one to watch

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Web Office: Point your browser to ...

The Read / Write Web announced that they will be profiling a roundup of web "office" applications. Just a heads up to point your browser or aggregator to Read / Write Web if you are interested in following along . . .

Yippie!! Writely.com is Back in Business

Thanks for the heads up from Nancy White at Full Circle OIB - Writely is back! One of my IU group's gave Zohowriter.com a try when it wasn't clear what was happening with Writely after Google gobbled it up, but I found that I prefer the functionality I was excited about the first time I wrote about Writely. Also, we ran into a lot of bugs and errors with Zoho when attempting to set up collaborators. I guess we weren't alone as Writely "outscores" the competition in a recent CNET.com article - against competitors that I have mentioned here (Zoho and ThinkFree) and one I hadn't stumbled upon (Glide). Glad to see that Writely is still free and once again accepting new members! Here is a quick run down of the key features of Writely:

meebo me: IM Widget for your Personal Website

Since my post about meebo back in March, meebo has become my IM client of choice.  I even use it in my discussion group for one of my classes.  Web based means I can access it anywhere on any computer (on my Mac and PC) and with no downloads.  Best of all, it works will all of the main IMs. As an added bonus, it is just "cute" with a super clean interface it is very visually appealing.  Now the good folks at Meebo have come up with "meebo me", a Flash based widget to sit on your website. As the meebo folks describe it:

Windows Live Spaces - Better Late than Never?

Windows Live Spaces went "live" - here is my test space.  Maybe more than fashionably late with an update to MSN Spaces, it is a pretty good looking update none the less.  Part blog platform / part social networking site / part mini-CMS (with photo storage), my first glance didn't produce any a-has. Discoveryspaces.live.com displays the updated features. Overall, a solid catch-up effort, but in a space with a lot of similar competitors.

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OpenAcademic Integrates Elgg, Drupal, Moodle and Mediawiki

Ok. How about we pretend for the moment that there is no threat to open Internet access or to social networking learning opportunities in public schools . . . why? Because there is a really cool social networking initiative that deserves our attention over at OpenAcademic.org. The OpenAcademic project launch was announced today with the goal of integrating Elgg, Drupal, Moodle and Mediawiki into a new open source online learning environment. The goal is to provide a broad offering of tools to support both informal learning options (e-portfolios and personal workspaces), as well as formal online course sites. As the project is just in the early development stage, we will have to wait to see a demo. However, the project's goal is to offer OpenAcademic for download and installation free of charge as an open source project.

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Peter's Online Typing Course

Very cool site on Jane's E-learning Pick of the Day linking to Peter's Online Typing Course!  Not fancy, but a great set of typing lessons and online practice tools with feedback.  Fun!

Web 2.0 Slides

Ok . . . this is the ultimate in lazy browsing!  Perfect for a late afternoon session of browsing while rocking on my hammock.  Click on over to Web 2.0 Slides and rock yourself to sleep as you catch up on the latest and greatest.  Per the site, here is what it is all about:

Web2.0Slides is a self-running slide show of over 1,400 of the best Web2.0 sites. It's categorized by tags and sorted alphabetically. What's
cool about it? You can click on any site in the left-hand column to
pause the slide show and surf around. When you're done, simply click PLAY,
and it will begin right where you left off. Perfect for Web 2.0 couch
'taters. But if you're antsy and want to click around on sites, go
right ahead—it won't stop the show.

Flock: Winner of the Browser Battle (for now)

In the past few months, I have tried the new IE Beta (wow - it has tabs), Netscape, Firefox and Flock.  I have yet to try the newest release of Opera, but I am so pleased with Flock that it will take a lot to get me to try anything else for awhile.  Built on the Mozilla project codebase, Flock offers all of the Firefox bells and whistles, but the interface is somehow "fresher".  While I still occasionally need to boot up IE - Microsoft sites often "require" IE - Flock has become my primary browser.  Here is a list of my favorite things about Flock (many are found in Firefox, too):

Itzle: Collaboration Gadget

I just tested Itzle, a fun little web based chat application with a unique twist.  As you are surfing the web, you can "invite" your fellow Itzle buddies to visit the web page you are on making the web surfing experience seem more collaborative.  Itzle then provides a small pop up chat window that overlays the web page that gives you the sense of collaboration - in other words, a "you see what I see" experience.  This is in contrast to other chat applications that just allow you to "cut and paste" a URL to share a link to what you are seeing . . . the same outcome, but a different interface.

