New tools

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While perusing a couple of my favorite blogs tonight (MicroPersuasion and Church of the Customer blog), I ran across an interesting web site on podcasting and a new online service (currently in beta and free) that takes screenshots of web pages so you can put those images in your blog.

The web site is Ralston360, a company that does podcasts and promotes its services via (what else) podcasts. It uses an image of a black iPod as its interface — you click an item in the iPod menu to navigate. Very slick, very cool…kind of the the iPod itself…and very effective.

The online service is webshotspro.com. You can go to their web page and enter a URL of a web page you like. The service will generate a screenshot for you and provide a link to a thumbnail pic that you can paste into your blog.

Now I hoped I’d be able to post a pic of the Ralston 360 web page on this blog using webshotspro, and impress you all to death, but it couldn’t capture an image…maybe because the image on the Ralston 360 web page is a Flash object (according to the source code), not a jpg or tif. But it’s a great application of podcasting on the web, so be sure to check it out.

Instead, just to see if it works, I took a screenshot of a more static web page for ComicLife, a bit of software I acquired recently that lets you create your own comic books (no, I haven’t created one yet). I clicked on the picture icon (tree) in WordPress’ “write post” menu bar, and pasted the webshotspro-provided link into it. This time it worked. You can see the resulting image below. Give it try!
link to ComicLife web page             Ralston360

(I went back and tried using the screen capture keystoke [Command-Shift-3 on a Mac] to take a picture of the Ralston 360 web site, and that worked…as you can see from the iPod image above. It just takes another step or two to edit and upload the resulting image.)

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2 Responses to “New tools”

  1. Ryan Says:

    If you’re using a Mac and you want a screenshot of something, try typing the word “Grab” into your spotlight search bar, and see what comes up. Not sure which version of the OS it’s on, but I think it got built in somewhere along the way. I know the iMacs in the Daily and classrooms have it.

  2. cmccune Says:

    Thanks. But it looks like Spotlight’s “grab” lets you go quickly to existing pics, files, etc., but I don’t think it lets you “grab” images from web pages.

    What does work on Macs is to use the screen capture shortcut: Command-Shift-3 to take a picture of everything on your screen, or Commnad-Shift-4 to get a crosshair cursor that allows you to take a picture of a specific window or part of your screen. The downside is that you usually have to fix the screenpix before posting them: crop, resize, save for web. I was hoping webshotspro.com would eliminate a step or two, but since it just creates a thumbnail of an entire web page, I think you’re probably better off cropping and posting a screen capture pic.

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