Menu Close

Tag: Collaboration

Rizzoma May (Soon) Be the Wave Alternative You’re Looking For

Rizzoma May (Soon) Be the Wave Alternative You're Looking For | 40Tech

In our last post on Google Wave, we talked about the impending final shutdown of the service on April 30th, 2012 (it is currently in read-only mode), and the potential for Apache Wave and Walkaround to keep the real-time collaboration tool going. We’ve even done a bit of hunting on our own for a suitable Wave alternative, but the reality is that Wave was a bit ahead of its time. Fortunately, another possibility for resurrection has surfaced: Rizzoma.

Rizzoma is a free, open source version of Google Wave that boasts some improvements to the look, feel, and function of the service. Some of the features they talk about on their site are an easy to use mobile version that actually works, improves search, the ability to to assign and track tasks within Rizzoma, easy team management and content sharing, and a built in mindmap mode.

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2Screenshot 3Screenshot 4

Rizzoma also promises the ability to re-install your favourite open source gadgets from Google Wave, and the ability to import your old Waves to the new platform.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that Rizzoma’s current level of marketing far outstrips the actual state of the product. Their website looks very promising, with a big button that says log in with your Google account and a video that makes you believe that the service is ready to go. I don’t know if it was an oversight on their part that they don’t include a note that the service is in beta and most of the truly awesome features are still on their way, but the reality is that a newcomer to Rizzoma will likely find themselves confused and disappointed. At least for now. After a bit of hunting on their support forums, I found that the bulk of what’s promised should be available within a month.

Right now, @mentions work, basic document creation, editing, and collaboration is available, the mobile version is functional, and the improved look and feel is on point. Importing your old Waves is also working, via the WaveShortcuts Chrome extension created by Project Volna — who are also the people behind Rizzoma. Importing your Waves via the extension is fairly simple, and the final result is readable and usable, though huge Waves with a lot of nested upon nested replies could get a bit unwieldy.

If you have been on the hunt for a Google Wave alternative, or are just looking for a real time collaboration tool that works across platforms, Rizzoma looks promising, despite the potential marketing/first impression snafu. If they are true to their word about getting the big features up and running effectively within a month, then we may finally have a winner here — proivded they can get enough support. Rizzoma is definitely the most promising Google Wave alternative I’ve come across so far. If you are at all interested, you may want to check them out and start importing your Waves now, as the time window is closing fast.

Check out the video below to see where Rizzoma is taking Wave:

 

Learn how to import your Waves to Rizzoma:

 

Check out Rizzoma and tell us what you think!

The Death of Email — At Least Internally — At A Large Multi-national Company

The Death of Email -- At Least Internally -- At A Large Multi-national Company | 40Tech

People have been talking about the death of email for a while now. Every time there’s a new, communications-focused technology, most notably Google Wave — and we all know how that went — email eulogies pop up all over the internet. It seems likely to me that email is here to stay, at least for a while longer, but if other companies follow the example of Atos, a 74,000 employee French tech company spanning 42 countries, email may actually begin its prophesied decline.

Atos has banned email. At least, they’ve banned it internally. That’s right, those 74,000 employees can no longer send each other minutiae-filled email chains that may or may not ever get fully read. They will no longer be able to forward jokes and silly messages throughout the company or the office. They will no longer be able to send on-line emails to avoid the potential perspiration of actually getting up from their desk and walking over to their friend and asking in person. I say good riddance.

Atos announced the no-email policy in February of 2011, but have now officially implemented it. CEO Thierry Breton, who was also the French finance minister from 2005-2007, said that employee emails are only 10 percent useful, and are 18 percent spam — which seems about right to me, considering the emails I’ve received in companies I’ve worked for. All to often, the emails would be useless time-wasters — especially the ones that involved questions from co-workers that didn’t actually read the email in the first place.

Atos isn’t leaving their employees without a digital option for communication, though. They are using tools such as the Atos Wiki and their Office Communicator chat program to allow employees to collaborate on documents and projects, as well as chat, video  conference, and share applications and files.

