Sunday, November 30, 2014

Throw in Glassboard (TM), Sharepoint (TM), and cloud storage and stir a bit

This is a techy blog posting because I miss Glassboard(TM).  I know why its gone (search the blogsphere for the conversation on why it's so hard to be an independent app developer) but that is not comforting.  So how would I like it to come back.  I hinted in a tweet but that seemed not to resonate with anyone so here's a longer explanation.

If you can't sell it in sufficient quantities to individuals, you look for another target market.  One I think in underused by most casual users is cloud storage, whether it is from one of the biggies or one of the many providers out there.  Yes, you can give others access to your photos on most cloud storage but they aren't annotated and no conversation ensues around them that links right to them on your mobile device.  You can do it with mass emailing or multiparty text conversations but that is awkward and people delete them from their phones and there is no "like" button.

So, you say, use Facebook (TM).  No thank you.   Too "noisy and nosy."  I like my privacy and, being older, like things uncluttered.   And, I would like to be able to share other stuff I can put on cloud storage - any file, any time.  This last is one of my frustrations with Glassboard - that I couldn't share any file but photos and videos.  What I want is to see photos embedded and displayed as Glassboard did and for all else a clickable link that says "View content with extension (fill in the blank)".  If the receiving device has the correct application, when the link is clicked, the file opens in that application to be viewed or downloaded but not changed.  If the device doesn't, it would be helpful to suggest what application is needed but not necessary.

Sharepoint(TM) gives that ability to share any file with a user if that they had the application on their desktop.  I am assuming a mobile version works that way if it exists, but I don't know because, being retired, I am no longer a Sharepoint(TM) user.    Sharepoint(TM) is problematic for casual users because a server has to be set up, users managed, the group has to decide stuff like naming conventions and folder arrangements,  protocol for editting, etc.  A lot of nitty gritty stuff that groups can get hung up on before sharing actually occurs.  If the files are shared around a common activity or goal, it would be nice to keep track of changes, suggestions, and reactions in a simple, textbased way.

Another thing I liked about Glassboard(TM) is that you could have multiple boards with different members so that intimate photo of the newborn could be shared just with the immediate family and your amazing vacation action shot could go to a wider audience.

So that makes me mention why I want Glassboard(TM) for sharing photos - you don't share all of your photos in an album, just the one you are proud of or think is worth it somehow or want to provoke laughter or screams.  You want a reaction of some kind - a like, a dislike, a comment, a followup phone call - something.

So, there is tons of cloud storage out there - you can get it from Apple (TM), from your ISP, your cable provider, Microsoft (TM), Google (TM), and more.  Is it being used fully? Probably not.  Is it protected from casual browsing? I expect it to be and that better be true.

The one item I don't have a good suggestion for is managing your many login ids and passwords.  If the board you are invited onto is one where you already have an id/password because you have your own cloud account there, you should be able to use that.  But if you don't it, it means another id/password combo to manage and keep track of.  It could be worse, I suppose, and someone will solve that problem in the future, probably in a way I won't like.

Anyone up for convincing a major cloud storage provider to build this?  Would it give them an edge in the market?

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