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May 1, 2007

wetpaint.com — Create your own wiki

That's what this new free site lets you do.

I like its tag line: "Create a free wiki. Many looks. No code required."

Katherine Boehret, in her April 25, 2007 "The Mossberg Solution" feature in the Wall Street Journal, wrote that "compared with blogs or normal Web sites, my Wetpaint wiki felt much more alive and exciting."

Maybe that's what I need.

Goodness knows, we could use some excitement around here.

Here's her piece.

    Creating Your Own 'Wiki' Web Site

    Program Simplifies Steps for Entries; Nothing Is Private

    Wikipedia.com, the encyclopedia Web site created and operated with contributions from online users around the world, is a resourceful tool. Though accuracy isn't guaranteed, it reflects a collection of knowledge contributed and edited by many users.

    A "wiki" is a Web site or similar online resource that allows anyone to add and edit content collectively. But while the idea behind Wikipedia.com and other collaborative sites is a good one, the process of contributing content can be intimidating for nontechies. Instead, many people opt to publish their writing and digital media on personal blogs or Web sites. Yet these don't do much to encourage online communities and interaction.

    This week, I tested a free program from Wetpaint.com Inc. that helps regular users create wikis, which encourage interaction because they're constantly changed by contributors. Wetpaint's wikis ease the process of adding Web links, digital images, digital videos and additional text to sites made with Wetpaint. Likewise, your site can easily be adjusted and enhanced by anyone who views it. Compared with blogs or normal Web sites, my Wetpaint wiki felt much more alive and exciting.

    Wetpaint has room for improvement. Nothing created on its site can be kept private from random viewers. Some of its functions — like adding content at the same time as someone else — can be a bit confusing. And it has advertisements because it's free, but these aren't overly intrusive. The Seattle-based company has plans for upgrades, including introducing more privacy options this summer. But most of its features are overwhelmingly simple to use, and built-in tutorial videos demonstrate steps.

    In less than five minutes, my own wiki — a site devoted to discussing television programs, compiling digital photos and video clips from shows, all of which could be added to or deleted by anyone at any time — was up and running. I noticed other Wetpaint wikis for organizing sports teams, assisting with dog rescues and discussing favorite books. Setup was divided into three steps playfully termed The Easy Part, The Fun Part and The Other Part.

    I named my wiki and its URL, and considered the options for who I wanted to contribute to it: everyone (even anonymously); anyone with a Wetpaint.com account; or only those whom I invited. I chose to allow everyone's contributions in order to get the full feel of a wiki. Twenty four style templates provide a starting point for the color and overall look.

    I invited others to see my site so that they, too, could contribute their ruminations. When inviting others, you must designate how much authority you'll give each invitee. Whoever creates the wiki is an administrator with the ability to change everything, including the template and permission settings. You can give others the same ranking, or you might opt to make them moderators, letting them move and delete pages but not change settings. The least amount of power is given to registered users; they can't move or delete pages, but they, like everyone else, can still delete, change or add content on each page, by default.

    Every change made to the site is tracked in detail, letting everyone see which page was altered and by whom, the time and date of the change and the scope of each adjustment. Special views can compare how a page looked before and after changes, so you know whether you liked the way you had it or the new version. These details are important in the world of wikis, where changes can be slight, frequent and barely noticeable.

    The home page of your wiki allows space for explaining what you'd like to do. I used mine to say how much I like chatting about recent TV show episodes, and encouraged others to contribute anything relevant to the discussion, including write-in opinions, photos of show characters and clips from favorite scenes.

    Each page has a section for navigation in the top left, showing which page is currently in view and how it relates to Home — as a subcategory of Home, or a subcategory within a category and so on. A toolbox on the far right offers one-click help for editing, adding attachments, inviting others and emailing a page. At the top of each page, an Easy Edit tool can be expanded to help you add digital photos from your PC or from specific URLs, hyperlinks or short video clips from sites like YouTube.com.

    I never saw any confusing jargon while adding content to my wiki. I just followed suggested links, searched for the right content online or on my computer and pasted that information into the right spot.

    Within a few hours, the friends I invited to my wiki caught on and added content to my pages or created pages of their own to be listed under my wiki. In addition to my pages for "Grey's Anatomy," "The Amazing Race" and "Friday Night Lights," others added pages for "American Idol" and "Battlestar Galactica." I even got into a fun back-and-forth battle with a friend as he and I each posted pictures of our favorite doctors on "Grey's Anatomy." Each of us had the ability to delete the other's posting or to add our own.

    I ran into some trouble when I tried to save a post and was told that someone else was simultaneously changing content on the same page. I chose to manually merge my content with the other person's content, but couldn't figure out how to do so and lost my entire post. This problem isn't likely to crop up often, but it's worth noting.

    When I had questions about other sections, a help section walked me through the wiki-building steps. I also watched how-to videos that demonstrated the way certain aspects of Wetpaint worked.

    If you're tired of reading blogs that only let you post comments in an obscure section of the page, the interactive community aspect of Wetpaint's wikis will appeal to you. Just be sure you're aware that until later this summer, nothing on your wiki can be made private.

