The Advocate's Vacation

 

Yes, even Advocates need to take a break once in a while. I will be tuning out for a couple of weeks. Be back soon with lots of great content.

 

 

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Blekko's new Social News Curation Tool ROCKZi

 

I love Blekko, the search engine. I have reviewed it here before and it is one of my go-to search resources because of  the intelligent way it offers access to web information.

 

Now Blekko is dipping its toes into news curation. ROCKZi, with the tagline “read, vote, rock,” is designed to offer a solution to reading, discovering and curating interesting news along vertical categories. Add to and upvote stories on the site, gain “karma” points that increase your standing within the community, share stories and start discussions over shared interests.

 

If you know anything about Blekko, you likely know about “slashtags”, the tags that users can employ to limit search to certain pre-described categories. Boards on ROCKZi are much like slashtags – they give you access to a particular news vertical, so you can be assured of relevant stories within the category. Like slashtags over at Blekko, the number of boards is growing. Right now, you can peruse the following:

 

 

For bonus points, see if you can figure out the category from the title.

 

There is a bookmarklet that you can use to add stories while surfing. The board pages are laid out nicely, with a certain homage to Flipboard, and you can easily see from the thumbnail how many votes the stories have garnered. Hover over the thumbnails to add a “this rocks” or “comment” to the story. When you comment, you might note the similarity to a Facebook share – the comments employ a Facebook social plug-in and you can obviously log into ROCKZi with your Facebook profile. Fortunately, you can turn on and off posting your comments and likes to Facebook if you wish. When you just generally search the site without employing a board limiter, you will get all stories that contain your keyword, with filtering for top or recent.

 

I know what you’re thinking – I need another site for reading news like I need a hole in the head. If that new site is offering you stories you aren’t otherwise finding in your RSS feeds or social networks, then that site is worthwhile in my opinion. Better the story you know, than the story you don’t, to coin a phrase. And, with Blekko’s quality, it is hard for me to imagine ROCKZi being a dog. If you have some free time, head on over to ROCKZi and get some great curated news. Perhaps ROCKZi will pick up where the shattered remains of Digg have left off.

Finding Public Google Docs

If you take my Everything Google course at Solo Practice University, you may recall from the Google Docs class that you can set your visibility on your Google Docs from the share button to private, anyone with the link, or public on the web. Public docs are accessible and viewable by anyone on the web. But how, exactly, do you find such public Google Docs?

 

Google Operating System blog has some tips for you on searching for these elusive public documents. You can’t find them within Docs or Google Drive. But you can via Google search. The post offers these handy queries:

 

Here are some useful queries that let you find public Google Drive/Docs files (you can append some keywords to the queries):

* [site:docs.google.com/document/d] – find text documents

* [site:docs.google.com/presentation/d] – find presentations

* [site:docs.google.com/drawings/d] – find drawings

* [site:docs.google.com/file/d] – find files: images, videos, PDF files, Microsoft Office documents and more (you should click “repeat the search with the omitted results included” since there are many files with similar titles)

* [site:docs.google.com/folder/d] – find folders (collections of files and other folders)

* [site:docs.google.com/open] – find other documents, folders and files (the links redirect to other URLs)

Public spreadsheets and forms can’t be indexed by search engines.

 

There you have it. Happy searching!