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.

Nominate a binder for the 2013 Top 10 Contest!

It’s that time of year again when you get to share with us a binder that you found really helpful or influential to you or your class. For the nominating process, first you share with us those helpful binders and then we will have a short voting period. When you nominate a binder, please describe why you are nominating the binder and we will add that to the voting binder for people to view.

Winners will receive a Top 10 label on their binder, have their binder posted on the Top 10 shelf, and receive bookmarks featuring their binder with a QR code for sharing. We would also like to give our winners an opportunity to share their insights and motivations for their binder when we make the announcement this year.

We look forward to seeing all the great LiveBinders you’ve used this year.

To make your nomination, please click on this Nomination binder:

Feel free to enter any number of binders from different categories (educational or other) – just be sure to share with us why you are nominating the binders.

Let the praise begin!

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!

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.

A Livebinder filled with Marketing Resources

Looking for some marketing ideas to engage and motivate your customers? This Livebinder was put together for business technology marketers and media planners. It is a collection of marketing information with tools, and resources that will help you design and implement campaigns that will engage your marketing audience.

Just click on the binder icon below to launch the livebinder. Then click on the tabs at the top of the page to view the different web pages.

Evaluating Software – a painful process!

I’m sorry, but I view evaluating software as just as much fun as having a root canal. There are people in the world that love to evaluate software – I’m just not one of them. I just have a job that I want to get done and I need some software to help me out. I would prefer that someone just find the perfect package for me, but I’m too picky to rely on someone else!

So here was my most recent challenge. Graphics generation is something that I have always struggled with. I really need Adobe Illustrator, but just can’t find it in me to pay such an exorbitant price for that software! So I recently embarked upon an evaluation of other options. It actually didn’t take me that long. My friend who loves to evaluate software taught me how to search using the term “alternative”. Putting the string “Adobe Illustrator Alternative” into Google netted some interesting results included in the binder below:

If you just want to cut to the chase, Xara was my hands-down favorite for price/performance.

The binder worked great for this process though. Like most people, I asked everyone I knew which graphics package I should use. When they suggested one I had already eliminated, it was great to use the binder to remember why I had eliminated that selection. I think I will keep this binder around just in case I ever revisit this decision!

Better Website Design

Designing an attractive, easy to navigate website seems like it would be pretty straight-forward – but it is extremely difficult. Even if when I think I’ve done everything right, I am often shocked at how people actually navigate my sites.

I’ve read some great website design books, but I’ve also found that there are a vast number of resources on the web to help you create a site that really reaches out to your customers. Click on the binder below to see my collection of website design resources: