All posts tagged future of the internet

Best Cloud Computing Websites and Apps

Top Cloud Computing Programs

If you didn’t catch my recent post about cloud computing, you should know I’m a huge enthusiast and think it’s going to play a big role in the future of the internet. People have been asking me what programs and applications I use to keep all of my data and other necessities in the cloud. Here’s a list of some of my favorites that I highly recommend:

Instant Messaging

Meebo.com

Meebo lets you aggregate many of the most popular instant messengers all into one place. The current list of instant messaging Meebo supports is: AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo, Windows Live, Facebook, MySpace, gTalk, ICQ, Jabber and MyYearBook. Meebo has been an excellent tool for talking to people on random/public computers.

*iPhone App Available

File Storage

Box.net

Box.net let’s you store a wide range of file types to keep on the internet that you can access from anywhere. My favorite thing about Box.net is that you can share certain files or folders with people by giving them a special link letting you collaborate with them securely. They also offer some really neat tools for collaboration that allow you to share files, assign tasks, start discussion and more.

*iPhone App Available

Email

G-Mail

If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know about G-Mail I highly recommend checking it out. Not only does having a G-Mail account let you store all of your emails in the cloud but G-Mail also has the BEST spam filters and organizational tools I’ve ever come across. I don’t know about you but I much prefer a browser based out of the box solution like G-Mail in comparison to clunky programs like Microsoft Outlook.

*iPhone App Available


To Do List

RememberTheMilk.com

If you’re like me and need a list you can constantly check so you don’t have “oh crap, I forgot about that” moments Remember The Milk is a great app. You can organize, schedule, and prioritize different tasks to keep yourself from putting sticky notes all over your desk or screen and you can check it from anywhere!

*iPhone App Available


Scheduling

Google Calendar

I can’t say enough good things about Google. When it comes to cloud computing Google covers a lot of what you need to help run your business completely online. With Google Calendar you can schedule all of your appointments, meetings, conferences, interviews and everything else you need to do all from your Google Calendar account. You can also share your calendar with other people which is great if you want to let people know when you’re available.

*iPhone App Available


Document/Spreadsheet/Presentation Creation & Editing

Google Docs

Google Docs lets you create documents, spreadsheets and presentations all from your internet browser. You can easily create different types of documents for most needs using Google Docs. If you need to follow specific formatting rules or special guidelines the next recommendation might be a little better.

*iPhone App Available

Zoho.com

It’s hard to explain what all Zoho is capable of. If you’re looking for a more Microsoft Word type layout to editing documents/spreadsheets online then you definitely want to check out Zoho. Google Docs is great for quick and simple editing but if you want to do anything special or in a particular way I highly recommend Zoho. There are A LOT more features to Zoho than document editing though; they have everything from email to an online CRM to Editing tools.

Blogging

WordPress.org

If there’s one blogging platform/Content Management System that I’ve used extensively over the past few years that I recommend to anyone it’s WordPress. WordPress is THE best blogging platform in the world, period. Using WordPress to create posts and pages is so simple anyone can do it. Not only is WordPress extremely flexible and easy to use but it’s also great for seach engines and has a GIANT library of plugins to allow you to turn your site into virtually anything you want.

*iPhone App Available


Image Storage

Flickr.com

There’s no refuting that Flickr is the biggest authority when it comes to online photo storage. You can not only store all of your photos on Flickr but you can tag them with keywords to help give you some extra exposure.

*iPhone App Available


Video Storage/Uploading

YouTube.com

YouTube is basically the Flickr of video. I’m sure 99% of you already know all about YouTube and some of you probably already have videos up on it. YouTube is a great tool for storing your videos online and allows you to embed them on your website so you don’t have to burn through your own bandwidth. Similar to Flickr people can find your videos based on your keywords.

*iPhone App Available


Collaboration

Google Wave

Collaborating through email can get messy really fast. Google realized this and created a new(ish) tool called Google Wave. Google Wave is similar to email but all of the messages are kept in one place so anyone that joins the conversation can read it exactly how it happened without having to sort through forwards, indentation, and jumbled messages. I’ve been using Google Wave since it was in beta and it is my FAVORITE tool for collaborating on projects – it’s MUCH cleaner than email. Another feature of Google Wave is that it lets you embed different extensions into your wave like translations, images, iframes, calendars, maps, video conferencing and much much more.

Mind Mapping/Flow Charts

MindMeister

Mind mapping is my favorite way to turn ideas and thoughts into a more concrete process or road map. MindMeister lets you create mind maps online that you can share with other people and also let them edit or improve. By keeping your mind maps and flow charts in the cloud you can access them anywhere you get a new idea or thought and instantly get it down instead of waiting and possibly forgetting your next million dollar idea.

*iPhone App Available


Travel

TripIt.com

Traveling can be a headache sometimes, TripIt makes organizing/centralizing your travel plans much, much easier. With TripIt you can enter your itinerary (airline, hotel, etc.) and it automatically builds you a master travel itinerary for your entire trip all in one place. There’s even a new feature with TripIt that will inform you about any travel delays.

*iPhone App Available


Photo Editing

SumoPaint.com

There are certain apps in cloud computing that I know are going to change a lot the minute I see them, SumoPaint is one of those apps. SumoPaint lets you edit images all in your browser with a TON of features – it’s very similar to the popular photo editing software Photoshop. There aren’t quite as many bells and whistles but for a free online app SumoPaint does an amazing job for photo editing.

Those are my favorite cloud computing apps, what are yours?

Cloud Computing Will Rule The World…

Cloud Computing Apps

Cloud computing is nothing new, but some new technology that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately has people talking about it more than ever. People don’t understand how powerful cloud computing truly is and how much it’s going to change the way we use the internet and computers in general.

If you aren’t familiar with cloud computing take a look at the picture below and let me give you a quick explanation:
cloud computing Cloud Computing Will Rule The World...

Imagine all of your files being in one centralized location that you can access from any computer in the world with internet access. Your spreadsheets, documents, pictures, pdfs, EVERYTHING. You never have to carry around a laptop, or even a flash drive if you don’t want to. If you need to grab a file or work on something at a friends house, public library, or even at an internet cafe you just grab it off of your cloud and start working.

This is already a mainstream practice people take advantage of daily but this is barely scraping the surface of what cloud computing is capable of. A lot of companies are gravitating toward turning their applications into web apps that can be used by anyone and anywhere (with internet access). It doesn’t matter what operating system you have, how much hard drive space is on your computer, or even how new your computer is. Microsoft is working on turning the Microsoft Office Suite into a web app allowing you to work on spreadsheets, documents, etc. from anywhere with a web browser and internet connection. Any software-related business that doesn’t jump on this trend is going to be hurting in a few years once the technology is less expensive to develop for smaller companies and it starts snowballing. Within 5-6 years (at most) installing applications on your computer will be a thing of the past that is rarely done because it won’t be necessary.

Just imagine being able to open your web browser and do ANYTHING you can imagine without downloading/installing software or dealing with compatibility issues.

Ok, I’m done rambling about the awesomeness of cloud computing. If you’re interested in trying it out I highly recommend Dropbox which provides cloud computing at it’s finest – the best part is that it’s free!