Working On the Web

Working On the Web
June 25, 2009 Ed Giles

Have you noticed the plethora of web apps lately?  Whether you need something for your desktop or your mobile device, it seems that no matter what the situation, a web app can be procured to handle it.

Lately, the mobile market has been the target of most of the web apps that we are becoming familiar with and in many cases, depend upon.  We’ve all seen the iPhone campaign “There’s an App for That”.  Well, it seems that yes, there is an app for everything, and not only for Apple’s device.  If you have a cell phone then you know about texting.  That’s a neat feature that took over an entire generation!

Personal story: this weekend we had my in-laws over for Father’s Day.  My niece and nephew were discovered texting on their cells in the living room.  Not really a problem, except they were texting each other while sitting only three feet apart!

GETTING IT DONE

One of the first Apps to be utilized on the web was email.  The ability to “do email” from any computer connected to the web was a true godsend.  Making email available to everyone seemed to be a crusade in the early 90’s.  Even today, you can open a free web-based email account with many sites like Google, Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, etc.  Many of these even offer message boards, calendars, instant messaging, groups and communities that one can join. Sites such as MySpace and Facebook utilize social interaction on the web to keep people connected.

These are all terrific for keeping us busy in our personal lives, but Business hasn’t missed the opportunity here.  Web-based email can be tailored to your company needs (for a fee) so that you can have meaningful email addresses – me@mycompany.com – instead of something with hotmail or yahoo.  Having the company name in the email address helps people to remember you – or at least where you work.

Going on a trip and don’t want to take your laptop?  These days airport security seems to have made our planes safer, but the process has also made it easier for our computers to get damaged, lost or stolen.  One option is to use web-based office productivity software.  A number of sites offer options for word processors, spreadsheets, email, etc. (all conveniently found at one location.)  While I don’t endorse any particular site, you can find these tools at places such as Google and OfficeDesktop.  Some are free, some are not.  Depending on your needs and your budget, it may make more sense to use these tools rather than equipping each computer with a full office suite.

OTHER APPS

Many software applications have moved away form the traditional Server/Client model and have been utilizing internal WebPages to host applications.  The real value in these was changing the user access from internal only, to making the systems available online and accessible 24/7 from anyplace in the world where there was a computer with an online connection and a browser.  Just speaking in terms of productivity and connecting multi-national workforces: the benefits can be huge.

IS THERE A DOWNSIDE?

Now, there is usually a downside to everything.  The cute kitten your kid brings home grows up to be a drape shredding cat; the garden you planted to save on grocery bills has nearly killed you because you’ve been out everyday pulling weeds in order to harvest what your local supermarket could supply for less.  Sort of the same thing is happening with the web…

The use of the internet has exploded.  I know, an understatement if ever there was one.  But the problem with all the use is that there is less room.  In early March 2009, Google ran out of bandwidth.  New apps like Twitter have been filling up the web with so much information that it boggles the mind.  It used to be a neat little social collaboration tool, but now everybody Tweets – even NASA!  And lets be serious – who hasn’t watched something on YouTube?

In order to keep up with the growth of the web, we are going to have to find a way to scale up the Net in order to grow with the amount of traffic crisscrossing the world each minute of every day.  That’s the challenge, as well as the legacy of working on the web.

(Disclaimer: The links in the article are for informational reference only and not

endorsed by XONITEK Corporation or its employees)

Ed Giles is a Specialist with the XONITEK Consulting Services Team. Ed brings years of experience in Manufacturing, Shipping/Receiving, Material Handling/Inventory Control, Warehouse Distribution, and many other strategic technologies to the XONITEK team.

Contact him at gilesec@xonitek.com.

 

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