As Mediactive grows, this page will link to tools to assist in the “consumption” and creation of media as described in the Principles. We welcome your input and suggestions. Compiled by Dan Gillmor and Josh Sprague.


Bookmarking, Reading, Sharing:

NewsTrust Review Form

Diigo does a lot of things, but primarily you can share, highlight and archive web pages with it. Diigo offers both a Firefox plugin and bookmarklet to increase the convenience factor.
Instapaper allows you to save a text-only version of an article to be read later on a mobile phone. This can be ideal for long-form articles.
NewsTrust‘s goal is to sort news by quality rather than popularity. Users rate articles by journalism standards (facts, sourcing, fairness, etc.). This results in a nice guide for evaluating news and a daily list of well-crafted articles.
Pagetweet allows the you to share a page annotated at the top with a personal tweet.
Publish2 hosts collaborative journalism tools for both curating and publishing news links. It’s free, but just for journalists.
Read It Later is another good option for saving articles to read later on your mobile phone.
Readability is a bookmarklet that pulls text from a page, reloading it into a typographically-friendly format.
Google Reader is a web-based RSS reader. Beyond RSS feeds, you can also organize Google News alerts here if you’d rather not get them via email.
delicious is a site for organizing, tagging and sharing bookmarks.

Reuters Financial GlossaryLibrary of Congress list of politicians’ official sites is a comprehensive directory of links to sites of members of both the US House and Senate.
Reuters Financial Glossary hosts a community-contributed list of financial terms and definitions.
SourceWatch is hosted by the Center for Media and Democracy with the stated goal “to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda.” It’s a go to place for context on PR firms, think tanks and media organizations.

Your Brain


WordPress Dashboard

Blogging and CMS
Blogger is Google’s blog publishing tool.
Drupal is a powerful open source content management platform with a steeper learning curve.
Joomla is a more accessible open source content management platform.
Posterous allows the user to publish blog posts via email.
Tumblr is a blogging platform tailored around micro-blogging.
WordPress is an open source blog publishing tool.

Design and Image Editing:

The Aviary Suite

Effect Generator is a web-based tool for creating Flash-like webpage elements.
Falcon is a web-based image markup tool. It’s good for image capture, cropping and resizing.
Phoenix is a web-based image-editing tool.
Picnik is a web-based photo-editing tool akin to Photoshop Elements. It’s designed around quick-fix tools for the amateur and can pull in pictures from social media sites like facebook and flickr.
Pixlr is a web-based photo-editing tool. Their Grabber plugin for Firefox allows for quickly pulling in images from the web.
Raven is a web-based vector art tool, an alternative to Adobe’s Illustrator.
Splashup (formerly Fauxto) is a web-based photo-editing tool. It includes photo management that can integrate with Flickr, Picasa and Facebook.
Sumo Paint is a web-based image-editing tool with painting features. Interface is similar to Photoshop.

Web Editing:
KompoZer is a free alternative to web authoring tools like Dreamweaver. For all three major OSs, but compatibility varies for Mac and Linux.

Audio Editing:
Audacity InterfaceAudacity is an open source tool for editing audio files.
Myna is a web-based option for editing audio files.

Video Editing:
JayCut is a web-based video editor. Forthcoming, but demo available now.

Screencasting and Presentation:
Jing is a web-based tool for creating screencasts.
PhotoPeach is a web-based tool for creating photo slideshows with audio.
Prezi is a web-based tool for creating presentations. It allows for a non-linear approach, which is interesting.
Screentoaster is a web-based tool for creating screencasts.
Camtasia is a robust piece of screencasting software. It comes with a price tag, but it does a lot.

Data Sources:
DataSF is a repository of San Francisco’s public datasets. is a catalogue of federal datasets (US). These include raw data, geodata and data guides.
Freebase is a community-driven database with an open API. All world data is up for grabs and it attempts to organize items across multiple datasets.
Infochimps collects and tags datasets, but also provides a marketplace for selling datasets.
Many Eyes is a social site for sharing datasets and visualizations (with the emphasis on visualization).
Programmable Web’s API directory catalogues open APIs across the Web.

Google Maps is Google’s web-based mapping application.
UMapper allows you to create embeddable, flash-based maps. Options for creating geogame maps and monetizing maps with ads are its unique features.
VidMap allows you to show a video’s geographic journey on an overhead map.
Batch GeoCode will geocode a list of addresses.
MapBuilder is a tool for creating and publishing Google and Yahoo map mashups.
CloudMade offers mapping APIs and tools based on the community-driven OpenStreetMap project.
Platial is a community for creating and sharing map mashups.

Hardware: has a large number of tutorials for hardware and software related to most forms of digital multimedia production.’s tools page offers reviews of field recording devices and audio editing how-tos.
MobileActive offers a thorough database of mobile applications and how-tos as they apply using mobile phones for social change.

Copytaste enables you to quickly publish text and images to a single page.
Dinkypage is another fast web page tool that allows for publishing text to a single page.
File to webpage allows you to quickly publish a file to a single webpage.
Moomeo allows you to publish an email as a webpage.
Pastehtml enables you to anonymously produce a single web page from text or HTML.

5 thoughts on “Tools”

  1. Thank you for listing in one place so many resources. I know I can’t know the mechanism of all but it’s good to see the landscape. I plan to follow your site.
    Margaret Waage

  2. Dan,
    These are fabulous and very current as of today! I am interested about your website and book. Please continue your passion! Thanks from Sunny Cambria,

    Cal Poly State Univ. San Luis, Lecturer/Coast Unified School District Technology Director

  3. This is an awesome resource page! Good job Dan!

    In your “Reading” section, I think a great tool to add is Snippefy . It’s an iOS app that let’s Kindle users read and share their highlights and notes all in one place.

    Keep up the great work that you do! Thanks!


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