Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Backing up with Delicious

Although it's not content in exactly the same way as a wiki or blog, I have two Del.icio.us accounts with thousands of bookmarks in them, so I also back those up once a month. Again, I don't expect anything to have to Del.icio.us in the foreseeable future, but I've invested a lot of time and effort in collecting and tagging online resources, and it's worth a couple of minutes to me each month to back that up to my hard drive!

To do a backup in Delicious, log in to your account, and then go to Settings, and then choose Backup/Export. You will then be given the option to download an HTML file containing all your bookmarks - just click the Export button. The backup file will not reflect your username so if you are backing up multiple Delicious accounts (as I am), you will probably want to rename each backup file to reflect which Delicious account it contains!




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Backing up with Blogger.com and PBWiki.com

I was extremely pleased to see that Blogger.com is now offering a way to back-up the contents of your blog to your hard drive. Although I don't expect Blogger.com to be going away in the near future, it is very reassuring to me to be able to have a backup copy of my blogs, just in case. I develop a lot of content in my blogs (Blogger.com) and in my wikis (PBWiki.com), and now both services offer a backup option. I make a backup copy of my blogs and my wikis every month, just in case.

For Blogger.com, just go to Settings:

Then click on Export Blog:

It will save an XML file containing the contents of your blog to your hard drive. Notice that it does not specific which blog you have saved - so you will probably want to change the file name, replacing "blog" with the name of your blog (especially if you are backing up multiple blogs on your hard drive, as I do). Although the XML format is not something easy to edit, it is a good standard format that you could use to recreate the blog in case of emergency.

At PBWiki.com, go to Settings, and then look down in the Advanced Settings area; you will see Backup listed as an option there. Click on Backup, and you will then be given the option to download a zipped copy of your wiki's contents!


The PBWiki zip file reflects both the name of your wiki and the date of the backup, so you probably won't need to do any renaming of your files.

I try to back up my active blogs and wikis every month, and I just delete the older backup files. It's easy to do... and I think it's a good idea... just in case! :-)



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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Create an audio slideshow with iPhoto

Create a new folder in iPhoto to hold the images for the slideshow. Then use File-Import to import the files; you can highlight all the images in a folder and import them all at once. After the images have been imported into iPhoto, they are already selected as a group, so just click on one of the images in the group (you will see they are all bordered with blue), and drag it into the new folder you created, pulling all the images in the group with it.

Now you can arrange the images in the order that you want them for the slideshow by dragging and dropping them in the right location.

When you have them in the order you want, click the Slideshow icon at the bottom.

To add the audio, I click on the Music tab, and then browse through iTunes to find the audio file (if you need to add the file to iTunes, open iTunes, and click File - Add to Library to import an audio file into iTunes).

Then, I go to Settings, where I choose to have the slideshow not repeat, and I turn off all the effects. Then, I choose to fit the slideshow to the music. Then I click OK.

I then choose File-Export and export the slideshow as a .mov file, large format. This process may take a few minutes, depending on many images are involved, and how long the audio is.

I am then able to go to the Video section of my Ning, and upload the .mov file! Now it is available at the Ning, which also gives you an embed code so that you can display the video on any webpage you want.


Find more videos like this on Latin Via Fables: Aesopus

Audio Slideshow with Yahoo's JumpCut.com. If you don't have iPhoto, a GREAT alternative is Yahoo's web-based service, JumpCut.com. With JumpCut you can upload a folder of photos, upload audio, and create a video with the audio synched to the slides - you cannot download the resulting movie, but JumpCut gives you an "embed" code, just as Ning does, so that you can display your video on any webpage.



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Ning: Creating a Photo Album

If your Ning has an images area available, you can add "photo" to the end of your Ning address in order to access the photo area - http://XXX.ning.com/photo

To add an album, first you have to upload photos, then you can collect the photos into an album. It will be much easier if you use a naming convention for the images so that you can collect them easily for the album later. To add tags while you upload the images, use the Bulk Photo Uploader.

To add photos, click on the My Photos link, then click on Add Photos, and then click on Bulk Photo Uploader. This allows you to select all the images in a folder and upload them all at once, while adding a "tag" to each image for later sorting. (It takes a few minutes for the bulk uploader to get started, but it saves time in the end!)

After the bulk uploader loads, ou just highlight the photos you want and drag them into the upload area. Then click Next.


You can add titles to the images all at once here, prompted by the thumbnail, and you can also add tags. If you add a tag now to all the images, it will make it easier to create the Album afterwards. You can type in a tag to use for all the images; just make sure you click the "Apply this info to the photos below" button to make sure the tag is copied to all the images. When you are done giving titles and tags to the images, click Upload.


After the images have been uploaded, they will be part of your overall Photo collection. To create an Album of this specific set of images, click on My Albums. Then, click on the Add an Album link. You can Filter by the tag you created to get just those pictures in the left window, and then drag them in the order you want them in the album to the right window. You can drag an image up to be the Album cover, and also give the Album a name. When you are done, click Save.




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