Tagged With blogs

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Over the past two decades, the world wide web has massively changed the way we live, communicate and do business. The internet is responsible for trillions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue annually and its importance will only continue to grow. This infographic from Hosting Facts is a fascinating compendium of internet facts and statistics from across the globe; from the country with the highest internet penetration (Bermuda) to the number of active Facebook users in the world (lots).


Other that placing ads with lots of pictures on websites, advertising a house for sale hasn't changed hugely in recent years. So we were intrigued when a friend of ours, Lloyd Borrett, has launched an all-out digital strategy for selling his home.


Fancy adding a topic-specific headline feed to your blog or site? Google has just added the ability to generate an automatic Google News box (which it brands as a NewsShow), either covering broad topics or specific keywords. If you're programming-friendly, you can work directly with the News API, but most users will probably just settle for the wizard that automatically creates code to paste into your blog or site template. It'd be nice to see a wider range of formats, but it's still an easy way to put some topical links on your site.

NewsShow Wizard


You don't want anyone in your online social network to think you're boring, but it's often hard to come up with updates that are punchy and amusing. Save yourself from being unfollowed on Twitter or abused by your Facebook pals with Plinky. Plinky asks questions (like "name three songs you would put on a road trip mix tape" or "Defend your vice") and then builds them into posts which anyone can view. You can set up Plinky to automatically feed updates to Facebook, Twitter and a bunch of blogging services, including WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and LiveJournal. New prompts get supplied each day (and you can suggest future prompts to the service). It's no substitute for real creativity, but we all know there are days when that is in short supply. Plinky is free, requires signup. Thanks Mark J!



Search site IceRocket gives near-real-time results from the web, blogs, Twitter, news sites, images, and videos (phew), but its Big Buzz feature conveniently mashes it all onto one page. For those "What's going on?" moments—such as when, say, a plane crashes into the Hudson River—it's a great spot to get a quick scan of what's going on, and what's being said, on one page. IceRocket's advanced preferences open up some results-cropping tools. For those looking for a serious bathing in information, you can also grab an RSS feed from your search results. IceRocket is free to use.

IceRocket Big Buzz


YackTrack is a comment tracking service. If you've ever wondered who is talking about a blog post or news article you can enter the URL and see who is talking about it and where. YackTrack currently tracks comments on Blogger/Blogspot, Digg, Disqus, FriendFeed, Google Blog Search, Google Reader, IntenseDebate, Mixx, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Technorati, TypePad/MoveableType and WordPress blogs. Additionally there is a "Chatter" function that lets you search for key words instead of single URLs. On the time saving side of things it's possible to set up a bookmarklet to help you search YackTrack and you can turn a search term into an RSS feed to plug it into your favourite reader and stay abreast of new comments.



Windows only: Windows Live Writer, Microsoft's multi-platform blogging tool, was one of many Live Essentials apps that recently received a few upgrades, and they're really helpful for anyone writing on the web. Most helpful in this release candidate, for anyone writing a blog on Live.com, Blogger, WordPress, MovableType, or any other supported platform, is the ability to search through local drafts and published posts for text in any post, letting you get at older posts for editing and unfinished ideas quickly. WordPress.com and self-installed WordPress users get the same kind of auto-completing tags as on their site editors, and new plug-ins for Writer have been released that let you upload and link pictures from Flickr, auto-tweet your posts on Twitter, and do more. New to Live Writer? Head over to blogger Jared Goralnick's tips and tweaks for Windows Live Writer. The release candidate of Windows Live Writer 2009 is a free download for Windows systems only.

Windows Live Writer 2009


Free web service BackType aggregates all the comments you make on various blogs and web sites. The site uses the URLs entered in commenter forms or in the posts themselves to track a person's musings, or can combine URLs under a single account URL. It's a great tool for those who want to catch up on discussions they left behind, but the site also provides a search engine of its indexed comments and links to see another social-browser's comments. This type of URL tracking would normally leave the door open for comment impersonators, so BackType offers a moderation option to have you approve any comments posted under your name. BackType is a free service, requires a sign-up to use.