Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Focus #3 - Online Sticky Notes Collaboration

What I consider to be one of the best Web 2.0 resources are the new Online Sticky Note Collaboration websites.  There are four such websites that I have come across for Sticky Note Collaboration.  The one I have used the most and like the most is Wallwisher.  The others are Stixy, Pindax, and Lino.  Below you will find a brief description of each as well as links to sample boards that you can visit and mess around on to see the similarities and differences in them.

I had an original Post on Wallwisher when I first started this Blog, in fact it was my first post.  In that post you can read about how to set up an account and the benefits of using it in the classroom.  I also have a link to a Wall that I created hoping to get ideas from readers.  So if you have ideas, please share them on that Wall.

I like Wallwisher because it is easy to setup up an account, it is very user friendly (especially for those less tech savvy teachers.), and the creation of a URL that you determine makes it very easy to share.  A teacher at my school used Wallwisher to ask her students about ideas for a technology project and I used it to survey the teachers at my school for their views on the Trimester schedule.  I also realized that you could use it as a method of Peer Review.  Students could post a link to their assignment and then it could be peer reviewed on Wallwisher.

Lino it has some features that Wallwisher does not have, but for advanced users Lino offers some great advantages and features. One of the similar features is NO EMAIL VERIFICATION! Lino uses the term Canvas instead of walls.  What I don't like is that the Canvas is a limited Space.  You know how much space you have, but it is limited.  If you get a lot of Stickers, then it can be crowded.  When you create a new canvas you give it a name, select the background, choose the Access to the canvas (Private, Semi Private, or Public) and then some other details (RSS, Email options).

Once you create the Canvas the Sticky Note options are rather easy to use and offer a lot of good features.  You of course have your choice of color for your note and can even make a transparent one.  You can attach images, video URLs from YouTube and Vimeo, as well as attach a file.  Those are some of the features that Wallwisher is lacking better ability to do.  There is a calendar built in to the Canvas as well as links to other canvas'.  You can highlight new post to your canvas as well.  I have created a generic canvas that you are welcome to visit and play around on to see its features.  You can also visit a Canvas created by Lino that tells you how to use their site..  If you create a Canvas it can be embedded into a Blog or website as well.  Within the Sticky Note you can add Tags, choose your font size, font color, an icon, a Due Date (could be useful for assignments), and send the Post in an email or to another user on Lino.

PinDax considers itself an Online Message Board.  Creating an account is easy.  A great thing is there is NO EMAIL VERIFICATION...but at the same email is even required.  Setting up your account is easy.  There are plenty of options when joining PinDax.  Your home screen gives you access your Boards, Groups, Profile, Polls, Favorites, Short URL's, Messages and then your Profile.  One thing I do like is there is  a constant sidebar with access to everything on your home screen.

When creating a New Board you provide a name and a description, choose the Look and Feel, Tools, Privacy, and Users.  You can choose the font for your Post-Its (Handwritten, Business, or Typewriter) and the Color Scheme for the Board.  There are tons of tools for the Post, to many to name here, but great features.  You can even choose an expiration date for the Board.  Within Privacy you can require a Password, Limit to a group of people, and make it searchable.  You can then also select User Privileges.

When you have created a Board you get a endless Board.  Moving through the Board is rather easy, but can be difficult if you get a lot of Post.  Trying to explain how the board looks and what you can do is kind of difficult to do.  I suggest visiting the Online Message Board I created for this Blog to get an idea of how it can be used.

With Stixy you create a Stixyboard.  It has a lot of the same features as the others mentioned in this blog post.  Sign up is easy and NO EMAIL VERIFICATION is required.  Your login is your email address, so no Username creation is required either.  I have created a sample Stixyboard for you to access and try out its features.

The features are fairly user friendly.  You can add Post-its, pictures, files, or even a To Do Post-It.  What I like about Stixy is that when you click to add a Post, it changes the color of the Stixyboard making it easy to know you are doing something different.  The Post are considered adding a Widget, so it gives you quite a few options.  Adding Photos, gives you quite a few features and adding a document is easy as well.

Wallwisher is still my favorite, but I think that is because I am most familiar with it.  After doing the research for this Blog, I would have to say that Stixy is one that I could see myself using more in the future following by Lino and then Pindax.

What about you...which one(s) do you prefer?  Which have you used in your professional life?
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