I thought the whole "Twitter for the enterprise" concept died out after Yammer launched at the TechCrunch conference in 2008. It's an interesting tool, as is competitor SocialCast, but while products like these are achieving some early successes, the real-time, social-networking-at-work thing has not taken the business world by storm. Remember Google Wave? It's likely because businesses that already get the concept are using Notes or Sharepoint, and those that don't need to be convinced by their employees--who are dealing with their own social-network overload thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Once again there are reports that the long-rumored free version of MobileMe will arrive in April, some three years after the paid service became generally available and months ahead of initial estimates for when Apple planned to revamp its Web suite.
In a story this morning, blog iLounge cited a person it called a trusted source at a major educational institution as saying that the institution was unable to buy MobileMe subscriptions. Additionally, the source said Apple was planning to release a revamped version of the service as soon as next month. In the interim, Apple is said to be … Read more
Xobni is offering access to the first 100 CNET users who want to try out Xobni for Gmail. Sign up here, using the code XOBNI-CNET100. Once codes run out, you can still add your name for future access.
It's been a while since we've heard from Xobni, the company best known for its Outlook organizer and later, its BlackBerry e-mail add-on. Today, it pops into focus once more, with a new product: an e-mail extension for your Gmail account.
Called Xobni for Gmail, the free, limited private beta is an add-on for Firefox and Chrome that promises to go deeper than Google to bring context to the content of your Gmail account.
With Outlook and BlackBerry, Xobni's value proposition makes perfect sense--search was lacking, and Xobni's ability to pull together names, job titles, phone numbers, Facebook photos, attachments, and conversations surrounding any e-mail address to enter your inbox offers tangible benefits.
But Gmail already offers speedy search and threaded conversations. What does Xobni bring to the table?
More of the same with its organized sidebar capable of gathering supporting contact details taken from the contact's social networking profiles like Facebook and Linked In, as well as more-detailed contact information, and interesting stats about your social network--for instance, how often you speak electronically, and other people you speak with. Clicking a number can launch a Skype call, but Xobni doesn't currently connect with Google Voice.
Business users of corporate Google Accounts will also be able to use Xobni to aggregate contact details. In fact, you can link multiple Gmail accounts if you use Google's e-mail client for personal and work-related messaging.… Read more
The ideas behind Google Wave, a real-time communication technology the Net giant ditched, are making something of a comeback as a collaboration tool in Google Docs and Gmail.
Google announced discussions in Google Docs today, a new ability to automate the communications part of collaborations. Google Docs already let multiple people edit a document at the same time and to append comments to a document, but the discussions feature advances those abilities.
For one thing, comments now can be hidden once they've been addressed, not just deleted, and they can be resurrected if necessary.
It's hard to strike the right balance in the technology business between change that's too fast or too slow--in part because different customers prefer different paces. To try to better match those preferences, Google Apps now will come in two varieties.
The "rapid release" track will get new technology into customers' hands as soon as it's passed quality-assurance testing. The "scheduled release" track will issue updates once a week, with at least a week's notice to let administrators learn about the upcoming changes, Google announced today.
The dual-track approach applies to Gmail, … Read more
Google Voice has a vast number of benefits, from managing voice mail in an inbox to placing free texts. However, there still are some flaws--barely legible voice transcription and mobile app SMS delays to name two (I know, I know, not everyone experiences the same issues)--and the … Read more
Google is betting on a future with ubiquitous, affordable, wireless, high-speed Internet access. That may be smart in the long run, but last week that philosophy drove me straight back into the arms of Microsoft.
My technology choices generally come down to pragmatic rather than religious choices, and it was pragmatism that led me to embrace Google Docs last year. I like the fact that I can work simultaneously on multiple computers--indeed, even on mobile phones these days--and that multiple people can easily collaborate. My requirements for advanced formatting and formulas are low enough that I generally can put up … Read more
We've all heard the famous quote before: Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. And while you could try to avoid your taxes, Uncle Sam is probably going to make your life even more miserable if you do.
Rather than suffer the consequences of illegal action, we suggest you get a jump on your taxes with one of the four tax prep solutions we have thoroughly tested out for you: TurboTax (Web|Windows|Mac), H&R Block (Web|Windows|Mac), TaxAct (Web|Windows), and CompleteTax (Web-only). Oh, and--by the way--in the course of our testing, we … Read more
"We're doing to service industries what China did to manufacturing," CloudCrowd CEO Alex Edelstein tells me.
That's not exactly a warm and fuzzy concept for a journalist, as the particular service industries that CloudCrowd affects are in the writing and editing space. CloudCrowd collects tasks from clients--currently translation and proofreading jobs--via its Serv.io site, and then distributes them to waiting workers via a Facebook app.
Unlike the content farm Demand Media, where a computer assigns writing jobs to waiting workers based on popular search engine queries, CloudCrowd creates work when paying customers ask for it, … Read more
This afternoon, an e-mail popped into my inbox that--at first glance--looked ripe for immediate deletion. The word "Wal-Mart" in the subject was what set me off. But in that split second before my finger went down to send the message into oblivion, something else caught my eye. And, well, I'll let the e-mail do the talking:
Coming upon this note today--in January 2011--made me chuckle, sigh, and shake my head all in the span of about 30 seconds. Really, it's quite depressing to be reminded that there are still people out there who are stuck dealing … Read more