Infinite Power of the Universe, Itty Bitty Browser Space.
A phrase I have come to use quite a bit lately has been “Heavy Lifting of the Internet” , a quick Google for this phrase shows me that there are a few references but none which reflect my intentions. The more modern Internet as defined by Web2.0 with its multiple applications, social networks, media and management tools is , to my mind, placing more and more power organisation power out into the internet.
When discussing Web Strategy and Communications with my clients It strikes me that there is still a very centralised and focused view on how data should be used and accessed. The role of desktop applications and single corporate servers to provide and manage mail, appointments, files and conversations is not diminished despite the ever increasing connectivity of the Web2.0.
When explaining to my clients how to use Internet based tools to share information and ideas I will often refer to the “Heavy Lifting of the Internet”. To use the many applications services and products available over the Internet to spread the weight and the load from corporate IT management away from a top down approach to a more decentralised , but managed, service.
Since I keep repeating my conversations I thought I might share a few of my Favourite things with my readers.
- By redirecting my email from my service provider into my googl mail accounts it can drop much of the spam and provide additional virus protection as well as providing an additional copy of my email online to access at a later date.
- Additionally I can filter the BACN into the archive before my main server collects the mail which further reduces the Noise levels of my Inbox.
- Sharing my calendar with my clients and with the call centre that manage my calls makes for a very simple scheduling tool. Using Schedule World to access my calendar and pass its contents to my mobile phone calendar removes the need to synchronise with another email client, why arent mobile manufacturers doing this already though ?
Chatting and Conversations.
For instant conversations other than phone calls I have been making use of Skype which has provided the following benefits.
- Text Conversations and Instant Messaging feel much more slick. Text conversations can be recorded, almost indefinitely, and this helps to track conversations one comment after the next in a way that Email doesn’t even come close to.
- Creating Conference calls between other Skype users is extremely simple
- With a small contribution (cash ) you can enable a Dialin and Dial out function that allows you to use Skype like a traditional plain old telephone service. Effectively allowing me to have a “land line” number to access from my computers.
- Running Skype with the same account on multiple PCs does not kill previous sessions. So when I fire up Skype on one Laptop it doesnt disconnect the connection on my PC at that time. Effectively tracking conversations back on my PC.
- Where my contact has enabled it on their profile I can send a text message to theri mobile from within Skype.
Further to Skype I have been making use of Meebo to provide an online text chat room from within other websites such as Ning , or if I wish within my own Blog. Meebo lets me create public or private chat rooms for friends, associates and clients which can enable online conversations at short notice and with no effort to set up.
Office Suites and Collaborative working.
I guess Google are really beginning to stand out in this blog post though I will certainly give props to Zoho for creating an equally stunning and competitive product.
- Google Docs allow me to create documents that can be sent as word or excel or open document format files.
- I have the ability to edit Microsoft Word and Excel and now Powerpoint files and email attachments from within google mail , within the browser ! , and then save and send back the document.
- Additionally the option to invite other users to Collaborate and share a document in which they edit and contribute as well manage revisions online is stunning, oh yeah and its free.
Collaborative working and sharing of ideas and the option to create and manage documents on the fly without the need to have preinstalled an office suite is using the Internet to carry some of that daily weight of data management.
In the Web 1.0 world web designers have made a lucrative income on creating from scratch ( or rehashing ) websites to be hosted on various services and locations. The Web2.0 world changes the nature of web design and development enabling the consumer to pick an off the shelf product and have it “styled” to meet their design requirements. Enabling the owner to update and manage their content whilst leaving the styling and layout design to be a greatly reduced cost of implementation.
However without going to extraneous effort its possible to create a website , blog, forums etc with such service providers as
- WordPress : Dont be fooled into thinking that a Blog is not place to create Webcontent. Be clear as to their terms of service and you will find a place to begin a conversation and an idea to talk about you and your ideas and products.
- Ning : Beyond just inviting people to contribute to forums and groups Ning provides another mechanism to create content and certainly its possible to host your own
Audio Video Content.
There are so many here to talk about but the top two I have made use of have been.
- KYTE.TV : Kyte has a very simple idea of allowing you to create audio/video content in a simple almost scrapbook format that can be broadcast and then included into your site.
- Operator11 : Operator 11 , as I mentioned before is a fantastic place to create video conversations and share and network ideas in a public forum.
Well its been almost two weeks since Google purchased Jaiku and the conversations dont stop so please,; use.
The key for Web2.0 is that there is no need to “reinvent” or reproduce the basic essentials of communications and conversations. We can use the tools and products available online with which to build teams and ideas and thoughts and share content and ideas without large scale investment in recreating products for single purpose and use; we really can use the “Heavy Lifting of the Internet”.
Thanks for reading.