May 1, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Knife of Life


From the website:

    ‘Knife of Life’ From Victorinox Wins “2007 Knife of the Year” Award

    Can Spell the Difference Between Life and Death

    The new Victorinox Swiss Army rescue tool won the prestigious “Knife of the Year 2007” title at the recent IWA and Outdoor Classics Exhibition held in Nuremberg, Germany.

    This is no mean feat, as over 77 knives from 34 manufacturers representing 9 different countries were evaluated by the distinguished jury panel!

    ‘Knife of Life’ was developed in close collaboration with Swiss emergency medical and rescue teams.

    Top priority was quickly removing a person from a wrecked vehicle, so ‘Knife of Life’ includes a powerful Window Buster and efficient Seat Belt Cutter.

    In addition, a unique Safety Glass Saw slices quickly through windshields that shatter on impact yet by design don’t actually break apart, thus impeding rescue attempts.

    ‘Knife of Life’ also comes with screwdrivers, reamer, bottle opener, wire stripper, tweezers and toothpick — and a large locking blade for general-purpose cutting.

    So you’ll make good use of its legendary Swiss Army versatility, even when no rescue is necessary.

    And the luminescent handles glow like isotopes in the dark — so you’ll always find ‘Knife of Life’ instantly in an emergency!

    Includes nylon belt pouch.


Worth having just to see those glowing handles.


May 1, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Chanel 'Lucky Charms' Wedge


Official shoe of Madonna.

What happens when Karl Lagerfeld gets whimsical.

At Chanel boutiques everywhere.

May 1, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Portable Mister


No — it's not what you think.


From the website:

    Portable Mister

    With just a few quick pumps and a press of a button, this 2.5 oz. bottle creates an ultra-fine mist that can make you feel up to 30° cooler!

    Small enough to fit in a purse or backpack, it's great if you're camping, golfing, at the beach, or attending outdoor sporting events.

    Use it to cool off your pet, too.




Yo, Humphrey.


May 1, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scarlett Johansson sings 'Just Like Honey' with the Jesus and Mary Chain at Coachella

But perhaps you'd like the whole song, not just a 37-second excerpt.

No problema.

FunFact: The final scene of "Lost in Translation" featured the song "Just Like Honey."

[via Ben Ratliff and the New York Times]

May 1, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

William Morris 'Daisy' Garden Tools


New, from the Victoria & Albert Museum.

From their website:

    William Morris "Daisy" Garden Tool Set

    A must-have for any stylish gardener — this gorgeous gardening set of hand trowel and cultivator is part of a range of "pretty useful tools" created for the V&A.

    Made by Wild and Wolf, it is decorated with a design by William Morris, a naively drawn image of meadow flowers entitled "Daisy".

    The firm of Morris & Co. designed and produced a wide range of glass, tiles, furnishings and textiles which went on to become synonymous with the Arts and Crafts movement and the Victorian era as a whole.

    "Daisy" was the first wallpaper pattern to be issued by the company in 1864, inspired by a wallhanging illustrated in a 15th century version of "Froissart's Chronicles".

    Similar flower forms can be seen in late medieval "mille-fleurs" tapestries and in early printed herbals.

    Design is from the V&A Collection.

    The trowel and cultivator are made from coated aluminium.

    Available from Mid May 2007 — please note that orders will not be despatched till week commencing 14 May 2007.


May 1, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Free pizza at Pizza Hut — 'Claim your slice'

At U.S. Pizza Huts everywhere this afternoon (Tuesday, May 1, 2007), from 3-5 p.m.

The full page ad in yesterday's USA Today said, "Try our new and improved hand tossed-style pizza for FREE. And see why it beat the competition in a National Taste Test."

Not that anyone's gonna believe the results of a taste test run by a company that comes out on top, but hey — let's not be haters, alright?

I mean, free pizza is still free pizza.

And we like free.

May 1, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$1 LED Keychain Light


Why pay more?

Like $10 or even $16 ?

From the website:

LED Pocket Light

The new lights have a slide on/off switch.

No more squeezing until your fingers go numb.


Another big benefit is the ability to change batteries via four small screws on the back.

These are great pocket lights, but what makes them so outstanding is their low price.

These are the same lights that other websites sell up to $12 per light.

When you buy bulk they are so affordable that you can feel good about giving them away.

Let our volume buying work for you.


We usually keep a few of these lights in our pockets to give them away to hotel housekeeping staff, outstanding waitstaff, parking valets and anyone else who goes to that extra step to assist us.

These make ideal gifts, stocking stuffers and corporate gifts.

Giving one of these to my little nephew made me the coolest uncle of all.

Money well spent.

Shines an astonishingly bright beam illuminating any path.


Unbreakable LED Bulb.

The LED bulb is incredibly tough.

Visible for more than a mile!

Under clear conditions we have been able to signal out to two miles.

Great gift idea!

These lights make great gifts for any occasion and are great for that hard-to-shop-for person.

If you're looking for a really cool gift, look no further!


Use alone or easily attaches to key ring or zipper.

Makes it possible to always have light.



White, Red or Blue.


May 1, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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