Monday, October 20, 2008

Week 8, Thing 18

#18 Web-based Apps: They're not just for desktops
The availability and use of online productivity web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets) has exploded over the past few years and for good reasons! These powerful applications provide users with the ability to create and share documents over the internet without the need of installed desktop applications. Some experts speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death to Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office. But no matter which side of the office suite platform you side with, on this both sides seem to agree; web-based apps have their place.

One major benefit of web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. You are also freed up from carrying a data disc or flash drive around. A further bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to easily save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs (formerly known as Writely), to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at web-based word processing tools such as Zoho Writer or Google Docs, create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog. If you're up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it to your blog. With web-based applications, the possibilities are endless.

Discovery Resources:
A short list of web-based productivity applications – Note: Helene Blowers authored this list in 2006 using ZohoWriter and exported it as HTML.

Discovery Exercise:
1. Create a free account for yourself in Zoho Writer or Google Docs
2. Explore the site and create a few test documents.
3. Try out Zoho Writer’s or Google Docs features and create a blog post about your discoveries.

Optional: If you're up for the challenge, see if you can write something in a web-based word processor and then use it to post to your blog.

BTW: Here’s a document (viewable as a webpage) Helene Blowers mocked up in Zoho about some of the features she found beneficial.

Continue on to Week 8, Thing 19

No comments: