Tag Archives: create

Using ThingLink to Express Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5th -9th this year and ThingLink is an amazing tool for showing teachers how much their efforts are appreciated. It’s fun, it’s flexible and users have access to all the resources available on the world wide web. Anything is possible with ThingLink.

No one would would argue that a handwritten note, card or poem from an appreciative student is something to treasure, but that type of activity only appeals to the learning styles of certain types of students. It’s safe to say that some students will not be able to create a product they are proud of to truly express their appreciation if only given one option.

Why not kick it up a notch and offer students flexible choices to ensure their success? Let students choose from a variety of options including text, images, audio and video to express themselves in a way that allows them to share their talents and take pride in their gift? All you need is a ThingLink Teacher account and access to a computing device. Create it at home or at school on any device that’s available at the time.

Show your teacher you care with a teacher appreciation gift created with ThingLink!

 

 

 

Each hand in the image above is an icon with a link to an idea to express teacher appreciation. (This is also part of a Channel that I can tweet to get some attention.)

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GUEST POST: Thinglink: A Tool for Journalists That Journalists Should Actually Use

By Stacey Decker

It’s a premise familiar to online journalists: There’s a new tool for creating interactives. It’s sleek and it has the potential to increase reader engagement. Fast forward 6 months and you can’t even remember your login information to get on the site. (Let’s hope you know your mother’s maiden name.)

Online tools are a lot like real tools that way—some just collect dust. In modern newsrooms, where journalists are strapped for time, new forms of storytelling need to have a high impact, but a low barrier to entry. ThingLink has those elements. For us at Education Week, it’s a useful resource … and one that we actually use.

Why We Use Thinglink

There are a few complex features of ThingLink that are especially impressive. The interface is extremely user-friendly. Thinglink is integrated with other platforms we already use, like YouTube and Soundcloud. Thinglink provides publishers with a lot of useful analytics about images and viewer behavior, including hovers and clicks. And the site has an engaged community.

But the real beauty of Thinglink is its simplicity. It’s easy to conceptualize a story that works in this format. There aren’t any prerequisites to begin using the tool, other than a good idea. And that good idea gives back. Embed a Thinglink on your site and you can take create an immersive experience on any page.

How We Use Thinglink

At Education Week, we have two main uses for Thinglink:

1. Narrative Storytelling

When using Thinglink to tell a story, we let our photography take the lead. The context, links, and additional material we layer on ties everything together. In this example (now with more than 4,000 views), images, text, and audio, converge to reveal the complexities of arming educators:

2. Infographics and Resource Multimedia Thinglink can be helpful to journalists looking for interesting ways to present data, information, and tips and tricks. In our most popular Thinglink to date (with almost 20,000 views), we used the tool to show our audience of educators how to teach students to vet research materials:

Three Tips for Journalists

If I’ve convinced you to try Thinglink, here’s some helpful advice:

1. Look at what other publishers are doing.

Plenty of newspapers—international, national, and local—are using Thinglink to show off their front pages, section fronts, and $126 billion dollar magazine covers. Others have gotten more inventive. The Washington Post partnered with Thinglink on their coverage of the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Guardian has used Thinglink to layer videos and archival material on top of infographics. Mashable’s used it to make a holiday gift guide. And Discovery Communications has worked with Thinglink to use the tool as a way to deliver advertising.

2. Look at what everybody else is doing.

Commercial outfits like Home Depot, State Farm, and Groupon are using Thinglink to share tips and promote products and services. Thinglink’s unaffiliated users are arguably the most innovative, using the medium to enhance posters, illustrations, maps, and historical photos.

3. Experiment and Edit.

The best way to get acquainted with Thinglink is to upload an image and start tagging. (If you want to do this in private, change your image visibility to “unlisted” until you’ve got your image the way you want it.) Look for additional media (videos, audio, photos, tweets, etc.) to make your images richer. But don’t overdo it; tags shouldn’t overwhelm your image. In the same vein, keep tag descriptions short. And think about the order of your tags. In the end, your Thinglink should service your reader.

