Guest Web 2.0 Reviews by Kim Jaxon’s CSU Chico English 130 Class: Part 2 Going Social

This is the second of a three-part series from the students of CSU, Chico’s English 130.

The reviews below were a part of an assignment designed to help students to focus on editing and clarity in their writing for their English 130 course. It also gave them a chance to think about a public audience who might use this information, and since they are studying social media, it introduced them to potential sites that could be useful in their own work and research. The results are ours to enjoy. Please leave a comment if you find any of the reviews to be of particular interest or help.

Blurtt by Kathy Peterson
The Web 2.0 that I picked is a website called Blurtt. Blurtt allows you to create and send real postcards to family and friends, even celebrities! The cool thing about Blurtt is that if you aren’t sure what their real address is you can send it with their email, Facebook, or Twitter address that works just as convenient as the real one. As you create your postcard, there are over 100 pictures with different categories that you can put onto it such as Halloween themes, Blurttences, and photography. You can also upload any other picture you would like of you with freinds, family, and even other categories that aren’t put up onto the website. Blurtt postcards allow you to write as much and whatever you would like to write about. Blurtt does not cost a lot of money. All together with stamp and envelope it can be sent to you for just $1.50. It saves you money and is a fun and exciting way to send postcards.

Doof by JP Smith
Doof.com is a web 2.0 tool that fuses social networking and gaming together. Its structure is basically broken off face book’s old-school gaming. You find friends, play games, chat and leave each other posts. Simply, you challenge each other. It seems like a interesting idea. It takes what happened with facebook’s gaming phenomenon several years ago and created “Doof” from that. I read that Doof tracks how much time you spend playing each game. Honestly several of the games I tried to load simply didn’t. Also when viewing your profile or using “Doof” in anyway felt awkward because there are no scroll bars making the interface seem underdeveloped. This site reflects the idea “nerds world” you get to connect with friends, play games, and compete with the people you know. The games range from simple “kiddy” type things up to old school arcade and shooter games. This sites loading screens have no progress bar and are very slow, so much so that I didn’t think It worked at all. With some touching up I think this site could easily be a hit.

Palmood.com by Matt Elkins
Palmood.com is a new and exciting way to keep friends and family members updated on your moods and express your opinion about products or events. This free, live-feed blog site allows people to instantly share their opinion or feelings about a certain product or event. Palmood is used by many businesses as a tool for rating products and events. Members are asked to create an avatar to represent themselves on their profiles. You are given the choices of male or female, black or white, etc. In order to comment on a product or event a member must assign it a rating of 1 through 10, along with a short comment. All ratings and information that is posted on Palmood can be viewed by any member so that ratings can be viewed on a broader scale rather than being limited to single groups, and thereby increasing the efficiency of the rating system. Palmood is a free and effective way of getting feedback, that also offers a fun way to keep in touch with your co-workers, family, or friends.

Sketchfu by Danielle Alvernaz
Sketchfu is a Web 2.0 site about drawing and connecting with other users. It’s set up like most other social networking sites by asking questions like, Birthday, Age, Gender, relationship status and zip code. Sketchfu allows you to title and publish your work to your profile. It has a space for friends to leave comments, rate your photos as; Funny, Cute or Impressive. Other areas of the site include most cheered for drawings, Applications, an actual drawing board, browsing friends and viewing profiles. With in the site you can contact friends by sending private messages to their profile, and you can express yourself and your feelings to others through drawing. This site allows people to use art and their imagination to connect with new people and communicate with friends.

OntheRoad by Wanchai Xiong
With a quick sign up and some information about yourself, the newest online technology, OnTheRoad, allows you to share your journeys with people you love while traveling on the road. This new technology allows you to create traveling journals simply by using your iPhone, Android, SMS, email or online and send them to anyone you want. You can track and plan every destination of the way. OnTheRoad also has the ability to connect you with other travelers and share journeys with each other around the world. OnTheRoad is connected with Twitter and Facebook. This makes it much more easier to update what your are doing since everyone tweets on Twitter nowadays. You can also share photos and videos of things that you had done with friends on Facebook. By using OnTheRoad, you can share and connect with friends and family without taking up time away from other things that you do. It’s free, fast, and amazingly fun! With new technologies advancing, this will only get better. Don’t be left out while others are having fun.

