useful online tools. (Possibly...)

I wanted to draw people's attentions to a couple of nice online tools which you can use in an Information Professionally type way, or just for mucking about with. Some of you may already be familiar with them, in which case please forgive me...

Photofunia is a site which uses face-detection software to put your image into a variety of pre-made photographs. The copyright legality of some of them seems dubious to me, but it's well known enough and they've not been shut down or forced to withdraw any pictures, that I know of, so far.

You just select a picture into which you wish to insert your image (or someone else's), and then browse to your image and click upload. More or less instantly, the newly created picture is available to view and save. It is possible to have endless fun just putting pictures of you or anything else into endless scenarios - Billboards, the Mona Lisa, stamps, an animated gif of an artist sketching 'you' etc etc. But it could potentially have uses for branding your blog or business cards or anything else; and not all the images require a face to work (you can just use any picture). The great thing about it is you can create a great looking picture in seconds which would take hours of mucking about on Photoshop to achieve. Here are a couple of examples using my Wikiman logo: 

that's the trouble with whickermen - they always end up getting burned

Wickermen always get set on fire in the end

Wikiman. For a man. Or an Information Professional.

Wikiman. Pour un homme. Ou une information professionnelle. 

I can imagine this one might be useful for launching reading week or something...

 This one might actually be quite useful for launching Reading Week or something of that nature...

Issuu is a self-publishing site, aimed primarily at those running online magazines. You upload your PDF document or whatever, and it presents them in an attractive 'turn-able' page format which looks a million times neater than a downloadable Word doc would. You have a 'library' containing all your publications, and you also embed them on your own external site if you wish. And of course, this being the age of 2.0, there's all sorts of features based around networking, sharing, 'friends', increasing traffic to your primary website and all that stuff. I set up a Wikiman profile today.
Again, for library brochures or leaflets it would be really useful - even if you've printed and published them physically, you can link to the online Issuu version from the catalogue etc. I've used Issuu to publish my notes and slides from the CILIP Graduate Day to illustrate how it works (below), but there are many far more professional and less cack-handed examples on itself, so do check it out.

(click on it to make it full-screen, then use the thumbnails at the bottom to turn the pages)


Thanks to my Dad who drew my attention to both of those sites originally!

And finally...

Onelook is a simple concept which I've found useful - you type a word in, and it looks it up in umpteen dictionaries, encyclopaedias etc. Kind of like a price-comparison website, but for words (useful if the legendary Edward Dudley describes your job title as "rare and recondite" in his Library & Information Update column, and you don't know what that means, for example!).  

iGoogle is something most of you probably already have. It's just a personalised Google homepage.

I like it because I can log into it from any PC in the world and have all my stuff in one place. You can customise it in just about any way you like; I have feeds from BBC Sport and The Onion for example, plus mini front-pages for Wikipedia and Google Translate, were you can type stuff in and get results without leaving your homepage. And I have my bookmarks - always useful, and often surprisingly hard to remember when they aren't in front of you. Seeing as I may be logging into Google anyway when travelling to a conference or whatever, to access Google Reader to read blogs, it's great to have a one-stop-shop for a bunch of other useful stuff too.

And for now, that's it!

- thewikiman