Digg's Labs section launched last year with new ways to visualize Digg activity. Last week BigSpy, a new visualization tool that's eye candy in the purest sense of the word, quietly popped up. New stories appear at the top of the page, which offsets the rest of the stories in a wavelike motion. The more popular a story, the larger it is and the bigger the "wave" it causes on other stories. It's a mesmerizing effect.
Disney.com unveiled its new look this morning. Announced last month at CES by CEO Bob Iger, the new Disney.com aims to bring more personalization to the site and cash in on provide Disney content to share with others. Funny thing is, you can't even share the content on outside sites like MySpace or blogs.
It's downright tough to find the new personalized area of Disney.com, but it's called XD. The Flash-based XD interface takes about half a minute to load, and you're greeted to a smattering of widgets featuring Disney content that appears … Read more
Embeddable video is getting pretty cool. Static preview images seem to be a thing of the past. Blinkx, which is showcasing its service today at Demo 2007, is announcing a new widget called 'Blinkx It' that crawls your blog or Web site to deliver contextual video content. Think of it as Google Ad Sense with videos and no advertising. For example, clicking the 'Blinkx It' widget below will bring up videos related to News.com stories:
This is nice and unobtrusive, but the results aren't necessarily pertinent. In most cases, I was unable to get a smattering of relevant … Read more
SplashCast, launched today at Demo 07, is a free service that allows users to combine all sorts of media into one master playlist. That playlist can then be embedded on Web sites and blogs or sent directly to friends and family with a simple URL. It's basically the online equivalent of a mix tape. It's similar to YouTube's playlist maker, but with SplashCast, you can also throw pictures, text, and audio into the mix.
What's really cool about SplashCast is that your already-shared media doesn't need to be uploaded again. Pulling videos or pictures from … Read more
Quizlet is a cool flash card tool that lets you design and use your own study guides for tests, exams, or anything else that needs to be burned into your brain. Quizlet lets you design your own simple questions and answers. After you're done you can quiz yourself onscreen. Quizlet randomizes the questions and keeps track of the ones you miss for retesting. You can also share your quizzes and get in touch with other Quizlet users to discuss changes to the content or tips on how to remember the tough ones.
As a recent college grad, I remember … Read more
PowerSnap is a small and free Windows application that merges photos on your home computer with those on the Web photo service Flickr. Its purpose is simple: provide users with a way to view and manage all their photos, online and off.
PowerSnap has a Flash-based interface that lets you navigate, tag, and arrange your photos. It's similar to what you'd get with most photo browsing applications (see iPhoto or Picasa). What sets PowerSnap apart is its Flickr-user tracking, which essentially lets you create RSS feeds for Flickr members. You can add as many Flickr usernames as you … Read more
Flash guru Michael Battle has created a 3D version of Digg. You can zoom around all the popular stories on Digg's technology page using your mouse and scroll wheel. It's not exactly the most useful interface, but it's a ton of fun and it's very slick. If you get lost, just refresh your browser. There's also a complete list of advanced navigation instructions here.
My first run-in with Spymac was a completely accidental encounter a few years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a site that had its own visual style and appeal. It pulled in some design cues from Apple but kept its own sense of personality. This week Spymac has relaunched itself as Leapfrog, a portal for user-generated media.
The old Spymac featured a variety of user services, including e-mail, blogs, and user forums. It was a community-driven site. The new Spymac Leapfrog is all about media. Think YouTube with Google's pastel color palete. Users can browse popular videos, pictures, … Read more