Embeddable slides and other tools for journalists

Problem: I went to the Spokane County Interstate Fair on Sunday and took my camera. As usual, I uploaded my photos (mostly of rabbits — I don’t know why either) to Flickr. Great service, love the interface and community. But what it lacks is an embeddable slideshow player.

Quick fix: Slide fills that void — sort of. This free service lets you select photos from your accounts on Flickr, MySpace, Facebook and more. You can also upload directly. Here’s my customized show, with comments and two great sets of online tools following it.

Mixed verdict: It’s great that Slide easily interfaces with social networking tools so you don’t need to upload again. But the presentation options are pretty cheesy. (However much I enjoy feeding my Viewmaster nostalgia, I’m not sure I’d want to present a professional project with this or similarly campy presets.) I also wish there were built-in controls. And I had to hack the generated code a bit to get rid of some redundant, annoying buttons, including one that said “rock out” and linked to MySpace. (Why?) Still, I give Slide big credit for being fun, free and embeddable.

But wait, there’s more: I found Slide through a toolkit Ryan Sholin put together. Also included: data visualization, maps, audio, polls and live streaming video. Most of these are embeddable and blogger friendly.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also recommend Mindy McAdams’ Journalist’s Toolkit (“a training site for multimedia and online journalists”). The resources here are vast, go beyond embeddable tools and fall under the categories of:

  • Audio
  • Blogs and Blogging
  • Design
  • Flash
  • HTML and CSS
  • Photojournalism
  • Random Tools (FTP; Soundslides troubleshooting)
  • Video
  • Data

I haven’t begun to take full advantage of these links, but I’m glad to see that my colleague Colin Mulvany’s video journalism blog is included. I’m especially eager to cruise through the 10-minute Flash crash course and the photojournalism tips.

These two toolkits reinforce that you can find online almost all the instruction you need to make leaps in digital training. All you need is some time, discipline and curiosity.

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