Fun Tools to Dress up Your Blog

The week before last, I spent most of the week in Boise, Idaho, at the annual state library convention. It appears that the future is NOW. When I first became a librarian a dozen years ago, E-books and E-reader technology was being talked about at conferences, but neither were available in the mainstream. Now they are, in libraries and in the hands of private individuals. 

But E-readers and E-books aren't the only differences in technology. The internet, which used to be a distant frontier, is now a huge part of our lives, with such Web 2.0 Social Media applications  as blogs, twitter, facebook, Flickr, wikis, mashups and folksonomies. 

The recent library conference was all about the NOW, as well as the future, with a wonderful pre-conference presentation by Joan Frye Williams, futurist and Information Technology Consultant. 

Also fantastic was one of the luncheon Keynoters, Anthony Doerr, Idaho author of The Memory Wall. He gave an outstanding talk on the importance of libraries.

There were plenty of programs for Youth Services librarians, from speakers who book-talked current YA bestsellers and YA Award nominated books, to speakers who taught storytelling--with or without puppets.

One of the more intriguing talks was on how to use technology tools to promote your library. Many of these, I realized, could also be used to dress up one's blog. So here they are, and I hope you have fun playing with them. They're all free. 

Blabberize. With Blabberize, you can create a short movie clip.

Animoto. With Animoto, you can create a really nice Book Trailer for your book.

Voki. With Voki, you can create customized avatars, add your voice to them, and post them to your blog or website.

With Go!Animate, you can create a cute skit.  

With Wordle, you can create tag clouds. It's interesting to put a huge chunk of your manuscript into it, and see which words come out biggest (most often used).

Tagxedo is a tag cloud app, like Wordle, but you can create the cloud in different shapes. 

You can also Spell with Flickr. 

If you know of other fun apps, let's share!


  1. Oooh, I especially like the Tagxedo and Spell with Flickr links. I think I'm going to try them out. Thanks for the info'....!

  2. Ditto what Kenda said! I hadn't heard of those. Way neat and fun. Thanks for bringing these to our attention!

  3. I didn't know about any of these! Thanks for sharing, they all look fun. The conference sounds like it was really interesting!


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