Nifty Tool: Smore
I stumbled upon a new tool last week through a blog entry from Angela Stockman that turned out to be quite the hit for me, for my students, for my supporters, and for my family.
* * * * * * * *
The Smore tagline is: “beautiful pages instantly.” They weren’t lying. It didn’t take long at all to figure out the simple features of the tool. In a matter of minutes, I created an online flyer to introduce my school community to the features of Destiny that they now have access to and to “house” the screencasts I had recorded to walk them through the process. It was simply a matter of starting off with a title and then adding one element after another – first a textbox with an image, then a header, followed by a video, with a shorter textbox underneath that. And then I repeated those last three elements in two more sequences to get all three of my screencasts on the page.
I took another three days to send the flyer to others for feedback, to revise the wording to reflect exactly what I wanted to say, to change the theme and font to easily readable ones, to move the videos from YouTube to Vimeo (accessible on school computers), and to wait for a day that I knew more folks would take the time to read their e-mail thoroughly.
When I finally sent the e-mail on Monday morning, a school holiday, it took just 3 hours before the flyer reached 100 views. And, since sending it out three days ago, it has been viewed 357 times. Telling are the other analytics that are provided.
I can see where the views are coming from (both geographically and the various digital sources), how people are using the flyer, and whether they’re leaving the flyer to access the provided links.
Ultimately, the feedback on this tool has been very positive. I showed it to a student on the night before his group was doing a presentation. He quickly made a content-rich flyer to help spread the word about Half the Sky: link. They all ooohed and aaahed over the flyer and a number shared it on their own facebook walls.
I also used it for personal communication with my friends and family in between my regular quarterly newsletter: link. With 303 views in three days, I’d say that I got the message out.
I’m definitely looking forward to showing this site to more staff and students. I love that it can be sent via e-mail or linked to on a website. However, there are still kinks that Smore needs to work out. No matter how much I try, I have been unable to get the actual flyer to embed on a blog or website. As it moves out of beta and gains more features, I think Smore will become an even more valuable option for spreading the message in this digital world.