Bonus Tip: Get the browser plugin. (It’s a huge time saver.)

I look forward to seeing more of the creative and complex ways newsrooms and publishers put this tool to work for them.


education-week-logo

Stacey Decker is Online News Editor at Education Week (www.edweek.org), America’s source for news and opinion on K-12 education issues.

 

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iReporting from Egypt and around your world – with ThingLink

Make ThingLink your solution for iReporting on the world around you. Whether you’re a journalist, a cause-related advocate or a student, images are an ideal way to tell a deeper, more engaging story about your world with video players, text, Twitter links, and more embedded right in your images. And you can do it with ThingLink’s web app and mobile app.

@EduardCousin and @HoqookEnglish publish daily updates in Twitter and Facebook on the situation in Egypt using ThingLink to host status links and related media coverage.

HoqookEnglish5:45am via Facebook
The news from #Egypt brought by Hoqook: Deadly clashes erupted in cities at the Suez Canal, in the Delta and in… fb.me/20riE2INm

Blogger @ryanburdick shares yummy restaurant reviews on ThingLink images.

The Press-Enterprise newspaper reported on the Perseid meteor shower with an annotated graphic that added a deeper dimension to a story that appeared in their online edition.

Adam Broitman reported on the Citibike program in NYC with a ThingLink image.

And using ThingLink’s mobile app, I filed my own report on a band performing in the Lexington Avenue/53rd Street Subway station in New York City.

Create iReporting images with ThingLink’s web and mobile app and share stories on the world around you.

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ThingLink Updates Editor with Search and Preview

Today we are happy to share a major improvement to the image editor on our web platform at ThingLink.com.Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 1.34.17 PM

You can now use our search functionality to find wonderful content for your images.

Your search will query content at Etsy, SoundCloud, Amazon, ThingLink pictures, YouTube and Vimeo.

Run your search, click on an item you want to feature in your image, save tag, and it’s added to your image with a preview so you can see what it looks like when hovered.

As always you can add a tag description of up to 1500 characters and change the icon to a standard one for free user accounts or a custom one for premium user accounts.

If you want your company’s products featured in ThingLink Search, please contact our business development team.

 

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ThingLink Mobile: Tips for Adding Live Videos to Images

ThingLink Mobile is the ideal iOS App for creating interactive images with embedded video players, text links and @Twitter IDs. This post focuses on adding live videos to images.

Take a picture with your iPhone using ThingLink Mobile (or use an existing photo). I saw the band Chicago at Westbury Music Fair this weekend and used ThingLink to capture videos of my favorite songs on images shot at the show.

 Here’s how you can take family and concert photos and capture moments around you daily by adding videos into your images.

1 Open ThingLink Mobile on your iPhone.

2 Take a new photo or use any image from your gallery.

3 Touch the image and two options appear:

photo

 

      Add Text - touch and add any text including #hashtags and @Twitter handles.

   Add Video – touch and you’ll see three video options

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now lets add a video.

photo 2 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

  Take a Video – shoot your own 30 second videos.

  Choose from Gallery – add videos you’ve already shot with iPhone.

   Add from YouTube – touch and open up a search on YouTube – add your favorite videos from YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS for Adding Live Video – to avoid seeing upside down or sideways videos inside the image:

Shooting video with the REAR camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your right.

Shooting video with the FRONT camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your left.

IMPORTANT: NEVER shoot videos with the camera held vertically.

photo 3If you see an iPhone image overlay while getting set to shoot a video, it means you’re holding the camera incorrectly.

The iPhone image overlay is an error message.  Flip the camera until that overlay disappears. When the image disappears, you’re ready to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image below is what you see if you shoot video and have the HOME button on the wrong side.  The image overlay is an error message. Flip the camera until that overlay disappears.

photo 4

 

Here is what you should see when you’re holding the camera properly.  Now, you’re ready to shoot.

photo 5

Good luck shooting ThingLink Mobile videos.  Questions? Write to support@thinglink.com.

