Saturday, June 19, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [June 18th]” plus 8 more “Cool Websites and Tools [June 18th]” plus 8 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [June 18th]

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE (or come with a decent free account option). No trials or buy-to-use craplets. For more cool websites and web app reviews subscribe to MakeUseOf Directory.

List Your Website Here!


GoalHappy – Some people are unable to meet the deadlines and aims they have set for themselves. But all they need is a constant reminder of their set goals; this constant reminder is enough to motivate them towards the goal's completion. Numerous websites provide this service but GoalHappy stands out from the crowd. Read more: GoalHappy: Goal Setting Application with Progress Tracking.


MappyFriends – Travelling adds a lot to our experiences. Online social networking is one of the easiest ways to share our experiences with our friends and family. If you are looking for a website dedicated solely to sharing travel experiences, then head on over to Mappy Friends. Read more: MappyFriends: Location Based Recommendation Network For Sharing Travel Experiences.



TwitHut – If you are a blogger, you might have come across the Facebook badge you can place on your site. The purpose of the badge is to notify blog followers of your Facebook status. Since Twitter is an equally large social networking site, why is there no badge equivalent for Twitter? With TwitHut, now there is. Read more: TwitHut: Create Cool Free Twitter Signature Images.



OpenDictionary – There are lots of dictionaries online and offline to refer to when you have trouble deciphering a word. They don't help though if a word or phrase has been created in the past few months. OpenDictionary is a project by Macmillian that helps you define these words. Read more: OpenDictionary: Find Definitions For Recently Coined Words & Phrases.



ReclaimPrivacy – With Facebook changing its privacy settings every few days, it has become hard for an average user to keep track of them let alone handle them appropriately. ReclaimPrivacy is a little tool that can help you with that. Read more: ReclaimPrivacy: Scan Your Facebook For Privacy Issues.


List Your Website Here!

These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

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The 5 Best Questions From You [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 06:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf AnswersMakeUseOf Answers rewards your efforts with $50 for Best Answer of the Week. This week’s winner is Artur Wrona for his most helpful answer to this question: “Why does my HP printer not print after being turned off or going into idle?” Congratulations Artur!

For a chance to be next week’s winner just start answering questions. We consider all answers posted with a valid email address or Facebook account. The prize is $50 via Paypal credit or Amazon voucher.

Be inspired by the answers to some of our best questions:

  1. What is the normal temperature range for my AMD processor?
  2. How can I search folder names within categories in Google Chrome?
  3. Is it possible to change the language in Windows 7?
  4. Should I format my hard drive to store media files and make room on the system partition?
  5. How can I send and receive faxes from a computer?

You can find many more questions at MakeUseOf Answers. Browse by Latest Questions, Unanswered Questions or Most Popular Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

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11 Google Chrome Extensions For Every Blogger

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 02:31 PM PDT

chrome blogging extensionSerious bloggers have a lot on their plates.  They have writing, promotion, networking, quoting, designing and more to deal with. On top of all that, many bloggers have a day job on top of it all.  How in the world can one person make the time to get it all done?  These days there are many browser extensions that can make at least part of the blogging process easier.

Firefox has many add-ons that fit the bill.  Check out these MakeUseOf articles covering some of them: 3 Firefox Add-Ons To Help You Blog More Easily, ScribeFire vs DeepestSender: One Blogging Addon to Rule Them All!, and 7 Writing Addons for Turning Firefox into the Ultimate Writer’s Suite.

As a formidable opponent , Google Chrome now also has many blogging extensions to make the life of the blogger a bit easier.

Blog From Any Webpage with Chrome Blogging Extensions

Many bloggers do a lot of quoting from and commenting on other articles and sites.  This is a big part of many blogs.  Many bloggers like to introduce their readers to new finds or share their opinions on something already written about.

Google Chrome has a few extensions that gives you the ability to post to your blog from the site you want to write about.  For this task, check out Blog This (for Blogger users), TypePad Blog It (for TypePad users), Shareaholic for Google Chrome, and Scribefire (actually a full-featured blog editor but also makes posting links and comments to your blog easier).

chrome blogging extension

Handle Screenshots Of Webpages

Another aspect of blogging that can take up a considerable amount of time is taking and posting screenshots of websites.  You may have noticed that we do that a lot here on MakeUseOf.  That’s because it gives readers a better idea about the site or web tool we are talking about.  Google Chrome has some extensions that can minimize the amount of work that goes into this job.

