Archive for the ‘Dropbox’ Tag

Foundation of web 2.0 – Pattern Six: Perpetual Beta “Dropbox”

The internet has change the way software developers are looking at the traditional software development and delivery process. What web 2.0 technologies have done is bring and end the idea of downloading and installing a particular version of software and introduce a new process of software evolving regularly and relies on a new breed of software testers, the users. For many years there one only one online application you would think about when it came to perpetual beta’s and that was gmail, up until recently when the Google App Suite was formally out of beta. I’ve already mentioned this piece of software in a previous blog entry, and still continue to use it daily. Dropbox has been in beta since September of 2008 and allows users to join up and use the server through a private beta system. As it stands it has released 17 versions for windows, OSX and linux. These updates have been coming at a very regular interval to all the platforms, which for many services some platforms may be left out from initial release, and incorporate later in the development tree. Prime example is the release of Google Crome, lacking OSX support at the initial release, which has puzzled many users.

The feedback for the updates have manly come from users of the private beat as there is the ability for submission of feature requests as well as vote of other users proposed updates. On the feature request site they have broken up the features as short, mid and long term goals. Not only does this help the developers with understanding the users, but it builds a relationship with its users, as they have implemented a wiki to allow the flow of information. At the moment their service is run of a amazon s3 back end so this could come into availability problems with the service.

So it can be seen that Dropbox is feeding off the wider community to help understand the use cases present and close the gap between building and then running the software. What this can mean to Enterprises looking at establishing their produce online is, scope how to best translate the already existing software development cycle into a more agile iterative approach. Where initially look at trailing smaller project teams and learn from the process of transition to a web 2.0 environment. As a side note the new office 2010 as mention in the pattern five, should be a interesting beta process to be apart of, and ideal example of a large organisation (Microsoft) turning towards an online alternative to their traditional desktop based software.

Series So Far

Pattern Five: Software Above the level of a Single Device

Pattern Four: Rich User Experience “Google Docs”
Pattern Three: Innovation in Assembly “Google Maps”
Pattern Two: Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ “Flickr”
Pattern One: Harnessing Collective Intelligence “Digg”

Favourite Web 2.0 Tools

I’ve though i might collate some of the top web 2.0 tools that i have been using for awhile and some that I have just started using for the purpose of this Enterprise 2.0 unit.

  • Dropbox

  • To date is my favourite service to come out of the web 2.0 sphere. What Dropbox offers is a simple way of having your files shared and synchronized amongst multiple computers, Mac, PC or even linux. I’ve found Dropbox to be a perfect solution when managing life between your laptop out and about at uni and a PC sitting at home with the files on it you need. What really drew me towards this service is that it is absolutely FREE to have an account that allocates you 2GB of online storage. There are paid options through Dropbox that can offer you 50GB and 100GB storage options at a reasonable monthly cost. Dropbox also offers the ability to still have access to files that have been deleted for up to 30 days on free accounts and for an unlimited time on paid accounts. Giving all uses the safeguard of knowing if a file is deleted it is still fully recoverable. Since release Dropbox has promoted its referral scheme where users of free and paid accounts can refer people to the service with the bonus of getting free additional storage. Free accounts can add an additional 3GB of free storage (250mb per referral), and paid accounts 6GB (500mb per referral), just by getting friends to try the service. This is definitely a 10/10 service that everyone should try!!

  • Google Apps

  • The very long list of google services have been at the forefront of web 2.0 services for many years. Google Apps have produced many of the services that many including myself use every single day. Services like gmail, docs and calendar have been brought a seamless integration to both online and offline creation of office documents as well as email creation to managing events through Google Calendar. What these Google services have done over many local based aplicaitons is have the ability for true data portability across multiple devices, whether you are online or offline though the use of Google gears.

  • feedburner

  • A free solution to generating a RSS feed for any new blog or website. As well as providing statistical data about the feed and the number of clicks each link has generated per day or even the total number of subscribers to the RSS feed. This is super useful and easy to set up, not to mention has the ability to incorporate adsense to even make some money out of it as well.

  • twitterfeed

  • This is a perfect way if you want an automatic way of getting notifications of new blog posts you create to your twitter account. Twitterfeed is what the name suggest and works by checking your RSS feed for any updates and will generate a new update to your twitter account(s). You have full control on how the message displayed on twitter, even choosing your favourite url shortening service. Twitterfeed is a perfect tool for streamlining notification to twitter followers and expanding the reaches of any blog.

  • Netvibes

  • Netvibes has been my home page on every computer I own for the past 3 years, what it offers is a simple way to aggregate all your RSS feeds, using heavily embedded web technologies like xml and AJAX to help with the customisation of your personal page and incorporation with widgets that have been developed through their API. These widgets work very similar to what you would find in OSX and vista, where you can freely move content around to suit your style. Netvibes has even made it easier to add new content to your personal page by choosing feeds from a pretty extensive library of recommended widgets and most popular RSS feeds based on other users. But it doesn’t stop with RSS feeds from news sites, it supports rich media like content from audio and video podcasts, social networks and as well as email accounts. Netvibes is a perfect way to manage your time when online if you find yourself bouncing around multiple sites!