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Web 2.0

I recently visited the expo area at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco to get some idea of what new collaboration tools are out there, play with them a bit, and also make some personal judgments on their likelihood of still being around for the next conference. Collaboration in all its forms was evident at this event, but a few stuck out. I won't review them extensively (Webware.com has done so already), but here are my thoughts.

Coghead: Just out of limited beta, this application allows users to author their own custom applications through a drag-and-drop web-based interface. The product is fairly intuitive and easy-to-use, and most importantly, does not require you to know any programming languages! For a small business that needs a custom app but doesn't have the money to pay a traditional developer, this may be the ticket. The main drawbacks are slow speed (it runs through Flash in your browser, and requires a good chunk of RAM) and limited ability to publish data to the Web right now. I am attempting to build a version of our HighLights Gateway™ using Coghead, and I'll let you know how that goes.

Octopz: I haven't played with this much yet, but it looks promising. It allows multiple people to review a document or screencap of a Web site online, draw or write notes or edits on the document, save and print it. Oh, and you can discuss the edits with other users in real time using either text, voice, or video chat options. This also requires a good chunk of RAM. Most of the other companies were focused on individual collaboration tools (think MySpace, de.lic.ious, etc.), but I could foresee business uses for these applications as functionality expands and individuals become used to using them.

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