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A response to the question never asked

Web 2.0 Whatnot

I got an iPhone this weekend, and now I find myself swimming in a sea of Web 2.0 – you know, that lowercase, twitterific, round-cornered, how-is-this-making-any-money, privacy-what’s-privacy thing currently popping up like mushrooms all over the Internet? Yeah, that. There are so many shiny little logos to choose from in the iTunes App store. On which productivity-enhancing widgets will I squander my time on next? So far I’ve sampled urbanspoon, Remember the Milk, Jott, reQall, Bloomberg LP, Remote, and WordPress.

My favorite so far is the location-sensing urbanspoon. No more agonizing over which restaurant to choose – just shake the phone and go eat where it tells you to. Of all the apps I’ve tried, it is by far the most genuine time-saver. Plus, it kinda makes me feel like I’m at the Vegas slot machines when I use it. Come ooon, big dumpling!

Jott, reQall, and Remember the Milk are all web-based personal reminder systems. Jott and reQall are notable in that once you sign up for an account, you can call a phone number and leave voice notes for yourself, which their systems transcribe into written notes that get stored in your account. There’s no speech recognition training (thank goodness), and both services coped fairly well with my basic phone tests. Jott even boasts the capability to transcribe posts and send them directly to your blog. In my mind, that brings drunk dialing to a whole new level. You can also create lists and say which list you want a note added to when you call, so if you are on the go and suddenly remember you need to buy apples, you can call the number and save a reminder to your grocery list. Jott has more open-ended capabilities – sending to other applications like blogs, for example – while reQall can be clever and automatically sort your notes into lists depending on keywords it detects. So if you call reQall and say, “Buy apples,” it will know to store that note on your shopping list without you having to specify which list you mean.

I figured since I already dived in, I might as well check out Posterous, the blog service that lets you post to multiple places at once. Productivity-enhancing, right? Well, the name makes me giggle, anyway, because it looks like “posterior.” Or “preposterous”…but later. I haven’t found an iPhone app for it yet, but I’m sure if one comes out, the news will spread like wild (mushrooms on) fire.

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