Try out Webpage Screenshot.  This extension allows you to grab a screenshot of the entire webpage with the click of a button.

chrome blogging extension

There are also tools that allow you to do some image editing to your screenshots directly from within your browser.  The Picknik extension can do this and so can the Aviary Screen Capture extension.

chrome extensions for bloggers

Other Extensions To Help A Blogger Out

If you haven’t heard of the Zemanta add-on for Firefox, let me tell you a bit about it now because Google Chrome now has a Zemanta extension.  Zemanta actually enhances your blog’s dashboard making various tasks (such as suggesting links and finding photos) easier.

chrome extensions for bloggers

Also take notes on sites you pass by with the Evernote extension, check your work when you’re done writing with the After the Deadline extension, and quickly find definitions to words on the fly with Google Dictionary.

As you can see, there are a lot of extensions out there that can possibly help a blogger.  Which extensions you choose to use will depend on what type of writing you do on your blog.  Which extensions do you use while you’re blogging?

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Apply Over 100 Single-Click Effects On Your Images using ImageTricks [Mac]

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 01:31 PM PDT

As awesome and powerful as Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are, these programs can be both expensive and overwhelming for many users. However, there are several free image editors or design alternatives that can be downloaded for free, such as Delight's Image Tricks.

Unlike Photoshop, Image Tricks contains all of its tools in a single interface. It doesn't require opening several menus and panels, tools and stylesheets, to produce particular effects.

Of course, Image Tricks is no replacement for Photoshop and in many areas it doesn't offer the range of controls found in more advanced editors. But if you're looking to have some fun with your photos or designs, then Image Tricks could be a very useful tool.


A free download of Image Tricks gets you 75 core image effects (95 in the pro version), 35 Quartz Compositions (40 in the pro version) and 13 image generators (20 in the pro). As you can see, even without the pro version you get quite a lot for free. So let's explore a few of the offerings.

Basic Setup & Tools

First off it's easy to get an image into Image Tricks. You can simply drag and drop an image from your Finder into the Image Tricks window, or you can import from your iPhoto library. Unfortunately though, there’s no built-in media panel in Image Tricks. Thus clicking on the iPhoto button simply opens up the application itself wherein you drag an image from iPhoto into the image editor.

Other menu bar items include tools for resizing and rotating photos, and pasting in images copied from other applications. When you import a photo into Image Tricks, it duplicates that original, so in that sense it's nondestructive. However, changes you make and apply to the copy are permanent. After applying all your "tricks" to a photo, you can save it as a PDF, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, or PNG file.

There are plenty of filters for Image Tricks, from basic cropping, color and exposure adjustments, to really funky and outlandish tricks for distorting an image and adding various effects.

With the  free 75 core filters, you can adjust colors (saturation, brightness, contrasts, Hue, Sepia, etc), distort images using Twirl, Bump, Pinch, and more. You can create stylized art for making mosaics and using halftone effects. And you can even blend one or more photos for creative designs.


How It Works

Basically you select a filter in the right panel and adjust it to your needs or liking. You click the Apply button to apply the adjustments. You can of course click Command+Z to undo an applied effect, and you can also go to the File>Revert to Saved.

But there doesn't appear to be a way to convert back to the original image after you have applied several filters and saved the image several times. So it's best to save the image only after you made all your applications, so that you can revert back to the original copy if need be.


Layer Masks

Image Tricks also includes several dozens masks that you can quickly apply in the same way you apply a filter. You don’t have a lot of control over the masks, but they are quick down and dirty effects you can apply when needed. They also look better once you save them outside the editor.


Design Filters

If you need to make a quick design backdrop or wallpaper, for example, you can use Image Tricks's Generator filters. The designs are largely template based, but you can adjust the shapes, density, colors, smoothness, resolution, etc. of many of the effects. Many of these designs would require much more work, though with more control, in Photoshop.

Overall Image Tricks is quick, pretty easy to use, and in many ways fun. These sample pieces of artwork provide you with an example of what Image Tricks is capable of producing with a little time and creative effort.

Let us know what free image editors you use for the Mac and what you primarily use them for.

