TextFlow: Online document collaboration
Apr 10th, 2009 by Beth

Sometimes I like these Web 2.0 applications just because… well… they’re just so colorful and cool, just like when you splurged on the awesome chartreuse spiral notebook with the gel cover and extra pockets in middle school.

TextFlow is a document collaboration website. You drag and drop your document into their application, and then you drag other people’s versions. The changes and suggestions from everyone are color coordinated, and they slide out and bookmark themselves in cool ways.

As a professional writer, I’ve really never had much trouble integrating changes from multiple people into one document, so I wouldn’t really need TextFlow, but I’m a sucker for a pretty notebook.

TextFlow offers a fully functional personal edition for free (that includes a watermark “Not for Commercial Use”), or it’s $99 per user per year for the full edition.

Another cool thing…. great storytelling in their promo video.


StopForwarding.Us: Send a polite note to stop the forwarding madness
Mar 30th, 2009 by Beth

I’m not going to say who in my circle of friends and family is guilty, but SOME OF YOU drive me nuts! You forward emails about sick children who just want postcards, friendship poems with angels and hearts, political puffery from your favorite radicals and pictures of cute bunnies and kittens.

StopForwarding.Us is a free service that allows you to send a private, polite and anonymous note to the sender to let her know to think before forwarding. I actually like the bunnies and kittens, but the friendship poems with email angels? Ergh!

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

Please do not forward chain letters, urban legends, potentially offensive jokes, videos or photos without being asked or first receiving permission.

If you find something that you want to pass on and you genuinely think the recipient will enjoy it then forward it to that person only (not in an email blast to all your friends and family) and include a personal note about why you enjoyed it and why you think they will too.

Nicely done, don’t you think? Please forward this link to everyone you know. (Just kidding).

StopForwarding.Us | Politely and anonymously ask them to stop forwarding you junk email

Sketch My Photo: Convert photos to beautiful pencil sketches
Mar 24th, 2009 by Beth

Wow! Sketch My Photo is the best tool I’ve seen for converting a photo into a pencil sketch. It’s worlds better than applying filters in your regular photo editor (ever try a neon filter? What the heck is that?)

I uploaded my Twitter avatar, and Sketch My Photo came up with this perfect rendition. Saving your photo in a pretty good resolution is free. It’s $5.95 to upgrade to a nicer version.

Sketch My Photo – Free instant photo to pencil sketch conversion.

ImageChef: Quick, clever photo customization
Mar 23rd, 2009 by Beth

ImageChef lets you create quick custom photos with a ton of free templates. I love when I can make a clever piece of art happen within minutes rather than having to mess with a custom photo for hours.  I created this in about 90 seconds, and a third of that was coming up with the book title.

This one took me even less time.

It’s free to play, and if you register, you can save or email your creations. A year’s worth of enhanced features is $80, or $10 a month.

ImageChef – Customize Photos, Clip Art.

Mutapic: Instant (weird) art
Mar 20th, 2009 by Beth

I discovered this site about an hour ago, and I just spent way too much time experimenting with the art generation tool to create a cool example for this post (yep, that’s it below).

Mutapic is addicting. You choose two icon pictures, press the Generate button and Mutapic morphs the two together to create icons. Kind of. Mine were mostly ugly, but I had lots of fun experimenting.

Mutapic is free to play, but if you want to save anything, you need to upgrade for $30 and download the software. Not bad if you need these things on a regular basis, and you can then use your own photos to create your art.


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