Author Archive

Startups and the Cloud: Join us this afternoon


A reminder that the free, Intuit-sponsored, Boston-area event “Startups and the Cloud” is this afternoon – join us if you can.

Come and you’ll hear Scott Cook, the co-founder of Intuit, local venture capitalists and other industry experts discussing cloud computing and how it can enable startups to more quickly innovate, get to market and grow.

Info and registration here. The event kicks off at 1:15 and is being held in Waltham at Bentley University – hope to see you there!

“5 Big Ideas for Getting All That Work Done” – recording of The AppGap webinar now available


As you know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, The AppGap last week hosted a discussion called “5 Big Ideas for Getting All That Work Done.” Moderated by AppGap contributor Anita Campbell, who was joined by leading commentators Jonathan Fields and John Jantsch, the webinar explored and shared insights on handling workloads that, in many cases, have only increased and gotten more stressful in these challenging economic times.

The major takeaways the discussion sought to explore:

  • How to automate what you hate
  • How going virtual can help
  • How being “social” at work is good for business
  • How to reframe what you do
  • And how to get your head in the cloud, i.e., move more work to the web

See the end of this post to access the recording of the great conversation – hit play to hear it in place or download it as a podcast for later listening.

We hope you find it of interest and want to take the opportunity to point you to several other webinars The AppGap has hosted: Should your Business be friends with Facebook? from last June and a broad discussion on The Future of Work from early last year.

icon for podPress  Standard Podcast [59:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Overwhelmed and Under-Resourced? Join us Wednesday for our webinar on getting work done


[UPDATE on 3/13: For those of you who were unable to join us or for those who did and want to share it, we'll be posting a recording of it here soon.]

A reminder that AppGap contributor Anita Campbell will be hosting what should be a great discussion with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing and Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, this Wednesday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.

As Anita said here, the conversation, which is sponsored by The AppGap’s sponsor QuickBase, will concentrate on how you can put the Web to work to offload drudgery, outsource prudently, socialize professionally, collaborate more effectively and otherwise find ways to work smarter and help your company weather the current economic storm.  Attendees will have the opportunity to win one of 10 copies of the panelists’ books, signed by the authors, and will leave with practical tips for getting all that work done.

Register now
to attend the event (and even if you can’t to access the recording of the call as well as the transcript and highlights recap which we’ll be distributing to registrants after the discussion).

Launching Appopedia, a directory of reviews of 2.0 apps


We’re excited to announce the launch of a new section of The AppGap: Appopedia.  The section, located at, brings together the growing number of reviews (nearly 150 to date) that Bill Ives and his colleagues here have done of Web-based apps that help individuals as well as large and small businesses work together more efficiently and effectively.

As you know if you’ve been tuning in to Bill’s reviews, he spends considerable time talking to the companies’ product managers and assessing the apps for a hard look at how these 2.0 tools can help individuals and organizations better communicate and collaborate, catalog and share knowledge, engage users and customers, manage projects and further support existing business processes.

And while other directories of 2.0 apps exist, we believe Appopedia serves a particular purpose, focusing specifically on work-related tools that help you manage and grow your business rather than every Web 2.0 app under the sun (in fact, AppGap contributor Anita Campbell called for just such a resource before she knew we were toying with the idea of it).  We’ve been developing the new section over the past month or two and hope you’ll check it out and provide input on what admittedly is a work in progress (we’ve already got a few tweaks on the way).

As you’ll see we’ve organized the reviews by various criteria, e.g., product category, we hope you’ll find useful. If you’ve used any of the tools please feel free to weigh in with any feedback in the comments of the respective reviews.

(For vendors: if you’re a company with a tool that’s already been reviewed, we encourage you to visit the review and provide any information on updates in the comments or contact us if you think your tool could be better classified by product category or function. For those that are interested in having your app reviewed, please visit our contact page where you’ll be prompted for information that’ll help us add you to the queue.)

Again, we hope you find Appopedia a valuable resource. It builds on the The AppGap’s mission – to help individuals, large organizations and small businesses better understand how work and our tools for working are changing – and aims to provide a practical destination for those looking to assess which apps can help them better manage and grow their businesses.

Facebook webinar slide deck and questions (and hopefully answers)


Below you’ll find the slide deck that accompanied yesterday’s webinar. In addition, you’ll find the great questions and comments that were flowing in over the course of the discussion, only some of which were we able to address. We’ll be pointing the panelists back to your questions and hope they’ll be able to respond in the comments. Feel free, of course, to pose new questions as well.