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What Is Geocaching And How To Have Fun With It

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 12:31 PM PDT

In some parts of the world, summer is ready to kick off, and folks are looking for something fun and free to do with their free time. If you need an exciting new hobby that allows you to combine your love of technology with nature and exploration, geocaching is for you.

Basically, geocaching is a world-wide scavenger hunt using GPS technology. The hobby is great for people of all ages (including little kids) and abilities (even for people with disabilities). There are caches hidden all over the world in cities and forests and everything in between.

There is no right or wrong way to get started in geocaching, but, hopefully, this post will inspire you to try out an exciting new hobby.

Learn More About Geocaching

To learn a bit about geocaching, watch this excellent little video:

On May 3, 2000, Dave Ulmer placed the first geocache (called a “geo stash” back then).  This followed the US’s opening of satellite access previously used only by the military.  Mike Teague was the first guy to find the first bucket of goodies, and geocaching was born.

The most recent statistics indicate that there are “1,084,870 active caches and an estimated 3-4 million geocachers worldwide. In the last 30 days, there have been 4,152,196 new logs submitted.”

Some geocaches can be as small as a hearing aid battery, and others can be as large as a dumpster. Some hunts can involve many steps (a “multi-cache”), some might be virtual (where you take a photo and post it on the site), and others might include a puzzle.

Unlike treasure hunts, a geocache cannot be buried; it can be hidden well, but you should not need a shovel to retrieve it.  There also needs to be room for a “log” – a place for the finder to either sign or initial that he or she has found the cache.  However, there is no requirement for a writing utensil and teensy little scrolls can fit in almost anything.

The small caches are called micros, and they can be the hardest to find.  If you are a beginning geocacher, it is best to get experience finding bigger geocaches first.

Getting Started

To get started as a geocacher, you need only a few tools. First, you need some kind of GPS system. I use my iPhone, a Garmin Nuvi, and a Garmin eTrex H. Some of my friends just use their iPhones.

There are a lot of places where you can read reviews of different types of GPS units, but it really depends on how much you want to spend. There are super high end models that do a lot of the work for you, but they cost a lot. I have found that I have just as much fun with my cheaper model.

Once you have the equipment, you need to make a free account at Groundspeak’s There is a paid “premium” version, but, truly, you can get a lot of mileage out of the free version. Unless you are a diehard cacher, start with the free version and see how you like the hobby.

German users can use or OpenCaching.

How To Use is an easy to use website. The navigation bar on the left helps you to locate geocaches and to learn more about the hobby. This is the best place to start.

The Description

Every Geocache is assigned a GC number when it is approved by the GroundSpeak moderators. This GC number will be its identifying mark throughout the community.

Every Geocache description includes coordinates. These can be coordinates for the cache, for a starting point, or for parking. The description can be detailed or short, and some people include additional encrypted hints.  There is a legend that gives some basic information about the cache (can it be be done in under an hour?  Is it safe for children?  Is it snow friendly?). There is also a little map to give you an idea of where it is located. Most importantly, the description tells you how the cache is rated.

The Rating System

Geocaches are rated on two qualities…”difficulty of find” and “terrain.”  Easy to find geocaches are registered as a 1. These are good for small children.  Likewise, a terrain of 1 means the geocache is available to those in wheelchairs.  A 5, though, means you need something like a kayak or snow mobile to get to it.

You want to make sure that the cache has been found fairly recently. Some caches are seasonal, but if a cache hasn’t been found in many months or over a year, there is a good chance that it can’t be found.

WOW! You Found it!

When you find the geocache, be sure to sign the log with your handle and date. If the cache is big enough, trade SWAG items or drop or pick up travel bugs or travel coins. TBs are usually attached to an item like the stuffed animal below and have a goal (to get from London to New York, for example). Coins aren’t usually attached to anything but often have a goal.

SWAG is the treasure you hide and seek in the larger caches. Things like erasers, key chains, coins from around the world are lots of fun to find! My kids love SWAG and it keeps them motivated when we are hiking all day. The goal is to trade even or trade up.  If you go to a cache and you find a dollar, you should replace it with something worth a dollar. Some people also include a signature item like a poker chip with their name on it.

The important thing is to be fair…if you take something, leave something of equal value or more.

Logging Your Find (Or DNF)

Once you are done searching for the cache (because you found it or you gave up), you should return to to log your “smiley” or your DNF (“Did Not Find”). Your notes become part of the clue for the next person, so it is important to log your visit. Even though DNFs are frustrating, it is important to log them so that the owner can check on the cache.

