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Question: which web services do you use?


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#1 Ruud

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 08:55 PM

Around the forum web services and hosted software get talked about regularly.

Makes me curious though which ones we're actually using.

Since I'm more and more a mobile computer user my use of web services have increased.
  • Outlook Live
  • del.icio.us
  • Google browser sync
  • Google Notebook on one project
  • Writely
  • Box.net - free 1GB offsite storage
  • Carbonite - unlimited offsite backup @ $5/month
  • To Read - to send To Read pages to my mailbox
  • Flickr (private and a work pro account)
  • Newsgator Online - RSS whenever I need it *and* keeps my FeedDemon installations synced
  • Commentful to track blog/comment conversations. Better than coComment as it works anywhere.
And you?

#2 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 09:26 PM

I know this may put me in the minority, but I'm not sure I'm actually using any web services.

I have accounts on quite a few services; but haven't managed to actually work them into my normal workflow. I use Blogger for one blog, but have plans to get rid of that as soon as I have time. I don't use any of the many bookmark sharing services, don't use Digg, etc., etc. They just don't fit into my workflow.

And believe me, I've tried.

Of course, determining what it means to "use" a "service" is a bit of a challenge. For example, I do send all of my email to my gmail account. I don't, however, actually "use" the account. I consider it a very easily searchable archive of my mail - don't remember what account I received some piece of information? Search gmail. However, I never give out the address and never have anything sent there if I can possibly avoid it.

I also struggle to define what a web service is, some times. I use Feedburner to track blog subscriptions; is that a service? I'd say it is, but I've managed to fit it into my workflow primarily due to the fact that I don't actually need to do anything except remember it once a month or so in order to be using it.

(Carbonite sounds very intriguing, however.)

#3 TheManBehindTheCurtain

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 12:00 AM

My server at work is "home base" for work email, files, and most day to day work. I have a work laptop that I use to work at home, to take notes in conference rooms, and for most graphics work. And I have a desktop at home where I check personal email, work on photos, etc. The two items I use most on your list are:

-- Google personalized home page.
-- Just started using del.icio.us, since I have several sites I like to check frequently (like this one!)

#4 lee.n3o

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 01:43 AM

After d.construct I'm starting to look at Amazons web services... Also Yahoo's as I think they have the most interesting ones with the likes of flickr etc... I'm not a good enough hardcore programmer just yet though, so can't really use them to full effect and can't do mashups (Which I would love to do) .. You really HAVE to be very good at JavaScript & XML to use them PROPERLY...

A web service or API (in english) is really a way of accessing & manipulating someone elses data and using it for your own projects or how YOU want to ..

Heres a really cool mashup (A combination of 2 API's / web services) ..
http://www.flickr.com/map/ Its a combination of Yahoo maps and Flickr's API's... When it works its pretty clever..

Shameless plug but I blogged about some of the stuff Amazon, yahoo etc.. are doing when they spoke at d.construct.. has some useful links inbetween my waffling :rofl:

http://www.n3o.co.uk...fault.asp?cat=2

Another thing we should start to look into is microformats .. They are like a way of turning your site into a sort of mini API...

#5 JohnMu

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 01:55 AM

I have come to like Google Notebook :lol:. I have installed it everywhere I use a computer and love how I can just add ideas when the pop into my head, a few clicks & I have it listed, along with the URL of whatever page I happen to be on. It's great to track ideas of things that you could do when you have a bit of time. With multiple notebooks I can order them however I want, maximize to full screen and work from there. I don't share, them, however :unsure:.

That's about it, though. No other online services (other than forums, mail, offline RSS reader, etc).

John

#6 Jem

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 04:16 AM

I'll use del.icio.us if I know I will want a link later on but probably won't remember it, and I use StumbleUpon (does that count as a service?) a lot but I'm not really into the rest. I do have a digg account but only log in once every couple of weeks really.

#7 Ruud

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 07:54 AM

For example, I do send all of my email to my gmail account. I don't, however, actually "use" the account. I consider it a very easily searchable archive of my mail - don't remember what account I received some piece of information? Search gmail. However, I never give out the address and never have anything sent there if I can possibly avoid it.


Ha! I do the same thing. Plus I like the idea of having another backup of my email. Some of my best memories are in emails :-)

Digg... yeah... well... They do provide a service but I don't see it as a tool can I use. I don't store any bookmarks there or whatever.

