Working the Web 2.0

Backsliding to the Desktop

Day 3: For the first time during the experiment, I'm confronted with a task beyond simple word processing and spreadsheet wrangling: I've been asked to prepare an organizational chart of my department. But Writely has no drawing feature whatsoever, and the browser-based drawing tool ajaxSketch doesn't offer anything designed to help with org charts.

So I turn back to a desktop application--namely the beta version of Microsoft Word 2007, which can produce slick-looking charts. I do notice, however, that every time I add a new employee to the tree, the program gets bogged down a little more; by the time I've plugged in the whole staff, Word is hellaciously slow in a way that Writely never is.

Later, my editor will alert me to Gliffy, a Web-based tool that might have done the job. Too bad I didn't know about it at the time.

Day 4: I begin to think about my upcoming trip to Chicago in earnest. The major reason I'm going is to do a presentation for several hundred Illinois-based accountants. A presentation means slides; slides mean that it's time to determine whether I can do PowerPoint-like stuff with a Web service.

I check out two browser-based presentation tools, Thumbstacks.com and Zoho Show. Both offer the ability to conduct presentations over the Net--an intriguing option I don't actually need at the moment. But neither offers enough functionality yet to give PowerPoint a flesh wound, let alone kill it. Besides, I'll probably be slogging away on the presentation during the flight to Chicago, when I know I'll be sans Internet access. So I do my show in PowerPoint, as usual.

Day 6: Waiting for my plane to Chicago, I want to refer to a document I created in Writely. It dawns on me that I'll have to use the airport's hotspot service, which costs $10 an hour. Writely and Google Spreadsheets may be free, but getting access to them can be downright pricey.

Special Report: Tomorrow's Technology

The Future of Your PC The Future of Robots
The Future of Cell Phones The Future of Privacy
The Future of the Web The Future of Nanotech
The Future of OSs The Future of You
The Future of Fun 100 Fearless Forecasts
Incredible Tech: Lies Ahead A Look Back

Subscribe to the Daily Downloads Newsletter

Comments