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Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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in: North Curl Curl New South Wales, Australia
There's been a shift in my thinking regarding internet based/enabled services which I think is probably reflected in other people too. It's really simple, if it's good I am willing to pay. What this probably means is that I and others like me are starting to recognise that the internet technologies that looked like toys for so long are now recognisably useful tools. This might also mean that the web is finally becoming the platform/ecosystem that it has promised to be but never fully became.

Businesses have paid for cloud-computing and hosted services for some time but my feeling is that persuading individuals to do so has always been difficult. Consumers are used to the internet being free and are generally resistant to any change in that. However, I think that is now changing and it's due to the Freemium model that service start ups have been using; get the majority if the functionality with just a free account and if you then want the whole package you pay a subscription. It's a 'try before you buy' business model the advantage of which is that if you're good you'll do well, the disadvantage being that if you're not quite good enough everyone finds out quickly. The services are now just that bit better than they have been. Given that I try almost all of them I have been driven to pay for some of the good ones.

Things I've paid for which I think are useful and I would actually have trouble living without are:



Evernote
This is a memory tool which captures notes, photos, documents, web-pages etc. allows you to organise them, tag them and search them on just about any mobile device or computer. Doesn't sound like something you need? It didn't to me either but then I started using it and now I would find life very difficult without it. It even threatens my beloved Moleskine notebook as my favourite note-taking tool. I use it personally and for work. If you've ever used OneNote then it's a bit like that, only you aren't tied to one computer for all your information. There's a video below of the CEO talking at Le Web to give you a flavour.


Google Apps
A full suite of office software hosted on the internet that just keeps improving, for $50 a user a year. I use this for this domain and for work and neither would operate correctly without it.


Last.FM
This is a music recommendation service that also allows you to stream music over the internet. The office I work in is not a quiet place and this last feature increases my productivity but about 400%. It also allows me to share what I've been listening to with other people - you can get a feel for this from the last.fm widget in the left sidebar.

There are other candidates on the shopping list, the current favourite is:

Which is pretty much what you'd expect; an internet enabled file-folder system of varying sizes that synchronizes across computers and devices which allows a variety of hacks. However with judicious use of Evernote I'm wondering if I really need this. Ideally the two would merge...

Are there any others worth paying for that I'm missing?