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Community-Building Tools

The following web tour of community-building tools is a work in progress to support the CTC VISTA volunteers and others.
See also http://lone-eagles.com/toolbox.htm Please send your contributions to Frank Odasz Email: frank@lone-eagles.com

Today, Ebay, Yahoo, Amazon, Google and other large corporations are beginning to focus on providing localized services; free collaborative tools, (http://groups.yahoo.com) free ecommerce web sites (tripod.com), free resume-building with local job searches, (monster.com) local searches (google.com), local sales (froogle.com), local maps (mapquest.com), local classified ads (craigslist.com) local satellite images and GIS mapping tools(earth.google.com), and even local dating (eharmony.com).

The National Science Foundation offers free community networks with seven collaborative tools http://lone-eagles.com/inquiry.htm

Free Blogs (public web journals)
 http://www.blogger.com and http://www.blogspot.com and http://typepad.com

One million articles donated as open knowledge http://wikipedia.org

Wiki Tutorial http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wiki_Science
If you really want a good understanding of wiki... Not just the how, but a
lot more.... go through the several pages of the wiki science section

Open Source Content Management Systems
Comparision Charts

CMS comparisions

Drupal CMSs
http://www.drupal.org Sample site http://www.civicspace.org Drupal Distance learning www.drupaled.org

Plone Distance Learning
Eduplone  http://eduplone.net

Postnuke CMSs
http://www.postnuke.org Sample site: http://lone-eagles.knet.ca KNET host details http://lone-eagles.com/indigenous_resources.htm

Moodle distance learning
 http://moodle.org http://thinkingdistance.org/mission.html

Moodle for distance education is free, open source and extraordinarily versatile for developing online courses.  Colleagues who have  used it more extensively love it. http://www.moodle.org  It's free at the Literacy Tent.

http://groupserver.org www.groove.net 

Imaging Tools

Audio: Sound editors, podcasting

Cell phone pod casting article

Sound Editor
Has built-in audio recording capabilities.
A comprehensive guide to creating, recording, editing, and sharing music and other audio
http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2005/07/20/garritan.html?page=last#musicDigital Audio Essentials
By Bruce Fries, Marty Fries Table of Contents Index Sample Chapter

Itunes has new podcasts in itunes 4.9. 

Social Bookmarks

setting a "post to delicious" shortcut on the bookmarks toolbar on firefox
is recommended and is easy ... It makes it very simple to use, example

Sources of Community Media Expertise


techatlas helps nonprofits map out technology

The Communications Initiative

MIRA conclusions, stories, and evaluations http://www.onlinearc.com/mira/mira2/conclusions.htm

Tokyo inhabitants post photos which are mapped on a satellite image of the city. 
You might need broadband for this. It loads slowly at first.

Voice Over Internet Protocol
Skype www.skype.org

Free World Dialup http://fwd.pulver.com

There is a new free VoIP soft phone like Skype for the PC and Mac called

It has a built in call recording feature, security features, uses a VoIP
standard called SIP, better sound quality, and is free.
RSS readers
The free, web-based RSS newsreader bloglines is recommended

Recommended is sage which is a reader for firefox http://sage.mozdev.org/ and have been able to subscribe to feeds that aggregate news for topics as widely divergent as Renewable Energy, BBC news, Alaska Headline News, a host of science news, follow a former students blog on his adventure of the tip of South America to Antarctica, rugby, and more.  A list of other readers can be found at http://blogspace.com/rss/readers .  What I like about them is that you can quickly bring up a headline list with summary to determine if you want to visit it and the list stays with you as a sidebar until you change feeds.
To extend what I know I have added both podcast and rss capabilities to a web site that I am developing for use in my classroom this coming year.  It will reside as an intranet offering with some publication outside as appropriate.  You can find the rss feed which will also lead you to the podcast (which I read as providing mp3 audio and/or video resources) at http://www.edulynx.com/mvsci/mvsci_rss.xml .
As part of doing this I download and learned how to use the following tools to create the rss feed and "podcast"; Audacity sound editor <http://audacity.sourceforge.net/> , the Lame digital encoding plugin for Audacity,  <http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~raa110/audacity/lame.html <http://www-users.york.ac.uk/%7Eraa110/audacity/lame.html>>, and FeedForAll an rss feed editor <http://www.feedforall.com/>.

