social networks

From My Armchair: 4 August 2012


At the BookShelf

I am into my last days of annual leave, so it is doubtful I’ll be able to read anywhere near as much as I have this last week. I’ll probably have the Kindle out at lunch for a bit, so I’ll still be getting some reading in even while I’m at work. The Kindle has certainly made it a lot easier to have good reading material available no matter where I am. Loving the Kindle.

 

Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

Not a lot has happened with the social networks in the book/reading niche over this last week, except that I have been updating Goodreads on a regular basis as to what I am reading, progress and cataloguing the books as I go.

I did do a quick addition to Quotista, which has a lot of potential but doesn’t appear to be being developed any further, which is…

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Native Wildlife of the Area


It’s another wet and windy day in paradise, so not much to do but sit it out. It also means I haven’t got a lot to type about (as opposed to write about, given I’m using the keyboard). So I’m going back a little and posting about some photos I’ve taken in recent months here. In fact, what I’m posting about today is one of the great things about living here in Tea Gardens, which differs a great deal from other places I have lived down Newcastle and Lake Macquarie way and that is the abundance of wildlife around here. Sadly we have managed to kill of most of the wildlife down around Newcastle, or at the very least drove it all away. Here it abounds and I love it being so.

Diamond PythonI’m not talking about just the smaller animal and bird species you might expect to find in a suburban area, but even the bigger examples of wildlife also. Kangaroos and Wallabies can be found all over the place in this area and it isn’t unusual to see them bounding down the main street in numbers. In fact, sadly, you often find them as road kill on the main road out to the highway. Where I work we have smaller wallabies and kangaroos actually living in and amongst the homes, with joeys in their pouches as well. The odd Dingo can also be seen from time to time. Koalas are known to live in healthy numbers around the area – not that I have spotted one here yet.

Reptiles abound here also, with large numbers of Red Belly Black Snakes, Diamond Pythons (pictured at above left) and Tree Snakes readily found in the warmer months, along with Blue-Tongued Lizards and Goannas. I have seen some Goannas that have been at least 1 metre long. Some of the Diamond Pythons have been closer to 2 metres in length.

It is the bird life that really thrives around here, especially the wetland varieties. The area is rich in bird life. At work you can see on a daily basis Wattle Birds, Blue Wrens, Finches, various Parrots and Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Galahs, Water Fowl, Wood Ducks, Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Herons, Black Swans and many, many more species of birds. There are the rarer sightings of birds also. A Tawny Frogmouth (pictured at below right) has made its home near where I live, trying its best to look like part of the tree in which it chooses to roost.Tawny Frogmouth

The area also abounds in sea life, of various types and sizes. It is not unusual to have Humpback Whales sighted of the coast here and Dolphins can be spotted almost every morning if you know where to look. The Sting Rays are also easy spot at the right time of the day.

You do get your not so welcome species of wildlife also, such as mosquitos and sand flies, but I guess these play their part in the general run of things, being food perhaps for the more welcome members of wildlife society.

One of the things I’m doing down here, tieing in my interest in web applications and social networks, is being involved with the Project Noah social network. This is a place to log wildlife spots with GPS markings using the iPhone application, along with the web application. I haven’t long been involved in it, but it is something I will be doing more and more. It will be good to build up a more complete picture of what species live in the area. Others can get involved in recording and mapping the wildlife of the area here by joining the ‘mission’ I have started at Project Noah.

The mission I have started for Tea Gardens can be found at:
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/12346009

wibbitz


Today’s link is wibbitz, which is a video player plugin for your website, that makes your content into an interactive video, which can then be shared on other sites and social networks.

Fore more, visit:
http://wibbitz.com/

Beta Li.st


Today’s link is to a Blog that is concerned with the latest Internet start ups, including various social networks and web applications. Being right into this sort of thing, I check out the site on a daily basis. A great Blog to go back to again and again.

Fore more, visit:
http://betali.st/

Memolane


Memolane has just recently opened its online doors to all. Memolane preserves your online memories in the form of a timeline by importing your activity on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and plotting them on a timeline. I have been using the service for some time and have to say that I’m really happy with what Memolane has come up with. I won’t try and describe the service any further, rather I will direct you to my Memolane page where you can observe Memolane is use.

http://memolane.com/particularkev

Sign up at Memolane by visiting:

http://memolane.com/

Grou.ps – Free, but Not Really


I haven’t posted for a few days on this Blog. Reason? I have been busy deactivating social networks and deleting information I have stored on the Grou.ps platform. I have also been advising members in these communities to do the same.

I was once an advocate for Grou.ps, despite the many problems that existed there, sure that the service was improving and there was great potential in the platform. Now I feel that I have been betrayed by a platform I defended and pushed. Why do I feel this? The service has decided to go premium – though there is a free option also. However, the free option removes the privacy and moderation that owners of Grou.ps communities were assured of. You can just imagine what will happen with spam and privacy under these circumstances. Added to that, the platform is plagued with performance issues and seemingly full of bugs (at least that has been my experience and that of many others in the support forums).

I will not be supporting Grou.ps and longer and withdraw all of my endorsements of their product. As someone in the support forum said, they don’t mind paying for a service that works. Neither do I, but there is also the issue of the bad taste left in my mouth as a result of the way Grou.ps has ‘betrayed’ their loyal members and users.

http://grou.ps/

Generatus: A Status Update Tool


Today’s link is to a web application that allows you to come up with clever updates for your status on Facebook or other social networks such as Twitter. Probably not something you would use too often, but there it is:

http://www.generatus.com/

A Ning Alternative


With Ning ending free social networks to focus entirely on paid accounts, many are looking for alternatives. Jabbster is a possibility. Check out the Jabbster site at:

http://www.jabbster.com/main.php