Questions and Comments

  • A few of the speakers today have mentioned that some companies take a dim view of Facebook because they see it as a “kid’s thing.” Are there strategies you can recommend to turn that fun/social element of Facebook into a virtue for building engagement?
  • How can Facebook group coordinators build deep social capital to drive engagement?
  • Which of the engagement issues discussed in these cases are present in any electronically-mediated social network and which are specific to Facebook given its affordances and limitations?
  • How would you characterize the level and quality of engagement in Facebook groups with a substantive purpose vs. a marketing purpose?
  • Kimberly touched on how social network behaviors seem different from professional behaviors; can we say more about this?
  • Can you please briefly explain to me what the “Influentials Theory” is?
  • Are the loosely associated groups of individuals in Facebook actually communities? Do they behave as communities?
  • Has anyone done a functional comparison among Facebook, LinkedIn, and SharePoint, etc? That is, these hosted Web 2.0 apps and enterprise tools?
  • I think this work is very interesting, and can’t help but wondering “What’s Next?” From a research (study) perspective, some things were uncovered and learned in this experience. What will we do with these and where do we go from here?
  • Would most of you agree from this experience that it takes a calculated combination of virtual and on-the ground connection to build these kinds of communities?
  • Kimberly: how did you work with the 5 people who were “recruiters” of the 1300 or did this just evolve?
  • I think the Alexa graph shown [in the slide deck] narrows the field of relevant data. If you zoom out from Alexa’s results to encompass all of the last year, you see a similar shallow dip in June-July of last year (likely due to summer vacation for college students). As the ‘Facebook Generation’ grows up, we may see that cycle fade out. But it does show that the Facebook crowd may still be relatively young. Does that significantly limit the ability of brands or companies to cultivate a relevant audience?
  • Is it viable to use Facebook groups as a stepping stone to a full blown ‘for fee’ membership site?
  • Was there any data gained from the study that provided a link between the group and improvement in sales? Any evidence that community members went the next step and actually clicked a link to initiate on-line commerce?
  • Great research – very interesting – thank you very much. But is it is still a pity that the event platform is not more open and social itself – allowing people to see who is here and what questions people asked. Wondering why that is so?

Recording of “Facebook for Business” Webinar now available


The recording of yesterday’s great conversation about how companies are using Facebook for business can now be heard here (see end of the post) or downloaded to be listened to at your convenience.

We again wanted to thank the panelists, our sponsor QuickBase, and all those who listened in for the wide-ranging discussion about what several Facebook group owners have learned from their experiences trying to leverage the site to market themselves and more. More about the webinar’s focus and participants can be found here.

In a subsequent post we’ll be posting the many good questions that came in during the call and asking the panelists to follow up in the comments. Feel free, whether you attended yesterday or not, to post additional questions to that post.

icon for podPress  Facebook in Business [60:52m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Reminder: AppGap Webinar on Facebook – today at 3 p.m. EDT


A quick reminder to readers of The AppGap that Jenny Ambrozek, a contributor here, will be leading a discussion on research she and her colleagues have conducted over the past six months on how companies are using Facebook Groups.

Find out more and be sure to register here.

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Online Database Reviews

Be sure to catch Bill Ives' ongoing review series in which he looks at online, sharable database apps. The focus of Bill's reviews: web-based business software that enables companies and individuals to better organize, track, and share information, as well as better manage projects, processes and workflows.

Among the Web-based tools he's reviewed: Zoho, QuickBase, and TrackVia.

Looking for apps that help you and your team get work done?

Check out the AppGap's Appopedia, an ever-expanding section with reviews of more than 150 of today's best tools to help you better manage projects and collaborate. Reviews are presented in a useful directory that breaks down tools by category and function, e.g., online crm, project management, human resources, security, etc. Check it out here.

The AppGap Webinar Series

The AppGap has hosted a series of discussions with leading thinkers and doers intended to illuminate how new apps and approaches are changing the way we work and help companies and individuals implement better collaboration, project management, and productivity practices and solutions. Access, via the links below, the recordings, each about an hour long, of the discussions.

- 5 Big Ideas for Getting All That Work Done
- Should Your Business be Friends with Facebook
- The Future of Work

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The AppGap is a blog and resource on the future of work and how new tools are addressing age-old challenges of organization, collaboration, and innovation. But it is also an idea: that there remains a gap between the toolset that exists and what's needed...

Can today's project management software be done better? What can online CRM help companies companies accomplish? Which development platform can help individuals and organizations build better online databases, Web based applications, and HR solutions? And what are the processes and best practices that help organizations large and small achieve success. Find out more.

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