Enlighten me, por favor!
November 11, 2008 1:48 PM   Subscribe

What are your absolute favorite application service providers and web apps right now? Any and all uses, don't hold back (event calendars, e-commerce, community, anything you find useful or cool!). Also, know of any good sites with comparison reviews?

I'm designing a variety of new websites for myself and for clients, so I'm looking for all sorts of cool stuff that might push these projects further forward as well as fool people into thinking I'm super clever and web savvy. I want new ideas to work from, in an effort to help these small businesses run smoother and smoothly compete with major companies.

Personally, I'm good at making things pretty, but bad at parsing techie things like action scripting and programming... so extra points for ease of use & setup, great interfaces, really useful stuff, and yeah, cost effectiveness.

Thanks, peeps! :)
posted by miss lynnster to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Google Reader

Google Calendar
posted by qvtqht at 2:09 PM on November 11, 2008

So, out of "cheap," "good," and "easy," what are your priorities?
posted by rhizome at 2:29 PM on November 11, 2008

Amazon's S3 + Jungledisk for cheap reliable backups.
posted by miles at 2:37 PM on November 11, 2008

Hosting: Dreamhost, and check out their control panel for an example of a well-made hosting management app.
Image hosting: Flickr
Links: del.icio.us

A great place to plunder for ideas would be the del.icio.us webapps tag.
posted by mullingitover at 3:16 PM on November 11, 2008

Smashing Magazine has lots of great articles for plundering ideas. They do a nice job of collecting interface and design bits from all over.

Pattern Tap is new on the block but also quite nice.
posted by junesix at 3:42 PM on November 11, 2008

Trillian for instant and text messaging across all platforms. FREE!
posted by winks007 at 4:14 PM on November 11, 2008

I synch Google Calendar with my work Outlook calendar (for some reason, my work Outlook calendar erases appointments older than two weeks, but the IT guy doesn't seem to care). GCal uses fewer system resources than Outlook Calendar, and it's a little more fun to look at and work with.

I use the Google Drive shell extension on my home computer. I work on documents from home, and save to a Gmail account . I also backup documents by emailing them to this account and to Google Documents.

Because it takes time to update my Blackberry address book, I keep an up-to-date staff phonelist on Google Documents that I can access on my handheld. By the time I update my address book, a new staff contact list has been created, which I upload to Google Docs.

I used Google Docs on translating projects because I could quickly convert Japanese source text to html and use Rikaichan as a quick reference tool. Gmail also converts attachments to html, but it's more difficult to link to.

In general, though, learning how to use Google Docs is too much of a pain in the ass, and I'm sticking with Office or Open Office.

I sometimes use DivShare to upload documents, and sometimes use Scribd to simultaneously upload documents while converting them to pdfs.

I generally use Picasa to upload and share photos, but I also use Flickr, as it has a good upload tool, and the interface is better than Picasa.

I publish a blog on Wordpress - I like that webapp quite a bit.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:18 PM on November 11, 2008

Response by poster: So, out of "cheap," "good," and "easy," what are your priorities?

Entirely depends on the client and the project. So just throw out whatever suggestions you have.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:43 PM on November 11, 2008

Response by poster: Especially interested in good avenues for things like customizable shopping carts, community forums, etc.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:45 PM on November 11, 2008

Apart from the obvious, I like Dropbox, TimeBridge, WhenIsGood, and all the 37signals apps.
posted by Cobalt at 9:57 PM on November 11, 2008

I like Zyb.com for single click backup of my cell phone contacts and calendar.
Being able view the same online, and synching my Google Calendar with my cell phone.
posted by MetaPenguin at 10:38 PM on November 11, 2008

google reader
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:54 AM on November 12, 2008

I love (LOVE) Delicious but I am seriously considering switching to Diigo. It's lacking a little bit of the convenience of the Delicious Firefox extension, but it's researching tools (persistent page highlighting and sticky notes) may make up for it.
posted by jluce50 at 9:35 AM on November 12, 2008

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