CamTweet by Sumanpreet Ojla
CamTweet is a site that is brought to users by Justin.tv. CamTweet allows users of twitter to broadcast live videos on Twitter. Anyone who already has a Twitter account can use this site. The login for the users is the same as their Twitter account. Using this site is sort of the same as posting a vlog on YouTube. The video would come as a link on Twitter as an update; and whoever is following you is able to click on the link to watch your live broadcast. A person first needs to connect a webcam to the computer, and then make sure that the site picks up the signal. After that, you need to get a microphone attached and adjust the volume. When everything is set, you go live on Twitter. This site only allows a live broadcast and a person is not able to check the video later because it is not saved. This is a good site for people that enjoy making live webcasts of themselves for others to see.

Streetmavens.com by Jordyn Armstrong
Streetmavens.com is a website that allows the user to be able to obtain knowledge of what events are occurring in their hometown. The slogan, “See What’s Happening In Your City!” captures curiosity and adds the appeal of gossip into the website. There is a real-time situation that the website works off of and allows users to interact with their local area and find out what is happening. Streetmavens allows the user to also connect with others through the use of pictures. An extensive map of locations and a search bar make it easy to navigate the website and find what one is looking for right away. Also, when there is an event going on, users are allowed to post the event to the site and others can RSVP to this event. The business search bar is also very convenient. This allows businesses to join the website as well making interaction between users and businesses very quick and easy. Streetmavens provides lots of information and allows people to communicate and gain knowledge all at once. So what are you waiting for? See what’s happening in your city!

Sketchfu.com by Ryan Ramos
Sketchfu is a website where people communicate with each other through drawing. You have the ability to draw anything that comes to mind and share it with friends, family, peers etc. It is free to create an account and anyone is eligible. Where the actual drawing takes place is in a blank window with whatever type of untensils you want. They offer the entire color spectrum and provide another cool feature that lets you watch every move the artist made in creating their drawing. To the right of the sketch pad Sketchfu gives drawing tips to make it easier to use, and suggestions of what to draw if nothing comes to mind. When opening the site, you have the option to navigate hoome, draw, browse through other drawings, browse through people, view the best drawings, or browse through different apps. The most recent additions to the site are the apps, anyone can create and use them. These apps make it easier on the artist and can allow them to add different affects. Overall the site is simple, easy to use, and can be a lot of fun.

ooVoo by Kevin Kirberg
ooVoo is a new website that has developed to where people can communicate in a eleven different ways to friends, family and colleagues they just don’t have the time or the money to talk face to face with. The ooVoo Web Video API makes it as easy as cut and paste to insert video chat into your web sites. It opens up a world of video communications with the ease of a button and web camera. With the United States fighting over seas in Iraq, ooVoo has been a new way for soldiers to stay in connection with their families and friends. From either paying month by month or pay per use gives you the freedom to video chat with as many people as you want, whenever you want. ooVoo has also been developed to help you advertise and with showing your ad to millions of people it helps target your specific audience relating to your specific ad. With technology advancing so rapidly, with in no time, ooVoo will be offering so much more then it already does.

OMGPOP by Ashton Holland
OMGPOP is website in the age of Web 2.0 where you are able to play a multiplayer game instantly with any person that is on the website playing the same game that you have chosen. These games seem to be very catching and are able to grab your attention through images of scenes regarding that game. The games as well are very strategic. From first hand experience I would say that these games require a lot of thinking. There is a myriad of games to choose from, racing, puzzle, and action. OMGPOP has its own community where individuals are able to socialize and interact with one another online. When playing a game there is a chat box where people whom you are playing the game with are able to talk to you or any one else in that game. There is a “feedback” link on the site where people are able to talk about what they like or want to suggest for the site. This site is very welcoming for they aren’t just targeting you just playing there games, they want you to come and hang out to just chat online with other players. I myself have talked to many people, and have felt completely comfortable communicating with the people whom I talked to on the site. OMGPOP is a very well put together, everything is organized and is easy to find, if I am wanting to talk to some one all I would have to do is click the link entitled “community”. This site overall has a welcoming feeling along with fun games to play with whomever you would like.

