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Keeping track of the cloud

The world of computer tools used to be so simple. A couple of small installs on the desktop, maybe a few assorted plugins, and off you go.

Then the "cloud" rolled in, and suddenly staying on top of new apps is like trying to keep track of celebrities on Twitter.

The biggest challenge is finding the time to give them all a real trial. And sometimes, I'll come back to a tool months after my maiden voyage, as both the tool and my needs have changed over time.

One key point about these tools I'm reviewing is that context is everything. Your job title, your company, your location, and your work habits -- all are key factors in determining which tools will work best for you.

Some context for me: I run an interactive agency and serve as creative director. I use a Mac with Firefox. Because I use multiple computers, and don't like having to try and sync files across all of them, I'm a big fan of web-hosted services in virtually every area of what I do, from email to presentations.

Also, in this review, I'm also going to bypass some of the heavyweight tools that have been around a while and with which most people are familiar. They include Basecamp, Compete, Google Docs, and Google Reader, all of which I use frequently.

So given that, here are some of the more recent apps that are showing me some love.

 

Comments

Doug Schumacher
Doug Schumacher November 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Etienne,

Thx for the comments, and glad you got some new tools out of this.

I've used Tweetdeck, and dropped it because of two reasons. I found it unstable (as did you), and it didn't sync between my multiple computers.

I looked into Seesmic briefly, and overall think it's a good product, but I really prefer Web-based apps over installs. They may not operate quite as fast in the near term, but long term I find them more convenient.

Etienne Chabot
Etienne Chabot November 18, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Hi Doug,

thanks for your great article. I will certainly adopt 2-3 tools you recommenc. Regarding Hootsuite, How does it compare to Seesmic or TWeetdeck? It looks basically the same...

I already did the switch from Tweetdeck to Seesmic because Tweetdeck was unstable. But, in terms of features and convenience, is Hootsuite better than Seesmic?