Tools and services for PIM

This is more of a link dump, but PIM is one of my favourite areas, and a lot of questions that I have explored came up in class today. I thought my fellow students would find these applications, technologies, and concepts interesting. These are all things that I use or have used at one point.

Rescue Time — for passive recording of on-computer activity (active application, with tagging/productivity scoring)
Cluztr — tracking (and publishing) all web pages visited
Attention Recorder — tracking all web pages visited
IPTC tagging — I’d call this one of the most underused technologies for PIM. Various apps available, add-ons for iPhoto, ACDSee, etc. Keep your descriptions, captions, photographer, tags, etc WITH your photos, so they are on your local copy and also added when you upload to flickr (only caveat is that they’re lost on edit).
Google Desktop — index/search of email, chat logs, web visits, etc across multiple computers
ScheduleWorld — an OpenML/Funambol service to synchronize calendar/to-do/contacts across multiple devices/people/apps
Wakoopa — tracking software usage
PhoneTag — voicemail-to-text transcription
EarthClassMail — have all your snail mail go to a central location and get it scanned online for you
RingCentral — virtual PBX to centralize and easily access phone numbers/voice mail anywhere

Also, it’s helpful to use a network attached storage drive, IMAP for email, SVN for file versioning, a scanner that does good one-touch OTR scanning of documents…

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Tagthe.net

I don’t know if people have seen Tagthe.net, but it’s pretty interesting.

It’s another site that tries to automatically generate tags based on a URL or a block of text, but this one also tries to group these tags into categories, “topic,” “content type,” “person,” “title,” “location,” and “language.”

Like most auto-tagging sites, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Here’s this blog’s generated tags:

You wanted some tags? Here you are!

https://blogs.ischool.berkeley.edu/i202f08

topic

talk    Knowledge    analysis    Gruber    book    Web    Permalink    google    information    content

content type

text/html

person

Bill Schilit    Nathaniel Wharton    Bob    Nick Doty

title

INFO 202 Fall 08 Blog

language

english

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Revamped Google Picasa site identifies photo faces

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-10026577-39.html
(CNET News, September 2, 2008)

Google has announced a new way to automatically tag photos containing human faces. This feature is called “name tag” and suggests proper tags for a picture once you tell it who is who.

Those who have used the iTunes after organizing their songs with tags may understand how tagging makes it easier to find and play songs. In spite of the convenience that tagging delivers, what makes users reluctant to put tags on their contents in various forms was the tedious nature of tagging work. In this sense, the Google’s new feature could be one of breakthroughs to turn untagged contents into tagged ones.

According to the article, once you’ve started identifying people in your pictures, you can tag about 200 persons in more than 100 pictures just in mere 15 minutes. Imagine how convenient it will be if you can retrieve a proper set of pictures from your huge picture storage by just putting in the name of the person you are looking for.

Despite some erroneous suggestions are made by this feature from time to time, I think that this attempt shows a new possibility how people can organize contents by tags more easily in the future.

Relevant lectures:

8. Classification
15. Personal Information Management
18. Metadata for Multimedia
27. Multimedia IR

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