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Great meeting you at SxSW2013!

We had a great time at SxSW meeting so many ThingLink users among musicians, film makers, brands and agencies.

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ThingLink Celebrity Wish Lists

People like presents. It’s a fact, and as much as we can talk about the spirit of goodwill during the holidays, people still like getting gifts. And it’s almost as fun to put together a gift list as it is to receive the actual gift — from kids poring through toy catalogs to the adult surreptitiously ripping pages out of the Sky Mall catalog on the plane (that adult might be me).But how to convey those wishes to friends and family? Letters to Santa get a little creepy after age ten, and dropping hints (or torn out Sky Mall catalog pictures) doesn’t work all the time.

Why not create an interactive wish list so cool-looking and captivating that people who see it won’t even realize you’re hitting them up for goodies.ThingLinked wish lists are easy to make, fun to share, and you’ll get your money back if no one shells out for those cool presents*. Just sign up for ThingLink (or sign in if you already have an account) then upload your image and tag away.

Here are a few examples:

(disclaimer: the celebrity examples were created by us and not the celebs themselves. Please don’t sue us. And if you are a celeb and want to use us for your wishlist, feel free to do so. Also, the ThingLink staff wishlist was created by us and we do actually want those things, so feel free to buy them for us).

*See, making the wish lists is free, so you don’t put any money in, so you wouldn’t get any back.

 

Lady Gaga

     

 

Newt Gingrich

 

Justin Bieber

 

 

Kim Kardashian

 

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For all you squares out there, here is our official release:

 

ThingLink Launches Voice Recordable Holiday Cards and Wish Lists

Record A Voice Message into Your Holiday Photos

San Francisco, CA – [14 December 2011] – Just in time for the most wonderful time of the year, image engagement tools provider,ThingLink is celebrating the holiday season with the launch of its Interactive Holiday Cards and Wish Lists Maker. The free to use web service allows users to record and embed personal audio messages into holiday greeting cards to give their loved ones something to remember, or to make favourite gift ideas on wish lists come to life, empowered with content from around the web.

“For many younger people, traditional holiday cards are boring and standardized eCard greetings are still somewhat impersonal. At ThingLink, we’ve developed an easy and novel way to share heartfelt, personalized greetings inside digital holiday cards and wish lists,” said ThingLink CEO Ulla Engeström. “Our single image upload service eliminates the need for a separate publishing platform, meaning that anyone can post, tag and share interactive images directly from our homepage at ThingLink.com.”

Visit ThingLink.com and upload your favourite holiday photo, either by dragging the image anywhere atop the ThingLink.com home page or by clicking the ‘upload’ button and selecting one from your computer. Video and music players such as YouTube can be added, along with Flickr photos of family members and personal audio messages can be brought into the mix by using the record feature, powered by leading social sound platform, SoundCloud, to make your greeting card a tailored, interactive experience.

Favourite holiday songs and videos, links to relevant websites (or gift ideas) are all embeddable, and if all you want for Christmas is more followers, rich media tags linking to Twitter or Facebook can be added too. Friends and family can be encouraged to upload their own images and create their own greetings at the ThingLink site via sharing on social network platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Cards are then ready to email, to avoid taking chances with the Christmas postal service.

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ThingLink Holiday Cards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — time to send out holiday greetings to your friends and family! Er, maybe not. But at least this year they can be a little more fun and interactive with ThingLink.

With ThingLink holiday cards, you’ll be able to include tons of content, record messages, and send without standing in line at the post office. Simply go to ThingLink.com, sign in or sign up, and upload a great holiday photo (can’t go wrong with the one of your cat wearing antlers and glaring hatefully).  Just like you can use a ThingLinked image to embed and share a video or a song, you can use it to send a recorded message (just use the SoundCloud record feature, or add a YouTube video message). You can also link embed favorite holiday songs and videos, links to sites you love (or gift ideas) and if all you want to Christmas is more followers, you can add a rich media tag to Twitter or Facebook, too.