Sketchfu by Jenna Silverman
The website that I reviewed is called, “Sketchfu”. It is a website that allows the user to draw pictures to their friends and family to share their feelings and ideas. By sharing ideas and feelings through pictures, it allows friends and family to talk and connect in different ways then through texting, Facebook, e-mails, and letters. Since I have never heard of this website I decided to give it a try. The weather is turning cold so I drew a fall scene with trees and leaves turning colors. It was pretty easy and very fun to do. First you choose the size that you want the curser to draw, then you pick the color. You draw whatever you feel like, then make a name for the piece of work and publish it. It’s as easy as that. I’m sure if you gave a kindergartner or an elderly person a computer with this website open, they’d be able to figure it out with no problem.

Sketchfu by Kelsey Joyce
Sketchfu allows you to draw anything you wish on a white board, and be able to share with your friends from all around! Most social networking sites allow you to keep in touch with people through words and your writing. However, Sketchfu is a website made based upon communicating with your friends through personal drawings and your creativity. Just log in, draw and share, and put that creativity to use. The site allows you to view other Skethfu users’ drawings, and then even “cheer” for their piece and make comments about it. Allowing you to chose your font size, style, and color, you are able to express with your friends with an image rather than just through words. The drawing tool allows you to sketch any image you wish, providing factors that also let you “remix” other people’s creations. The toolset is easy to handle, yet it allows you to create your very own masterpiece in any way or form you like! Best of all, every drawings is then animated directly after finished allowing you to share with anyone you wish.

Sketchfu by Ankara Nguyen
Once entering Sketchfu there’s nothing special until the art pad shows the opening animation, persuading you to try out the art pad. Look to the right and there’s a panel of already made drawings. Nothing amazing here except it’s fun. You can draw, paint, or anything you feel like. Artsy people are more likely drawn to this site. The white background draws your attention to other parts of the site. This site is also for demoing your own drawing. Sketchfu records as you draw as a video so it’s like a mini video. Aspects like this keeps it interesting and brings people back to learn from and share with others. People are demoing their drawings. This site is interesting and fun, you have to play around with it before understanding why it’s fun. Also the name makes you curious enough to check out the site. So much fun to have and play around if you’re bored. This isn’t just a fun and an educational. Sketchfu is something that will take time to get use to like any other new creation.

Sketchfu by Mary Mezzetti
The website Sketchfu.com is a site dedicated to communicating with friends strictly through drawings. On this site you can draw a picture to a friend or simply post your artwork on the site. Onlookers are able to watch the drawing in each step it is drawn so that messages can be sent within the picture. This site attracted me because it is very similar to the graffiti application on Facebook where users can do basically the same thing that Sketchflu offers and post it on friends’ walls. This is a good website to use for anyone who is interested in art or drawing, and users do not have to be exceptional artists to use it, it’s just a fun and interesting way to send messages to friends. If you have a Facebook account it may be easier to just add the application rather than create a new account on Scatchfu, but this site offers those interested in graphic design opportunities to admire others’ work.

Sketchfu by Tiffany Richter
Sketchfu is a social networking site that lets its users connect through their drawings. It allows you to show your personal creativity and expressions. Sketchfu users create a profile that allows them to share their drawings with everyone on the net. Once a drawing has been drafted, its author can e-mail it, download it, or sent it to MySpace, Facebook, etc. Users can rate each other’s drawings by how cute, funny or impressive they are. Any Sketchfu user can leave comments on any piece of artwork, whether they like it or not. After clicking on the drawing you wish to view, it comes on screen animated, as if you were watching the artist draw it before your eyes. You can also control how fast a drawing comes on screen. With this site, you can browse drawings by labels like the cutest, funniest, most impressive, most viewed, and so on. This site creates a place where people can express their emotions and feelings through their drawings.

Aardvark by Allie Boone
Aardvark is a networking site in which you ask a random question and someone even more random has the answer. Stipulations outlined on the website go like this: 1) Send Aardvark a question, 2) Aardvark finds the perfect person to answer, and 3) Get their response in a few minutes.
Aardvark is used similarly to YouTube, only dealing with questions, not expression. Essentially, if you ask a question, you will get an answer from someone who you know nothing about, just like when you post a video to YouTube, and never know who will watch it. This is an innocent site, in that you don’t put yourself on the Internet, and your identity is kept anonymous.
This site is useful because you can ask a guiltless question and receive a response, which you may never have thought of, and also get incites from people who you would never talk to in person. On the other hand, it can be negative because these sites promote hiding behind a computer screen in order to seek companionship. Plus, you never know who may be responding to your simple question.

