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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 12:42 GMT
Webscape
Kate Russell
By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

Me.Dium.com

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Surfing the web can be a solitary pursuit. Sure you have Messenger and e-mails popping up from friends, but it is not quite like hanging out, sharing a joke with a mate about something you have seen ... or is it?

For an increasing number of people that is exactly what surfing the web is about. I am hooked on Me.Dium - that is Medium to its friends - and if you are the sociable type, I think you will be too.

Click the three dots in the centre of the screen to learn more.

There are three panels of reasons to use this software, each of which invite you to sign-up and download at the end - rather annoyingly you have to use the back button if you want to read all three before taking the plunge.

That said, I was sold on the idea pretty quickly, so signed-up and then downloaded the plug-in.

You will need to tell your browser the Medium site may edit your settings, but the website even steps you through that before the download.

After restarting your browser the plug-in will display a people map in the sidebar - just use the view menu to switch that back to history or bookmarks if you want to.

There is so much you can do with this panel. If you invite friends to the network you can see when they are online, what pages they are surfing, and you can even jump onto the same page and send them a chat message about it.

You can also make friends with new people by making your presence public.


PicLens

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

With the web being such a visual medium aesthetics are important and the terribly thoughtful people at Cooliris have given us a totally new way to look at images, on a 3D wall no less.

Head on over to PicLens and hit the download button. If you want to find out more there is a very nice multimedia presentation under the Tutorials button, but trust me, download it ... it rocks.

Once the plug-in is installed - and you will need to tell your browser to allow editing by the site again - you can go to any site that supports the plug-in and view all the images on a 3D wall in a dedicated full screen environment.

Sites that support the plug-in are places like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Deviant Art and Google image search - so there is no end of relevance to this app.

Pop along to Google to familiarise yourself with its remarkably simple operation. Search a term - pick something image rich, like galaxies or cute kittens, whatever takes your fancy - and when the search is returned, click the special PicLens arrow in an image.

You can now use the slide bar at the bottom to zoom along the wall. Click an image to zoom in and use the slideshow controls if you just want to sit back and enjoy.

You can link back to the originating page of the highlighted image by clicking the link in the top left hand corner of the screen.


Bestofyoutube.com

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Now, a vlog, vidlog or video blog that I wanted to share with you. Whatever you choose to call it, the video podcast is a growing attraction on the World Wide Web - and what better to blog video-style than the king of online clips, YouTube.

Bestofyoutube.com is a simple site with simple intentions - select the best of the You Tube posts and deliver one each week to its audience. You can sign-up for free and have the podcast fed direct to your desktop or even your iPod. I found signing-up through iTunes the easiest option.

You can also surf the previous episodes on the website. So shut the office door, plug in your headphones and try and keep a poker face, as some of these videos had me literally laughing out loud.


timmatheson.com

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

And now a little dip into the online world of free-speech and self-expression. I found this little gem while looking at what other Medium users were surfing.

Now it is not really clear how often Tim posts to this blog - rolling down the entries on the opening page it seems to be random, perhaps only when he finds something he deems post-worthy.

But whether it averages out as once, twice or even three times a month, there's a massive archive of brilliant posts that will have you immersed in Tim's world for hours.

His posts are mainly centred around improving productivity. Thoughts and links to stuff he has found on the web - my suspicion from the vast collection of links here is that Tim Matheson probably spends too much time surfing the web to be considered productive himself.

Check out the How To section for some pretty neat examples of the stuff that he finds - like how to make a virtual reality headset using a Wii and some safety goggles - or how to make a hollow book to hide your valuables.




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