free account and then asks a simple question of the user: Ã¢Â€Â˜What are you doing?’. Users then publish a thought, a link, a greeting or status update in 140 characters or less (about the length of an SMS), which is published into a public stream of Tweets and followed specifically by a group of friends.
“Twitter has changed the way I consume content and got me hooked on Ã¢Â€Â˜media snacking’, while opening doors to new discoveries and resources online.”
Mike Stopforth ( href=”http://www.mikestopforth.com/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.mikestopforth.com/”http://www.mikestopforth.com/) is the CEO of Cerebra ( href=”http://www.cerebra.co.za/” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.cerebra.co.za/”http://www.cerebra.co.za/), a dedicated social and mobile media company.
Justin Hartman: Buxfer.com
“The name Buxfer is a combination of the words Ã¢Â€Â˜bucks’ and Ã¢Â€Â˜transfer’ and this is the best personal finance application on the web. With Buxfer you can easily see how much money (or debt) you have in your accounts as well as a detailed breakdown of your expenses.
“What is often frustrating with managing finances is knowing where money has gone to and Buxfer resolves this issue with its detailed reports and graphs. The navigation and interface is simple to use and easy to grasp and you are able to import most bank statements downloaded from your internet banking profile.
“Buxfer is a new site and still heavily under development, but I have high hopes for this US-based start-up.”
!_LT_EMJustin Hartman is the digital innovation manager at Avusa Media.!_LT_/EM
This article first appeared in !_LT_EMThe Media!_LT_/EM magazine (September 2008).