Posts tagged web 2.0

Stixy, free-form collaboration and online sharing service

Stixy provides a new free-form approach to collaborate most of the day to date contents online with your friends, colleagues and family. Along with collaboration Stixy also provides online file sharing.


Stixy logoStixy provides a new free-form approach to collaborate most of the day to date contents online with your friends, colleagues and family. Along with collaboration Stixy also provides online file sharing.

Stixy is an online bulletin board application that features Stixyboard, a free-form drag ‘n drop bulletin board. Stixyboard is highly flexible and shareable web bulletin boards. You can invite more users to collaborate on your Stixyboard.

Stixyboard can be effectively used for multipurpose like creating a to-do list, planner, calendar, sharing photo album, sharing files and notes. These boards created can be utilized for individual or group purpose.

Stixyboard Screen shot

Stixyboard Screenshot

Key Advantages

  • Easy to use, this application can be operated easily by any level of computer user.
  • Very rich GUI, the user interface is really amazing.
  • Stixyboard can be either private or public (with or w/o authentication)
  • There is no limitation of Stixyboard currently that means you can share huge volume of files with your friends. They have only 10 MB per file limit on files.

Setbacks

  • No full screen support. For any rich Internet application full screen mode is required for desktop like operation.
  • Question on scalability: I’m sure they much have designed the application with scalability in mind but there was a little question during my test initially. The application didn’t respond and lost data when I was trying to collaborate a Stixyboard from two different systems at the same time.

Improvements

Stixy would have a huge success if they can create a rich application for everyone’s daily use. I inferred following points would add more values to the Stixy, which is currently in beta.

  • Stixy can support more content types including video and music.
  • Stixy need to have a web-based drop zone to drop the files that need to be added to the Stixyboard.
  • Stixy would need a preview tool for viewing documents, playing music and videos etc. Just for the shake of previewing a Stixyboard I won’t prefer to download the entire content to my local.
  • Stixy need to collaborate with other online services to create more sophisticated and rich application. My personal favorite would be adding Picnik for image editing.
  • Stixy also need to syndicate the Stixyboard update so that users can keep track of their related Stixyboard.

Bottom-line, Stixy is currently in beta; I expect more functionality to be added to Stixy in near future to make it rich Internet application.

Have you tried Stixy? If so what is your feedback?

CatalystOffice, small office productivity web suite

CatalystWeb features small business software known as Catalyst Office on web. CatalystOffice is an integrated suite of productivity software such as email, document sharing calendar, task, contact etc.; Catalyst Office is a web application that gives you desktop like feel.CatalystOffice


CatalystWeb has been officially launched a week back; you can catch more release and background information about CatalystOffice at Catalyst launch blog. Catalyst Office has been designed not to include the drawbacks of popular office application such has Microsoft Outlook.

Bob Mathew, CEO of CatalystWeb has been working on this small business software for last 3 year to overcome his frustration experienced with Microsoft product in his former company. Bob Mathew is the first CEO who gave his cell phone number to the user.

Features

Catalyst Office provides more sophisticated features that included corporate wide instant messaging and others mentioned below.

  • Corporate Email; access to the company wide email.
  • Document Management; manage your documents with easy permission settings.
  • Calendar; share your calendar across the company and find other calendar features.
  • Contact Management; manage you’re contact list and easy import / export.
  • Task; easily set the tasks and reminder.
  • Notes; user it just like a Jot pad.
  • Journa; easy to journal your entries.

Key Advantages

  1. CatalystOffice provides very-very simple to use administrative panel. You really don’t have to hire an administrator.
  2. The user interface is simple and well designed. Anyone who previously used Outlook can quickly run through it.
  3. CatalystOffice can be accessed from anywhere via browser. You don’t have to pay for individual licenses. Just have to pay only for the space. No extra penny for processor and memory.
  4. CatalystOffice is hosted at CatalystWeb server, which has scheduled daily backups and 24/7 monitoring for technical issues.
  5. There are much more functionality associated with CatalystOffice as well like user profiles, email template and so on.

Setbacks

  1. CatalystWeb works only with Firefox 2 and Windows XP / VISTA which is great drawback when it comes to Web platform.
  2. No support for customizable domains. The application can only be hosted at CatalystWeb server.

