Google has added a new option to Google Docs and Spreadsheets to make files open for others to look at without the need to register or sign in with a Google account. To make any doc or spreadsheet open, users can click option for "invitations may be used by anyone" in the "Share" tab. Once enabled, any invite to view the spreadsheet will take users right to it, bypassing any annoying log-in screens. Users will still need to log in and be on the collaborators list to make any editing changes, but this should open things … Read more
CoComment is an interesting service that helps you monitor comment threads on blogs and Web sites. The service does two big things. One is letting you subscribe to any post's comments, regardless of whether the site in question offers notification of replies. The second element is scraping comments from threads you've replied to, so you can monitor and access the responses for multiple sites in one centralized location. If you're a frequent commenter on several different blogs or sites, this could be a worthwhile service for you.
In order to see if a page you're on has an active coComment discussion, you need to install a small Firefox extension. Alternately, there's a bookmarklet for other popular browsers such as IE and Opera. The key benefit in using the coComment extension is that it will automatically link your on-site comment with your watched comment threads. You need simply click the coComment button, and the service will give you the option keep track of the conversation, add tags, and mirror the thread to your watch list.
When browsing, the plug-in will change colors from blue to orange on any page you're on to let you know a coComment thread on the site or post already exists. Like the bookmarklet, when you click the plug-in button, you'll get the option to follow a thread or comment through coComment, instead of via the site's comment engine. This is one aspect that I don't like, since it's taking potential discussion off the site's built-in discussion. At the same time, for sites without the option to comment, coComment can add this functionality.
To keep track of what others are commenting on, registered members can become friends. Users can see who has subscribed to their conversation feeds, as well as see other coComment users who have responded to the same threads. Each user also gets their own comment and subscriber count, which acts as a general way to tell how much clout or interaction coComment users have.… Read more
Many Yahoo photos users will soon be making the exodus to Flickr, so we thought we'd give everyone the heads up on a fairly cool "event" going on tomorrow. It's called 24 Hours of Flickr, and it's challenging people to go take pictures all day Saturday and then upload their favorite shots to a Flickr group specifically created for the day.Flickr editors will go through the photos, pick some of the best, and add them to a coffee-table book (designed using Blurb) that will be made available for purchase this summer.
Anyone who gets … Read more
Designers of Second Life objects have some good news to cheer about this week, namely the implementation of what are called "sculpted prims."
A prim is the basic building block of Second Life, a virtual world that lets anyone create just about any kind of content they want. Until now, all prims began as cubes. You could stretch them to be bigger or smaller or more rectangular, but it was always a cube.
Kind of a Lego of sorts.
"A sculpted prim is a prim whose shape is determined by texture--its 'sculpt texture,'" Second Life publisher … Read more
Suzie Reider, YouTube's chief marketing officer, told an audience at the Advertising Research Foundation's Rethink conference this week that YouTube will launch in a few weeks its first user study, according to trade publication Advertising Age.
"By Q3, we'll have a tremendous amount of metrics and data around every video," Reider told the audience. "There's lots you can glean from looking at who's … Read more
One of the companies showcasing its wares at the Web 2.0 Expo is LuckyOliver, a stock photography service that sells user-submitted digital photographs for use on Web sites and printed materials. The service has a kitschy carnival/circus theme, right down to calling its users 'carnies.'
LuckyOliver employs several Web 2.0ish technologies to categorize photos, including tags, a cloud of similar or related images, and a prestige system for heavy users of the site. Esteemed photographers also get special badges. Other users can comment on their work, and browse through their portfolio.
As a photographer, submitting photos to … Read more
YouTube has announced a new series on content for political candidates, called Spotlight. Candidates will be able to ask the YouTube community a question and monitor comments and video responses sent in from users. They'll then get a chance to respond to the group discussion later in the week. The goal is to provide an open forum for users to know candidates a little better, and for people to ask questions directly--an option that's historically been out of reach (outside members of the press or those involved in campaign events). The project is also taking advantage of a … Read more
Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about how Yelp had empowered local restaurant-goers and helped them improve several local eating establishments with their constructive reviews. One thing that caught my eye was the mention of Yelp's sponsorship program, where local businesses can pay for premier placement in Yelp's search results and "sponsor" favorable user reviews so they appear at the top of the list.
The sponsorship program has been around since early 2006, and many businesses have participated in it as a way to enhance their identity on the service. The sponsorship package includes … Read more
Citizendium, the new wiki project from Larry Sanger (one of the co-founders of Wikipedia) launched publicly yesterday. Citizendium is a lot like Wikipedia, but with more emphasis placed on responsibility and the policing of content--two things arguably lacking in Wikipedia. Before you can contribute to Citizendium, users must apply for access, and it's not just a casual name and e-mail address; you actually have to provide your real name and sell yourself to the service's content cops in 100 to 500 words.
The site's content is managed and controlled by community moderators called "constables." After being screened and chosen even more carefully than ordinary contributors, constables are given the power to manage user submissions and general content. Constables aren't paid or given compensation for their services, it's purely a volunteer gig. Likewise, contributors receive nothing besides the prestige of creating and editing content for the service.
There are just more than 1,000 entries on the site. This pales in comparison to Wikipedia's 1,700,000 plus, but Citizendium just launched. Wikipedia's been live since early 2001.
Citizendium is an interesting experiment (a term coined by its founders, not me). It's too early to say whether or not it will become a serious competitor to Wikipedia. To my mind, Citizendium is setting itself up for problems.… Read more
Zoho, who was at Under the Radar last week, upgraded their spreadsheet application, called Sheet, on Friday. The team added Zoho Chat integration and the ability for multiple users to work on a spreadsheet at the same time. Users of Google Spreadsheets will be accustomed to this functionality, and with the update, Zoho joins the fray of online collaborative tools (see our Under the Radar roundup of this category.)
Zoho Sheet still doesn't have the option to … Read more