What are you Thankful for Today? by Megan Merseth
I decided to review a site that is through Twitter which is called, “What are you Thankful for Today?” It is a journal where you put in everyday what you are thankful for. You can either keep it private on your page, or you can have it displayed everyday as your tweet. I found it very interesting because people everyday look past what they are thankful for and go about with their busy lives. But if you have one of these pages linked to your Twitter, you will almost feel obligated to take a second and think about what you are thankful for. I sometimes enjoy using Twitter, depending what kind of mood I am in, and I feel like this will make me want to use Twitter more. The site also shows you what others are thankful for, even if you’re not following them on Twitter. It just shows on the side of your screen, “Right now someone is thankful for…”. I think this site is a great way to start or end your day.

Sketchfu by Jaycee Hepler
Sketchfu is a website where someone who is interested in art can join and meet other people with similar interests. This is a site similar to MySpace but with a more specific theme. The pages all have the same simple layout, which is surprising because I would think artists would want to customize their own pages. Users can make a page and write about themselves, show their drawings, leave a comment on other’s work or page, see who is online, add friends, add applications and so much more. There is also a features on Sketchfu where users can make a drawing. First you pick a colors and size for the cursor. Then you click and drag the cursor in the designated area and leave a mark. This is when the user can let their creativity come alive. Another cool part of this website is that it shows the process of any drawing being made. Even if you aren’t talented with this programs, there is a lot of really talented people on here to meet and enjoy their work.

Sketchfu by Anne Towles
Sketchfu is awebsite that allows you to draw or animate anything you want. It’s relatable to the ‘graffiti’ application on Facebook. SketchFu is an entertaining website for anyone interested in making modern art using technology. The main style of art created on this website is cartoon-like and animated. You can also check out other peoples’ works and see what they have created using this attraction. Anyone can join SketchFu and it is free.
The tools for SketchFu include different brush sizes, a plethora of colors to choose from and different intensities you can choose for each of your colors. You draw by wiping your cursor over the ‘paper’ they provide for you. You can redo, erase, or start over as easy a click of a button. When you are finished with the drawing you can ‘Replay’ and watch the steps it took to create your masterpiece in fast motion. SketchFu is creative, fun, and a step forward for the art world.

Sketchfu by Preston Platt
The website Sketchfu.com has a great concept behind it. I feel it takes facebook’s Graphiti application to the next level. The website is very easy to understand from the start. It has a nice intro tutorial on the opening page giving you the go ahead to just start drawing. When making a profile it is very easy to keep information private if wanted and has all the basics for information distributing. This website gives you the opportunity to make drawn images which people that are also engaged in the website can rate and view. People can rate it as cute, funny, and impressive. The nice thing is that you can than search for images that meet that category. I looked up the images with the most amount of impressive reviews and found some really cool images. Overall with this website I see a high amount of potential to be a popular site if it were to join up with a popular site. I would suggest trying to join Facebook and become a site with a new type of communication through images.

News-Smak by Beth Cylke
The site that caught my attention was a social News-Smak website. It has all of the latest celebrity gossip and interesting stories that most women are be curious about and would enjoy reading. It is connected to facebook and twitter so you could easily post the article to your page. They have different categories you could pick from like fashion or gossip. It has the feel of an online magazine. Some of the links they have are a little questionable, but they still catch your attention. You can comment on any of the articles and people can respond back. I feel like this website it just another place for people to read gossip and entertain themselves. It is a good idea for a website and I can picture people reading it to catch up on their daily need for celebrity gossip, it just isn’t very original. I think it would be a better website if it has a more official look and feel.

Palmood by Christina Travlos
Palmood is a free and easy way to blog your mood and connect with people. You can either be with friends, business colleagues, or just rate the mood you see posted. Twitter is very similar to Palmood. You type in your mood and share it with everyone but you do not have to comment to the mood you just rate it. Palmood helps coworkers share how they are doing with work in a real time atmosphere. It is also used for rating products and getting feed back or an opinion right there. Palmood is a great way to know when a friend needs a shoulder to cry on or just venting out their emotions. It is related and a quick share web site to very popular websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

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