Looking for Inspiration (.com) and found Microsoft Office 2007 Beta

Always willing to be the guinea pig for new software, I am in the process of downloading the Beta releases of MS Office, including Office Professional Plus 2007, Viso Professional 2007, Groove 2007 and One Note 2007. There are many other titles available for download from the preview site. The full versions will run until February 2007. After that, they will continue to work, but in a "reduced functionality mode" - whatever that means?

Gliffy.com

More for the "cool stuff" category! From this e-clippings link, I came across Gliffy.com - a web based diagramming application (Visio meets web 2.0). It has a lot of great bells and whistles, including:

  • Nothing to download,
  • Collaborate (others can read / edit)
  • Save (on Gliffy.com)

Test of Blog Post from Flock!

I just downloaded Flock and so far so very, very good! The interface feels like a revved up Firefox! In less than five minutes, I had my del.icio.us, Flickr and Bloglines accounts all synced up and ready to roll! Ooooh! When I attempted to publish this post, a pop up allowed me to tag my post based on my Drupal tags - something I have not been able to figure out in Performancing with Firefox.

More cool web sites . . .

Who has time to evaluate all of these cool web sites?

Zoho Suite

Zoho.com is one to watch. If you think Writely.com was great, I say Google may have jumped too soon. Here are links to the Zoho blog from the developers, to AdventNet (the private IT company behind the curtain, so to speak) and to the company profile in Hoovers. The web based suite (yep, more web 2.0 stuff) includes a comprehensive list of free to try online web based applications, including the following:

ajax ... everything

As we've seen (and tried), there are a lot of fun and useful ajax enabled web based tools like writely.com (gobbled by Google).  Here are a few new ones created by Ajax13 along with the descriptions from the web sites (in italics) bringing us ever closer to a web versus desktop platform for all of our favorite productivity applications.  While they provide a quick alternative, most lack the functionality of writely (storage, collaboration, post to blog, RSS feeds).  However, they do give a sneak peek into the future .

Another Mega Web Site Roundup

This mega web site round up will take a looooonngggg time to go through.  Look like some oldies, but also some new goodies!

Excellent Round Up of Web 2.0

Thanks to Ben for this list of amazing Web 2.0 applications.  He and I have been trying out meebo.com this morning.  Too awesome for words!  Still in alpha (no history, etc), but it allows you to sign on with multiple IM accounts (AIM, Yahoo!, Google, ICQ, MSN) and chat directly in your browser (no need to download any software).  This will be a fun one to watch!  Can't wait to try a bunch of other new ones!

ThinkFree Office

I haven't seen much hype (yet?) over ThinkFreeOffice Online, the web based suite of Office like applications.  Reminds me a whole lot of Writely.com.  I set up a "free" account with 30 MB of storage at the site that is still in "beta".  The first glance looks pretty slick.  I tried out ThinkFree Office Write and it has the exact look and feel of Word.  However, it appears to lack some of the collaboration features of Writely.com - they may be there and I just haven't found them.

Writely - The Web Word Processor

I've been working with Writely - an online web word processor - for the past couple of days. So far, it appears far superior to other writing collaboration tools (and wikis) I have seen. Beyond the word processing and wiki like functionality (spell check, comments, multiple save as options- to Word, a PDF, etc), it includes a lot of fun bells and whistles, such as document RSS feed functionality to allow the tracking of collaborator changes on your feed aggregator. Overall, the interface is simple and clean. As a (former?) Word user, I had a seamless transition to Writely.
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