Bottom-line, CatalystOffice suits pretty much the needs of every small entrepreneurial office that has much budget constraints. If you like to try CatalystOffice sign up for their 30-day full free trial today.

This is a sponsored post.

ByteSwap, organize and share your bytes easily

ByteSwap is very new online service that allows people to organize the information they wanted and let them share across their friends and ByteSwap community. ByteSwap is newest approach for a tradition concept.

ByteSwap ByteSwap very new of its breed and is been released couple of days back. I’m very pleased to try out the service they provide. ByteSwap is unique by this way, they allow you to organize / store and share your content. ByteSwap can be your personal storage medium and bookmaking tool at the same time.

ByteSwap allows you to add any content that you would like to organize. ByteSwap allows you to manage Contacts, Photo, File, Link, and Article Reference. ByteSwap also says yes for your favorite recipe or if you have silly things to organize or share using Free form text note option. Founder Matt Brown tells, “Think of ByteSwap as a virtual file cabinet or a personal search engine”.

ByteSwap Screenshot

ByteSwap also has an option to build an online community around like-minded people using ByteSwap Groups. Groups allow you to share your content across other people. Also you can add your friends / colleagues as you connection. The community suggestion feature would recommend the relevant content for logged in users using their interested topics.

ByteSwap also has a powerful search feature that allows you to search across the personal and community content. It redefines the way to search and would find you most relevant information from your friends and public. ByteSwap also features traditional folder structure to organize content for easy access.

Finally, ByteSwap is FREE for limited usage and has a premium account for heavy users.

Suggestion / Feature Enhancement

ByteSwap team has really put the their efforts on their new service. But as always I say “there is always room for improvement”. ByteSwap team is very keen in listening to feedbacks. Here goes my suggestion and feature request that I would like to see from ByteSwap.

Social Elements
Social element is a key factor when it comes to online community building. ByteSwap has to capitalize on this as well. The ByteSwap community would like to know more information about the user who is sharing the information to the community. ByteSwap can improvise this by adding user profile, user picture, user feeds etc. ByteSwap can introduce Social button would enable add link directly from any blog. This would help them build an authentic community around ByteSwap.

Preview Option
BtyeSwap can provide preview on items that has been added / shared across the community. They might include but not limited to picture, video, text or a link. This is good at usability standpoint and users would love it so as me.

User Interface
The user interface adds value to any online system and this is more emphasized in web2.0 era. ByteSwap is easy to navigate around but might be missing sophisticated features.

Browser Add-on
Most of the communities are success today with a browser add-on. ByteSwap can also come with a browser add-on that would enable user to share contents and get community suggestions.

Widget Support
ByteSwap can allow users to create a widget around their public content. This would enable the ByteSwap users to share across their blogs. This would add more meaning to social content.

Conclusion

ByteSwap would let you easily organize your content anything (I love the recipe item) more effectively. Also their search enables the users to find the information more relevant to them. Bottom-line, ByteSwap has lot of areas to improve and if they do they would be unique and best of all.

Have you ever tried any similar service like ByteSwap? Try ByteSwap and share your thought.

This is a sponsored post.

Zoho Meeting, free web conferencing application

Zoho Meeting is one among the free offerings from Zoho. Zoho is one among the leaders of Office 2.0. Zoho Meeting allows you to create a web conference online for free. Zoho also feature cross browser support.

Zoho MeetingZoho introduced public beta of Zoho Meeting a month back. Honestly, I had a chance to play with it only a week before. Zoho turns everyones attention by adding up new offerings to its Office 2.0 suite. Zoho meeting can be used in conjunction with other Zoho Office application like Zoho Show, Zoho Notepad etc.,

Zoho Meeting is easy to use application as well. All you have to do is create a meeting and provide the email id’s of participant. Alternatively, participant can join using meeting key also. After creating the meeting the presenter has to start the meeting. This might require an installation of an agent which is light weight. The participant can join the conference with either ActiveX, Java or Flash support. The later one would be slower.

The Zoho meeting has an option for Presenter to increase the quality of the color; this might reduce the speed. When I did the test with two laptops within a LAN network, I did notice a latency but it was negligible. It also allows the participant to interact with a chat interface, which is powered by Zoho Chat.

Features,

  • It seamlessly works across any browser provided it either has Flash, ActiveX or Java support.
  • Embedded the meeting anywhere in blogs, web page etc.,
  • Remote control the presenters desktop.
  • Free / Easy to use.

