Zoho Writer for Teachers & Students

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Christine Tomasino, who describes herself as “dedicated to assisting teachers create meaningful student learning activities using technology” writes about Zoho Writer in her efriendlylearning blog:

… this tool can be used with students…add your comments!

1. Co-authoring tool for any document
2. Students can peer edit to build better writing skill
3. Brainstorm topics for activating prior knowledge about a topic
4. Create a Top Ten List of items important to a topic
5. Alternative text for students who are struggling to read the textbook materials
6. Students can use the highlighting tools to explicitly mark the text to find main ideas and details

Thanks a lot Christine :D


Good free music

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I enjoy listening to Pandora. They have done almost everything right – easy cookie based registration (so that I need not login every time), making stations to play songs of my interest, asking whether I liked each song being played, cute UI etc.

But what I miss most is a percentage slider which would ask me the percentage of the songs being played to be from the artists/songs I selected. This because I sometimes find 8 to 10 songs in a stretch aren’t from the artists I asked for. Agreed they are a radio station (and not my desktop playlist), the songs being played are similar ones to the ones I chose & there’s the skip option too, but I would like to have more control on what’s being played. Listening folks?


Seth is at it again

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Seth Godin makes an interesting point comparing the tactics employed by marketers to the needle, the vise & the baby rattle :

Permission marketing is about the needle. The right person, the right message, the right moment. Anticipated, personal and relevant messages that get through to the person you need to reach.

The needle doesn’t happen all at once. You need to have the right combination of reputation, product and prospect.

The vise uses a different principle of physics to work, but it works as well. The vise is about providing increasing amounts of pressure over the entire area. And because of the nature of a screw, you can create huge amounts of pressure over time without overexerting yourself. Get your hand stuck in a vise and you’ll see what I mean.

The vise approach works, for example, with Starbucks, or with the local doctor’s office or in grassroots politics. Show up often enough, be in enough places, engender enough support from one individual after another, and sooner or later, your investment in spreading the word pays off.

The best marketers, of course, use the needle and the vise at the same time. They don’t assault, they don’t demand, instead they earn attention. And they apply their marketing pressure so consistently and in such a measured and relentless way that sooner or later, they profit from it.

What doesn’t work? What doesn’t work is the annoying baby rattle.

Babies will occasionally get quite energetic in using a rattle to get attention. But then they get bored and move on to other techniques. Sooner or later, they come back to the rattle, frustrated that nothing seems to work.

Most marketers, and just about all struggling marketers, are rattlers. They try some gimmick or technique or product, focus on it for a little while, then lose interest and move on. After a while, out of frustration, they come back to re-try, just to prove to themselves that they’re doing everything they can to get the word out.

“Hey!” the blogger says, “I build a blog just like that Dummies book says, but it’s not paying off. Let’s do a podcast instead.” And then on to the next thing.

And I believe we are not employing the baby rattle here ;-)


Zoho Creator – Coming Soon

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To create an web application, dependancy rate on a tech guy is 100%.
Now consider its 0%. What would you do?

a) Ain’t gonna believe this
b) Go on a long vacation (if you’re a techie)
c) Jump out of Joy.

Yep thats what Zoho Creator is all about. Create and share web applications on your own, effortlessly.

Introducing Zoho Creator
Zoho Creator is a free online service to create lightweight applications for your individual needs and tastes like- Contact List, Dating or a Feedback application… to name a few. Its isn’t about coding, its all about WYSIWYG clicks.

Why Zoho Creator?
We always build products that we need, and over the years we found that we really needed a tool to create small and medium applications easily without depending on a techie. Even Roughic (yeah thats me) who dunno a,b,c,d of coding should be able to build an application without fuss.

1) An account with Zoho Creator
2) Familiar _f_i_l_l_i_n_g_ online forms
3) A mouse in working condition.

We will be at your service soon, Drop a mail to- info[at]zohocreator[dot]com for more info.

Watch this space for more updates, Thanks for visting us.

Google Base & Microsoft Fremont

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Microsoft is beta testing its new free classified marketplace codenamed Fremont. (this MarketWatch article says Fremont is a neighborhood in Seattle which hosts Sunday open air markets). The url http://fremont.live.com, as you can see is a subdomain of live.com which now redirects & asks for a MS Passport ID.

Hmm, these big guys, in their fight to capture markets are getting there too fast before testing scalability & performance issues (leave alone usability). Of course Web 2.0 is all about being in perpetual beta but then its ok for smaller company offerings. Believe Fremont doesn’t end up like Google Analytics which has performance problems & also didn’t scale, shutting down new member registrations. I had problems with Google Base too, not able to upload anything until very recently. Still it takes 15-60 minutes for publishing a small listing, which is too long.

RSS feeds in Yahoo Mail

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Thats a cool idea – having RSS feeds in my Yahoo mail account. Why? Because I always check my mail everyday & I don’t need to open up a separate tab, sign in to a separate RSS aggregator/reader. This deeper integration of RSS into mail is a welcome one as 1) it increases the RSS awareness & 2) it helps me, the user.

Think aggregators offer much more functionality but lets see how Yahoo performs. Haven’t got a chance yet to try it as Yahoo Mail Beta isn’t avl to everyone :-( )Update: I now have RSS feeds feature & I love it!)
Via Techcrunch