The Internet isn’t exactly brand new anymore, but many people still don’t have a firm grasp on just how effective it is in terms of enabling people to be creative and engage with one another. Sure, everyone checks email and does some browsing on a regular basis, but the sheer volume of ways to connect with other people is mind blowing. In this post, we’ll discuss two of them.
If you have a creative streak in you or want to dabble in animation, this could be a great discovery. A traditional “flipbook” is a book of static images that, when flipped quickly with a thumb or finger, blend together to create a movie. Flipbook is the digital equivalent of the traditional entertainment tool.
This clever app allows the user to create a series of pictures one at a time, then automatically strings them together into a video that the user can share with others. With multiple layers, the user can modify the background frame by frame while leaving the main character in the foreground alone, or vice versa. Each layer can be manipulated to seamlessly tell whatever story the user wants to share. Flipbook makes it dead simple to save the video for later viewing or share it with others. A companion website provides a centralized location for users and visitors alike to view other people’s flipbooks, vote on the ones they like, and share them with others. The only major downside is that it is not currently available on Android, the biggest smartphone and tablet platform in the world.
Still, a brief spin through Flipbook’s archives shows the kind of enormous variety you’d expect from a multitude of users unleashing their creative genius. Most are short, topics are as numerous as there are grains of sand on a beach, and the quality of the art varies widely. For some, Flipbook is just a fun way to pass some time; for others, it’s a serious medium to develop and share some serious digital art talent.
Maybe words are your thing more than pictures. Maybe you like to engage directly in dialogue rather than simply share a link to something you like. Maybe you just can’t hold back from a lively conversation. If any of these things come close to describing you, take a look at Disqus, one of the biggest commenting platforms on the Internet today.
Disqus is primarily a commenting system for blogs and online communities who wish to include discussions on their sites. Currently, it serves roughly 75% of all such websites that use a third party system for comments, and has almost 150 million unique monthly visits in the U.S. alone. A single Disqus login can grant you access to conversations on a myriad of websites, with no fuss whatsoever – if you’re on a website that uses Disqus for its comment system, just login and join the fun! There is a system of upvoting that carries the best and/or most helpful comments up to the top for even more exposure, so it could be a great tool for business owners trying to drive discussion on a certain product or topic.
But that’s not all – graphically, it’s very satisfying, as well. Take a gander at the Disqus website, and you’ll find a mesmerizing synopsis of all of the conversations currently taking place on Disqus, organized by categories like Games or Celebrities or Sports. Each category is floating on the screen like a bubble, with the number of comments registered to the category attached to the bubble. You can watch as new conversations pop up on the bubbles, and old ones fall off. A simple click will give you the most recent comment on the subject, but you can drill into it even more and be taken to the article being discussed.
Website owners can harness the power of this phenomenal level of collaboration for their own site, and in conjunction with other social media sites, Disqus can be a fantastic tool for not only keeping up with current digital discussion trends, but also in driving them.
These sites will appeal to different people for different reasons, but both are well designed and achieve their missions with style. Whether you’re looking to just burn some time on the Internet, or looking to engage with people for one reason or another, both are worth checking out.