Take a Hike!

Remember that geocaching will take you all over the place, so have a good set of shoes near by and bug spray if you are planning to do the woods, or if you are going to a city, you need to practice “stealth” maneuvers so people don’t notice you hunting in weird places.

Pack your bag (we keep ours in the van because we geocache everywhere!).  Once you have your account and a GPS, create a geocaching bag. I use an old book bag. You want to include basic items like sharpened pencils (and a sharpener), spare batteries for your GPS, a first aid kit, utility knife, a flashlight, and, most importantly, SWAG items. Remember, the fun of geocaching is the adventure, so if it gets frustrating, try a new one or go back another time.

Check out Wikipedia’s informative page on geocaching and if you are an Android phone owner, check out Ryan’s post on a cool app you can use on your Geocaching travels.

Image Credit RevDanCatt

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PicPick Screen Capture & Image Editor – A Good Thing In A Small Package

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 11:31 AM PDT

screen capture freewareGreat things come in small packages is a well worn cliché. But for software that's a few megabytes in size, the saying doesn't sound stale. So without further ado, let's see what the free PicPick is all about and whether its size stands apart from its utility.

PicPick (ver. 2.3.0) as the name suggests is a screen capture freeware tool. But packed into its small frame are a few more useful tools that make it an ideal candidate for common day to day tasks. In brief, PicPick includes a basic image editor, color picker, color palette, screen tools like a screen magnifier, screen ruler, protractor, and last but not least, a whiteboard.

All this utility comes bundled within a 3.3 MB download. This software is provided as freeware for personal use only. It supports all Windows versions till Windows 7.

This makes it a good portable screenshot tool too as you can use it on most systems. You can copy the installed folder and carry it around on your pen drive. PicPick sits on the System Tray and waits for a call to action.

Let's Capture A Few Screens

Of course, PicPick is no SnagIt (or even Jing). But the screen capturing prowess comes pretty close. Right clicking on the System Tray icon reveals that.

screen capture freeware

From a full screen to a free hand selection, PicPick can pick off the images you want to capture. One crucial requirement with image capture tools is their ability to capture scrolling windows or webpages. PicPick has that well covered.

screen capture freeware

The other real world situation web workers face is taking a screenshot section of a specific size. PicPick makes it convenient with the Fixed Region option that lets you enter the width and height, and then position the capture box to take a snapshot. It useful for taking quick screen captures to use as thumbnails.

free screen capture software

The Freehand Screen Capture is for those less than common uses when you need to trace out an irregular shape and capture it. Whichever screen capturing option you pick, the quick and cool feature is that you can take multiple screenshots.

Screen captures can be auto-saved. They can also be taken to the next step.

Do Some Basic Image Editing

free screen capture software

Screen captures by default open up in the image editor. Don't expect a Photoshop or even a But the basic image editor helps you to do some simple image jobs. The PicPick Image Editor has a tabbed interface that makes dealing with them a snap.

For instance, you can add text to the image and send directly to MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, or any external program.

Send, Save Or Upload

free screen capture software

Not only any external program, but you can directly upload it to Facebook and Twitter (via TwitPic). Direct FTP uploads are also supported from the system tray. But mostly, I use it to send captured images to my Outlook emails.

Quiver Of Other Tools

screen capture software

If you indulge in offhand graphic designing work (or are a serious graphic designer), tools like the Color Picker and a Color Palette can be useful for selecting the right hues. Graphic measurement tools like a Pixel Ruler, Protractor, and Cross-hair are handy for precise pixel measurements. The Magnifier helps to zoom in and out of images.

Chalk Talk On The Whiteboard

screen capture software

After capturing a few images, how about an impromptu presentation using the Whiteboard tool? You can put up a photo in full screen display and use the whiteboard markers to support your short speech. And you can save it just like a screen capture.

Supporting It All With Options

The Program Options let you fine tune how the screen capture freeware app goes about its job. Some highlights include:

  • Support for dual monitors.
  • Set a screen capture delay for auto-scroll.
  • Optional image formats for saving the screenshots.
  • Host of Hot Keys to configure or set to defaults used by FastStone or HyperSnap.
  • Supports multiple languages.

