Working with Wiggio

A while ago I wrote a blog entry on wikis, specifically WetPaint Wikis.  One major reason that people use wikis is that they can provide a centralized place to work on committee or group projects.  While wikis are extremely versatile and can be used for multiple purposes, they don’t generally have an inherent structure which means that someone has to carefully set up the structure much like one would build a website.  If you need a centralized place for group work and want something even easier than a wiki, Wiggio is the place for you!  Unlike wikis, Wiggio was created with the specific purpose to facilitate online group work and contains many additional features that wikis don’t provide.

Wiggio incorporates a variety of social technologies into an easy-to-use shared web portal.  Next time your committee needs a shared online space, simply set up a Wiggio page and invite members of your committee to the page.  You’ll be able to not only share links, documents, polls, and a calendar, but Wiggio also gives you a variety of mechanisms to communicate directly on or from the group page.  Wiggio allows group members to leave typed or voice recorded notes for each other as well as easily send email or text messages to group members directly from the group page.  Wiggio also incorporates virtual meeting software into the group page so members can chat online, hold a teleconference (at a phone number provided by Wiggio), and even have a virtual meeting with full screen and document sharing,  as well as webcam capabilities.

Wiggio seems to run incredibly smoothly and with the exception of Java for the virtual meeting presenter, does not require any additional software.  Best of all… Wiggio is completely free!  That said, Wiggio does contain sponsored links and states on their FAQs that they will be adding additional “premium” components that will require a paid membership.   Try it out with your committee work, suggest it to your students for group projects, use it to co-author your next article- Wiggio is a great technology for any collaborative work you might have.   Overall, I highly recommend Wiggio.

Budget cuts may force us to hunt & gather, try ScreenHunter 5.1

full_screenAs budget belts keep tightening, we find ourselves scavenging for free software options. I’d like to introduce one such option – ScreenHunter 5.1 is free screen capture software for Windows users. You might be thinking, “So? I can capture my screen by pressing the Print Screen key.” Ah-ha! But what if you want to crop out all the noise and focus in on a specific section of the screen? ScreenHunter can help.

select_imageWith ScreenHunter you have choices. You can capture your full-screen OR you can drag your mouse to select an area for capture. The selected area can be any size. However, it must be rectangular. You can also choose whether or not you would like the mouse pointer to appear within the captured image. If you want to select a rectangular area for capture AND include the mouse pointer in the selected image, you will need to use the hotkey option. Place your mouse pointer where you want it to appear on the screen and hit the hotkey (F6). The pointer will stay where you left it and your mouse will be transformed into a ScreenHunter selection tool. Capture What, Mouse, and Hotkey settings are all found under the “From” settings.

desktopUnder the “To” settings you can designate where screen captures should save to, what file format they should be saved in, and how the new files should be named. You can designate screen captures to save to the clipboard and/or to a particular folder, such as your desktop. ScreenHunter will save screen captures as JPEGs, GIFs, or Bitmaps. And it will automatically name the  new files with their date and a number or you can ask it to prompt you to name each one as it is taken. My screen captures are being automatically named by ScreenHunter and are saved as JPEGs to my desktop. From there I rename the ones I want to keep, and drop them in their appropriate folders.

ScreenHunter 5.1 makes screen capture easy and affordable. Plus and Pro versions offer image editing capabilities and advanced capture options, such as movie capture and customized watermarks.  They are available for $19.95 and $29.95, respectively.