Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Zoho & Web 2.0


Some of you may already have known this, but web-based versions of Microsoft Office applications such as Word & Excel are available on-line. Zoho Writer actually is a tremendously more worthwhile version of what Word is. I'm not sure that I'll ever even use Word again. It looks like Zoho can give Bill Gates a run for his money. In fact, I predict Mr. Gates will be broke within three years.

Um ... anyway, Zoho Writer allows users access from any computer (provided it has Internet access). so they can share or edit documents. This means, if you don't want, no more discs or saving to the desktop or hard drive. You might think that creating & storing documents on-line may not be secure, but, my thinking is that it is as secure as sending emails or attaching Word files to emails.

One appealing feature of Zoho Writer is the ability to post a document you've created as a webpage. Here is an example: http://writer.zoho.com/public/c6J71Xb9695i0e061reK6S0C0b7V/Welcome-To-Zoho.

Zoho offers much more than a Word-esque program in its on-line arsenal. Zoho Sheet is Excel-like, Zoho Show is like PowerPoint (& fun to say!), & Zoho Planner is like Microsoft Outlook's Calendar feature. For a complete list of all of Zoho's programs, visit Zoho.

Note #1: If you create an account with Zoho to use one program, you have created an account to use all of the applications. Your username & password will be the same for all.

Note #2: Most Zoho applications are free. The few that are not are clearly marked.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a concept co-created by Tim O'Reilly, an Irish software & technology guru. To know more of what the concept is about, visit this link: http://www.seomoz.org/web2.0/zeitgeist. (I would try to explain the concept, but, in this case, I find it better to get the goods straight from the source).

What Web 2.0 can do for Internet users, though, is really what I think will be important & exciting to you. Again, rather than explaining, I think it best to see for yourself.

A perfect place to start is to follow this link to get to a list of Web 2.0 award-winning sites. These sites cover a variety of topics which feature the best business, city guides & reviews, social networking, games, classifieds & directories, visual arts, & other sites.

A few of my favorite among these sites are:

http://www.yelp.com/: This site features customer feedback, positive & negative, about local business in towns & cities across the country. So, check this site if out-of-town on business or pleasure to see if that restaurant you have in mind for tonight's dinner is really as good as you've heard.

http://www.minti.com/: This site is a communtity in which parents around the world share ideas & advice about how to raise children.

http://www.zillow.com/: This site can help you discover what the houses you’re interested in should cost and also allows you to browse listings nationwide. There aren't that many houses in Maine listed at the moment, but what this site does, that is really cool, is that is places all the homes for sale on a map, allowing you to quickly determine the distance a home would be from work, etc.

http://www.peertrainer.com/: This site helps you reach weight loss & other health improvement goals by supplying a list of daily meal logs, workout suggestions, and goals. The key element of this site, however, may be the small, on-line support groups an individual can receive support & encouragement from.

http://www.writeboard.com/: Another site similar to Zoho Writer.

http://www.instantbull.com/: This site allows you to compare and track the stock market, access stock message boards and browse stock market blogs.

http://del.icio.us/: Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site. Social bookmarking accomplishes a few major tasks: 1) you can bookmark your favorites on a website, not to a specific computer & 2) as a user of Del.icio.us, you will be able to view the top sites on a given subject as bookmarked by "those in the know" for that topic.

These are but a few of the many great Web 2.0 themed sites available that could be of interest or usefulness to you.

If you have any suggestions you'd like to with other library users, or need help finding a good site, respond either to this blog post or email me at playne@bpl.lib.me.us.

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Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
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Bangor ME 04401