37signals: Basecamp and Highrise Single Sign-on with Open Bar

16 07 2007

37signals Single Sign-on

37signals has just announced that Basecamp and Highrise accounts can now be accessed via single sign-on. I don’t know about you, but I find this to be one of their best improvements yet. Why? It is just a waste of time flipping through accounts on different windows / tabs. Why bother eating up all your system RAM with a bunch of inactive Firefox tabs?

Openbar

Open Bar

Open Bar has only been out for a few weeks now, but has dramatically improved the way users can use the 37signals products. If you’re like me, you’ve got a Basecamp account for your business projects. Maybe another one for hobby home based projects. Then, you’ve got another set of accounts for Highrise – different businesses, charity lists, and so forth. Evne if you use the same username and password for all of them (note: don’t do this!), it is still a pain to switch between tabs and have all those different bookmarks cluttering your bookmarks toolbar.

OpenID

OpenID

What’s the big deal with OpenID? Simple. You can use it as a single login for multiple applications. Sort of like the way Microsoft Passport (now Windows Live ID) should have been. Since it is an Open Source community, there is extensive support, and a lot of opinions 🙂

The 37signals Open Bar relies on you to have an OpenID, so this is a must.





Stumbleupon + Technorati + Del.icio.us + Flickr = Xoocle, an Interesting Mashup

15 07 2007

Xoocle SU Mashup

Xoocle, an interesting Stumbleupon mashup (currently in Alpha mode) has been created by Thanassis.  Simply enter your Stumbleupon username, and you are then given a listing of all your SU tags.  The first tag will automatically do a mashup on that tag against other popular social networking sites – technorati, del.icio.us, and flickr.

how Xoocle SU mashup works

This is a wonderful resource to see what’s going on in several communities at the same time.  Keep in mind that if you have a general tag such as computers, you’re going to have a very wide variety of different hits across the different sites, but that just speaks to your tagging.  Nicely done!





Trading stuff for free vs. Free stuff

10 07 2007

Trading Stuff for Free

Swaptree

Swaptree is a great service that I came across recently. It lets you trade books, music, movies, and games with others for free. You tell the system what you have, and it figures out what you can get in exchange. Note that it supports one-for-one item trades only.

How it works

How Swaptree works

Swaptree does a good job laying out the ground rules simply and clearly. There is also a wonderful walkthrough here. Ebay users will find a similar buyer/seller rating system that they are accustomed to.

The site has been out of public beta since July 4th (so it’s no longer invite only) and seems to be gaining steam. Way to go, guys!


Free Stuff

Freecycle

Freecycle would be a good alternative if you were looking for an item outside of books, music, movies, and games – such as apparel, computers, and furniture. The concept is that someone wants to get rid of something, while another person want s the same item. Rather than throwing the item away or trying to sell for a minimal amount, the item is given away, provided that a local person comes to pick it up.

Freecycle animationHere is a short animation showing what it’s all about.

At the time of this posting, there are a total of 4,041 Freecycle communities throughout the world. Chances are, you are either in or near one of them.





37signals: Basecamp / Highrise Review

27 06 2007

37signals

I’m a huge fan of 37signals. For those of you that are not familiar with them – in their own words:

“We’re a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based software products possible with the least number of features necessary. Our products do less than the competition — intentionally. We’ve been in business since 1999 and love what we do.”

They make incredible web based software and have a fresh approach to application design. Instead of making bloated software that has every bell and whistle a user will never even bother with, they attempt to have as few features as possible. It’s a great methodology that works well with rapid application development. Jason Fried, the company’s founder, expands on this topic in their book, Getting Real (you can read it free here).

 

Highrise - Simple CRM

Highrise, their newest product, is touted as Simple CRM. While I wouldn’t call it a full fledged CRM replacement to some of the larger competition, this product is top notch. The only real criticisms that I have on this product:

 

1 – method of organization. You have the ability to use tags and also can set up cases, but I would love to see better categorization (maybe through hierarchical tags?)

2 –task system. The ability to assign tasks to yourself and others is great, but there is a current limitation in that you cannot see other people’s task lists. This could be an issue if you assign a task to yourself and 2 other people. Let’s say that the task is to follow up on a prospective client, and 2 people complete the task! Now you’ve got to do a bit of damage control. I’d love to see a revamp on this section – tasks emailed to you needs a bit of help too.

Still, what’s great about Highrise and 37signals overall is their customer service. They really listen to you. Seriously. They don’t just route you to some guy on the phone in India that’s thousands of miles away. Try emailing them – you’ll hear back directly from the development staff – what a concept!

Latest Highrise News

Highrise just underwent a wonderful improvement last night. The Highrise dashboard now has listview, a more concise way of looking at tasks, emails, notes, etc – the same great way that Basecamp already does.

Read on for more Highrise update information.


Basecamp

Basecamp is where 37signals all began back in 2004. It’s an amazingly well thought out Web Project Management program. You have the ability to track and manage projects in this slick web based tool. This it very useful when you have remote teams working on things. I’ve been a big fan of this product, and encourage my clients to use it as well. You can even add people at your client’s location to the individual project – so no more “what’s the status of the project” droning on contact calls! The client can just login and see up to the minute progress!

 

If you’re interested in signing up for Basecamp, try the walkthrough, and when you’re ready – try signing up through my affiliate link below:

Basecamp project management and collaboration





shiurimtogo.com – new site for mp3 torah lessons is live!

20 06 2007

Although we launched this site a little while ago now, it was right before the start of this blog and is worthy of mention here.

Shiurimtogo.com
Shiurimtogo.com
is a collection of shiurim (Hebrew for Jewish lectures on torah, or Jewish topics) available for download in mp3 format. This is perfect for the commuter that is looking to learn during these otherwise unproductive moments. Some of the shiurim are free, while others are on a pay per download basis with a PayPal back end. Samples are also available.

We did an entire administration build for this client, giving them the ability for adding new speakers, new shiurim, and to dynamically adjust information. Our custom design also makes it a pleasure to look through the different shiurim choices. Congratulations, Shiurimtogo!





Psycall.com – new site!

14 06 2007

We’ve been pretty busy getting several sites up these days. The latest is Psycall.com, a for-hire Psychology agency that assists school districts for as needed services (i.e. when they do not have people on staff for budgetary reasons) and special consulting.

Psycall.com

Check them out at www.psycall.com! Congrats, Nancy!





Louisvilleexecutives.com – free executive job search is live!

12 06 2007

I’m pleased to announce that the complete redesign of Louisvilleexecutives.com is now live!

LERN

The Louisville Executive Resource Network (otherwise known as LERN) provides

We’ve done a complete overhaul on the site – new design and back end. Also created CMS functionality with an integrated electronic payment system through Google Checkout for members to sign up (free resource for businesses).

Don’t believe me? here’s the old site

Read the rest of this entry »