Category: Web Apps

Looking for a Cloud Backup solution – I love CrashPlan

Just wanted to share a great tool I discovered about 3 months ago – CrashPlanPro http://www.crashplan.com/

 

The service works great with mac and windows machines, I’m using it with my MacBook Pro’s and love the service. After using a couple of the others, I found this one offers the best throughput and ease of use for macs. I went with the 3 year plan and can add all my computers and I don’t have to think about backing up with it working in the background, I can see that my data is easily available than via any machine as long as I have my login id and password. My main laptops use a 500gb hd so I was looking for a way to backup and archive without having to worry about drives locally and storing them offsite. They even offer a hard drive exchange to do a initial back or to get your data back if you ever require a full reinstall. I still use a local hard drive with time machine to have a local copy available.

 

They offer a 30 day trial, so I would recommend giving it a test drive if you are looking for a easy way to back up data.

Making Forms – Looking for a easy way to create forms without coding??? look no further than Wufoo.com

I’ve been using Wufoo for a little over a year and love how easy it is to use and setup new forms that you can share with your team, clients or customers. Wufoo provides a simple interface to quickly drag and drop fields onto a page and allows you to focus on the information you need to gather rather than how you need to code or design the form.  If you need a little more power, flexibility and reporting than what Google Docs forms offer, this web app now owned by SurveyMonkey provides a great experience and power to grow. There API offers several ways to integrate into other components such as credit card transactions or the ability to attach files. We’ve used it for client projects, support forms, surveys and order forms. Forms can easily be setup without ay prior knowledge of coding and quickly launched without any special server or software since they are hosted within their servers.

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The web app provides templates as well as system for customizing designs and several field types. This is a example of a web based support form we use to collect data from users who are experiencing a issue or have a question and we can quickly provide support. You can easily drag elements up or down on the form as well as quickly define field types.

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After selecting a field, the left area changes from field types to specific settings for that field type. This allows you to require a field, customize the data type or provide other instructions.

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After your form is setup you can easily have the data emailed to the user, as well as to your team and login back in to Wufoo to review any entries as well.

Wufoo is free for up to 3 forms and 100 entries per month or available in several inexpensive plans.
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Learn more at: 

Microsoft builds HTML5 based demo of Windows Phone 7.5 – worth a look

You can check out via a Android or iOS based product at:

 

 

If you try via the desktop you get a unsupported message: (not sure why? I guess they want you to experience the touch concept…which is silly since I would think their main target would be users who don’t already have a Android or iOS based product.

 

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I test drove it on the iPad in landscape mode and it tells you to flip it to portrait. This is done via CSS and can be tested as shown.
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Flipped into portrait mode and got started, here’s some sample. Nicely done Microsoft.

 

Creating Polls for Mobile or Desktops with PollEverywhere.com using Web, Twitter or Text Responses #mlearncon

If you need a simple way to gather feedback from a audience or a team on the go, checkout polleverywhere.com. The tool works great with a class or group of people and provides a simple way to gather feedback or enhance your meeting with participation that everyone can see. They offer a free plan for up to 30 people or and offer inexpensive plans for person, corporate and even educational pricing. We discovered this site last year and started using and recommending to clients.

 

You can integrate the polls into PowerPoint or Keynote and even delivery data to your web or blog site.

One of the coolest features they introduced is the ability for a presenter to have a audience of web devices that now auto-update when the user is logged into the event url and allows them to provide feedback or participate. Having used other physical devices, the usability is simple and everyone can participate, granted they have wifi or a mobile device with a modern browser such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc.

 

 

Adding/creating a site to raise funds just got a lot easier with http://www.gofundme.com

GOfundme.com is going into a public beta and it looks to be a great way to instantly setup a site to collect and raise funds for your event, dreams and causes. Check it out at http://www.gofundme.com/. The site charges $9 per month and does not take any additional fees per donation. The site utilizes the PayPal API for transactions. Learn more at: http://www.gofundme.com

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Demoing how powerful Posterous.com is to use at #LS2010

If you haven’t played with Posterous.com you need to check it out. Amazing Web 2.0 technology that allows you to e-mail text, graphics, audio and video and it will automatically assemble and optimize the content for viewing the web. 

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Examples Images from the Ariel Web Site.

Here’s example of the world map that allows you navigate to Jazz Hotspots.
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Slideshare Presentation from Wednesday on Compression
http://www.slideshare.net/nickfloro/introduction-to-compressing-video-audio-content

Project Natal
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2qlHoxPioM?wmode=transparent]

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Many Eyes: Visualizing the Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington #dl09 #lrnchat

 

While attending the recent eLearning Guild’s conference in San Diego, I saw an example of the Many Eyes, developed by IBM, in a session. The speakers had used it to assist in visualizing the information from a report they were developing for publication on trends in elearning. You can view examples and register for your own account to test out the technology. I think its a great example of how a report, idea, story or general data can be transformed to visual form to make it easier for the audience to digest or view the information in a graphical format.

My favorite is the Wordle mode. A “Wordle” enables you to see how frequently words appear in a given text, or see the relationship between a column of words and a column of numbers. You can tweak your word “clouds” with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

Here’s an example that a user posted from a proclamation from President George Washington about Thanksgiving. See how this text is transformed and words are ranked by the systems analysis:

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington

The visual Wordle:

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Learn more >>  http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/page/Tour.html

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Great Web App to check if your sites are up? AreMySitesUp.com

If you are looking for a tool that can help you track your web sites and alert you if your site is having a problem then you need to check out http://www.aremysitesup.com. The site offers several options, including a free service. Based on your needs they offer an iPhone app for monitoring as well as e-mail, Twitter and SMS support for getting an alert if your site goes down. You also get a follow-up alert once the site is back-up and running to confirm the service has returned. I had been running an older Mac based service which no longer is support and we had tested several web based solutions over the last several months and I loved the options, pricing and solution here. Monitoring can be setup to test a particular url or for a word on a particular page. You can also get warning if the site times out or does not respond.

A look at services:

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/Ae2mFpSDDw]

If you need a quick site checker, try the Instant Site Checker at: http://aremysitesup.com/sitechecker

Web Resource: Alltop.com

Alltop.com is a website launch by Guy Kawasaki, its described as an online magazine rack for the internet of popular topics. The design is clean and easy to use and allows for easy viewing of your favorite subjects from design, technology, medicine, gadgets to specific products with hundreds of listings. Content is updated hourly.

 The interface starts with a menu where you can select a hot topic, look under a list A-Z or use the search topics field. I would suggest checking it out for an alternate way to view a specific topic and a breadth of content from one central location without having to google or search each day.

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I selected Tech as the categories and you can see a list of topics.

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Once you find a topic of interest you can bookmark that url such as http://gadgets.alltop.com and you can visit the updated content daily. Moving the mouse over a headline displays the opening of the web site.

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I would recommend checking out these (to get started)
 
http://user-interface.alltop.com/
 
http://ajax.alltop.com/
 
http://iphone.alltop.com/
 
http://gadgets.alltop.com/

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Posterous – amazing web app for blogging + sharing information.

Check out from an web 2.0 application stand point, this site is amazing. It takes the concept of blogging or maintaining a web site to a whole new level by allowing you to easily e-mail just about any type of content and it will auto build the page or entry for you. It could not get any easier. The design of the site is beautiful and clean. It the first major web site that has truly amazed me in the past couple of months and its a great new tool to use to share, blog or post content. The site will auto post the same info, if you want to twitter, flckr, as well as all major blogging tools. I highly recommend giving it a test drive and I’m sure you’ll jump on board. http://is.gd/eNfP

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