I think the Atos approach is the only way for a company to successfully achieve adoption of internal social media tools and, so far, the only possible negative fallout I can see would be dependent on the tools they use and how user-friendly they are.  They seem to be doing okay in that department, however, as Atos has reported to ABC News that employee response “has been positive with strong take up of alternative tools.”

What do you think of the Atos no-email policy? Is it the beginning of a massive “kill email” movement? Will it lead to better outside-company communications as well? Discuss in the comments.

Tech Firm Implements Employee ‘Zero Email’ Policy [ABC News on Yahoo.com]

Google’s Cloud Connect Syncs MS Office with Google Docs

Google’s Cloud Connect Syncs MS Office with Google Docs | 40Tech

There are several ways to sync Microsoft Office documents to the cloud (we covered three here), but until now, not one of them was made by Google. Whether that statement sparks feelings of warm and fuzzy quality in you, or makes you shudder in fear as Google officially digs its fingers into your Office docs, Google Cloud Connect has taken off the training wheels and been released to the world at large. Besides, if you are of the latter persuasion, chances are you haven’t bothered with the Google account that the service requires.

Cloud Connect adds a toolbar to the Microsoft Office interface that effectively accomplishes two things:

  1. Giving MS Office the online capabilities of Google Docs — and this is a good thing, as Microsoft’s cut-down web offering of Office can be somewhat unwieldy by comparison.
  2. Finally gives Google Docs the offline capability it has always needed to make it truly relevant in today’s workplace, which is still a few years away from going fully to the cloud.

Google Cloud Connect works on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and is available for Office 2003, 2007, and 2010. Check out the video below for more information on its capabilities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H12teRzulW0

New Ways to Experience Better Collaboration with Google Apps [Google Blog]

AirDropper: An Easy Way to Request Files — and Have Them Sent Straight to Your Dropbox

AirDropper: An Easy Way to Request Files -- and Have Them Sent Straight to Your Dropbox | 40Tech

Recently, we talked a bit about Ge.tt, an extraordinarily easy way to send files to people without having to talk them through how to receive them. But what if you are the one who needs a file sent to you, and you want to make it as easy as possible to get that request taken care of? You could explain Ge.tt to people (it really is easy), or you could be a bit more direct and use the tool that one of our readers brought to our attention: AirDropper. After all, when you need something from someone, the best way to get it is to require the fewest steps possible — and to sweeten the deal, AirDropper uses your Dropbox folder, so you will be able to access the file(s) from anywhere.

Getting set up with AirDropper is pretty straightforward. You head to www.airdropper.com and click START. You will then be redirected to Dropbox to authenticate the AirDropper service, which will add an AirDropper folder in your Dropbox folder. Once that’s done, you will head back to AirDropper, and will be presented with a form that allows you to send an email (from your email address of choice) to multiple recipients to request files. The email contains your message, and a large, friendly button that says Upload and brings the user to an even friendlier ADD FILES interface. The file or files — AirDropper has supported multiple file sends since about September of 2010 — will then be sent directly to your Dropbox with no fuss, no muss, and not a worry except for your storage limit.

Note: If you are sending sensitive files, be sure to have a look over the AirDropper terms of service first.

AirDropper is free while in beta, but will likely charge for some of their service in the future, which will likely include tiered pricing for things like the size of the transfer(s), etc. Either way, it is definitely a useful tool!

Thanks to Martin for bringing it to our attention!

Collaborate on the Fly with Google Shared Spaces

image

If you were a fan of Google Wave’s integrated gadgets, or just need a place to set up some easy real-time collaboration, then check out Google Labs’ new Shared Spaces. Shared Spaces uses Wave’s technology to provide private collaboration spaces that you can invite others to via a provided short link. There are about 50 gadgets already available, such as the Map Gadget, Draw Board, WaveTube, yourBrainStormer, Napkin Gadget, and a few games. Once you choose the gadget that suits your needs, you simply click Create a Space and your window will open, complete with a chat area, link, and buttons to invite others via Email, Buzz, or Twitter. Once you’re finished, spaces can be deleted simply by selecting the Delete this Space button.

