At the Under the Radar: Office 2.0 conference on Friday, one of the sessions I'll be moderating is called "Team Work." Yes, almost everything in business is about teamwork, but there are some interesting Web products that will be demo'd during this session. I previewed two of them.
First up, SystemOne, an enterprise-knowledge-management system masquerading as an ordinary business wiki. What's cool about this product is that it automatically creates, at the bottom of each page, a list of relevant other wiki pages, feeds, and Web search results. The autocreation of the links removes … Read more
37signals launched Highrise this morning. It's a customer relationship management (CRM) tool aimed at small groups and medium-size businesses. Highrise is meant to fill the gap between Outlook's contact manager and complicated CRM apps that require an IT department to keep running smoothly. It's also priced below SalesForce.com's Team Edition, with more of an emphasis on contact communication and history, rather than sales and forecasting. It's a Webware solution for people who don't want to install CRM software or manage a huge database, and who need a tool that can be accessed on the go.
Highrise launches with six different plans, five of which are paid services with the benefit of shared group storage, increased contact and collaboration limits, and relation-based information pages called "cases." Each tier of service can be upgraded or downgraded at any time, and there's no contract.
In Highrise, each case file can contain information about multiple companies; contacts; and any important information like notes, shared files, and e-mails. By grouping this information in one place, you can create a detailed history or context for a group or contact. Highrise has some built-in tools for organization as well. You can schedule phone calls, reminders, tasks, or basic to-do lists, and assign or include other Highrise collaborators. It's not nearly as deep a system as you get with 37signals' group collaboration tool Basecamp, but if you see something you want a colleague to follow up on, you can do it without firing up your e-mail client.
For integration with your e-mail, Highrise recommends that you set up your e-mail app to automatically forward everything to a special Highrise address. Highrise will parse your messages, and copy over any attachments along with the original text to the contact's profile page on Highrise. If you haven't already created the contact in Highrise, the app will create it for you. … Read more
Want to add some pizzazz to your Google personalized home page? This week Google is offering six themes that people can use to decorate their page. Google typically prefers simple, clean, text-only pages for its sites, with the notable exception being the doodle on its main search page. With this announcement Google is recognizing that some people might want to add some some color to their personalized home pages.
The themes include a beach, a cityscape, a Japanese tea house, the four seasons, the sky, and a bus stop. They will change dynamically, depending on the time of day and … Read more
We covered Jaxtr back in December. It's a cool telephony tool that lets you put a "call me" icon on your blog page, social network profile, or your e-mail signature. Today the company added a few new features that are worth checking out.
First, there's the startler tool. Over the phone, you can record a "VoiceBlast" greeting for your Jaxtr widget that plays whenever the widget is loaded on a page. When someone visits your blog or MySpace page, they'll hear you talking to them as soon as the page loads.
That is … Read more
VoiceThread is a photo sharing tool that launched earlier this month. It lets users upload photos from their hard drive or Flickr, and add voice and text annotations to each slide. These 'VoiceBooks' can be embedded in blogs, Web sites, or MySpace profiles. Other users can comment on each slide, with up to 28 comments per picture. The service is selling itself as a voice forum tool.
The VoiceBook creation process is handled entirely within one window, without the need to refresh or hop pages. It's pretty user-friendly, and adding photos is incredibly easy. In just a few minutes, … Read more
Jaiku is another nanoblogging service, much like Twitter (Webware coverage). It's got a few bells and whistles that Twitter lacks, but the core concept is the same: it's easy to enter in quick status notes; it's easy to subscribe to friends' feeds; and you can send and receive updates by phone.
What I like about Jaiku is that you can add RSS feeds to your account. That way, if you blog something or post a picture to Flickr, for example, your Jaiku feed will automatically share that information with the people who are following you.
Jaiku also … Read more
YouTube has launched the first ever YouTube Awards with 70 videos in seven categories. This week viewers can vote to pick their favorites of 2006. It's kind of like the Oscars, but for user-generated video clips such as Lonelygirl15 and Ask a Ninja. As of right now, there's nothing on the awards page but a bunch of comments from confused users who have made their way to the site to find nothing to vote on. Digging deeper, clicking on playlist shows a full listing of clips. We're assuming there will be a voting system similar to the … Read more
We knew it was going to happen one of these days; with all this talk about telling everyone where you are, from Twitter maps to Dodgeball, it was only a matter of time before a mainstream instant-messaging service decided to integrate location-based features. Well, now we have it. Sort of.
A company called Skyhook Wireless, which appears to specialize in location-based Wi-Fi data services, has built a plugin for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) that will allow you to share your location through Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) -- kind of an alternative to GPS. (Skyhook also created the Loki … Read more
The Zooomr photo-sharing site plans major changes, including the ability to let members sell their photos, but the upgrade process has been rocky.
Photo-sharing sites have added features such as tagging, commentary, ranking and printing. But adding the ability to sell photos injects a little profit motive in the business as well. It also puts the site in more direct competition with stock-photo sales sites such as Getty Images subsidiary iStockphoto.