Since it’s the season to help others, feel free to add a link to support an organization you care about in your message. You can also encourage friends and family to upload their own images and create their own greetings at the ThingLink site.

Here are a few examples we’re created to show you how to spread the holiday spirit:

 

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ThingLink Launches Image Application Development Environment

We are today announcing the launch of our latest innovation, the Image Application Development Environment.  Announced on the eve of Hollywood Hack Day, this initiative will allow users to build branded applications and rich media tags that take advantage of ThingLink’s signature image embedding technology and Image Network.

Until now, users and image owners were required to approach ThingLink for a customized app solution to service their needs. By launching the app development environment, ThingLink is inviting developers to create fun and interesting applications that make interactive images more engaging and relevant.

Here are some of our existing Rich Media Tags and you can now make your own.

“We’re looking to empower developers with tools that engage audiences around images,” commented ThingLink CMO Neil Vineberg. “We also invite corporations and small businesses to build a presence on the ThingLink Image Network by creating branded applications and promotional content for their services.”

Prospective developers should visit www.thinglink.com/developer, where after a simple sign-in and approval process, ThingLink will provide instructions and access to sample code from a custom built app, including performance suggestions and compatibility and design tips.

First announced in June this year, ThingLink has brought a new dimension to images on the web via Rich Media Tags, transforming static images into navigational platforms. From hand-drawn artwork to professional photography, Rich Media Tags can be applied to any image, enabling the embedding of links from some of the world’s leading social content platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Wikipedia, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and many more.

For more information on creating Rich Media Tags or to learn more about opportunities to integrate with ThingLink, visit: www.thinglink.com.

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Salil Wilson – My Journey to ThingLink

By Salil Wilson

On first hearing about ThingLink (a Finnish based tech start up) I have to confess I was less than enthusiastic. Admittedly it was not the best introduction, it was over a meal with no demonstration. Just a good friend leaning forward and eagerly telling me rich media image tagging was going to be the next big thing.

It was one of those awkward moments where you know the person will be disappointed if you don’t respond with equal to or greater than the level of enthusiasm at which the information is being conveyed.

My initial thoughts were “What is rich media tagging?” and, “Why would you want to tag photos anyway?” (If you haven’t guessed I’m one of the 5 remaining people on earth who aren’t active on Facebook.)

I didn’t hear anymore about ThingLink from this fellow for about 2 weeks – he was obviously not fooled by my feigned interest. But, as with all evangalists, he couldn’t resist and sent me a link to the image below.
 

I was fascinated by this apparently quite a famous photo of the original Microsoft staff and all the extra information it contained thanks to ThingLink. I clicked on every single link and got a small sense of how each one of these people went on to live their lives – a little like a school graduation book. The next step for me, as it is for all ThingLink adopters, was to make my first ThingLink(ed) image. So I made one about the World Harmony Run – an event I organize and love.

It was very simple and great of fun. I could easily combine elements that would normally be beyond my reach or take hours of fiddling with html and ThingLink did it in a cleaner more functional and engaging way. (OK I’m not a web developer but neither are 99% of us).

I have since gone on to make quite a few ThingLink (ed) images and info-graphics and am even consulting for ThingLink. You can find many of these images at ThingLink and Learn. Here’s one below I’m quite proud of.

 

 

I continue to be surprised at how remarkably well ThingLink works – many times it does things that exceed my expectations. Just check out how well this Ipad info-graphic meshes with the Itunes rich media tags – I didn’t see that coming.

ThingLink is an idea whose time has come. It brings together many engaging elements of the web, combining them in a way where the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

ThingLink has made me understand what mashup really is – and it is done really elegantly, after all what would you expect from those Finns.

Salil Wilson is Executive Director of the World Harmony Run – a global torch relay dedicated to World Peace. When he’s not running around the world with a torch he consults for ThingLink.

Visit the ThingLink team at the American Association of School Librarians 15th National Conference and ExhibitionBooth #330 – on October 27-30 in Minneapolis, MN.

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