Thursday, May 8, 2008

Plenty of Time to Ponder

OK. So it has been a few months since my last post. Working full time and going to grad school part time really does eat into one's, well, time.

But, due to circumstances beyond my control, I now have plenty of time on my hands, and time to sit and ponder. There is quite a bit to consider. Take, for example, this TechCrunch article showing that people spend most of their computer time using Microsoft products. Not really a big surprise there, but what is interesting are things that are missing, and things I used (and use even more now) every day.

Meebo, for example. It's a pretty nifty online application that lets you manage all of your instant messaging clients right from a Web browser. I have friends you use AIM, others who use YIM, GTalk and even ICQ. Since downloading any of those apps would violate company policy (while on a company laptop), Meebo made it possible for me to communicate and without violating company policy. I'm such a fan, I use it on my own laptop as well. Now if only there was a mobile version...

And it seems as if communication tools beat out all others in the battle for time. From a business perspective, this makes sense. Business is communication, and in this tech-driven age with remote offices and telecommuters, communication tools are even more essential. I, for one, am a bigger fan of chat and email than phone calls. It's easier to multi-task when communicating via chat or email.

In other news...Facebook and 49 states (Texas being the only hold out) struck a safety and privacy deal, according to TechCrunch. That will be very interesting to watch. Firing of associates is big news over on the WSJ's Law Blog, which is an enjoyable blog, as is the WSJ's BizTech blog. They are waging a small war over tech jargon. Just goes to show how writers are starting to forget that search engines are not the primary audience, and that the semantic Web does, indeed, exist. Simplicity of language is still the best route, so best of luck to the BizTech blog and it's fight against tech jargon, or mumbo-jumbo.

And how can anyone forget the recent dissolution of the Microsoft-Yahoo deal, dubbed MicroHoo. I still don't know what to think about Yahoo outsourcing its search advertising to Google. Anti-trust implications, possibly. Helpful to Yahoo but hurtful to the search market, possibly. Is Microsoft finished? Certainly not. It does need to improve its Office Live application as it is not nearly as easy or intuitive as Google Docs or ZoHo. Personally, I think ZoHo is one of the best kept secrets on the Web.

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