Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Screencastomatic is is an entirely web-based screencasting application - you don't need to buy or download anything, just visit the website, record your screencast, save it, and upload it to your blog, email it, or do whatever else you might do with an audio/video file. Here is a one minute demo I made. Screencast-o-matic is fun and easy to use, and potentially very useful!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Embassy of the Future

CSIS published the report of the Embassy of the Future Commission earlier this month. The Commission co-chaired by former Ambassadors Felix Rohatyn, Marc Grossman and George Argyros, has assessed the state of the U.S. diplomatic presence abroad and submitted recommendations for how to make the diplomatic pursuit of U.S. interests abroad even more effective than it is today. The report includes comments on IRCs, American Corners, American Centers, and other public diplomacy tools.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Zimmerman's Research Guide

Here's something from Virtual Library Cat. I confess I was no aware of Zimmerman's Research Guide - An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers. Looks very impressive...

"Have you ever wondered what website a reference librarian went to first to answer your question? Often, it's Zimmerman's. Zimmerman's Research Guide has short entries that describe the top resources on many subjects. It includes many links and lists the appropriate Lexis and Westlaw databases. It's easy to see why many librarians use this self-described "online encyclopedia for legal researchers."

Write Your Representative

No excuses for not writing your Representative when it's this easy. A good link for an embassy's amcit pages...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why democracy? is a very interesting site, and an example of public diplomacy that transcends nations. I discoverd the project when one of the 10 films (see below) was shown by the Norwegian Broadcasting Company yesterday. The particular film, Taxi to the Dark Side, was profoundly disturbing. To see when the films are being screened in your country, see the screening times page.

Here is an article about the project that appeared in the S.African weekly Mail&Guardian earlier this month, and below is an excerpt from the site's "About" information.

Why Democracy?

Democracy is arguably the greatest political buzzword of our time and is invoked by everyone - but what does it mean? Can it be defined, measured, safeguarded? Can it be sold, bought, and transplanted? Can it grow? Can it die? What does it mean to people who can't even talk about it? What does it mean to people who don't believe in it? What does it mean to you?

In October 2007, ten one-hour films focused on contemporary democracy will be broadcast in the world's largest ever factual media event. More than 40 broadcasters on all continents are participating, with an estimated audience of 300 million viewers. Each of the broadcasters - an A-Z which includes everyone from Al Arabiya to ZDF - will be producing a locally-based seasons of film, radio, debate and discussion to tie in with the global broadcast of the Why Democracy? films. Read more

Friday, October 19, 2007

Internet Political Performance Index

The Spartan Internet Political Performance (SIPP) Index is the first quantitative metric to measure the Internet-wide performance of each Presidential candidate for the 2008 election. The Index is comprised of over 650 quantitative factors measuring the level of support and how well each candidate is connecting with individuals across the Internet. The score for each candidate represents their overall Internet market share.

European Digital Library

Here's a fact sheet from the European Commission on the European Digital Library project

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Online reference service

Here's another screen cast. This one explains, in just under 2.5 minutes, how our website uses the Rakim freeware to provide online assistance. It was done on the fly (no rehearsal) with the wonderful Screencast-o-matic service that I mentioned in a previous post

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oxford Analytica

Oxford Analytica, according to the company profile at , "is an international, independent consulting firm drawing on a network of over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world. Founded in 1975 by Dr. David R. Young, Oxford Analytica has built an international reputation for seasoned judgement on and analysis of the implications of national and international developments facing corporations, banks, governments and international institutions." Although a subscription service, some of its content is available online through its partnership with the International Herald Tribune at

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wise Guide

From the "about this site" page
This Wise Guide portal was designed to introduce you to the many fascinating, educational and useful resources available from the nation's library and one of the most popular Web sites of the federal government.

The "Wise Guide" will be refreshed monthly, much like a magazine, offering links to the best of the Library's online materials. Each of these "articles" is based on items contained in a collection, database, reading room or other area of the Library's online offerings. You will see that we are "more than a library," and our holdings range from prints, photographs, films, audio recordings, maps, manuscripts, music and digital materials to (of course) books. We are also a place that sponsors concerts, lectures, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings. We hope the Guide's monthly "articles" will encourage you to explore the millions of items we make available at

Saturday, October 6, 2007


ontheissuesorg: every political leader on every issue. State and federal office holders, supreme court justices, and presidential candidates.


Thhe TouchGraph Google Browser provides a graphic representation of the semantic relationships between websites that Google reflects in its "related sites" databases. You enter a keyword or url, and the application returns a graphic map of the relationship between the sites. The graphic on the right is from a search on public diplomacy. There is also an Amazon TouchGraph - useful for finding related books, music or other products.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Screencastomatic is is an entirely web-based screencasting application - you don't need to buy or download anything, just visit the website, record your screencast, save it, and upload it to your blog, email it, or do whatever else you might do with an audio/video file. Here is a one minute demo I made. Screencast-o-matic is fun and easy to use, and potentially very useful!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sphere - connecting blogs and news

Although much of what is written in the blogosphere (sometimes termed "conversational media")is drivel, one might occasionally be interested in knowing what bloggers are saying about a particular news event. And sometimes, local bloggers can supplement with important information and perspectives that might be missed by mainstream media. Sphere is a search engine that finds mainstream news AND related blog postings on a given topic. From left to right is a list of topics, news stories within selected topics, featured story, and related blog posts.

The Fact Checker

"Comment is free, but facts are sacred." -- C.P. Scott, editorManchester Guardian, 1921

The Washington Post offers The Fact Checker, launched in September 2007. According to the Post, "the purpose of this website, and an accompanying column in the Post, is to "truth squad" the national political debate inthe period leading up to the 2008 presidential election. Our goal is toshed as much light as possible on controversial claims andcounter-claims involving important national issues, such as the war inIraq, immigration, health care, social issues, the economy, and therecords of the various presidential candidates. When we come across astatement or claim that is at variance with the facts, as best we canestablish them, we will point that out...We see fact checking as acollaborative, rather than a competitive, effort."