Friday 23 November 2007

Living on the Cloud: A lookback

The experiment to move a lot of my data to the cloud has been very successful. I now use my Google Mail and Yahoo Mail accounts regularly, Google Docs quite often, and Google Reader has become a part of my daily routing.

I'm using Yahoo Mail's AddressGuard feature regularly and it's been brilliant at giving me a way to stop companies using my real address. To be fair, I've not had a single spam mail from either Google or Yahoo.

Google Docs has been developing nicely and I especially like the collaboration features (the ability to allow others to access and update specified documents, versioning etc). It's not a perfect product, and there are better online office apps available, but it's developing quickly and has the advantages of having the resources of Google behind it.

But it's Google Reader that has had the most impact. It's solved the problem of keeping RSS feeds in sync, has a speedy interface that can be keyboard driven and actually allows me to keep up to date with a large number of sites and blogs.

There is still more to be done. I'm not synchronising my contacts, tasks, notes and calendar from Exchange at work to a cloud based service at the moment, but as I have a Blackberry Pearl, I can easily access my data on the move.

For the future, I would like to look further into online collaboration for church use. Some future form of Google Docs might be the answer, or there might be a better solution out there...

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