Introducing: AstronomyBuzz!

Contributed by
Apr 26, 2007

Note: I'm getting word that people with Hotmail accounts are having a hard time registering with PikSpot. It appears to be a problem with Hotmail not delivering the mail. There is not much I can do about that, except suggest you get a Gmail account. :-)

I am very pleased to unveil a new astronomy community: AstronomyBuzz!

AstronomyBuzz is a little bit different than any other astronomy community before. For example, the BA blog is a community-- I post something, and folks can comment. The BAUT forum is a community-- people can post, start new topics, attach pictures, and so on. Even YouTube is a community for astronomy, if you search on astronomy videos (though that's clunky).

AstronomyBuzz is all these things, and more. If you join (it's free), you can post something like it's your own blog-- did you see a bright meteor, or read a cool bit of space news? Post about it! But this is more than text: it's multimedia. You can upload a video (like I have with Q and BA), a picture, or an audio clip. So this is like a combination of a blog, board, and YouTube. Pretty cool.

Here's a guy who can introduce you (click the green play button on the lower left):

I'll be posting here pretty often (at the moment I put up copies of some recent blog posts from here, just to get it rolling), but I need you! It's a community, see?

AstronomyBuzz is one community out of many powered by new software called PikSpot. It allows you to do a lot more than just give feedback, or comment on someone's blog. If someone posts something you like, you can embed that content on your own site, blog, or whatever! That's what I did with my intro video above, and for another example, a video news podcast called Netscoop has an excellent introduction to UnDoTV, another PikSpot group (created by my friend Chris Pirillo and tech guru Leo Laporte). I can embed it here (the part about UnDoTV starts at 4 minutes in):

The whole player gets embedded, and the video is a bit small,

but by going to the UnDoTV site you can see it bigger (in the embedded player, there is a link where it says "Click here to visit website" that'll take you there) but if you click the red icon in the lower right corner of the player the video will go fullscreen inside the player. Take a look at the embedded player-- it has lots of features that allow you to vote on the clip (or text or whatever), or look at other things submitted by that person, or leave your own comment.

I think of this as a useful version of YouTube -- their player is awful, and this one is pretty slick. You can actually scroll around the video, go to specific clips, and much more.

I think this is a pretty amazing setup, and I hope you'll agree. I know that new things can seem daunting, but the best thing to do is simply go to AstronomyBuzz and play around. I have a few posts there. If you want to see another community with a lot more posts, try UnDoTV (I've posted there many times, and I even have something in the Top Ten!).

AstronomyBuzz and the other PikSpot groups are in public beta, which means they work but we want people to check them out and let us know what you think. The software developers are very eager to improve this product, so get in there and take a look!

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