July 22, 2007

Mousetrap - 111

Connector
Mashable
I’m a keen student of developments on the web2.0 front, particularly the social networking scene, out of both personal and professional interest. And usually, the one site that has the quickest and most comprehensive coverage is Mashable. And it’s not just for folks like me. Its just as appealing to anyone interested in keeping abreast. Their most recent act of beauty: a series of collections that would make any webhead drool. A random sampling: 20 Ways To Aggregate Your Social Networking Profiles; 90+ Essential Music and Audio Websites; 120+ Resources for Bloggers; 230+ Keyboard Shortcuts for Top Web Services; 90+ Online Photography Tools and Resources; Online Productivity Toolbox: 30+ Resources to Get Things Done. ’Nuff said?

..6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..
Assignment Zero
One of the offshoots of citizen journalism is a phenomenon called “crowdsourcing.” What this means is that instead of single amateurs hammering away in isolation, they divide various aspects of the task among the crowd, and handle them independently. For example, interviews with different people, photographs if scattered areas, real world research, fact-checking . But then the various components are put together to make a whole, with, perhaps different members of the team handling things like editing copy. This site is one such experiment, a collaboration between NewAssignment.net and that geek icon, Wired magazine, as well as “those who choose to participate.” Which means you could sign up too, since all assignments are posted online. It has both professional newsgatherers and rank amateurs. The results of their first assignment are online (the assignment was, heh, crowdsourcing), so you can go make your judgements right away.

It must have bee love, but..
Dear John Letter Generator
A wee bit of nonsense for the weekend. A Dear John letter is one that writes “finis” to a relationship. I’m told (obviously I haven’t written any; perish the thought) that they’re very difficult to write. This site lets you choose from a host of drop down menus for almost every phrase, and then delivers a finished letter. And there are enough choices to cover most moods, so, hey, drop by for a giggle, but you never know, you might wind up using one for real.

3D Rangoli
Julian Beever’s pavement drawings
Here’s some eye candy to take you through to Monday. Beever is pavement artist with a difference, He creates these magnificent works which, viewed from just the right angle, give you the illusion of reality. Words won’t do. Go see.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to http://o3.indiatimes.com/mousetrap for past columns, and to comment, or mail inthemousetrap@indiatimes.com. The writer blogs at http://zigzackly.blogspot.com.

Published in the Times of India,22nd July, 2007.

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