Sidengo: Another Free Platform Builder

Joining the ranks of Flavors.me, Dooid, Zerply and About.me is Sidengo – a free website builder that requires no coding skills and about ten minutes of your time. I love these great “do it yourself” tools for those of use who don’t necessarily have the full-on skills of a web developer but want to get the word out about their business or self-promotional efforts.

If you have used any of these before, the dashboard and sitebuilder will look quite familiar. Simply follow the instructions in the builder by adding in the relevant information when asked, linking up your media, uploading your images and logos, and filling in your contact information and Voila! you have a site.

 

I like the fact that you can have multiple pages with this particular tool. It also integrates nicely with your existing hangouts on the web, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. The contact page is pretty feature rich as well, with integrated Google maps information. You can use a custom domain, upload a favicon, download a QR code pointing to your site and generate embeddable widgets which you can share anywhere on the web. Check how your site is doing on the dashboard tab. And, for the mobile-inclined, the sites are iPhone compatible, and you can create a custom icon to appear on the iPhone home screen, giving the site the look of a mobile web app with a professional appearance.

 

 

As I have often said, it is worth taking advantage of as many of these tools as possible when building a web presence, as it offers you another outpost for your information and message. It is particularly attractive when the price is free (for now). Check it out and check back here with your URL – would love to see what you built.

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Cool Tool: Deep Citing Within a Web Page with CiteBite

If you perform research on the Web, or care to share the results of your research with someone else, you probably have found on occasion that your desired data may be lost in a sea of text within a web page. Sure you can “find” within the page to locate where your search terms are hidden. Or, if you want to be able to go directly to the point or direct someone else to the point at a later time, you could try CiteBite.

CiteBite offers the ability to link to a particular portion of a web page, which is particularly useful for long, text-heavy pages or articles. When you click on the CiteBite-d link, your page will open up at the precise point desired, with the particular text of interest highlighted.

CiteBite is a web-based tool that can be used from its web page linked above, or via Firefox extension or bookmarklet for other browsers. Pages are cached on CiteBite’s server so the chances of losing your cite are diminished.

Seems like a “must use” tool for any web-based research – check it out next time you are searching Google Scholar for case law and need to share the holding of a case with someone else. And don’t forget to thank me when they look at you like some kind of technological wunderkind.

Set & Forget A Text-Based Web Page with Pen.io

Have you ever needed to publish on-line a page of text and wished you could do it without having to add it to your web site or without enduring the aggravation of setting up yet another blog? Pen.io seeks to solve the problem of the “down and dirty” quick web publication problem with its simple, free, effective publishing tool. The site uses simple “PenUp” language to allow for rudimentary manipulation of the page, but it also supports HTML. You can drag and drop images into the editor for simple graphics. Pen.io offers the following information about its service:

How Do I Edit a Page?
Go to yourpagename.pen.io/edit – put “/edit” on the end of any Pen.io page to view the editing interface. In edit mode, just click the body of text to bring up input boxes

Can I create Multipage Sites?
Yes! The “:page” tag (without quotation marks), can be placed where you want to add a page break. Pagination will automatically get added.

Does Pen.io Support HTML?
Absolutely! Some HTML elements have been disabled but common HTML is accepted.

How Long Will Pages Remain Online?
There is no expire date on Pen.io pages. You can set and forget

What About my Privacy?
We don’t collect any personal information. Pen.io pages are public and expect other people to see them. We don’t recommend placing any personal information on a Pen.io page that you don’t want Google to see.

The resulting page is a beautifully elegant, simple layout of text – great, per Pen.io, for  publishing essays or ebooks, creating pages for upcoming events, sharing code snippets, sharing recipes or quick advertising. It couldn’t be easier – use Pen.io to expand your message with yet another publishing outpost on the Web.

DooID – Another Virtual Biz Card Option

I really like Flavors.me (link here), a free virtual and visual web page containing a resume of your on-line life. Another option that combines the benefits of Flavors.me and Retaggr (link here) is DooID (link here).

DooID, still in beta, bills itself as an on-line business card, but shares more with Flavors.me’s landing page-type service and non-techy interface. Sign up for your account and you are presented with an easy to use dashboard with options for setting up links to your other web hangouts, contact information, formatting and layout, much like Flavors.me.

However, DooID does offer a couple of distinguishing features. For one, you can set your contact information to private, resulting in a pop up box for visitors seeking a password for access. You can privacy protect information that you might want to offer but not openly promote to the web at large.

Additionally, DooID has a few “add ons” – little widget-like boxes that give additional functionality, such as an email signature, video bio, and map. The paid version gives you more layout options and more add-ons. DooID also includes a VCard link so that visitors can download your information into their own address books. Of course, you can share your masterpiece with the web via the sharing tools:

 

The end result is a slick page containing your pertinent information and links. DooID expands your territory on-line and promotes your brand and content via yet another web connection. All the better because of its ease of use, even for the non-tech-savvy. Check it out and, if you set up a page, link it back here in the comments – would love to see the results.

