There are tons of free and good tools online to help public broadcasters (and others) accomplish essential online media tasks such as creating and posting image, audio and video files, having audience share content with one another, and so on. Below are some of the free and easy tools that I have accumulated so far. Please add yours to the list and together we can build an impressive online tool kit for public media.

#0: CMS (Content Management System)
#1: Screen capture as image, video or narrated slide show
These tools record your action on computer screen (whole or part of the screen) and narration. So they're perfect for creating demo video, narrated slide shows, and illustrated stories.
  • Screenr: can send screen capture video to mobile, too
  • ScreenToaster: can add subtitle and capture webcam images
  • Jing: can't record webcam
  • CamStudio: open source software that can record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)
#2: Sharing and collaboration
  • Delicious: share bookmarks with your other computers or other people
  • AddThis: generates buttons or icons that allow users to print, email, and share content via over 50 social network destinations. I use it on this blog (see icons at the bottom of this post).
  • Publish 2: used by New York Times and many other media organizations, the tool facilitates collaboration among journalists. A great example of its use in the snow flooding coverage in Washington state.
  • Top 10 Apps for Scheduling a Meeting Online
  • Doodle: easy scheduling
  • Google Groups: share documents, have discussions among group members
  • Etherpad: real time collaborative text editing. Used by NPR and WBUR
  • Open Atrium: Drupal app. An intranet in a box that allows different teams to have their own conversations. Features: blog, wiki, calendar, to do list, shoutbox, and dashboard.
  • Eventbrite: create and manage events including ticket sales and donation collection
  • Storify: curate what people post on social media into compelling stories. E.g. NPR story on Tucson shooting
  • Nutshell Mail from Constant Contact: tracks social media activity and delivers a summary to your email inbox on your schedule. Can track Twitter, Facebook, FB fan pages.
  • PiratePad: allows two or more people to see what one another are writing in real-time. It's more immediate than Google Docs.
  • to share desktops
  • conference calls. For a small fee, you can record the audio. Pair that audio up with video of the related slides, and you've got a webinar recording.
#3: Image, audio and video editor
#4: Web traffic measurement
  • Google Analytics: can measure web visits by iPhone as well.
  • CrazyEgg: visualize visitor data
  • Twitoaster: Twitter ranking and stats
  • Klout: influence score of your Twitter account
  • Alexa: demographics of web users for a site. Can compare sites.
#5: Website design
#6: Data mining and visualization
#7: Maps
  • Google Maps: create your own
  • amMap: interactive Flash map
  • Crowdmap: interactive map with dynamic timeline and data trackin
  • OpenHeatMap: upload spreadsheet (Excel or Google spreadsheet file) and get instant heat map. Can also include time data to create interactive map. An example from Guardian.
  • Mapnik: open source, easily extensible and suitable for both desktop and web development
  • MapBox: a suite of open source tools and services for creating and using custom maps in the cloud
#8: Usability test
  • FiveSecondTest: test impression on landing pages and what users click next. Has free version.
  • FeedbackArmy: $15
  • Loop11: free version. Can do A/B test, comparative test, etc.
  • Verify: 30 day free trial. See where people click, what they remember, or how they feel.
    #9: Other useful tools
    • TagCrowd: creates your own tag cloud from any text
    • Wordle: generates word cloud like an art
    • Qualtrics: online survey software
    • CutePDF: creates PDF from any file that you can print
    • Widgetbox: self-service web widget platform
    • Monitter: Twitter conversation monitor
    • Zamzar: free online file conversion tool. Can convert audio and video files as well.
    #10: Collections by others