For all of our devoted readers out there, you may notice that Tiki-Toki was not originally part of our timeline review extravaganza, but they reached out to us through Twitter and asked if we could review them. I am glad that we did. Tiki-Toki is a new service that makes beautiful timelines. By far their timelines set a new standard of what a timeline can and should look like. Go ahead and check out the video of mine here:
Tiki-Toki also works a bit differently than its competition, and while not everything is silky smooth like Dipity, I still think it is worth your time. So read on past the break to see all Tiki-Toki details.
When you first enter the site you are welcomed with a beautiful, full screen timeline that gives you lots of information about Tiki-Toki. Signing up is pretty simple, just click on the Sign Up button (in the top right hand corner) and you are prompted to enter a username, email, and password. What was weird was that I could see the password each time I typed it. I am not sure why this is and I find it a little . . . odd.
These steps are super easy, but it didn’t work for me at first. After I signed up, it just kept taking me back to their timeline. I contacted Tiki-Toki and received a prompt reply (always a good sign) that I was working with a cached version and I needed to hold down shift and refresh the page to get the latest version. After that, it worked like a charm. What bothered me was I logged off and back on the next day and had to do the same thing again. I am sure that the people at Tiki-Toki are aware of this and I am confident they will fix it in due time, or maybe it is just me.
Once in, it asks immediately if you want to upgrade from the free package. The free one allows you to make one timeline, but the others (free, education, bronze, silver and gold) charge money for them. I’ll get into those later.
Starting a Timeline
When you get past which package you want and you’re ready to make a timeline, you are welcomed to a helpful flyout menu that helps guide you through what you need to do. On more than one occasion I found this very helpful. It rarely got in the way and instantly changed when I moved my mouse from one input field to another. The tips and explanations are worded in an easy and concise way which I think that sixth graders could easily understand.
To get started, click on Admin (in the top right hand corner), then click on Create a New Timeline and you are off. In the beginning, Tiki-Toki will ask you the start and end date of your timeline, a quick Intro and About, and then comes the pictures. One thing that is nice about Tiki-Toki, is that it links right to Flickr and lets you search for public images or you can log in and link to your account.
To do this, click on the magnifying glass and a pop up window appears. When you select an image the pop up window doesn’t disappear. It stays there. The first time I thought that it was having a problem getting the image. In reality, it quietly placed the URL in its appropriate field. So, select the image and then close the window. Tiki-Toki will take care of everything else. When I selected an image for my background, it immediately changed the background and it gives credit to where the photo came from. I like that. You can also add an image from a URL, but they always tell you to check if you have the rights to use the image. As an educator I like that as well. Check out the screenshot below.
Now that the timeline is set up, it is time to add some stories. Tiki-Toki calls events stories and you know what, that is exactly what they are and the terminology is welcomed. Adding a story is pretty easy. You click on Create a New Story and a small window will pop up below and ask you for a title, a date, some text, a tag or a link to another website (if you want to) and click Save. What is nice about this, is once you create the story Tiki-Toki will automatically added to your timeline and when you add a new date, it will update on the timeline itself as you move onto the next field. When you’re done click Save and you’ve got a story on the timeline. Very simple and easy.
If you want to add an image, video, or audio (this feature is coming soon) click on Story media. You can find this option right above the information you just saved.
From here, you can add video from any streaming site (like YouTube or Vimeo), an image from a URL or Flickr (click on the magnifying glass). Another weird thing, is you have to tell Tiki-Toki if its an image or not. I’m not sure why it doesn’t just know, but it is a small curiosity. When you’re done click Save, and the timeline again automatically updates.
If you need to write more information you can click on Extra info in this same tab. It’s a pretty simple little box that lets you type till your hearts content. A great way to add individual detail to each story on the timeline. Just like before, when you’re done click Save.
After you have added all your information it is time to close out the Admin menu (just click the triangle in the upper right hand corner), and marvel of how beautiful your timeline is. No ads (something that has plagued the other timelines), the background is marvelous, and the stories look great and are easy to open. At the bottom of the timeline, you see the years and dots that indicate where stories are located. It would be nice if the user could control the “zoom” of the timeline, but that’s a pretty minimal complaint. It’s visually very convenient to find other stories or at least know where they are located. Take a look at my picture below and follow the link to see its true beauty.
The different packages
The free package allows you to make one timeline and you cannot embed it. There are four other packages and I will break them down for you.
- Free – 1 timeline – cannot embed – no group work
- Gold – unlimited timelines – can embed – can share timelines with others -no ads (even though I didn’t see any ads in my free one) – price is coming soon
- Silver – 10 timelines – can embed – can share timelines with others – no ads – $20 per month
- Bronze – 5 timelines – can embed – can share timelines with others – no ads – $5 per month
- Education – 1 silver account for teacher - 50 bronze accounts (for students) – can share timelines with others – can embed – no ads – $100 per year
Tikit-Toki is by far the best looking timeline I’ve seen. I mean when I showed it to Omar he simply said “Wow, that is awesome.” I couldn’t agree more. There are some things about Tiki-Toki that I I don’t like.
- You can see your password as you type it in
- I needed to refresh the page for my account to be active (this may just be me though)
- You cannot upload images from your computer
- Too many tabs to get media into a story. I wish it was just in one window like the other timeline sites
In the long run, it is a great website considering it was launched in March of 2011. Even though there are things I don’t like, it is still very easy and friendly to use (the helpful tips are just awesome) and the end result is stunning.
If I was giving a presentation to parents or colleagues I am using Tiki-Toki, no hesitation. If I am using it for my class I am going with Dipity or Timeglider. Multiple people can work on the same timeline for free and that makes a big difference when you’re talking about group projects. In the end I give Tiki-Toki an enthusiastic 3 DTs and I can’t wait to see what they add to site in the future.