Let's remember that PicPick is a free tool. It is a simple tool with constraints. If you don't need whole lot of other goodies for your screenshots, then PicPick is a worthy pick. Does it grab your attention?

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Search Google Chrome Bookmarks By Folder With These Two Extensions

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 10:31 AM PDT

Lots of users prefer Delicious or Diigo (which I personally recommend) to manage and share their bookmarks and Xmarks to keep favorited sites in sync. However, not everyone is ready to switch and get used to these services when you can just save a site right in your browser, where you can see it.

When you start bookmarking lots of sites in Google Chrome, you can easily search for them in the Omnibar or in the Bookmark Manager (Ctrl + Shift + B). Google is beyond famous for its powerful search engine, but when it comes to searching for bookmarks within specific folders in Chrome, you’re out of luck. As of right now, there’s no obvious way to accomplish searching within certain Chrome bookmark folders, unless you get these extensions.

Using The Atomic Bookmarks Extension To View & Search Chrome Bookmarks By Folder

Atomic Bookmarks is a simple extension that lets you search within folders. From the list of bookmarks it displays in a popup, you can select which folders you want to search in. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Install the extension and click on the Atomic Bookmarks icon.
  2. Select the folder you wish to search and type a keyword.
  3. search chrome bookmarks

  4. Press Tab to select the next item in the search results. You can use the Down key to go down the list of results.
  5. Hit Enter to load the bookmark in a new tab (customizable)!

You can customize whether you want to open the bookmark in a new tab, window or the current tab by right-clicking on the Atomic Bookmarks icon and selecting Options. Other options include the ability to see more information of the bookmarks on hover.

search chrome bookmarks

You’ll be able to see the type of bookmark (whether it’s a bookmarklet which you can’t load, or an URL/bookmark), the location or Javascript code, and the date you added the bookmark in question.

search chrome bookmarks

Another cool feature is that it’ll look for your search keyword in the URL of the bookmark, not just the bookmark name. Even though it offers handy options, make a note that with this extension, you can’t drag and drop, edit or delete bookmarks as its purpose is to help you see in a nice list and filter through your hundreds of bookmarks.

If you would like the list of bookmarks without the search function, you can always add ” –bookmark-menu” (without the quotes but with the initial space) to the target (right-click on the Google Chrome shortcut and select Properties) of your shortcut, right after chrome.exe.

search multiple bookmarks

Restart Google Chrome and you should see a new magical button that you get from adding ” –bookmark-menu”. Click on it to see your bookmarks in a list and decide whether or not to hide your Bookmarks Bar (Ctrl+B).

search multiple bookmarks

Using EveryMark To Bookmark Instantly, Search Within Folders & Delete Bookmarks

EveryMark is an extension that intends to respond as effectively as desktop-file-searching software Everything (which you don’t really have to even install). It displays your bookmarks in a nice popup just like Atomic Bookmarks but it offers additional features that Atomic doesn’t.

search multiple bookmarks

Let’s see how to use it first:

  1. Install the extension and click on the EveryMark icon.
  2. To search by folder, type “\FOLDERNAME” + your search term.
  3. search web bookmarks

  4. Use the Down key to select items from the list of results.
  5. Hit Enter to load the bookmark in a new tab.

Unlike Atomic Bookmarks, EveryMark lets you sort bookmarks by title, URL, folder and date (!) which comes in very handy.

search web bookmarks

You can also right-click on the bookmarks and delete items.

Although EveryMark has some very awesome features, I couldn’t help but notice that it can be sluggish at times. Neither Atomic nor EveryMark load bookmarklets, with the difference that EveryMark ignores them in the popup list (so you know they can’t be opened), which means you can’t search for bookmarklets. If you have plenty of bookmarked sites and wish to do some spring-cleaning (or just plain-searching for old bookmarks), EveryMark will facilitate your work in Chrome.

Did we miss a good extension or an extension-free hack to search within bookmark folders? Please enlighten us in the comments!

Image credit: Alessandro Rei, Harwen

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Listography – Put Your Whole Life Into Lists Online

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 09:31 AM PDT

your list onlineEarlier this week, as I was looking for some cool places to hang out on the Internet, I came across a unique site that I mistook for a time management site. The site was called Listography, and the name itself implies that it would be a tool you use to create and manage your to-do lists.

