I’ve read several “Best of 2007” or “New for 2008” articles lately dealing with web applications and what authors consider to be their favorites. These include Will Richardson’s roundup on Weblogg-ed, TechCrunch’s “Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn’t Live Without,” and Lifehacker’s “Top 10 Underhyped Webapps.” There is some overlap in these lists, and several of the entries are obvious, such as Flickr, Twitter, GMail, etc. I’ll just pick out three of these apps that caught my attention, and look potentially very useful.
The first of these is Jott. Jott is a free speech-to-text service that let’s you record messages from your cell phone and send them to e-mail addresses as text or to other phones as text messages. You can even set up connections for WordPress or other blogs and post entries from your phone. Once you have signed up for an account and set up your contacts, you simply dial a toll-free number and state the name of the recipient, then record your message. The recipient gets the message, along with a link to the audio just in case there was a problem with transcription.
With Jott you are limited to 30 seconds per recording, so your messages must be brief – perhaps not the best thing for long-winded blog entries. Also, I’m not sure of the funding source. I don’t see any overt advertising. However, they’ve got to be supporting this somehow. When I start to get tons of marketing calls or text messages on my cell phone, I’ll know something’s up. I hope that won’t be the case, but for now it’s free and looks very cool.
From Jott we move to Jing. Jing is a screen capture program very similar to Macromedia/Adobe’s Captivate. You can capture a single still image from your computer screen, or create a Flash movie with narration. You can share your project immediately by uploading to Jing’s hosted service or by FTP to your own website. You can also save the files for future use. It’s great for creating training websites or software tutorials.
Personally, I like Captivate better. It’s a bit more robust and has better editing features. While Captivate is fairly reasonably priced with it’s academic bundle, Jing is free, and that’s hard to beat.
These three struck me as being the most useful. There were other personal organizers on the list, social network creation sites, etc. When I get a chance, I might look at those, too.
[tags]Web 2.0, apps, applications, Jing, Jott, TiddlyWiki[/tags]