Veteran Curators’ Secret Weapon to Saving Internet Resources

Student created Time Machine in 2001
Classroom built time machine

Calling the WayBack Machine! Did you know that the World Wide Web will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first publicly available website on August 6? Since that historic day in 1991, the number of users, devices, websites, and online content has been increasing daily and is not likely to stop growing any time soon. However, not everything stays alive on the Internet.  For every piece of new information added, older content will go missing whether it’s a website going down – such as an individual blog – or a publisher archiving a newspaper article.

As a curator of web content, how often do you find that a valuable resource link just disappears? What can you do to safeguard the integrity of an original source of information?

Enter the Internet Archive, a digital public library that provides free access to books, web pages, audio recordings, videos, images, and software. Through it’s Wayback Machine, you can enter a URL and look for a previous version of a website or webpage, possibly already archived. 

Users of the Wayback Machine can even ask to index a page for the archive! Wayback addins, extensions, and apps for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android and iOS assist with the process. For our LiveBinders members, the Wayback Machine offers you the ability to archive valuable resources making your binder content more relevant to your viewers.

Here is an example of how I share a newspaper article archived by the Wayback Machine in my 20th Century Decades Resources LiveBinder

Great Chicago Snow of 1967 image from the Wayback Machine index that appears in my LiveBinder.

Adding Online Binders to Microsoft Teams is Easy

In an upcoming podcast we talk with a LiveBinders customer who has added both binders and LiveBinders shelves to the menu on their Microsoft Teams dashboard. They use LiveBinders to organize handouts, training material and company resources in a group of binders that are much easier to access than by searching through a shared file folder. Online binders are now fully integrated into your Microsoft Teams App! Imagine sharing staff binders, sales binders, and product binders from an easy to find location eliminating the need for resending URLs or printing out pages of a paper-based binder.

Steps to add your binder or shelf URL to Microsoft Teams Dashboard

  1. Copy the URL for your binder or binder shelf
  2. Open your Microsoft Teams App
  3. Go to the Dashboard and find your team
  4. Click on the + sign at the top Navigation Bar
  5. Choose Website URL as the option to embed media
  6. Paste your binder or shelf URL in the URL box
  7. The name of the binder or shelf will appear across the top, but you can shorten it if needed from the Teams dashboard
  8. Click on the link to launch your binder or shelf

You can find screenshots in our Help Guide binder. If you would like to learn more about how to share resources across your team, let us know on our new Contact page and select Request a Demo.

App Smashing in a Digital Binder with Thinglink

App Smashing is the process of bringing together multiple media apps in one place to complete a project. For example, a project might include notes kept in a Google Doc, a YouTube video demonstration, a slide presentation that was presented on Google Slides, or comments on a project organized on a Padlet. Our binder platform allows you to integrate those different media objects into a digital binder without compromising your story’s organization.

Many of our curators have been exploring the use of interactive media to engage their remote audiences. One tool they are using is Thinglink. Thinglink allows you to map hotspots onto an image that can include links to websites, videos, audio files and documents.

In this quick video tutorial, you’ll see how to add a Thinglink embed code to your binder tab.

Learn more about how to add your embed code to your binder from our Toolkit Help Guide.

Organize Success Podcast: Fred Cochran and his UDL Toolkit Binder

We often discover great public binders on our website that we feature on Twitter, Facebook and our Featured binders page.  Although they have been perfect avenues for highlighting great resources, what’s been missing over the years is a deep dive into the why and how of these binders.

We’ve had the privilege of hearing great stories directly from our curators. Our Organize Success Podcast was born out of a desire to start sharing those conversations with you.  We think you’ll benefit from learning what our curators have already figured out from their own research and organization.

Episode #1 – Success in Universal Design for Learning – Fred Cochran’s UDL Toolkit Binder

Our very first podcast features Fred Cochran, Coordinator for Continuous Improvement and Support at the San Joaquin County Office of Education and his UDL Toolkit Binder.  UDL is an education framework that act as guidelines to help you create flexible learning environments that accommodate individualized learning differences.  Although it is an education framework, the guidelines can be effectively used in any interactive setting where you are trying to make a connection with your audience. 

If you’ve ever tried to teach an individual or a group of people new information, you’ll appreciate how Fred candidly shares the UDL mindset he adopted to improve his own work, where he happily saw, time and again, better audience participation and engagement.  These are gems you won’t want to miss. We believe you’ll walk away  knowing how to improve your own face-to-face or remote presentations.

Podcast-UDL-Cover

Highlights from our conversation: 

  • From architecture to education
    • Keen observations reveal how design benefits everyone
    • Rethinking ‘access’ from physical to conceptual
    • Teacher as designer
  • UDL as a mindshift practice
    • Value of giving choice, and the flexibility to change it
    • Gilligan’s Island and the 3-hour tour
    • How to use time as a participation tool
  • Fred’s LiveBinder editing tips
    • Using color intentionally
    • Using tab organization to unveil the context
    • Adding voice to the binder 

This  link will take you to the podcast recording located in Fred’s UDL Binder.

You will  have the option to listen to the podcast from our Youtube or Podbean link depending on your preference. The podcast will soon be available on iTunes and Spotify. Enjoy!

LiveBinders on Your Website or Blog – A Couple More Options

We added a couple more features to LiveBinders over the weekend.  You can now embed an open binder in your blog or website (if your blog supports iframes). We also added a way to add a “LiveBinder It” button to your blog or website.