We’ve covered a very wide range of such tools on MUO, like Tim’s 5 printable grocery list sites, or Kaly’s comprehensive list of all of the To-Do services out there. However, a to-do list maker Listography is not.

I came across the site while searching for comments about movies, and stumbled upon someone’s list of the top movies they loved. I noticed that other Listography users were commenting on the list, and the list actually served as the catalyst for some interesting conversation. That’s when I “got” Listography.

Listography is where you can publish your list online including your likes, dislikes, fears, desires, worries – whatever makes up the psychology and personality that is you. When you check out someone’s Listography, you can quickly get a sense of what type of person they are – and striking up a conversation on one of their lists is really fun.

Starting Your Own Listography

Your Listography page can be as plain or as creative as you like. Setup reminded me of Twitter – you basically upload a profile image, set the background and you’re done.  It is also like Twitter in that the method of expression is very focused. You aren’t writing entire blog updates, you’re writing lists.

It’s yet another format of social expression that lets you share a bit about yourself without the need to share too much, and without the time requirement of writing a whole lot. Reading other peoples’ lists is very addictive, and I have to admit I got a few great movie and book ideas out of doing so!

your list online

Your profile has four default folders. The Main folder is the public one, but you can organize lists into subfolders as well. Most importantly, there’s also a private area where you can store lists that are either in-progress or you simply want them for yourself and no one else.

The settings area is where you can configure your profile and background image, as well as configure the public page name for your lists – for example, mine is now

your list online

Remember, this site is intended as a method to express yourself publicly. I would not recommend it as a personal to-do list tool, because that’s not what it’s programmed to do. Instead of integrating calendars and due dates, your lists have comment areas and RSS feeds. It’s about sharing a bit of yourself with everyone else – letting them know what drives you, what you’re passionate about, and what you love and hate.

online list

When you click “create list“, you get a default list screen (with a putrid green background – yuck).  The first order of business is to click on a new background color on the color bar at the bottom, and select a category and title for your list. The first list I wanted to create was a list of upcoming movies that I’m dying to see.

online list

So, you create your list using the wiki code for a bullet point “*”, then upload an image for the list if you like (I highly recommend it, it makes your list page look much more professional), select the list type (bullets or numbers) and then click save. This will immediately publish a public list online that gets placed on your main list page as a list box.

If you want to organize and tidy things up, there are four options available at the bottom next to the “save” button – design, folder, abc or guide.

online list

Design is the last window I showed you with the background color and image upload. Folder lets you categorize your list into subfolders if you want, rather than keeping them all in “main.” Clicking on “abc” lets you automatically alphabetize your list. “Guide” takes you to a helpful formatting page that gives you some wiki formatting tips for creating good-l0oking lists.

post lists

Here is my main profile page featuring my first two lists – movies I’m dying to see, and actors that I absolutely can’t stand.  There are other uses for Listography than just creating blog-like posts of your lists for people to review and comment on, and I’ll get to one idea below, but the social aspect of this site is worth a mention.

At the bottom of every post, whether you’re looking at your own listography or someone else’s, is a “tools” option and a “comment” option. Commenting is self-explanatory, but the tools area is where you can do some other cool things with the lists that you discover. If someone has created a huge, comprehensive list of very valuable information that you really want to save, just click on tools->send and you can email the list to yourself or to a friend. You also have the option to subscribe to the RSS feed for that list, which can be very useful in some cases.

When can RSS be useful for lists? Well, consider this example: You’re working on organizing a family reunion with two or three other family members. The reunion is a huge event, and the three or four of you have to maintain a common group “to-do” list. Or maybe you’re the person in charge, and other family members just want to follow the progress of your planning as the event date approaches. You can create your public to-do list that family members can check out whenever they like, on your Listography page.

post lists

When your family members or team members view your list, they can go to the bottom of the displayed list and click on tools -> RSS list feed. Every one of your Listography lists has its own dedicated RSS feed so that people can follow along with every update that you make to the list.

You can imagine the possible uses for such a cool technology where a list that you update immediately gets distributed to all of your subscribers. Teachers could use it to maintain a classroom assignment list that automatically distributes to students every time it’s updated. Blogs and websites could maintain “writer lists” that contain writing assignments – every time a new assignment is added, the writer receives a feed update. The possibilities are endless.

post lists

As I mentioned earlier, the social aspect of is also fun – reviewing the lists of other people on the site, you’ll come across some useful (and of course some not-so-useful) comments. It’s fun to read the feedback people offer for various lists, and it’s also very fun to offer your own feedback as well.

