Jive Software – online collaboration forums

A few days ago I posted a online collaboration comparison and someone sent me an suggestion to check out Jive Software. They offer three online web applications:

Clearspace

Open Fire

Jive Forums

Depending on the size, some of them are free and some of them cost money. There are many videos available showing the product so you can check them out before signing up. Here’s a few for clearspace for example.

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BaseCamp, ActiveCollab and Goplan collaboration tools compared

Since we’re working on the Mini File Server at the momeny, we decided to have some kind of online collaboration tool out there that would enable us to do project plans etc.

Then I found this excellent comparison by Derek Punsalan. It gives you and overview of BaseCamp, ActiveCollab and Goplan.

Basecamp

Goplan

His conclusion? For individuals looking to manage projects without spending a small amount on monthly subscription costs, the less polished activeCollab application does provides the basics for managing and interacting with clients.

On the flip-side, anyone who is willing to part with a small amount through a monthly subscription recouped in an hour or less of work, definitely give Basecamp or Goplan a try. With Goplan’s recent public launch with features sure to give Basecamp a solid run, users now have more options. Which service will work for you? Give each of them a solid run-through and decide for yourself. Will you side with the proverbial favorite from 37signals – Basecamp? Or, will your business be better served by Webreakstuff’s Goplan?

Oh and I also found a more detailed comparison between Basecamp and activeCollab.

Do you have any other suggested online collaboration services?

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Dabble DB – build your own database applications

Dabble DB is maybe something you want to consider if you want to build cusotmizable database applications. It’s very easy to use and completely on the web so you can share it easily. I’ts not a spreadsheet application – you can view the data from hundreds of angles all with point and click simplicity.

Best way is to watch the 7 minute introduction and if you want to see it in more action, check this screencast out which is regarding charts and maps.

Dabble DB

Dabble DB

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Time To Meet – another tool for planning meetings

Time To Meet is another service to find a time for a meeting without wasting time – no more sendning e-mails back and forth.

It does timezones very well and also synchronizes with your personal calendar (Outlook, iCal, Google etc) – but then you have to go Pro for about $1/month.

Time To Meet

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Renkoo, service to plan when & where

Renkoo is a service that lets you arrange when and where to do fun things with friends. You can use their website, instant messaging, text messaging, or email to plan things together.

I used to use a simple spreadsheet e-mailing it around. Then I moved to EditGrid, but it’s still very manual work… maybe this is a better alternative?

Simply invite some friends and let the planning begin!

* You can start with some friends and invite more as you go.
* You don’t need to start off knowing exactly when and where the event will occur.
* You and your friends can work out the details by chatting.

Renkoo

Renkoo helps you decide when and where to get together. Chat with your friends using Renkoo to figure it out. Renkoo lets you communicate using email, text, IM, or all three to decide a time and place.

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Office Interactive – online collaboration, and CRM

Let’s go business for a while. Office Interactive offers some online applications to serve the needs of small/medium sized businesses.

They offer different packages (one of the Collaboration packages are free) and includes functionality like documents, contacts, calendars, tasks, links etc.

Check this flash out for a closer look on the features.

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Zoho Polls – polls on the web!

Zoho Polls is an online tool to create polls online and let others vote. 100% free. There’s a demo login you can use.

Creating a poll is as easy as:

The result? Could look like this – either you choose a poll to vote or a poll to rate!

And the results after voting:

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Create online forms

decisions.jpg
I’ve done quite a few surveys during my time. At first it was manual labour – word documents with tick boxes and compiling the results manually. Then I did it with Outlook forms and then I went further and installed PHP/mySQL combination on one of our webservers.

But since I want to uninstall everything I started to look for some uninstalled alternatives where the forms are hosted somewhere else. Here are some alternatives. Anyone has any other tips? Please comment on this post.

  • One alternative is Wufoo.
  • Another alternative is Caspio Bridge, free for SOHO.
  • Freedback offers a free alternative aswell. It seems like it’s the same solution as Response-o-matic.
  • Yookie, but seems down at the moment.
  • Bravenet got a whole list of online tools for the web, one of them the ability to create a form and the result is sent via e-mail.

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Diigo – collect, makes notes on sites you find

Diigo is an online tool to collect and compile your research on the web. Let’s say you viist a webpage that you find interesting. Just as you would if you would print it on a paper, Diigo offers you to “write it on any webpage”, complete with highlights and sticky notes.

You can also collaborate as a group – great for research or web design.

There’s a demo you can try without registering and also a Flash demo.

