Instant Messaging: Simplified.

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A few days back, I remember writing this. Then, Meebo announces a Single Sign-on, amongst other things. (via) The problem of Gtalk not having an Invisible mode seemed to bother a few people, but Meebo settles that issue. Also users having several accounts with the same IM service provider – say 3 Yahoo accounts each having a different list of contacts, a Meebo user can sign in to all of them simultaneously (and invisibly, if necessary). The tool tips indicating user status is pretty cool – instead of having an indecipherable icon (say, for “Timed Out”) and a truncated Status message. People love to customize that field, and it’s often a sorry sight to see a long status message (and people’s creativity) getting truncated due to space constraints.
The best thing that could be said about Meebo’s new set of feature release is that Sign up is a simple three step process – no activation or other irritating procedures. Much like our own Zoho’s Sign Up, which requires only three fields to be filled and no e-mail based activation. Like they say at Meebo blog, not having e-mail verification or complicating the Registration procedure is way of building friendship with the users. If there are two services with similar features, of which one has a lengthy sign up process and one doesn’t, people would rather save time and key strokes by signing up for the latter.

From the response they’ve been getting, it looks like Meebo might be the next thing that Corporate Firewalls will target. :) Add Conference Calling/ Group Chat facilities inside Meebo, and it could be one of the most chased after web based service in recent times.

PC World reviews Zoho Writer

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Harry McCracken of PC World has a good review on Zoho Writer at the PC World’s Techlog. As with any review on online word processors, he compares Zoho Writer with Writely, saying,

Writely feels a bit more mature, but ZohoWriter has a lot to recommend it, including an elegant approach to letting you work in multiple documents at once and a Firefox-like search feature that puts the search field at the bottom of the window where it’s out of the way”.

And ends the review with,

It’s an impressive piece of work–and most definitely a preview of where the world’s going.”

Thanks a lot, Harry! Lots of insight in the article including those on Microsoft’s moves as regards Web 2.0.

Best ‘Personal Productivity and Organization’ Product

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Dion Hinchcliffe, (who’d earlier reviewed Zoho Planner) in his list of ‘The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006‘ has given the Best ‘Personal Productivity and Organization’ Product award to Zoho Planner. We feel honored!

From his blog :

Zoho Planner is a very capable Ajax-powered online planner that can handle to do lists, appointments, notes, and more using a very elegant, clean interface. It’s now my favorite online organizer and I use it every day. Zoho Planner supports tagging, collaboration, e-mail notification, and much more. There are lots of Web 2.0 online planning products and while some are more detailed or more feature rich, none so far have quite the right feel like this one does.

Thanks a lot, Dion :-)

And, a review of Zoho Planner in lifehack.org says

I just found out there is a pretty awesome online todo planner system called Zoho Planner. This is similar to Backpack from 37Signals which you can separate different type of information and todo into different pages, you can then share it to other users. What it is superior is the ability to export it to iCal and also the unlimited space to attach files to your planner

Thanks, Leon Ho!

Tabbed Browsing, tags as folders & more

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Zoho Writer just had another update today. Explaining few of the features here.

Tabbed Browsing: The screenshot below says it all! Open multiple documents within Zoho Writer, the Firefox way. Believe that will give you folks much more easiness to play with your documents in Zoho Writer!

Tags as folders: Tags have replaced folders in this Web 2.0 world (read GMail, del.icio.us, Flickr). But there are still folks who are die-hard fans of folders. Zoho Writer now combines the power of these two. Tag similar documents with a same tag & have such tags as folders in the left pane! Easy and at the same time, powerful right? Thanks to Phil Sim who suggested this.

Coming to other useful enhancements : The skin that you choose will now be remembered (from wherever you login, it will remain as your choice), all http://, https:// inside your doc will automatically be made a link (seems we are yet to do this for www), you can add comments on public docs (Zoho Planner already has it too!) & last but not the least, you can have some Global Settings in the form of ‘Options’ – save your skin, change your account password, open docs in tab format or not & whether to allow comments to your public pages.

Robert Scoble on how to increase blog traffic

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Robert Scoble had a cute little experiment going with his “brrreeeport” – a word he asked bloggers to have in their blogs, allowing him to calculate how fast & how many of these blog posts got crawled by the blog search engines. And he followed it up with a nice post on how to make it to the A-list. Points he mentions :

  • Have a good headline/opening text for each blog post
  • Claim your blog at Technorati
  • Be different (meaning stand apart from the crowd)
  • Have a good title tag for your blog
  • Tag often & have more tags for each post
  • Make friends with bloggers (be it the Z-list or A-list)
  • Mail people when you think you have a good blog post

Making it to the A-list or not, those sure are good tips for any blogger to increase their blog traffic.

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