28 de agosto de 2008

My Take on the Top 25

Following Emma Duke-William's idea (through Stephen Downes blog) to list the top 25 technologies/services and whether they add value to my work/life or not:

Firefox - Basically for my stuff. In HP we have to use IE6 for several reasons. The best thing about Firefox is that you can install add-ins to the browser, making it more suited to the things you do.

Delicious - I use it a lot. There are a couple of Firefox add-ins you can install to streamline the work of adding new links or managing the ones you've already added.

Google Reader - I can't live without it. It collects all the information I need from weather to sport results, education and e-learning news to my friend's photos in Flickr.

Gmail - I use it customized to my own domain rodolphoarruda.pro.br. It's easy to use, fast and reliable. Spam filter works fine too.

Skype - I use Skype-out when I'm traveling abroad and need to call someone in Brazil. For 2 cents a minute it's a real bargain.

Google calendar - Gee, I'm a heavy user. I have all Brazilian and American holidays all together. I use Google Clandar Sync to pull in appointments from HP Outlook. I have separate calendars for aikido, running, and mountain biking. I have a shared one with my girlfriend so we can invite eachother to anything one found cool happening in town. Oh, and I have all my bills due dates there too, all recurring so I don't miss the dates.

Google Docs - I use it to do my personal finance and to track my training. I also use (less often) to exchange business ideas with my father.

iGoogle - I don't use it. It looks a bit redundant to what the Reader offers.

Slideshare - I'm beginning to use it more frequently now to add graphic schemes to my blog.

Flickr - I love it. I have a pro account and have most of my friend's photostreams subscribed in Google Reader.

Voicethread - I never heard of it till now.

WordPress - I had used it for some years, but not anymore. It's a great tool for those who want to have full control over everything that runs in the blog. It's nice to be able to customize the template, run add-ons etc, but that comes with a cost: your time spent and hosting. I used to spend a lot of time tweaking the whole thing. It became a hobby for me, until one day I fed-up with it and moved to Blogger (where you are reading this). Now I don't have to bother upgrading to the latest version with a zillion security patches and fixes. I just pay my yearly domain bill and that's it.

Audacity - Nice tool. I have used in the past for a personal project where I recorded my own voice while reading some nice books. Audio editing is very easy with this tool.

YouTube - I only use it when I have something funny to share with my friends. Aside from that I'm just an average visitor.

Jing - I began using it since the first day they released it. Nice tool for screen capturing, but the resulting files are huge and there is no way to get rid of that Web 2.0 reflection effect like start screen. I would pay to have just a simple thumbnail and that's it.

PBWiki - I don't use Wikis anymore. I used them intensively from 2003 to 2006 to suppor my classes. Today I would use Google Docs instead.

PollDaddy - I don't use it.

Nvu - I never heard of it.

Yugama - I have no idea what it is for.

Ustream - I don't use it.

Ning - I love it. It's the best way to build your social network. I have a Brazilian friend who works with them, so he always tells me the news first hand.

Freemind - It's easy to use, nice and powerful, but outdated for new mind mapping approaches. The Brain does a better job (since 1999) as being a multi-directional, ambi-hierarchal, 3D tool.

eXe - I don't what this is.

Moodle - Hmmm, I have mixed feelings about it. It's nice because it's free, period. Aside from that you face all the classic problems of an open source tool (lack of support, instability, once heavily customized only you can fix it). I have used a bunch of LMSes and PLEs now, and my opinion is: take your time choosing a good vendor and once you have selected it, stick to it! Make it continually add value to your learning operations and allow yourself to work on the best practice.

Twitter - I gave up using it. I don't see a point in letting people know I have just given food to my cats.

So that's my list. :-)

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