I view Listography as a neat site for social expression – where you can share your thoughts and ideas much like Twitter. Just like Twitter the format is a bit limiting, but this format also makes your lists fast and easy to update, and the RSS feed feature makes it just as easy for people to subscribe to your lists as it is for them to follow you on Twitter or Facebook.

Have you ever tried Listography? Do you like the idea of publishing your own lists online, and what would be the first list that you would publish – movies, music or something else? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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2 Great Free Apps To Help You Manage Your Favorite TV Shows

Posted: 18 Jun 2010 08:31 AM PDT

keep track of tv showsTelevision is getting harder to keep track of. Let’s face it, there are just too many great shows out there. Between shows like House, Breaking Bad, and Lost wrapping up their seasons, the return of shows like True Blood and Entourage, and the introduction of new shows like Persons Unknown and Rubicon, my calendar has been full as of late. Is there not a better way to keep track of all my favorite TV shows?

You’ll be pleased to learn that there are two great ways to manage your favorite TV shows online. In this article, I will cover the two best web applications I’ve found to keep track of what would have otherwise been a daunting task.

I’ll admit, I wrote this article out of necessity. I used to rely on the Two Ways To Never Miss A Television Episode for all of my television needs, but lately they’re not enough. Crap, I Missed It’s emails have slowed to a halt and it appears that they are no longer updating their database. RerunCheck (made by MakeUseOf’s own Jorge Sierra) is a good place to check if there are new episodes of your shows but it is better used if you are only following one or two shows at a time.

For the power users and television buffs among us, I have uncovered two very useful apps to keep track of TV shows.


keep track of tv shows

EpisodeCalendar offers an easy way to see when your favorite TV shows are going to air. Shows are presented on a calendar so you can see which day and which episode is airing. It does not keep track of the time a show will air, but it offers many great features that make using this app worthwhile.

If you are just inquiring about which new shows are on a particular day, you can visit their public calendar here.

keep track of tv shows

You can create a personalized calendar and keep track of only the shows you want to if you create an account on EpisodeCalendar. Add shows to your list by searching for them individually or you can click Quick multiple add and select from a list of the most popular shows.

track tv shows

Once a show is added to your list you can see the last episode that was aired, the next one to be aired, and the date. To view these in calendar form, simply go up to My calendar.

track tv shows

One of the best features of EpisodeCalendar is notifications of new episodes. If you navigate to the My settings page, you will see that you can add your iCal feed to Google Calendar, subscribe to your own RSS feed, and enable email notifications. Once you enable email notifications, simply go back to your My shows page and check the email box next to any shows you would like to receive notifications for. You’ll never miss an episode again.

If there’s a downside to EpisodeCalendar it’s that they take a little while to add new shows to follow, but you can always email them if you can’t find one of your shows.


track tv shows

MyTVShows is “the best way to manage your TV shows” online. This webapp helps you organize episodes to all your favorite shows and keep track of what you’ve seen and what you have yet to see. It also keeps you updated on new episodes for the shows you’re following, so you won’t miss them.

MyTVShows has every show imaginable. I tried to stump them but I couldn’t. I searched for Boardwalk Empire, which is an upcoming HBO series that airs for the first time in September and – sure enough – they had it in their database.

Sign up for an account and you can begin adding shows to your My Shows page. You can add specific season of shows if you want, and you can mark which episodes out of the seasons you’ve seen. MyTVShows will keep track of all of the unseen episodes to all of your shows until you mark them seen. You can also rate shows.

On the Stats page you can see the most popular shows and the most addicted users. You can visit any user’s profile to see what they have favorited unless they have marked their profile private. Your profile picture is pulled from your Gravatar image based on the email you signed up for an account with.

As far as I can tell there is no system of notifications for new episodes, although you can access the site on your iPhone/iTouch or Android, which makes checking for episodes easier.


I will be using these apps in conjunction with one another for all of my television management needs. With MyTVShows’ ability to keep track of every episode and EpisodeCalendar’s notifications, I doubt I’ll ever need to check the TV guide again.

Are you a TV junkie like me? Do you use an app to keep track of your favorite shows or do you just mark them down using Google Calendar? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Image Credit: Dr Snafu

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