From Andy Carvin http://www.andycarvin.com on Video Blogging (Vlogging)

Speaking of video blogging, http://MeFeedia.com  has set up a simple way for podcasters and video bloggers to add a link to their blogs so that users can subscribe to their content using iTunes. In case you hadn't heard, the newest version of iTunes (www.apple.com/itunes) lets you subscribe to both podcasts and video blogs. Over the coming months, more and more people will be switching to this version of iTunes, which will make it worthwhile for podcasters/vloggers to add a one-click subscription link on their blogs.
I've just posted a blog entry about how to do this:
If you're a podcaster or vlogger, here's how to do it:
Step 1: Go to http://mefeedia.com/add.php and add your RSS feed.
Step 2: Mefeedia will then bring you to a page with several links on it. One of them will invite you to get an iTunes 1-click subscribe button on your blog. Click the link.
Step 3: Mefeedia will show you some HTML code. Add it to your website, tweaking it if you like.
And that's it. Once you've put it on your site, iTunes users who click the link will be able to have your audio or video sent directly to them and managed with the iTunes software.
Model video-blogger:   rynanne hodson, in new york, is doing work that is paving the way
for the rest of us.   see the quicktime file at the bottom of
    and the video pieces on her blog at

Picture Walls
UK picture wall http://www.neukol.org.uk/media/whitby/view_items.php

On 8/17/05, Lars Hasselblad Torres <lars@tagstudio.net> wrote:
 Hi folks :: I have been working with an amazing group of people, Janet
 Feldman of ActALIVE and DDN included, to engage children and youth around
 the world in expressing their "visual voice" on HIV/AIDS come world AIDS Day
 2005.  So far, people in over a dozen countries have committed to convening
 "peace tiles" workshops where children will create collage tiles that
 capture their personal reflections on HIV/AIDS.  More information at
 So one of the things I'd really like to be able to create is a clickable
 "image" map, maybe something like www.mappr.com, through which users can
 access information and documentation about tiles workshops.  This could
 include facilitating introductions so that workshop communities can organize
 their own tile "swaps."
Engaging visual artists to create a better world
 We've build a system where people can, essentially, email mp3's into
  your mp3 player. Users can either email the audio via a mp3
 attachment  (username@podomatic.com) or create it on our site using a
flash recorder. I believe it is a good alternative to call in messages that
  are often at the end of podcasts and a good alternative to regular
  email if you are emailing mp3s. The site is also free.
could be useful for people with only web access to start building audio
blogs and podcasts. A very fast way to create audio emails, saving a huge
hassle setting up MP3 conversion software..  All it needs is a mike and
you're in business.
They store 250 MB free for each podcaster with upload facilities and a
podcast aggregator.
best regards
tony mechin
http://2bctnd.com  - podcasting & broadcasting on demand services

Digital Story Telling appears to be the latest development in portable
video. Now that we can edit without cumbersome tape based editing
systems, the medium is liberated for lots of different kinds of people
(seniors in particular) to use. www.bbc.co.uk/wales/capturewales/  is a
good one to look at.

Also very interested in a site called
http://soundportraits.org . Good models....LGD
From lauren http://cctv.org 

100 Second Film Festival
April 9, 2005 - The 100 Second Film Festival is the festival for
everybody.  It's so short that anybody can create a video and
participate. There are no restrictions on theme or subject matter -
whatever you have in mind - you can do it!  Why participate?  All the
entries we receive will be published to the web as full quality video
files and catalogued so that you can hand pick your own favorites and have
a 100 Second Screening in your community. By using a Creative Commons
license this festival can go anywhere - and through the power of the
DigitalBicycle (http://www.digitalbicycle.org) it will. This project of
Lowell Telecommunications, LTC, is truly a festival like no other - a
dynamic stream of content which is ever evolving, where
public access mingles with the avante garde and we want you to be a part
of it.  So get going!

Google Earth

"Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google
Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power
of Google Search to put the worlds geographic information at your