Bolting my life together with Boltfolio

Boltfolio LogoThere is a lot to love about Boltfolio which I found today via Emily Chang’s eHub.

Boltfolio is a site that allows you to create a portfolio of audio, video, and images. In addition you can host a blog at the site, and embed media you’ve uploaded.

The interface is Flickr-esque, allowing you to add descriptions and tags to items. In addition, users can comment on your items and mark them as favorites.

Perhaps most exciting is the ability to record audio and video right from the browser (assuming you have a microphone or video camera attached to your computer). Like Odeo, you are restricted to 3 minutes of recording.

I signed up for a free account and got 100 MB of upload space a month. That’s not a lot, but it’s a start.

The possibilities here for ePortfolios seem tremendous to me — particularly because all the pieces work so nicely together. Want to create a video blog entry? Easy: login to your Boltfolio, record a few minutes of yourself talking (perhaps in front of your new G5 iMac with integrated webcam), copy the posting code for your new video and paste it into a new blog item. All of this can be done from right within Boltfolio.

And anyone can subscribe to an RSS feed of your blog or of your various media libraries.

This is very close to the kind of application I was dreaming about for a project we’re doing with a professor in the theatre department at UMW.

There are drawbacks, of course. First, while storage is advertised as unlimited, you are restricted to only 100 MB of upload a month. And I don’t see a way to upgrade an account. . .yet.

Second, I’ve got real anxiety about asking students or faculty to rely on a service like this which is hosted off-campus. I just can’t know whether or not it will be around for the long haul. Ultimately, what I want is a UMW-hosted version of Boltfolio, I guess.

Third, it’s not really a drawback yet, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to set up groups yet. This would be a great addition to the service, and definitely useful if we were eyeing something like this for students to create portfolios.

Really, this is a very cool site and worth checking out.

2 thoughts on “Bolting my life together with Boltfolio”

  1. Thanks Martha for the referral. I’ve been working with two instructors on a project for merging blogs with e-portfolios. This service looks promising. We’ve defined a self-contained, transferrable platform as a criteria considering that once our students graduate they would (eventually) no longer have access to media content developed and stored on our server at UMW. Looks like Boltfolio would fit the need of creating a digital repository for enhanced CVs. It offers the security of public or private files, set creation and is XML based. Good find. I’ll share it at my next meeting.

  2. Thanks Martha, for your generous review. I’m the head of product at bolt media– the creator of boltfolio. To address some of your concerns/questions:
    1. We’re in this for the long haul. Our company has been building and maintaining web sites for ten years (originally, now several other sites)– which makes us something of ‘gray-beard’ in the world of internet companies. We believe, passionately, in this product, and in supporting self publishing on the internet for years (decades?) to come.
    2. I agree that 100MB isn’t enough. We’re going to increase the allocation very soon– starting with 400MB a month for anyone with a .edu email account (ultimately, others might have to pay for the upgrade). We want to support young talent online, particularly students.
    3. Other collaborative/sharing tools coming shortly, including groups, permissions for allowing certain people to view content, wireless upload/distribution, and more.
    Please feel free to send other questions (or suggestions for improvements) to me directly:
    Thanks again!

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