Each gadget on the list has a short description, and can be opened in its own page, where users can leave comments via Disqus, which will help others decide if the gadget will work well or not. This will be especially good if Shared Spaces catches on with the JavaScript programming community, and a ton of new gadgets start appearing.

You need to be logged in to your Google Account to use Shared Spaces, and authorize it for access. It should also be noted that, as of yet, it doesn’t appear to be working in Internet Explorer.

EDIT: According to the Google Blog, you can also log in via Twitter and Yahoo accounts.

What are your thoughts on Google’s Shared Spaces?

Use Yogile to Easily Create Group Photo Albums

Use Yogile to Easily Create Group Photo Albums | 40Tech

These days, the go-to site for photo sharing for the average person is probably Facebook. For those a little more involved in their pictures, Flickr or Picasa might be more to their taste. These sites are great — if sometimes a bit complicated — when everyone has an account on the service and/or there is only one person contributing the photos. What they are not so good for is handling photo-sharing when there are multiple people taking pictures of the same event.

A good example of this was my own wedding. There were a lot of people taking pictures that day, some of them from different parts of two countries. My wife and I are both on Facebook, as are several of our family members and friends — but not all of them, and not all of her Facebook friends are my Facebook friends. So when people started posting images of the happy day via their own accounts, she was able to see some, and I was able to see some. We were even able to share some of the images our respective friends took, but privacy settings all too often got in the way. And let’s not forget the folks who weren’t on Facebook at all, but had digital cameras and took many, many pictures… In short, creating a master album of our own wedding (that would then have to be duplicated — one for her account, one for mine) was a pain in the ever-loving arse.

Yogile offers a dead-simple solution to this kind of problem. All you need is the one account, and to pass around an album’s email address to everyone involved. Photos can then be sent in to that album as email attachments. It’s that easy — and you can also upload photos via the website, if need be. Send a link to the photo album to whomever you want to view the files, add a password if you want, or set the entire thing as public and go to. Twitter, Facebook and email sharing of an album’s link are also possible.

Yogile Easy Photo Sharing for Groups | 40Tech

Yogile isn’t complicated by an extensive feature-set, and doesn’t require everyone to register (unless they want to comment). It costs nothing up to 100 MB/month, and can go unlimited for $24.95/year. You can even download an entire album in a handy zip file.

Like I said… easy.

What do you use to corral and share event photos?

Easily Create and Share Photo Albums with Yogile [Digitizd]

The Hunt for a Google Wave Replacement Part III – Socialwok

Socialwok -- A Possible Google Wave Replacement | 40Tech

This is the third in a series of articles evaluating potential alternatives to Google Wave, which Google is discontinuing.  Check out Part I (Shareflow) and Part II (Google Services).

UPDATE: As of June 26, 2011, Socialwok announced that they would no longer be accepting new user sign up and are discontinuing the service. This comes due to a lack of funding and developer availability. Socialwok will allow users to continue to access the service for the purposes of downloading their data until July 12th, 2011. — Thanks to Ron for the update.

In an effort to discover a reasonable replacement for the collaborative powers of Google Wave, 40Tech has gone forth and tested several free or mostly free services and methods. So far, we’ve reviewed Zenbe’s Shareflow, as well as a conglomeration of other Google services (which, reportedly, will be absorbing some of Wave’s features). As our next candidate, we tested Socialwok, a free, very Facebook-like service that allows you to not only create your own focused social network(s), but was designed to integrate tightly into Google Apps.

Read more

3 Ways to Sync Your MS Office Documents to the Cloud

3 Ways to Sync Your MS Office Documents to the Cloud | 40Tech

Web based office suites are great – and getting better all the time – but none of them can really top the formatting capabilities and ability to work without an internet connection that comes from Microsoft Office. Still, we are a world heading for the proverbial Cloud, and we often find ourselves with the need to easily share and collaborate on documents over great distances. The Make Tech Easier blog took the time to lay out three ways to get that done, using Google Docs, Zoho, and, of course, the relatively new Office Live.

Read more

© 2017 40Tech. All rights reserved.

Theme by Anders Norén.