Category Archives: 101 tools

101 cool tools: Instapaper

Wow! Number 4 already! At this rate I’ll be through all 101 by 2020…

Instapaper is a really neat service for saving content for consumption at a time that suits you.

You create an account, and then add a bookmarklet to your browser – when you spot something you’d like to check out later, just click the bookmark and a few seconds later the content has been sent to your account.

Your page on Instapaper then lists all your saved content, and you can then click to read them – and what’s really clever is that the content is stripped from the rest of the original web page, allowing you to focus on the words.

The next great thing with Instapaper is the way it integrates with mobile devices. The iPad and iPhone apps are excellent, and a great way of consuming content on the move.

But the real winner is the Kindle integration. By visiting your Instapaper account via the Kinde’s experimental browser, you can download your recent saved items, cobbled together into a single ‘ebook’. Genius!

101 cool tools: Doodle

I haven’t done one of these for a while, sorry! Here’s the third in my series of 101 cool social media tools, it’s Doodle!

Doodle

Doodle is a neat little tool for organising when to meet groups of people. Someone starts up a Doodle poll, and lists the dates and times that are possible. They then invite everyone who needs to attend to vote by clicking on the slots they can make.

doodle-example

Doodle then highlights the date and time that the majority of people can make, and that’s your decision made.

So much easier than pinging emails back and forth with suggestions!

Don’t forget, you can follow these tips in the future on Twitter

101 cool tools: Addictomatic

Second in my series of posts highlighting 101 cool online tools is Addictomatic.

It’s a great little service for doing instant online monitoring. Just feed the homepage with a search term, and it will quickly come back to you with a bunch of results across the web – from video sites, blogs, Twitter, photos and others.

You can then pick and choose which of the services are most useful to you, and bookmark the resulting URL, which you can return to whenever you like for an update.

If you’re wanting to do some quick online research to see what people are saying about you, or the issues that matter to you, then Addictomatic is just what you need.

101 cool tools: Paper.li

This is a new regular series of posts where I highlight a cool online service that you may or may not have heard of. Whether I ever make it to 101 is debatable I feel… I’ve also set up a Twitter feed where links to these posts will be automatically pumped.

This is the first post, and it’s about paper.li.

paperli

Paper.li is a service that integrates with Twitter, and creates a dynamically produced page, that looks a bit like a newspaper, from the links that are added to Twitter.

You can create a paper from your own (or indeed, someone else’s) followers, or a hashtag, or one of your lists of Twitter users. Here’s what mine looked like when I created it just now:

dbpaper

Here’s an explanation from the website about how it works:

  • extract all tweets that include URLs
  • extract the content found on these URLs:
    • text, e.g. blog post, newspaper article
    • photo, e.g. Flickr, yfrog, Twitpic, …
    • video, e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, …
  • analyze the extracted text for topic, e.g. Politics, Technology, …
  • surface the day’s most relevant articles (using paper.li magic)
  • construct a newspaper frontpage using the filtered articles, photos and videos

So you can quickly produce an automatically curated page of useful content that people you are interested in have found – on the topics you are interested in. It really is just a case of signing up, typing your terms in and clicking go.

The downside is that you have little control over what it produces. You can see a local council, for example, producing a paper containing content concerning the local area – but it may have to come with caveats!