If you've ever needed to explain how to use something on a PC, a screen capture application is a great thing to use. Many regular creators have Snagit or similar installed, but there are occasions when you don't have access to it or you'd like a colleague or student to create one for you. This is where screencast-o-matic comes in. Just visit http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ and start recording. You will need Java installed, but this should be on most modern PCs or free to download and install from http://www.java.com/. The resulting file can be uploaded to YouTube to share or downloaded as an MP4 file. The free version does include a watermark and only allows one file to be produced at a time, but this shouldn't be a major drawback for the scenarios described above. Here's an example of the sort of thing you can produce ...
Wow, long time no posts. It might be a bit weird to review your own tool, but someone might find this useful.
Bit.ly is great for creating and editing links used in multiple locations - particularly useful if you don't remember where you used them. But do you want to manage your bit.ly links more efficiently? Check if they are still valid URLs? Keep a backup copy of your links in a spreadsheet?
This Google spreadsheet draws on the bitly API to pull out the links, then runs a script to check the status of the full URL on a ‘Link summary’ page. I’ve colour coded the main response codes to indicate real (red) problems and potential (orange – login may be needed).
Early days, but this spreadsheet can be re-purposed for any bitly library – you just need to generate an access key at https://bitly.com/a/oauth_apps from your own login and add it to cell B1 in the ‘data’ sheet. It currently processes up to 1000 links, but you can easily change this. I would recommend making a copy of the values in a new sheet too, just in case there is ever a bit.ly disaster.
Here's a link to a public version - please save as a copy before adding your access key or the world will know how to access your bit.ly links!
As ever, I am standing on the shoulders of giants, so great credit must go to the component writers:
JSON import: Trevor Lohrbeer (http://blog.fastfedora.com/projects/import-json)
URL checker: Cheok Luk (http://www.tinkeredge.com/blog/2012/04/check-on-page-for-broken-links-with-google-docs/)