AlphaInventions.com is a fantastic site that strives to help blog readers and webmasters/bloggers connect in real time. It can also help readers find their way to a wide variety of interesting new blogs to explore and, for bloggers, can greatly increase traffic to their sites.
Audacity is free, open source software for audio recording and editing. It is likely to be of particular use to podcasters and any writers who (like me) might be thinking of recording snippets of their work to put on their websites or blogs. I also intend to try using it to put together a CD of sound effects and music for the next play that I put on...
Celtx is a gift to writers and directors everywhere, no matter which their chosen form of storytelling. As the official website says, 'Unlike scriptwriting software, you can use Celtx for the entire pre-production process - write scripts, storyboard scenes and sequences, develop characters, breakdown and tag elements, schedule production, and prepare detailed and informative production reports for cast and crew.' There are some excellent tutorial videos on the site that demonstrate just what Celtx can do - why not go and have a look?
The creators' description of 'the most widely used opensource bulletin board system in the world' will certainly be of more use than any I might devise: 'Whether you want to stay in touch with a small group of friends or are looking to set up a large multi-category board for a corporate website, phpBB has the features you need built in. Newer users will appreciate [the] extensive administration panel, which allows the customization of even the most intricate features without having to edit code directly, while advanced users will value the ease with which phpBB can be integrated into existing systems... No other bulletin board software offers a greater complement of features, while maintaining efficiency and ease of use.'
TweetDeck aims to help users get the most out of Twitter, allowing a broader overview of tweets and enabling easier communication between people. Instead of one endless stream of tweets, you can choose to split your main feed into topic or group-specific columns, each of which will automatically update and inform you when it does so. You can also perform all the usual actions (posting your own tweets, replying to others, sending Direct Messages, checking other users' profiles, searching etc), as well as a number of other things I haven't yet worked out(!), from TweetDeck without needing to return to Twitter itself.
And there you have it - my top five online discoveries of late. I haven't yet had a chance (or a reason) to try all of them out, but those that I have not yet used I have bookmarked to return to in the future.
Obviously, I will not be creating anything similar myself. And that's okay. I know where my talents lie and it's definitely not in this area! But the fact that certain people with these particular talents and capabilities have chosen to share their creations so freely with the rest of us seems to me to display a genuinely cheering generosity of spirit, for which I truly thank them.