Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Got News? Spread The Word!

There are a variety of online applications available to create webpages, blogs or a simple, single-page flyer with nearly no muss or fuss.  I have written about Instablogg, PageORamaWeeblyCheck ThisPosterous Spaces, and Smore.  My go-to technology people Larry Ferlazzo of Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day..., Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers and Heather Moorefield, Education Librarian at Virginia Tech and former chair of the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning committee have all mentioned or posted about another service called Tackk.

At the Tackk site they state in the About section:

Tackk is a simple new format that allows you to instantly create and share your content on the web.

There is:

  • no software
  • no login
  • no design skills needed and
  • no community to join.
It's like hanging a notice on a corkboard in your favorite grocery store or coffee shop.
According to the Terms of Service users need to be at least thirteen (13) years old in order to access this free site.

You can begin using the application as soon as you arrive at the home page.  I decided to explore some of the tabs first.  On the upper left- hand side the small tab with the question mark reading Starter informs you that no login is required, edits are automatically saved after each change and if you create an account multiple Tackks can be managed.  Plus a three step image shows you how to get started.  The lower tab on the left-hand side labeled Themes is a series of templates, Anything, Events, Housing, For Sale, Announce and Business which can be customized by using the tool bar on the right.

Moving to the top of the page if you click on Browse Tackkboard the most popular tags appear, Featured, Trending, Music, Events, GIF, Real Estate, Announcements, Humor, For Sale, Tackk, Fitness, Recipes, Jobs, How To and Electronics.  (These probably vary based upon requests of users.)  If you select See All Tackks you are taken to a new page with the ability to search by tags for a specific Tackk.  Tackks can be arranged by popularity and date and see in full or grid view.

To the right on the top of the page you will note a URL address.  Every time you create a Tackk this changes.  This is a unique URL for your Tackk.  In the far right-hand corner are the Preview, New Tackk and Login tabs.

One of the uses for this application might be to announce a recently read or reviewed book, pointing out the highlights.  Or if you happen to be working on a Mock Caldecott project this could be a great way to promote a particular book.  A title currently in our Mock Caldecott line-up is One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo with illustrations by David Small.

I first went to the top of the Tackk workspace mousing over and selecting Place Your Title Here. Small icons from top to bottom, left to right allow the user to Add Stuff Above, Move Up, Move Down, change Alignment, Remove, Size and Undo.  Identical options are available for the subheading.

Moving down to the image a big blue plus sign appears when you mouse over; clicking on that takes you to your computer for an upload.  Icons from left to right allow for Add Stuff Above, Move Up, Move Down and Remove.  As an image is added it is listed in a box beneath the template image.  Multiple images can be uploaded.

Underneath the image is another heading box followed by the body text.  The body text has the same choices as the other text boxes plus Bold, Italics, Underline, Add a link and Redo. The link can be added by itself or to highlighted text within the box.  

If you click on the Add More Stuff button you have the option to include a headline, body text, a list, a button, photos or media.  Media covers YouTube, Vimeo and Hulu videos, Instagram photos, and SoundCloud and Spotify songs.  Simply copy and paste in the link and you are good to go.

Space for comments is provided.  You can comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account.

Off to the right of your workspace is the Editor toolbar.  This enables you to choose a variety of shaded, colored backgrounds, fifteen types of fonts, twenty-five background patterns, add features such as corners, contact, maps and comments and list up to five tags associated with your Tackk. If you decide you do not want an added feature click on the specific button and it will be deleted.  

When your selections have been completed you can click on Share Your Tackk. Or you can choose to Like it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, recommend it on Google +, pin it on Pinterest or print it out.  If you do not sign up for a free account your created Tackk will not be saved after seven days.

You can sign up through your Facebook or Twitter account.  By entering in your email address and a password you can register for an account.  Agreement to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy are required.

Sharing can be done on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Tumblr or via email.  Here is the link to my created Tackk about a nominee for our Mock Caldecott 2013.

As usual each of the above mentioned web 2.0 applications have pluses and minuses depending on the user's needs but I have to say that Tackk gets a double thumbs up.  Ease of use, design options, special features, and a polished, finished project are huge benefits.  

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