Sunday, July 26, 2009

3 Can't Miss Web 2.0 Tools

The excitement of technology is captured in the creativity and imagination of the entrepreneurs, engineers and investors who continually push innovation forward at an unrelenting pace.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this first hand. For instance, one of Strategic Communications Group’s (Strategic) initial client assignments was the representation of a reseller of satellite services. In the mid-1990s, an Inmarsat communications terminal was so large it had to be hoisted onto a ship with a crane.

Today, Inmarsat delivers a more powerful offering from a terminal the size and weight of a laptop computer. The company’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) services make good on the promise of mobile broadband availability in nearly every corner of the world.

The same goes for video conferencing. At the turn of this century, high quality meant users accepting a level of delay and jerkiness in the screen picture and voice quality. In less than a decade conferencing vendors like TANDBERG are in-market with three dimensional, interactive telepresence systems.

Those charged with the marketing and promotion of technology solutions sure feel the pressure of rapid evolution. We must tap into emerging social networks as a channel to reach key constituents, yet continue to develop messaging that is clear, concise and straightforward.

Every week or so I spend a few hours conducting a test run of a myriad of Web 2.0 offerings and tools that have sparked my fancy. Few may catch-on and develop a broad market following. However, my evaluation criteria are applicability to client programs, rather than popularity.

At Strategic, we are fortunate to work for a collection of innovators – such as Inmarsat and TANDBERG -- in cut-throat competitive markets. Rightfully, they expect us to stay in-step with what’s new and, more important, how these tools can enhance the success of their business.

Here are three Web 2.0 offerings I reviewed today worth consideration:

Lovely Charts: an easy-to-use, free online diagramming to create professional looking flow charts, site maps, organizations diagrams, etc.

ChatCatcher: scans microblogging platforms like Twitter and FriendFeed for references to a blog post. When someone links to a blog, their post will is published to the comments section.

Aardvark: It’s Web search gone social. This is a free service that lets a user ask questions that get routed to friends and friends of friends. The goal is to quickly deliver specific answers on everything from apartments to zoos.

1 comment:

Alison said...

Thanks for mentioning Aardvark! I'd love to hear more about what you and your users think of it. Feel free to email me any time with questions or feedback -

- Alison @ Aardvark