Embedding an Open Binder

If your blog supports iframes, you can now now add an open binder to your blog using some new embed code.  (This is a WordPress blog, so it is an example of a blog that doesn’t support iframes.) To find the embed code just select “Link or Embed” from the Share menu inside the binder:

Selecting the Embed Code

The last option is the new embed code for the open binder.  Just paste that into your blog or wiki where you would paste other embed codes.

The binder will be open in “Present” mode to make best use of the smaller space:

Example of an open binder in a blog

Adding a LiveBinder It Button

We also added an option to put a “LiveBinder It” button on your blog.  This will make it easier for people to add your blog posts to their binders.  This button can be found under Tools > Add LiveBinder It:

Showing Tools > Add LiveBinder It

Thank you to everyone who requested these features. We always appreciate hearing from you!

The All-Important Conference Handout

I know that when I speak at conferences that the most common questions are: “Can I have a copy of your slides?” and “Can you provide that url again?”

Conference handouts are a very important part of your presentation. Your talk is often so information rich that it can’t possibly be adequately absorbed in just an hour. People need to digest the information and then go back and review it. They also need reinforcement of your message and they need to explore your sources for themselves so that they experience that “ah hah” moment on their own. Don’t let them do that without you! Create a binder with all your materials and make sure that you provide your blog or website in the binder. This will help you reinforce your message, but also let them remember the source of that message.

LiveBinders is your perfect solution to a great conference give-away! Here is a brief video overview:

But here is the best part, you can be working on your handout until the last possible minute. Of course there are times when I get additional resources from the audience. I love being able to tell them that those resources will be included in the binder. Unlike emailing information, with a binder, everyone always has the latest version.

Here is a great example from Kathy Cassidy and Maria Knee with slides and other resources:

Sending Links to Customers Never Looked So Good

Thanks to some excellent feedback, we have a new release that includes several improvements to LiveBinders.

As you know, LiveBinders is like a 3-ring binder for the web – allowing you to capture a variety of web links into a tabbed format which we call LiveBinders.  Instead of bookmarking links – you can add them directly into livebinders.  Your LiveBinder icons can be embedded on your web pages or sent as links in email.  It’s a great way to share multiple links for yourself or with other people.

Here are some of the highlights in this release:

Upload Your PDF files to LiveBinders

Many of our users have been creatinglivebinders for customer documentation.  With our new upload feature you can upload your own PDFs and include them in a livebinder along with your website links.

screenshot of upload

Better Looking Binders

We’ve given the livebinders a more polished look.  At the top now is the LiveBinder logo and the username/ login line.  Underneath that is the contents of the binder including the name of the binder, the author’s name, date created, and the number of views for the binder.  If you are the author of the binder,  you will also be able to see the ‘edit menu’ button to the right which allows you to make changes to your binder’s contents and properties.

livebinder new look

Bookmark While You Browse
The LiveBinder It bookmark tool

Although many of you can still create a blank binder from scratch, new users will be asked to install in their browser the ‘LiveBinder It’ bookmark tool.  This allows them to create binders while they browse. It is a quicker and easier way to create binders on the fly.  You can find out more about the bookmark tool here: http://livebinders.com/create/bookmark?type=bookmark

LiveBinders was created to help people make their searches more useful.  Before Livebinders there was no easy way to combine multiple links into a document format that you can easily access online.  If you’ve found LiveBinders to be useful for you, let us know.  We have more improvements on the way.

Thank you for using LiveBinders!

Sales Tips

I’ve come across Jeffrey Gitomer through his books – the first being ‘The Little Red Book of Sales.’ It is literally a little red hard cover book with huge print and funny cartoons inside. It is a little different from your average motivational sales book. I’ve seen his yellow book, black book and green book on various sales topics.  Jeffrey Gitomer is also lecturer and motivational speaker. What I like is his ‘go get ’em – never give up attitude.’   He also publishes free articles on various sales tips, which he calls ‘Sales Caffeine’ and it is a nice way to start the work week.

I’ve combined about 10 issues in this LiveBinder. To View just click on the livebinder link below and click on the tabs in the binder to view the articles.

Online marketing tips

I found a cool site with some marketing tips from Michael Wong from Godefy.com.  His blogs help you efficiently use online resources to attract the most visitors to your website.  Check out the blogs posts he has put together on such topics as:  ways to optimize javascript, controversial SEOs, how to optimize on Ask Jeeves, Yahoo Directory Rankings, Selecting best categories, justify SEO budgets, finding link exchange sites, key word strategies, Yahoo sponsor listings and realistic top rankings.

This livebinder has 10 of his articles and I plan on putting together another volume of his writings so I can easily get access to them.  Feel free to use.  Just click on the link below to launch the livebinder, then click on the tabs to view the different blog posts.

Creating Great Presentations

Don’t you just hate sitting through a boring presentation? The only thing worse is being the one standing up there giving the boring presentation!

But creating a great presentation takes knowledge of the target audience, graphics design, and a bit of theater. I’m always scouring the web for good resources on how to create great presentations. In this binder, I have pulled together a group of excellent sites. Click on the binder below to see my collection thus far…

Pitching to Venture Capitalists

In my spare time, I coach entrepreneurs on ‘how to pitch venture capitalists’ for Astia – a fabulous organization that supports women entrepreneurs in both technology and life sciences.

My problem is that I do this as a volunteer and – though I would love to spend all the time in the world with these companies – I don’t have much spare time. So I gathered together the best resources on the web on how to do venture presentations and put them in a binder. Now I send the binder to the entrepreneur in advance of meeting with them.

What a great time savings this is for me! By the time I meet with them, they have usually reviewed these resources and incorporated them into their presentations. I only have to help them polish the pitch and add the finishing touches!

Check out my venture pitch binder here: