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Productivity Articles

Millions Lose Their Skype Connections [Updated]
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Update 3: Now CEO Tony Bates has provided further explanation and apologies

Update 2: Parkes provided another update on the issue today:

7 Tips For Improving Your Business in 2011
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Holy cow! 2011 is right around the corner. This is the time when entrepreneur’s thoughts (aside from those focused on preparing for the holidays, of course) turn towards growing or changing their businesses in the New Year.

Smart. Because unless you want to be exactly where you are now, doing exactly what you’re doing today, you need to do something different. Otherwise, you’re guilty of insanity. And, to paraphrase the great ski film maker, Warren Miller, “…you’ll be one year older when you do.”

Google Cloud Connect May Be Important Piece in Google’s Overall Strategy
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Google announced a new feature of Google Docs today, called Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office. The feature comes from Google’s acquisition of DocVese, a company that specialized in the real-time sharing and editing of documents, earlier this year. They paid $25 million for it, and it could turn out to be a huge piece of the puzzle in winning over Microsoft Office users. 

Google Apps Gets Much More Useful to Businesses
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Google has widely expanded Google Apps to incorporate many more of the company’s offerings so that businesses and other organizations can use and administrate them more efficiently. Before Google Apps users only had access to a few of Google’s products like Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, and a few others. 

No Real Social Media Plan? Try Starting With This.
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Coming up with a social media plan isn’t always the easiest thing to do for businesses. There are so many factors that come into play, even beyond the landscape of communities that actually exist. For example, business leaders need to ask questions like: How much time should be spent interacting with social media sites? How many people should be representing the company on social sites? How much of their time should be dedicated to it? Should it be the full-time job of one person? The full-time jobs of more people? Only part of the job for a lot of people? Etc. Etc. Etc. 

Microsoft Unveils Office 365 Cloud Suite

Microsoft has unveiled Office 365, a new cloud-based service that brings together Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync for organizations. The company is opening a limited beta program for it in 13 countries and regions.  

Rackspace Launches a Match.com For Business Apps
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Rackspace has just launched Appmatcher, a "matchmaking engine" for businesses to locate apps tha can assist them in their duties. Businesses can use AppMatcher to find apps for everything from accounting to project management and human resources. 

It’s interesting because it aims to match apps to businesses based on their profile information. RackSpace tells WebProNews it will will "revolutionize business apps".

Salesforce Announces Chatter 2 with Adobe-Powered Chatter Desktop

Salesforce has just announced Chatter 2, the next generation of its Chatter product, which has often been referred to as "Facebook for the enterprise". The new version includes a number of new features, including a desktop app. 

Firefox Panorama Search in the Making

Microsoft isn’t the only one doing interesting things with its browser. Mozilla’s Aza Raskin has an interesting proof-of-concept video for searching on Firefox Panorama. 

Greplin is Real Personalized Search
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There’s a new kind of personalized, social search available that may trump any effort we’ve seen from Google to date in this corner of search.

Greplin is a new site that searches through "all your online data in one place, really fast" – or at least your the online data you have in the services that it supports, which is likely far from all of your online data. Still, the concept behind the site is pretty noteworthy, and it will likely add more services as time goes on.

Google Makes Scheduling Improvements to Google Calendar

Google is rolling out some changes to the event page in Google Calendar. The goal is to make scheduling events easier, while making the style more consistent with other Google apps.

The information that is most commonly used is displayed at the top of the screen, the layout is simplified, and they’ve added some other features.

Salesforce.com Provides Its Own Example of an Employee Social Media Policy
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This week has been a big week for social media as the world’s most popular social network announced that it reached 500 million users. Salesforce.com is just as excited about it as anybody.

Google Apps Users Get New Mobile Security Options

Google has announced some new mobile device management options for Google Apps administrators. The options will be available to all Google Apps Premier and Education customers starting this week.

New options include:

A Social Tool for Actually Getting Things Done

Google launched the Google Apps Marketplace in March, and it didn’t take long for Manymoon to become the most installed application in it. Manymoon is a social productivity tool that helps businesses accomplish tasks online with their connections, and its Google app is only one of the options it provides.

Manymoon spoke at Google I/O a couple weeks ago, and CEO and co-founder Amit Kulkarni spoke with WebProNews about how businesses can use its tool:

Look for Ways to Manage Your Social Media Time Better
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Time is a valuable resource, and that’s why it is more important than ever to manage your time wisely.

"Typically in the SMB space, people have very little resource[s], so you see people trying to get a lot done with a very small staff – maybe one person in their marketing department trying to do it all," Kim Albee, CEO of Genoo told WebProNews in a discussion at the Online Marketing Summit. "And then you look at the world today…" You’ve got social media, your website, search engine rankings, lead capturing, and all kinds of stuff to worry about.

Some Solutions for the Too Much Info, Not Enough Time Problem

With blogs, online news publications, aggregators, and social media, there is a lot of information being produced at a more rapid pace than ever before. User-generated content is flowing onto the web at a ridiculous pace. That comes in the form of blog posts, articles, status updates, tweets, forums, wikis, etc. That doesn’t even take into account personal messages in email, private messages, text messages, and on and on and on.

Social Networks Don’t Waste Time, People Do.
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Social Media policies of well-known organizations often appear in the news with commentary throughout the Blogosphere, the Twitterverse, etc. There is an ongoing debate about just how restricted social networks should be when it comes to employee use.

Where do you stand on this debate? Share your thoughts.

6 Ways Twitter Lists Are Changing the Game
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We knew Twitter lists were going to be big for Twitter. We knew they were going to greatly increase the usefulness of the service, and for many, even the enjoyment. What we didn’t know, however, was that right out of the box, we would see so many different uses for them, providing a window to the potential that they really do hold not only for Twitter itself, but for any business or individual who uses it. Let’s look at a few of those ways that Twitter lists are being used.

 

Will Google Wave Shape the Future of Online Communication?
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To be clear, I don’t consider myself an expert on Google Wave by any stretch of the imagination, but based on what I have learned about it, these are my responses to frequently asked Google Wave questions. These are just my opinions.

We’d love to hear your opinions about Google Wave. Share them here.

Will Google Wave replace email?

Google Introduces New Drawing and Form Features for Docs
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Google has launched some new features for Google Docs. They have made a couple improvements to drawings and added several new features to Forms.

8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity
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If you use Firefox, you are no doubt aware that there are many add-ons that can enhance your browsing experience. Many of these can make your online life a whole lot easier and save you time. Following are some that I have found particularly useful. Which do you like? Tell us.

1. Fire Gestures