Portal 2.0

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The New Updated version of Netvibes supports Tabs (Zoho supports Tabs within a browser tab too) and offers multi-lingual support (German, Croatian and Hindi!). Is Portal 2.0 the next happening thing?

Pageflakes too, seems to be pretty popular choice of a Portal service. It is interesting to note that Google’s Personalized Home Page or Live.com are no where close in terms of their number of users. Not surprising, since the extent to which services like Pageflakes or Netvibes allow customization is much greater than what Web-Giants have to offer. For instance, Netvibes supports readymade modules for Box.net storage, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Del.ico.us, Digg, to name a few popular sources. Pageflakes offers modules for Zoho Writer, Alexa and even an Address Book.

While it is true that any number of feeds can be added by a user, the popularity of Netvibes and Pageflakes is proof that people want the service itself to come packed with a lot of features; proof that people want more.

Zoho Polls

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We are pleased to announce Zoho Polls – 100% free online polls.


- Are you faced with a lot of options and need opinion from others?
– Are you struggling to make a decision?
– Do you need to choose the right option?

Welcome to Zoho Polls. With Zoho Polls, you can create online polls (public / private) and share with your friends and colleagues to get their opinion. You can create a poll to either vote or to rate a set of options.

Create a voting poll when the user needs to select one option from a set of items. Examples: Who will win the upcoming elections? Do you think Web 2.0 is hyped?

Create a rating poll when a user needs to give a rating for each item in a poll. Examples: Rate the prototypes of our new interface, Rate the menu in today’s lunch, etc.


  • Public and Private polls
  • Polls to vote / rate.
  • Insert poll into your blog / website
  • Discuss / Comment on each poll
  • Tag your polls and search / discover polls based on tags.

Try it out and send your valuable feedback to support (at) zohopolls (dot) com.

Zoho Sheet is Live

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We are happy to launch the Public Beta of Zoho Sheet. Sign-up for your free account and maintain all your spreadsheets online.

Check it out at :


What can you do with Zoho Sheet?

  • Create and manage your spreadsheets online.
  • Import any excel spreadsheet and use it online.
  • Export your Zoho Sheet as excel / openoffice calc / csv / pdf / html.
  • Use any excel style functions (SUM, AVG, IF, etc). For autosum alone, we have provided a quick button on the toolbar. For the rest of the functions you can type in the formula. Note: All formulas start with an = sign.
  • Format and decorate your cells with font styles, colors, cell wrap and different alignments.
  • Copy Paste from external sources (excel, webpage, etc).
  • Copy Paste within Zoho Sheet. Formulas will be copied relatively. Very useful when you want to apply same formula for multiple cells.
  • Apply dollar currency or percentage formatting to your numbers.
  • Create Graphs / Charts to analyze your data.
  • Print Preview your sheets before printing.
  • Auto Saves your sheets every 1 minute.
  • Tag your Zoho Sheets. You can tag and find your (and other public) spreadsheets with ease.
  • Share your Zoho Sheets with your friends for collaborating on a spreadsheet and control their access levels.
  • Publish your Zoho Sheet as public for anyone to find it and use it.
  • RSS feeds for public sheets and sheets with specific tags.
  • Clone public sheets to your account.
  • URL APIs to view and import excel spreadsheets present on remote servers online through Zoho Sheet.

More info at our What’s New page.

Let us know your feedback which will help us improve. Send in your comments and issues to support (at) zohosheet (dot) com or use the Feedback link at the top of our pages.

Here is a sample screenshot. Click to enlarge.

We would like to thank all the beta testers for providing us some great feedback. Keep them coming.


Web Identity

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Om Malik’s blog carried a guest column on The Power of URLs.

As we all know, the URL is a powerful and extensible concept… it represents the most fundamental element of the web and it continues to grow in breadth and depth of its utility.

People rely on names or URLs in the blogosphere. And it doesn’t end just with blogs, for, podcasts, photos, videos, and as the writer mentions, profiles on social networking sites of a particular blogger too are being followed by readers or readers.
As a tangent,

Aggregation can now be customized, and it can be done by machine.

Most bloggers link their Podcasts, Videos, Comments, Tags pertaining to them and just about anything they’ve contributed to the web, and so blogs really aren’t just what blogs were intended to be; they are more like Portals.

So there is News, Commentary, Opinion and Links that stand testimony to arguments, Audio, Video and a whole community of several readers who religiously follow those. Astonishing what a few random alphabets are capable of!

Inventions & how societies view them

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Been reading “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond for some days now. Quite a fascinating book I should say.

Writing about the “Necessity is the mother of invention”, he gives some examples where the opposite has been true – like with the airplane, the automobile, the internal combustion engine, the phonograph & the transistor. Was surprised reading that Edison didn’t intend to use the phonograph for replaying music, it took almost 50 years (and World War I) for Otto’s engine to be adopted in a mass scale & how untrue it is to say that James Watt invented the steam engine. (apparently there were earlier designs & working models before Watt’s).

He then elaborates upon of how hard it is to persuade a society to adopt a new technology. Some good examples given are of the USA finding it reluctant to use transistors instead of vacuum tubes & Sony taking advantage of buying the transistor licensing rights from Western Electric and of Japan falling back to using swords even after guns being introduced there in 16th century. There has been cases of anti-engineering succeeding too like with the QWERTY keyboard.

If you are interested in knowing more about what makes different societies think/do this way or that, “Guns, Germs and Steel” is a real good book to read.

Issue with posting to Blogger.com blogs

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David Torke strives for saving & preserving Buffalo’s architectural heritage. David’s a regular Zoho Writer user using it to post to his fixbuffalo blog at Blogger.com. Got a mail from him yesterday saying that he’s unable to connect to his blog from Zoho Writer. Checking with the Blogger Status blog got us this :

Some users are experiencing problems creating new posts via our Atom API. We are working to get this fixed. In the meantime, you can create new posts via the web interface.

Thanks David, for alerting us & the Zoho Writer community. Zoho Writer users, please post to your blogger blogs through blogger’s web interface for now. And, do post your thoughts on Zoho Writer at the Zoho Writer forums. You can mail us too at feedback(at)zohowriter(dot)com.

Update: As David confirms in the Comments, the Blogger Atom API is working fine & you should be able to post to your blogger.com blogs from Zoho Writer.

Foulplay in the New Age Web

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Newsvine recently had been seeded with reports that several profiles and objectionable content being removed from My Space. Many concerned parents also wrote in to express their fears. Although there were hints of paranoia, any service on the web is exploited, despite clear instructions on the web. It is not uncommon that most users fail to read, atleast a few lines of that “Terms and Conditions” before adding a tickmark in the Checkbox.

While the whole essence of new age web is Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, and requires an active participation from the users, it is of great importance to validate and verify the authenticity of the content that is being contributed to the web. Digital Signatures and Privacy Policies have no respect at all, for every user takes them for granted. But with something close to 250,000 users a day, it remains to be seen how this can be done.

Atleast to start with, the trustworthiness of any person can be established on how many people link to her in the case of Social Networking sites, based on the frequency of posting, based on how many people publish similar items. Something akin to PageRank. It is not an entirely fool-proof system , but can be done as a preliminary measure, for, this would atleast persuade a person from providing fake information. Much as Data Security is impotarnt, accuracy of information is important too. Wikipedia faced a similar problem.

No extreme measure can be done to check the authenticity too, for the entire world will then cry foul – as many already do with Google. That would be branded as a threat to privacy. So where do we strike the balance? Unless ofcourse, each contributor realizes the social responsibility and the ethics of the Virtual World.