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BrainDumping July 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Lists, Mobile, Personal, Uncategorized.
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Sometimes you just need to capture a thought in your head or else it’ll be gone forever. There are many ways to record these ideas or brainstorms, but none of them truly take full advantage of the social media and social networking benefits available today. Sure, there are many good mindmapping tools online but none of them work well with mobile devices which is critical when it comes to capturing thoughts wherever and whenever you have them. The process needs to be quick and easy too. Here are some mobile methods for handling your braindumping on the go.

Wridea has just released 2.0 after two long years in Beta. It was previously reveiwed here in the Best Checklist Sites. Judging from my initial experiences with the new look and feel of Wridea’s totally overhauled GUI, I have to admit that it is much improved.
Here are some of the key new features:

  • Full API support for integrating Wridea with third party projects, systems, websites, desktop and mobile applications
  • New user interface for faster idea management
  • Improved idea collaboration with friends or other Wridea users
  • RSS feeds of your idea pages and idea comments
  • Better friend management
  • Expandability with Idea Tools

The best feature of Wridea is the ability to send your ideas to your account via your own email address. The format of the email is Idea_username@wridea.com so it’s easy to remember. Just add the entry to your cell phone’s address book and you will be able to capture your thoughts and ideas anytime, anywhere straight to your wridea account. You can share these entries and collaborate if you want but mostly I think it’s best suited for braindumping.

Here are a couple of screencasts of the new and much improved Wridea.
What is Wridea?
What are the best new features of Wridea 2.0?

Jott is an excellent service to use for capturing your ideas thru your cell phone. Unlike Wridea which does this thru the use of a personalized email address that posts to your online account, Jott accomplishes this in a unique manner via your own phone number. Once you call Jott it asks “Who do you want to Jott?” and you simply reply with “Me” to capture thoughts and ideas to your account. The nice thing about this is that Jott also transcribes your audio message to text and emails it to you so it can be copied and pasted as you wish. The accuracy isn’t that bad but it isn’t 100% either so you must double-check every time. Here’s a visual explanation. Here’s a list of all the tricks you can do with Jott on your cell phone.

Zoho Planner also allows you to send thoughts and ideas to your online account via your own unique email address. You can then turn those notes into to do items, appointments on your calendar or add them as notes to your planner. While the functions work and come in handy, the interface is gludgy and not very user-friendly.

Remember The Milk is mostly for tracking tasks and appointments but you can very well use it to manage your thoughts and ideas because it also provides you with your own email address. So, you can use your cell phone to send any idea you had right to your RTM account. Another perk is the way that RTM integrates seamlessly with GMail (thanks to Firefox)! Here’s a video of how that looks. Here’s a tour of what it can do.

Utterz is like a hybrid of Twitter + Seesmic + Tumbler + Jott. It has some new features that allow you to send ideas privately to your utterz account via email (the format is very easy to remember, username@utterz.com). You can record private audio messages on your cell phone and send them to yourself privately to play back later on or make public and embed on your website or in the utterz public timeline.

Final Thoughts on Thought Capturing
Look for this space to continue to catch on fire thanks to the ever increasing popularity of social networking and mobile devices like the iPhone, Blackberry and many others. It will become increasingly easier to capture and share whatever we want, even those thoughts that used to vanish into thin air.

Create professional videos online March 12, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Personal, Photos, Video.
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Animoto is a new online video editing service but unlike any you’ve used before. You can quickly and easily create impressive videos with your own photo’s and music and share them instantly via email or by embedding it on your website/blog. The special effects are extremely slick and professional quality. If you don’t like how things have been generated you can click the remix button and it automatically recreates the video (without touching the original!). You can also remix the original video yourself and change the images or music and again keep the original intact.

Here is a sample video I put together in less than five minutes! I just chose 10 photos (the minimum requirement) from my computer and added one of my favorite songs from my mp3 collection (The Simple Things) and let Animoto do its thing. It actually took longer for the service to render and produce the finished video than it took to design it!

But Wait There’s More!

You can actually use images you have stored online from Flickr, Photobucket, Picaso or other sites. You can also use music from Animoto’s impressive online music library.

When you’re done creating your videos they are all stored in your own library called My Videos. Another fantastic feature is its integration with YouTube! With the click of a button your videos can be exported to your YouTube account, tagged and bagged! You can also download your videos to save them to your computer.

Here’s their 60-second demo:

How Much?
OK, creating professional videos can’t be cheap, so how much will it cost? Well, the basic account is free which lets you create unlimited 30-second videos which is a great deal! If you want to produce a full-length video then you can either chose the pay-per-video option which is only $3 per video or the incredible unlimited videos and download package for just $30 not per month but per year! Amazing, huh?

Final Thoughts
While I love the unique remixing feature that never produces the same exact video twice in a row, I hope they someday give more options and controls over that feature. It would be awesome to be able to pick and choose whatever effects and transitions we want just like we do with presentation packages and full-blown desktop video packages. Still, who can complain about an online service that can offer this kind of high-quality type of product that produces such professional results so quickly and easily?

One last thing, don’t think of this as just for home movies and personal use. I have no doubts that many businesses will make full-use of this technology to produce cool marketing and promotional videos for their websites and viral marketing campaigns.

8 Things You Didn’t Know (and more!) March 7, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Personal.
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Thanks to Merlene, I’ve been tagged to share 8 things about Pai that most people wouldn’t know.
OK, I added a little more than 8 things but it’s a visual so it won’t take too long to read. 🙂

Live MindMap of 8 Things about Paisano (and more)

Here’s a static image of the mindmappaimap.jpg

Here are the next 8 people that I’m tagging to contribute to this:









Hello world! November 11, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Personal.

Welcome to Paisano’s Blog! I’ve been in the IT industry for over 20 years so I believe I have a great deal of experience when it comes to technology. I enjoy trying out new software and websites so I plan to share my experiences and opinions on these matters and do my best to find the best of breed in every category. I will also touch on other things such as movies, TV, literature, sports and other things. Hopefully, someone will be interested in what I have to say besides friends and family members. 🙂