Zoho Meeting ScreenShot

Zoho Meeting Viewer

Enhancements / Improvements

  • Cross platform, no support for Mac and Linux currently. Well everyone should be aware of this. But yes only this limitation applies to the meeting presenter; participant can access meeting from any platform. And I believe Zoho crew would be working on this already.
  • Enable audio conference support for live meetings. This might not be a high point since most of the meetings get hosted through telephone in parallel with web conferencing. But enabling audio conference would gain the attention of small and medium scale companies.
  • The chat window needs serious reworking to catch up with other offerings. The chat window interface annoys a bit. It doesn’t allow few basic chat function like saving the chat history, copying the chat message, etc., Few people might prefer having this feature when they believe the chat happened there was important to them.
  • Better Event / Failure logging mechanism. When I was test driving, Zoho Meeting happened to error out and crash due to some reason. Zoho didn’t record the broken conference and it was reporting the conference was still in progress.
  • It would be great to have an option to switch presenter in the meeting. This need occurs if there are two or three presenters in an online meeting.

These are the few minor points, which came into my notice when I was test-driving Zoho Meeting. Overall Zoho always rocks and I’m one of their fan. Previously I had some good experience with Site24x7 their site monitoring service.

Bottom line, Zoho Meeting can’t be a complete replacement for WebEx or other market leading products but it is a very good alternative for Small Office and Freelancers.

Vayama, international air travel ticket search 2.0

Vayama is a new air travel ticket search service. Vayama has few strong plus points when compared with other players. First, it focuses mainly on international travel unlike other domestic players. Second, it is build based on Web 2.0; the UI is amazing and is socially powered with travel tips.


VayamaAre you planning to travel overseas for business or personal reason? A new startup Vayama is here to offer you the best solution. Vayama is unique of it kind, which offers Americans to travel overseas with anease. International travelers always find it hard to find and book their air ticket. Vayama offer them help with robust international travel ticket search feature.

Vayama is backed by one of the largest travel organization in the world, BCD Holding. Vayama comes into industry with lot of experience and resource. Vayama also acts as travel agent to find good deals.

The first thing you notice about Vayama is the user interface. It has bought rich user experience with much friendly interface. Microsoft Virtual Earth powers the maps with touch and go feature. The touch and go feature makes the entry of airports much easier. You can click on the map and locate the airport. Alternatively for regular users, they can enter the three digit Airport code or start entering the first thee digits and select the applicable one from the list box.

Once you enter the departure / arrival airport and their corresponding dates, click on search to locate your travel itinerary. Vayama will search for thousands of public and private fare and finds the best deal for you. It will show you the route map for the currently available best deal. You can filter you results based on the stops, trip time, price, connection point, and airline.
Vayama Search Sceen
Based on the selection it will give you the itinerary for the travel with brief price information. Once you’re ready to reserve the ticket it pops you out with a 3D interface for seat selection. You have provision to book hotel and car also.

Apart from this Vayama has cool interface for getting around particular place. This feature would really help the new travelers. In that section you will find most basic information about the city, transportation, attractions and finally it does socialize with the blog on about those cities. Overall it will act as a good live travel guide!

Bottom line, Vayama helps American overseas travelers to an extent but it is yet to support ticketing for other nations, which I would say is the major drawback considering international audience. Vayama has the potential to take its crowd international along with international search it offers now

Picnik, the Best Online Photo Editor

Picnik is another online image editing tool like Fauxto, Snipshot etc. Picnik is relatively new, fast and stylish flash based online photo editor. Picknic is my personal favorite now in online photo editing.

Click! Click! Click! and you’re done.

I stopped at Picnik.com today when I was searching for Picasa Web Album API, which was released earlier today. Picnik is one of the featured projects that use Google’s Gdata API. I was really amazed with this tool. I have tried couple of other online photo editing tools before but nothing fascinated me as much as Picnik. TechCrunch also reports Picnik has replaced PXN8, their Ajax-based favorite online editing tool.

Picnik, a online photo editing softwarePicnik is completely different application in the Web2.0 buzz. Picknik is completely Flash based their user interface is fastest among the best. The coolest part is Picnik has API based integration with most popular web albums Flikr and PicasaWeb. Picnik is an innovative tool that brings the online photo editing much flexible and simple never before. Picnik would be a better alternative to any offline photo-editing tool for simple operations like crop, resize, and more. Picnik does bundle with few advanced options like basic photo effects, borders and special effects.

