Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My Inaugural Post

So this is my inaugural post in my inaugural blog. I feel I should say something really deep and thoughtful that will set the tone for however long I keep this blog going. What I really hope is that this is a baby step toward writing the books I know I’m capable of writing. Let’s hope. Blogging is just a networking tool, but maybe if someone finds my blog interesting or helpful, it will boost my confidence in the authorship area. Maybe I can help myself by paying it forward.

I have a lot of interests and one of them is instructional technology. The great thing about technology is that you don’t miss anything by waiting. It just gets better and cheaper. When I was a student, computers were crazy expensive. Then you had to buy software. Now they have these great web-based programs that look just like the popular Microsoft apps–for free. First off, there’s Num Sum. It’s an Excel doppelganger. On the word processor front there’s Writely–an MS Word lookalike that was just purchased by Google. Currently they’re not allowing new users to sign up for Writely while they transfer over to Google servers, so in the meantime you can give Zoho, another word processor, a try. For presentation software, take a look at Thumbstacks. It works a lot like–you guessed it–Powerpoint. Although it doesn’t have all the features of Powerpoint, it’s a good alternative. For a database alternative Lazybase allows anyone to design, create and share a database of whatever they like. All the programs I’ve mentioned are stand-alone products but Thinkfree is a whole suite of familiar looking office-type products.

Keep in mind that all I’ve mentioned are collaboration tools. They’re designed so you can work on a project with another person halfway around the world. They’re also web-based so if you lose Internet access, there goes your productivity. Of course there are many more than what I’ve mentioned here, but this is a good representation of the new Web 2.0 products.

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