Category Archives: Social Media

Finding Creative Commons Works to Suit Your Needs

CC: Public Domain

I’ve seen this topic come up in a few situations in the past couple of weeks, including a G+ post by Mike Allton about using Flickr to search for CC images, so I thought I’d share some quick tips.

You can do searches at http://search.creativecommons.org/ and specify your use-case, e.g. that you want to use them for commercial purposes.  FYI when you enter your search query you will not be searching all of the sources, but just one at a time.  So, the easiest way to do it is to enter your query in the box, make sure to check the correct use-case, and then click the box of the source you’d like to search.  There are a variety of options, including Google, Google Images, YouTube, SoundCloud, Flickr and others.

Another option is to use Google’s Advanced Search and Advanced Image Search.  There you get many options for advanced search, including filtering by usage rights at the bottom of the list.

One last tip… At the bottom of http://search.creativecommons.org/ you can see a yellow box that allows you to add CC search to your browser.  If you’re using Chrome you can make it your default search (by right-clicking the address bar and choosing “edit search engines”) when you type in the unified search/address bar (and switch it back if you don’t need it) and if you use Firefox it can be one of the options in the search box at the top right of the page.  IE doesn’t seem to support it and I don’t know about Safari.

Hope this was helpful!

**Disclaimer:  I am not an IP lawyer and this is not legal advice, so don’t blame me if you don’t cite something correctly or have any issues using CC licensed content.**

Findings – Pinterest for e-Book Quotes

I just received an email regarding a new feature of Findings.com.  Admittedly, I had completely forgotten that I signed up for this tool a few months ago, but taking another look, it’s actually pretty interesting for literary-types.  The basic concept is sharing quotes and highlights from e-books, which can be done via bookmarklet or Amazon Kindle.   Like any other social network, you can follow others and see what they’re reading, as well as recently added books and quotes from everyone in the network.  Findings also connects with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites so you can share with your existing networks.  The email I just received was to inform me that they have added a new discovery feature that allows you to explore Findings in a Pinterest-like visual fashion.

Currently Findings only works with the web or Kindle, so I believe that is why I originally dismissed it, but with their discovery feature I may pop back now and then to see if anything catches my eye.  I think the concept is really interesting, so if other e-reader apps would allow them to connect, and perhaps they if partnered with something like Good Reads, it would be a much more robust service and appeal to a wider audience.

Definitely something to keep an eye on!

Hot Topic: News Aggregators

Last week brought blog headlines back to news aggregator apps, from GigaOm to TheNextWeb.  Flipboard and Zite released iPhone apps, in addition to their popular iPad apps, and Google released their Currents app for Android and iOS.  I have tried many aggregators, and I find a combination of Feedly, Flipboard, Zite and Paper.li/Tweeted Times work best for me.  (I just signed up for Tweeted Times, and it seems to be of the same nature as Paper.li, so I’ll be Iumping them together.)  All of these apps are socially integrated for easy sharing, which is a must in today’s information economy.

Feedly (Android and iOS), a somewhat simple RSS reader compared to other apps, has the “magazine look” that has become popular of late.  This app gives a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing way to read RSS feeds and also offers some content discovery via news categories.

Flipboard (iOS) makes reading content from RSS, Twitter, and even Facebook more pleasurable.  There’s less skimming lines of text for keywords, and more browsing as you would a magazine.  I find this particularly useful for Twitter feeds/lists, where having a few lines of text from a link enables me to judge whether there could be any value in the article.  With the number of posts to Twitter per day, anything that helps weed out content is helpful.

I love Zite (iOS) because it learns from your reading habits.  You can link up accounts so it sees what you’re interested in, then Zite pulls content from the web especially for you.  As you read you have the ability to tell the app whether or not you like an article, teaching it your preferences.  Another feature that I find helpful in content discovery, is the ability to add keyword categories.  Whenever I think I’m in a rut, and can’t find any more sources of information, I turn to apps like Zite and Paper.li/Tweeted Times to discover new corners of the internet.

Paper.li (web app)/Tweeted Times (iOS) aggregate content from Twitter, giving the options of creating papers from you and your followers, lists, or hashtags.  I find these especially useful in discovering new content because the sources are somewhat verified, other Twitterers find it of interest and use.  You can also follow other users’ papers and get updates as they come out.

I generally love all things Google, but I must say, I am disappointed with Currents (Android and iOS).  I think the app has a good look and feel, but as far as I can tell, and please let me know if I’m wrong, you can only view one “magazine” at a time, not all “stories” together.  I.e. open one blog, go through the contents, then go back to the library, choose the next blog and repeat.  There is no discernible way of reading the content like you would an RSS reader, all the newest stories from all added blogs together.  This leads to a rather disjointed experience for which I don’t have time nor patience.

How do you discover new content?  Is it an app?  Website?  Social media platform?