Picknik is currently in free public beta and it would come with premium plan in future but the basic image editing option would be free. Picnik is currently looking for naming convention of their premium version. Picnik is released by a Seattle based start up company called Bitnik

Key Features

  • Crop, rotate, and resize picture in real time
  • One click photo fixing and other in-depth color editing
  • Believe me it is fast than advertised 🙂
  • Integrates with most of the photo sharing / printing sites
  • No installation required. All online.
  • Compatible with Window/ Mac and Linux
  • Completely FREE during beta after that basic features will remain free
  • Easy to use and fast user interface.

Picnik the Best Online Photo Editor ScreenShot

Photo Input option

Picknik supports JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TGA, and TIF picture formats. Picnik can grab photos from any of the below source for editing.

  • Flickr Album / Picasa Web Album
  • Upload directly from computer
  • Grab the photos from site directly
  • Yahoo / Flickr search
  • Capture directly from Web Camera

Available Editing Options

With Picnik you can auto fix the photo for color and exposure. Also it has basic Rotate, Crop, Resize, Color, Exposure, Sharpen, and Red-Eye editing options. These features come handy. Also you have unlimited UNDO options available so that you can keep editing as you need.

The advance editing option comes with basic photo effects like Sepia, B/W, Boost, Soften, Vignette, and Matte. Also you can create border easily around the picture using the border option. Also there are few other advanced options that come in bundle with premium offering.

Save & Share

Picnik supports really cool options for saving and sharing. The wide options include

  • You can save directly to flickr or picasa account.
  • Email the photo to anyone
  • Save it locally in the computer
  • Creating a flickr slideshow and share it across the website
  • Email to photo sharing / printing websites
  • Print the photos directly

Bottom line, Picnik is a free online photo-editing tool that can be used for basic editing purpose that reduces the burden of installing a heavy desktop application.

Try this out today and share your comment and feedback.

ChaCha, a people guided search engine

ChaCha is a next generation search engine that powers people guided search. If you’re tried up with traditional search engines with over crowded results; then you may need to try out the guided search from ChaCha.

ChaCha LogoChaCha offers search paired with a real guide who can help you in figuring out your search term. With ChaCha, Search Engine market gets into Social too. In Web 2.0 world it is almost inevitable to get away from social network. ChaCha relies upon powerful guide community which round near to 20K+. The guide gets paid upto $5 per search hour which is really great.

There are couple of methods to use search on ChaCha. They have got traditional search engine is good but same as other conventional one so it does not grab user attention. The real cool service is guide driven search, via an instant message screen on the page. While the search does not provide best information on net, it was fun searching with a guide. It is kind of calling directory service for finding some information.

ChaCha Guided Search chat
Scott A. Jones, co-founder, Chairman and CEO of ChaCha Says,

“We wanted to solve the problem search engine users are experiencing with existing services – that is, the massive volume of search results they must sift through online. We’ve addressed the problem with a comfortable and familiar search experience that improves upon the shortcomings of first-generation search engines. Connecting experienced guides with those searching for information in real-time is a powerful thing and brings a whole new dimension to Internet searching.”

Why ChaCha?

From ChaCha About page,

The answer is that it has a dual meaning. First, “Cha” means “search” in Chinese. Second, the ChaCha is a popular, fast-paced dance. Therefore, we are named ChaCha because we are the only search engine that allows people seeking information to instantly connect online with live ChaCha Guides that lead them (much as they would in the dance) to the most relevant results on the Internet.

What ChaCha has to improve?

In my initial glance and experience with ChaCha, I see these are areas ChaCha should improve upon.

  1. Chacha has to rework on the entirely on it user interface. The current user interface is overloaded that does not make the navigation much easier.
  2. Over Crowded and Non-Contextual ads makes the user experience more clumsy
  3. ChaCha should develop more versatile search algorithm to guide the user with more accurate experience.
  4. ChaCha should put in more robust technology to fight abuse. TechCrunch reports 90$ of ChaCha is prankster. It should frame stong abuse policy.

I will be writing more about ChaCha guide functionality if i get a chance to be a ChaCha guide 🙂

Bottom line, search engines goes social too.

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