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Whole Lotta Online Tools in a Short Amounta Time (or ’40 Online Tools in 60 Minutes’)

October 19, 2009

Whole Lotta Online Tools in a Short Amounta Time (or ’40 Online Tools in 60 Minutes’)
Tina Hertel, Help Desk/Web Support Librarian at Lehigh University

OK, this isn’t what Tina’s session was officially called, but it’s what she had on her presentation and I thought it was a great ‘alt’ title! All the links that Tina reviewed are available on a website available at: This session has become a ‘PaLA Annual Classic’, over 100 (at least) attended, and there was literally standing room only.

A few of my notes (I missed the first part due to a phone call)

  • Hakia uses semantic ranking rather than popularity ranking, as does Google. They also label all results and ‘relevant’ results (picked by librarians).
  • ChaCha – mobile searching (can also text questions)
  • Virtual Reference Shelf – reference sources by formats like almanacs from Library of Congress
  • – create your own ‘track’
  • Wolfram Alpha – provides info about a topic rather than websites
  • Forvo – tells you how to pronounce words in over 200 languages
  • Diigo – ‘Delicious on steroids’ — allows you to put sticky notes on and highlight; can set it up in Diigo so that your Delicious account will be automatically updated
  • Netvibes – personal reading page which you can also make public (similar to iGoogle and PageFlakes, which do not let you make your page public)
  • Awesome Highlighter – easiest to use of three similar tools – highlights a section of a web page
  • Zamzar – free online file conversion; works with MS Works
  • – makes smaller URLs than TinyURL (good for Twitter users) AND tracks usage, including others linking into the URL
  • YouSendIt – lets you send large files for free
  • Communication tools – Skype
  • Meebo – Web-based manages Twitter, AIM, or other chats and other accounts
  • TinyChat – can create a chat room without an account; permanent
  • Collaboration – Basecamp – has word processing, calendars, etc.
  • Wiggio – for working as a group; also have video chat
  • eLearning – through Eluminate – online video conferencing; can meet with 3 people for ‘free’; free ‘public’ version that is open to anyone; or can purchase a paid sub
  • Slideshare – lets you upload and share presentations (PPT); can also handle audio
  • Prezi – zooming presentation editor; can create a path
  • Jing – free and paid version; from Camtasia; can use for one-on-one help
  • Online Mapping Tools – alternative to outlining (or whiteboarding, brainstorming), graphically based
  • Polling Everywhere – Text Message Polling
  • Poll Daddy – similar to Survey Gizmo
  • Doodle – easy scheduling online
  • Picnik – can do photo editing
  • Back Up URL – make a cache
  • How do I keep track of new tools?Techcrunch, Lifehacker, KillerStartups (evaluates new web sites, 15 each day)

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