Chess Publishing, Web 2.0 Style
I recently made the leap into Web 2.0 software for a class I'm teaching this semester, and I am now convinced that the easy way is the better way. The only downside I see is that, basically, you are often trusting in these Web 2.0 companies both to survive and to continue hosting your stuff for free (and without frequent server downtime). But at this point, that seems like a pretty good gamble, at least for as long as your stuff is going to have any currency anyway (and then you can always hope that the Wayback Machine takes it from there).
So the best way, IMHO, for anyone who wants to get started with online chess publishing can be stated in a single sentence: set up a blog at Blogger or WordPress (or use those programs to publish to your own host); use Chesspublisher or Game Replayer to create java applets of your games; use ChessUp, Chess Diagram Generator, or Steve Eddins's ChessImager to create diagrams; and use YouTube to host your videos (until Chess Videos starts taking uploads). That would not be hard, could reach a wide audience, and would not require even a fraction of the work that I put into the KCC site.
Besides those sites just mentioned, there are also a number of cool Web 2.0 applications coming out every day with potential uses for chesspublishing, especially from Google and Zoho. I think I'll bet on Google to have the greater longevity -- though no one would be surprised to see Microsoft buy up Zoho and make it even more competitive.
To get started trying out Google's new collaborative Web 2.0 tools, all you have to do (if you haven't done so already) is set up a Google account. Here are three programs they offer that I really like using:
- Google Docs
I am a big fan of this web-based equivalent of MS Word, and I recommend you watch the excellent video "Google Docs in Plain English" at YouTube for an overview. This would be a useful application for anyone collaborating on a web or paper publication with a number of writers.
- Google Page Creator
Create a home page and additional pages, then go back and link them all together for easy navigation. Even if a blog covers your publishing needs well enough, this online webpage builder can also serve as a good place to post files online for reference by your blog (if you are not satisfied with the way Blogger handles this).
- Picasa (requires free download)
This is Google's slimmed down version of Photoshop, which is best for photo editing and has a great red-eye tool. It also allows you to post images to the "Picasaweb," but I noticed that Jim West tried this and then switched back to Blogger's method instead due to loading delays.
- Zoho Viewer
Looking for an easy place to post and share documents, files, or pictures? Try Zoho Viewer, as explained in this video.
- Zoho Wiki
Tired of the Wikipedia pinheads denying the existence of the Knights Errant? Create your own wiki and forget about them. Ideal for maintaining lists (such as of club members). If you want to maintain a collaborative list of links on the web, then del.icio.us might work better.
I generally still do things the old fashioned way, so I'm not sure my blog offers the best examples of how to be a true Web 2.0 chess publisher. But here are some good model Web 2.0 sites that I've seen:
- Jim West on Chess
Uses Blogger, ChessPublisher, ChessUp, and Google
- Steve Learns Chess
Uses Wordpress, ChessPublisher, and ChessImager.
- Streatham & Blixton CC
Blogger and ChessPublisher.