Facebook Friend-zy

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Hard not to have been hit over the head the past couple of days with all of the news about Facebook . Big changes that affect your privacy, how you interact across the Facebook site and how you interact across the Web are in a state of flux.

On some level, I must have subconsciously known that these changes were in the air, because I was struck with a major Spring cleaning “friend-zy” and, over the past several days, have been strengthening the connections between my profile and business page AdvantageAdvocates and between the business page and its web page.

I found tons of great Facebook apps and some new plug-ins to assist me in the process. Rather than go through them all right now (you can see many of them in the new boxes and tabs on both my Facebook Profile (link here) or on my Business Page (link here), I thought I would highlight one that I just installed on my website. This one is part of the big story that Facebook is planning to add a “like” button to the entire Web.

Remember back, over a year ago, when Facebook was threatening to conquer the Web with its universal check-in, Facebook Connect? Well, its’s deja vu all over again. The like button is another iteration of this concept – if you have a Facebook profie and see a “like” button on a site, you can quickly connect to the and with the site wherever you happen to be.

To that end, I installed a brand new plug-in on the home page of AdvantageAdvocates (link here). It looks like this:

It’s dynamic in that it shows updates from the page. The images of the fans also change with different clicks, just as they do on your Facebook Profile page. But most importantly, the button allows a web surfer far from the confines of Facebook’s walled garden to reach into Facebook and effect a “like” of my business page. More dynamic and engaging that simply “sharing” my page into another social site.

How did I do it? Well, that was not difficult. Over at the Facebook Developers Page (link here), there are eight brand, spanking new social plug-ins that feed off of this new “like” vocabulary. I personally used the Like Box (link here). There are also a Like Button (link here), Recommendations (link here), Login with Faces (link here), Comments (link here), Activity Feed (link here), Facepile (link here), and Live Stream (link here).

Click the link of the desired plugin. Get your Page Id. I know there must be an easier way to get it than I did – I used an old Promote Your Page Fan Box Widget Link that didn’t work, but I was able to lift my Page ID out of the html. Simply insert that Page ID into the marked box, hit enter and up pops the code. Copy the code, paste it onto the desired page and in the desired location in your web site editor and Voila – dinner is served!

Will it result in more fans, better connection, better engagement? I certainly hope so! Come on over to my page (link here), jump in and let’s talk about it!

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Have You Heard The News? Google Living Stories

Image representing Google Labs as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

Google brings forth yet another interesting way to view and follow news and it is called Google Living Stories. It is a collaboration between Google, The New York Time and The Washington Post. GLS builds on articles found in these papers, providing information related to the stories as it develops on a single web page devoted to the story. If you navigate to the Google Labs GLS page here, you will see links to the included stories. Click on a link and see a very slick page with its own URL that includes an overview of the main article, a time line of developments pertaining to the story, interactive tables showing related information (in the case of health care reform, costs and impact on the deficit), links to related stories and pertinent background information, pictures, video, graphics, opinions, and all sorts of goodies fleshing out the various dimensions of a news article.

Updates are highlighted when you return to the page and older stories are summarized. There is a link for comments, as well as email or RSS subscription to the particular story’s new developments. What a great alternative to other collected resources on newsworthy topics! Do I wish I had a resource like this when I was still a school girl writing current events reports!

Check out the quick vid from Google describing Living Stories:

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Deep Web Research for 2010

DiggingWay back, almost a year ago, I posted about a paper presented by Marcus Zillman on deep web research. Deep web research involves getting below the surface layer of web pages to documents stored on-line with extensions such as .pdf, .doc, .xls, ppt, .ps. and other more esoteric extensions. These extensions and this type of searching are particularly applicable to business research, as companies tend to store their information in this manner.

Mr. Zillman has done it again – check out his list of deep web resources for 2010 published on LLRX.com. His comprehensive list includes articles with background information, tools, resources on the semantic web, presentations, pertinent blogs and lots of other great links. You don’t have to “dig deep” to find what you might be looking for with Mr. Zillman’s help!

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One More Reason to Love Firefox: High-Powered People / Profile Search

There are all sorts of reasons for attorneys and everyone else to be interested in what kind of information is lurking on-line about particular individuals. People get involved in business dealings and litigation, from parties to experts, from witnesses to jurors. Potential clients are on-line creating profiles and offering information about needs to be met. And attorneys who are sensitive to modern modes of communication are on-line, promoting their brands and, hopefully, following up to determine whether their on-line marketing is making the desired impression.

Enter Identify. Based on the Google Social Graph API, Identify is a Firefox plug-in that allows you to search of profile pages and track links.  When viewing a page, just click “control + i” and get a pop-up box showing connections from all around the Web associated with the person referenced on the viewed page. Primarily designed to profile pages, it can be used as well with web-pages with the proper coding and information.

If you have Firefox, you can get the plug-in here. Check out your own profiles and see how well you represent on the Web.

Hat tip to Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb.

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