There’s a toolbar to install for Firefox. Just go to the page and choose Diigo in the toolbar:

You can add sticky notes to the whole page and when you visit the page, you will see it has some sticky notes attached to it and when you move the mouse over it, it will show the notes:

If you highlight any text in on the webpage, it will be marked within Diigo and you can choose to add some sticky notes and it will be shown when you visit the page:

You can also choose to blog about what you just highligted or forward your findings via e-mail:

I think this tool can be very useful within some projects. And it’s (almost) uninstalled and for free!

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Thinkature – Real-time collaboration for the web

Thinkature lets you collaborate in realtime over the web. You can create cards, style them, move them around, add images and draw freehand. You can point out certain parts of the drawing to show other users watching the drawing and you can connect cards with arrows.

See below for a screencast where you can see how it works!

Thinkature

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Yugma offers free web conferencing

Yugma is a free and easy to use web conferencing service. It’s a web conferencing service that enables people to instantly connect over the internet and to collaborate using any application or software, using both Windows and Mac. Businesses can connect on-demand and real-time with clients, prospects or employees whether they are across the city, nation or even the globe.

Features:
” Share your information, present your ideas
” Invite up to 10 people (or more if you need)
” Collaborate with your community
” Works with both Windows and Mac
” Highly secure and reliable
” No Spyware, Adware, Malware

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activeCollab – free collaboration tool – but you have to install it

Lifehacker posted an interesting post on a free collaboration tool called activeCollab. It looks very promising since it’s free (open source) with no limit of users and webbased. But there’s a catch before will review it myself – it’s not uninstalled. You have to install it on your PHP5/mySQL. But since it’s open source – why don’t someone simply offer the solution on the web – installed and finished?

activeCollab

PS. I want uninstalled applications but here’s a good list of other project management tools. Some of the free solutions I’ve seen are PHPProjekt, projekt-open, dotProject.net, Achievo, PMI, Projectory, Tutos, WebCollab and Trac. DS

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Writeboard – share, edit and version controlled web-based text documents

Writeboard offers you to create shareable, web-based text documents that let you edit, rollback to any version and compare changes.

Setup is extremely easy. Enter a name, a password and your email address and you’re off. You edit the page and each time you save, a new version is saved. People can comment on the document and you’ll see which version of the document they have commented on. To the right you’ll see the different versions saved where you can view each version and compare the different version with eachother.

That’s about it. This is just one of the applications available in the bigger suite of online applications called Backpack. They also have a suite meant for project collaboration called Basecamp which cost money if you don’t settle for their free plan which is quite limited.

Writeboard Writeboard Writeboard Writeboard

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WebEx Weboffice online collaboration tool reviewed

WebEx offer a free 30 day trial for you to try WebOffice which is an online collaboration tool. With WebOffice you have the possibility to share Contacts, Documents and Tasks. You also have the possibility to have discussions and polls. However, just during my trial period, many new features were added to the Contacts part so I would expect more features added in the near future.

The left-side pane has the following choices:

  • Shortcuts – URL-links for everybody)
  • My Favorites – personal URL-links
  • Tools – Weboffice tools such as send emails
  • Administration – Manage Weboffice
  • Calendar – An online calendar. You can add personal events or for the whole group. Basic interface with no nifty stuff such as drag’n’drop etc.
  • WebEx Meetings – Have your meetings online (costs extra though)
  • Contacts – Manage the group’s contacts with many features. You have many fields to add, have different customized views, have different permissions, import, export and much much more.
  • Databases – Create a very customizable database using the webinterface for the group to work with. You can design your own or use an existing template (for example Asset Management, CRM, Knowledge Base etc).
  • Discussions – Online discussion forums. Not many features but easy and useful!
  • Documents – Create folders, upload and work with documents/files
  • Expense Reports – Allows you to enter and save your expense reports online
  • Members – List of members on the site
  • Polls – Voting polls. Allow multiple answers or single answer, customizable choices etc.
  • Tasks – Create and assign tasks

If you’re working on a project and don’t have any place to collect and manage all project information – I’m sure you could find this service useful! However, most of the features does the job – it does just that. The features kind of lack the “web 2.0″-feel with really smart solutions. So don’t expect any drag’n’drop and other nifty features. However, I find it very easy to user for anyone and easy to getting started for everyone working together. And it’s quite highly cusotmizable with permissions and the Database feature.

What about pricing then? Of course, it’s depending on number of users but ranges from $60/month for 5 users and $2.500/month for 500 users.
If you’re interested, check out their live demos.

WebEx WebOffice screndump WebEx WebOffice screndump weboffice2.png weboffice1.png

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