Sunday, March 30, 2008

Web 2.0

Rob ran down a list of the Web 2.0 apps he uses.

If I run down my browser's bookmarks toolbar, I use:
  • Gmail - my primary non-work email. I also keep quick notes as drafts and backup smaller files by emailing them to myself.
  • Google Reader - I check Reader more often than Gmail. I follow about 20 low-traffic blogs and other RSS/Atom sources in near real-time and about 100 other feeds that I scan onces or twice a day. It's been a great timesaver compared to just bouncing around my top 50 bookmarks randomly. I also "star" things to read later if I'm short on time and share things that I used to email people. (You can see my shared feed over here somewhere on the right side of the page ---> )
  • Facebook - I follow a feed of my friend's activities. Normally that wouldn't be too many but a ton of adults from our church are on Facebook. Tipping Point. Otherwise it's a few scattered people I used to know (include Rob, who I went to high school with and hadn't seen or talked to in 20+ years). I otherwise pretty much ignore it. I don't do most of the apps and I don't do a lot of Twitter-like microblogging. I did develop a small sample app but the Facebook servers are so touchy that the timeouts were making me nuts. I might still get back to building an app.
  • Google Calendar - We have a Google calendar for each family member so I can see at a glance who's got what. Plus I get fed a few other calendars like the NFL schedule. I don't sync it with anything though. I do use SMS to interact with it.
  • Google Docs - I mostly use this to share docs with my wife. I also keep some docs I use for children's ministry. Otherwise all my docs are on a PC or in email.
  • Blogger - I like it a lot better than tweaking Wordpress and having to keep up with their patch cycle. Especially since we're on GoDaddy for hosting now and they're a pretty weak host for Wordpress. I can do 90% of what I want on Blogger with little effort and it keeps getting better.
  • Flickr - I upload almost every single photo I take to my Flickr Pro account. I'd much rather use Picasa Web (Google Photos) but the same amount of storage would cost me a fortune. I do use Picasa Web for some photos though. I really need to shuffle things so my Flickr Pro is just for backups and use Picasa Web and a free Flickr account for sharing.
  • Netflix - We juggle 3 DVDs at a time and 4 queues, one for each family member. Plus the kids can usually watch something they want with streaming.
  • LinkedIn - It's exploding with people. In the last month I've seen more people I know join than I used to see in six months. It's the first place I go to look for people I know in any technology field.
  • Traineo - Tracking my weight loss and exercise.
  • LibraryElf - Monitors our local library account of every family member so I automatically know when books are coming due or holds are available. I get updates by RSS, SMS and email.
  • Twitter - Still not quite sure how I will use Twitter. I originally used it to collect some other RSS sources, like my blog posts, but FriendFeed is better for that. I also used to mirror tweets to my Facebook status but I stopped that. Now I just post things that aren't worth a whole blog entry.
  • FriendFeed - I'm starting to use this as a macro view into all my different RSS feeds that I feel like sharing.
  • Mint - Tracks our spending. It's still rough around the edges, but it's got a lot of potential.

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