Archive for the ‘Useful links’ Category

Have finally clicked ‘live’ on my new spoof news website.

The News Grind is a hobby enterprise designed as a virtual sandpit for me to learn more about hosting, ads etc online.

Above all, it’s just a bit of fun.


Powerpoints are dull.

To add some wow-factor to your presentations, try It’s free* and you can download your displays to run them offline in case of connection issues.

The application is incredibly easy to use, enabling you to do the basics such as embedding photos, video and words. You can then effect beautiful style changes. But the key hook is that Prezi is Flash-based so you can intuitively add lovely, swooshy motion.

Here’s one I presented on May 4 entitled ‘The Future of Magazine Journalism’.

Will dig out the script and attach when I get a spare moment.

*(with premium upgrades to get extra storage and hide your work from others)

wallwisherI’ve long been hunting for a decent interactive solution for tributes and user comments which is both easy to use and easy on the eye. Now I’ve found a site which ticks (almost) all the boxes on my wishlist. is a free-to-register site which enables the easy creation of a noticeboard. Users can post messages to the board, which is embeddable on your site.

The only downsides I can see so far is that an extra click is required which takes users to a pop-up version of the wallwisher board. And adding photos requires you to place a path to the image, when I’d ideally like less web-savvy users to upload their snaps.

For text messages, this is a far more elegant solution than simple comments on an article. And with the option to link to videos and photos, this is a tool I’ll definitely experiment with.

>> Sunderland Echo Wall of Honour

Desperate for a clip of a creaking door for your Halloween vid? Need a bangin’ tune to accompany your weekly clubbing slideshow? Is your digital budget a big, fat zero? Here are a few links to royalty-free sound effect and music sites which you may find useful.

Oh, and they aren’t trying to sell your ringtones by the back door…

Sound effects

Music (usually requiring credit, but free)

Johnston Press colleague George Hopkin – he’s our Search Engine Optimisation Evangelist no less – has set up an excellent service for those of you wishing to stay up-to-date with media news online.

He’s aggregating content from various feed readers into a single service.

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