I have been asked to do a faculty workshop a week from Friday, where they more or less asked for “cool web stuff” (not quite what I did for students last week).

The working title (because I Do Not Start Work Until I Have a Title) is “Silly / Useful Web Tricks”. This name is a riff from one that goes back a few years, (Not So Stupid) Browser Tricks, though half of the ones there are dead or not relevant.

I need some new tricks.

So when I say ‘web trick’ I do not mean an app, or a whole site, but a single purpose tool (maybe even smaller in scope that a SPLOT) that does one interesting thing a teacher might be able to use OR uses the web in an interesting way that might generate an idea for a new tool. Nothing that involves modifying code or installing server libraries. Stuff that works right off of the web.

Kind of like “Chicken on a Skateboard” or an Orangutan named Morphy with a toy horse.

I started jotting down ideas in en Evernote, using stuff in my own browser bookmarks and sifting back maybe 2-3 years in my pinboard Cool Tech collection.

My working idea is to make a buffet of this I can choose from in presentation/ workshop mode.

This is just from abut an hour of combing and just a starting point, but if you have orthers sweet ’em my way or leave a comment below.

Text Tricks

Visual Tricks

Tricks You Can Hear (Audio)

Media Mixing Tricks

The Web in Real Time

Reference Tools

This is a very rough cut, and I know there are like 32,465,000 more. Ideas? Skateboards?

Top / Featured Image: A collaged image combining two images from Wikimedia Commons. I found these doing a Google Images search (filtered for “license for reuse” on “Animal Tricks”

On the left, cropped a bit because, like iPhone vertical videos, portrait oriented photos work better for featured images, is “Morphy, an Orangutan with his toy, a horse, on a walk with his keeper in a traveling circus” as a Creative Commons Germany licensed image from Wikimedia commons. And on right, for the sheer fun of it’s name, is Creative Commons licensed photo Chicken on a Skateboard

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I’d say that the Wayback Machine (web.archive.org) would count as a trick, e.g. for getting past broken links or for the joy of “walking back” a website in time.

    1. I sent off too soon; should have included the following:

      Maybe some good ideas in the gallery of what people have made with/via Mozilla Webmaker: https://webmaker.org/en-US/explore

      And, perhaps too big in scope, Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles bookmarklet that allows you to “edit” any webpage, i.e. write a custom headline on today’s New York Times or reimagine a brand (nothing to install…just a bookmarket); good for reimagining one’s world in productive, active ways.

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