Tuesday, March 24, 2009

google docs rocks (and other things i love)

I am a big fan of the Google family of online productivity tools. I've used most of them. I've used Google calendar to schedule groups for meetings and deliverable due dates which was lovely in that I could send out reminders via email or text. I've used Google documents to share and seamlessly co-author papers (just like we did for our class assignment). I've also used Google spreadsheets not just for their intended Excel-like qualities, but also to keep track of copy items needed for a website I wrote for. It was really wonderful. With one person in California, another in Ohio and me in New York, we were all able to work together. Nothing fell through the cracks and we all knew what the latest and greatest version was. So I say: Say no to a million attachments and paper shuffling. Say yes to the Google (or really whatever other brand works for you) family of online productivity tools.

So, I was checking out the Web 2.0 Awards list and stumbled upon my old friend craigslist. I'm not really sure why, but for whatever reason, I never mentally lumped it in with all of the other 2.0 applications. But there it was, in its rightful place of #1 Classified/Directory. I was beginning to plan my move to the Bay Area when craigslist first came on the scene. It was only available in the SF Bay Area and it had a limited number of listing categories. I looked for apartments there; I looked for jobs there; I found my awesome formica table set there. And then it began to grow, expanding to most major and semi-major cities in the U.S. as well as other countries. And it did all of this rather quietly. Word just spread organically and now it has become a well known go-to resource. It filled a need and grew, Grew, GREW but without losing its focus: free, easy access to classifieds online. (Well, everything isn't free to the poster anymore, but the prices aren't exhorbitant either.) It became a quiet giant with a simple design and concept, but great stretch and ability. It really just integrated itself into my web library without my thinking about it as opposed to the other 2.0 apps with cutesy logos and grand aspirations. This may be why I was surprised to find it posted in the award list. But, if we were all to vote for the grand web 2.0 application to beat them all, my vote would go to craigslist, hands down.

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