Quote of the Month

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Listing The Web

Previously I've posted about services such as Symbaloo, Weblist, and Bundlenut which all provide users with the ability to list websites in a single place centered around a topic.  Each of these have strengths.  Symbaloo is designed to give the user an at-a-glance visual representation through a group of tiles (looking like rows of buttons) of all the websites saved.  A simple click on a tile and a new window opens to the linked site.  Providing a no-frill list with descriptions of each site Bundlenut takes the user to the website without opening a new window.  There is the ability to scroll through the websites, left to right, and superimpose the bundle list on top of any of the open web sites.  Weblist is by far the most sophisticated of the three.  In generating a list web pages, images, text, documents, videos and files can be added.

This fall one of my preferred places to get the latest, Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... hosted a post about a new web 2.0 app which Ferlazzo claimed was his current favorite for creating lists of web pages to be used in Internet Scavenger Hunts. Three months later it appeared on his year end The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education 2012.  Urlist as described on the home page is:

a social platform for organising, sharing and discovering links. Collect your links individually or collaboratively, make lists about topics you love and access your resources anywhere, anytime.

This free service features the option to design three kinds of lists: draft list, reference list and chart list.  The draft list is for quickly saving links you plan to organize later.  They are saved in chronological order.   Links can be divided into sections using the reference list.  Your best list on any given topic is generated using chart list.  Additional features on the home page are:  you can take links from other lists to add to your own, there is a Urlist button which can be placed on your toolbar for grabbing web pages, you can flip through your links like a slide show, and you can invite others to add links to a list.

To start click on the green Make Your List! button.   A new window appears over the current page asking you to register using Facebook, Google + or by entering in an email address and password.  Although in the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy no age is mentioned I would get permission before having those under 13 years of age use the site.  A confirmation email with a link to activate your account is sent immediately.

It's interesting to note once your account is created you can still log in using those other platforms including Twitter.  When you log in you are taken to your dashboard (home) to begin generating your first list.  At this page you can manage your account keeping track of links, lists, followers and those you are following (if you desire). There is also a search box for entering in a key word to discover links and lists within the application.

To begin a list I selected the blue New List! button.  A new window pops up asking which of the three lists, draft, reference or chart,  you would like to create.  You can make up to 6 draft lists.

I decided to make a reference list for the 2013 Newbery and Caldecott award-winning authors and illustrators.  First enter in a title of your list when prompted, followed by clicking Create.  A new window opens.

If you click on the List Settings button in the upper left-hand corner you can edit the title, add a description, invite contributors, or change the type of list.  To add a link first click on the line to open up the field before you type or paste in the URL.  Prior to including any more links I clicked on Edit Sections to name the first section and add another.

After each link is added when mousing over the field, three choices appear.  Under options you can delete or share the link on Google+, Facebook or Twitter. Edit allows you to change the name of the link and add a note. You can relist or copy the link to another list at this point.

Comments can be added to the list by going to the bottom.  A completed list can be shared via email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.  When you click on the green Play List button on the right, a new window opens.  Each web page can be viewed in its entirety.  From this venue each site can be relisted or shared on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ as well as being deleted or edited by selecting the arrow in the upper right-hand corner.

I added links to YouTube videos which worked very well.  Links to Vimeo were also operable.  Linking to songs created in UJAM played perfectly.  While links to Google maps won't open in the play venue they will open in a new tab when clicked.

Each generated list is assigned it's own unique URL.  Here is the link to my list, 2013 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners.  In looking for ease of use, results which users can understand and view and time needed to complete a task, this application scores well on all accounts.  There are always different points within the process when the same tasks can be done, which is a huge plus.  I agree wholeheartedly with Larry Ferlazzo about Urlist.  It's going into my virtual toolbox.

Update:  As of December 31, 2104 this application will leave the Internet.  I was informed of this via an email.

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