I have come to like Google Notebook


Just wish their export was a bit better. I use EverNote to track my registrations, ideas, snippets of info. Would be nice if I could tie the two together :-)

A web service or API


One of the best duh!! mashups I've seen lately is Library Thing. For a book junkie and data freak like myself it's like a digital version of Heaven ;-)

Google personalized home page


I like my browser to start fast. Used to have a blank start page for a long time. Since a couple of months I have one of those old fashioned, hand made start pages (saved on the local hard drive) with a list of my frequently used URLs.

I'm a bit surprised del.icio.us isn't more popular.

#8 yannis

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 08:51 AM

Do not use much either ... but...

Since a couple of months I have one of those old fashioned, hand made start pages (saved on the local hard drive) with a list of my frequently used URLs.


For sometime now I have my homepage point to a pages of links on one of my websites. It's an orphaned page so that I am the only one using it! :) Originally had it on my hardrive and then decided to move it, so that I can access it from the office as well. Once a year I do spring clean my bookmarks and move them over! I can understand the value of a web service for this but I find this easier for me and I have more control.

I would try the LibraryThing though as it looks very good.


Yannis

#9 JohnMu

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 09:40 AM

Be careful, Yannis! I have stumbled upon a few of these private pages in Googles index and sometimes they even list such useful things like passwords, or even include them in the link.... You never know which tool is out there collecting URLs that you visit and where they might end up being shown (eg your webservers statistics -- sometimes they're openly visible and suddenly Google is indexing them, finding your private pages...). Things like the Alexa-Bar or the Google-Bar could also end up playing a role.

My motto has become: do not, ever, put anything online that is private but not password-protected. Search engines find just about everything -- and getting pages out is often harder than getting them in! Don't rely on things being "unknown" :).

I personally have my homepage on an intranet server I access through my VPN :D. You could do things simpler, I suppose, but it works for me :D :D. If you password-protect your homepage then with the browser password-caching you should be able to get it almost as fast as the non-protected version :D. Or just add a script that checks for a cookie and returns 404 if it's not there.

John

#10 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 10:12 AM

Ah, yes - Library Thing. That is a service I hypothetically use. I created an account while I was in Austria, but since I only had a handful of my library with me I didn't actually get started creating my e-library...once I'm finally reunited with my books I'll probably make a lot more use of that service.

I used to use a custom home page with personal bookmarks, etc. - gave up on that, though. Now, I use the SessionSaver plugin for Firefox and just leave whatever pages I need open in their various tabs - takes a while for Firefox to start up that way, but once everything's loaded I've got every page I was working on available.

#11 yannis

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 02:42 PM

John

Thanks for the suggestions. It never passed my mind, but you are right. I will add the script with the cookie that will be the easiest way to do it for me.

Yannis

#12 JohnMu

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:35 PM

Hope it works out, Yannis :-). I'm speaking from experience here... an employee of mine set up his own "short-cut" page on the website, the link hidden behind a 5x5px transparent GIF which "no-body" would ever find to click on. The search engines found it (long before I stumbled upon it while cleaning up the site - after he had already left). It was a useful page, partially with direct links to the some of the companies we work with (including usernames and passwords to the online shops)... Needless to say, I was glad that I found it before someone managed to buy stuff on our bill :). I filled the page with a placeholder and worked to make sure that the new version was indexed everywhere instead... yikes!

John

Edit: (since it's offtopic I'll sneak it in here :D) remember that other sites log referrers - some even put them online... I have found my share of private pages linking to some of my sites :D

Edited by softplus, 14 September 2006 - 06:11 PM.


#13 projectphp

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 05:56 PM

I have a friend overseas, and we are trying to get a project up and running, and using Google Spreadsheets has been an absolute godsend. Instead of working on it, emailing it, checking to see if the changes conflict, re-emailing and rechecking, we can both work from the same file at the same time, with updates synchronised in pretty much real time.

Granted, the privacy issues and the other headaches are a bit worrysome, but in this (admittedly rare) situation, it really is fantastic. I can't imagine trying to do it any other way to be honest.

Apart from that, I don't think I use many web services at all. Gmail (never the online version though) Yahoo mail for a really old account and that's about it!

#14 eKstreme

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 03:48 AM

Depends what you define as a web service. For me, it has always been email: gmail and Yahoo Mail. Apart from that, I also do the password-protected start up page thing (using my own Zeta Portal. This is so old it's like pre Y2K, but it works a treat.



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