Wednesday, March 05, 2008

iChat: quick and satisfying collaborative editing

In TidBITS: Mac News for the Rest of Us, Matt Neuburg briefly reviews and recommends a Mac-based approach for collaborative editing that he tried out with Tonya Engst (using OS X 10.5.2):
Collaborative editing isn't new to TidBITS. We've made plenty of use of SubEthaEdit, and Tonya's mind was already in a collaborative space from playing recently with Google Docs and ZohoWriter. But iChat screen sharing adds voice contact, and you're not merely sharing a document, you're editing and reading the same document simultaneously in real time, so it's perfect for quick, lightweight brainstorming and cooperation. Not to mention the instant gratification of solving, in five minutes, with excellent communication, a problem that might have taken our heavyweight email correspondence system two days, with far clunkier communication. In short, it was efficient, satisfying, successful, fast, and fun. You should try it!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Notes on Feevy

Feevy is a free online service for collecting and recasting RSS feeds in sleek, pre-formatted widgets (three+ styles) that I learned about in the Blogging for Educators workshop (TESOL EVO, 2008). I've tried it out in the sidebar, and in a post on this blog, with both a feed from a separate blog, and a comment feed from this blog. [I've removed the experimental post, and replaced the experimental sidebar widget already.]

One upside of Feevy is, like in PageFlakes, you don't need to know where to find or how to construct an RSS feed for a blog or website. You can simply copy the URL of the site you want to add to your widget, and paste the URL into the Feevy site, which creates the widget code for you, either from URLs (one at a time) or from OPML input (in batches). The more sites you add to your Feevy collection, the more content is likely to bubble up through the widget itself. Another upside is you can put Feevy widget code almost anywhere on your blog or site, or in multiple locations.

Though I had already written, " can only have one Feevy widget...," [that was wrong;] there are ways you can trick up different displays by tagging the blogs you add or have added to your Feevy collection, and tweaking the appearance of the widget. For details, please check the FAQ (item 2.5, Can I tag the blogs in my feevy for... different feevies? 2008.03.04) [or compare the two widgets currently in the sidebar {upper and lower right, 2008.03.05}].

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