Ged Carroll

Web services I use

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Web services I use everyday has evolved over time. I thought I’d explore what I use now, compared to my essential services nine years ago.

Bloglines –  I have an eclectic and wide range of online reading material that I like to keep up with. Whilst I have a Google Reader account, it is set up as insurance against IAC shutting down Bloglines. I find Google Reader intrusive and not as productive as Bloglines. In addition, Bloglines works better on a mobile phone and power my blogroll

Delicious – is my memory. I am a web pack rat and it comes in handy for research or pulling together case studies for presentations. I keep a minimal amount of bookmarks on my computer, mostly bookmarklets to take advantage of Google Translate, subscribe to a blog and pull up the local weather

Google – as well as it being my default search engine, Google is also my currency converter, calculator, spell checker and timezone checker. The site has a surprising amount of shortcuts that make my life a lot easier. They don’t require any technical skill, more details here

Teoma – one of the best kept secrets of the web, Teoma is my back-up search engine if Google isn’t giving me the kind of results that I want. If anything Teoma is more relevant than Google is on its search responses. It naturally doesn’t trawl as much of the web as Google and it isn’t as good for real-time or semi real-time content like the latest blog posts. But it does have a clean interface reminiscent of Google previously. If you hit the ‘Google found approximately 150,000 results’ and you can’t find what you are looking for in the first page (which you should have set to 100 results per page) then give Teoma a go

Email – my primary personal email account is an Apple IMAP account (now sold as MobileMe), but I’m old school so I have a .mac address. I also have a couple of other IMAP accounts with a more limited circulation. IMAP is great as it allows you to sync your account across multiple devices and not pay a fortune for Microsoft Exchange

iDisk – I know lots of people swear that Dropbox is the best, but I still like to use iDisk for large file transfers like presentations. Apple has progressively improved the product and I know it inside out

Flickr – if Delicious is my memory of facts and figures then Flickr is my visual memory I use it as an aide memoire, image storage for my blog and as a kind of photo scrapbook

Twitter – is the new IM. Instant messaging on my iPhone and on corporate networks can be a bit haphazard. Twitter gives you the direct message capability of IM but also allows for broadcast messages and syndication of content

Skype – whilst all the fuss is happening in the iPhone world about Facetime I am more interested in Skype. Its combination of reasonably-priced VoIP calls and free Skype calling together with robust file transfer and chat messaging has made it ideal for business communications and keeping in touch with friends in far flung places

LinkedIn – I’ve got business out of LinkedIn, polled opinions on the best content management system for a particular purpose and received recommendations on a web hosting company in Hong Kong. LinkedIn is an invaluable business tool

Ten Web Services I Can’t Do Without | renaissance chambara

Lets have a look this in terms of numbers. In the space of nine years:

The key lessons to take away from these are:

What does my list look like now?

Listing these web services out it makes depressing reading. Declining functionality, good products (almost) sunk by large corporate shenanigans and corporate investors. In many respects things have stood still rather than moved forward with web services. More related content here.