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Rafe Needleman, CNET's editor live!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 30, 2008 7:24 AM PST

Ask the Editors Live: What's hot in Webware

Wanna know what's hot or not in Webware? Well, you've come to the right place!

Our next upcoming Ask the Editors Live chat begins at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. Eastern), Thursday, February 7. Our special host will be editor of CNET?s, Rafe Needleman, who will be here to answer questions on the best Web apps, software vs. services, privacy, pricing, and other burning Web topics or issues. You name it, Rafe is your Webware man!!

So get your questions ready for him and don't miss out on this live chat event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 2:53 AM PST

Hi, Rafe Needleman here. I'm the editor of CNET's site, where we cover new Web 2.0 apps. Let's talk about this space. Send in your questions or comments on Web apps, and I'll do my best to reply intelligently.

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Contact Management
by TommyVallier / February 7, 2008 2:55 AM PST

Hey Rafe,

I'm a real big web user (I don't even install office anymore) but seem to be stuck on one item.

Is there anything out there for contact management?


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Google or Plaxo
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: Contact Management

I'm an Outlook user, so I asked Josh. He says:

I prefer Google's as of late. It lets you build your own lists and is in the cloud. For stuff that syncs and pulls, Plaxo is king.

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Twiiter v Pownce!
by Son of Orac / February 7, 2008 2:56 AM PST

Who will emerge the champ? Or room in the ring for two champs? (not thought this boxing thing through.. sorry) Happy

Son of Orac.

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Community vs. Technology
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 2:57 AM PST
In reply to: Twiiter v Pownce!

Pownce is a great platform, but as a Twitter user myself (ID = rafe), nothing beats the Twitter community. Plus, the open API means there are lots of really clever apps that work on the Twitter network.

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What SEO Do You Recommend?
by RTHJr / February 7, 2008 3:00 AM PST

What search engine optimization tool/service do you prefer?

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Wow, good question
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:02 AM PST

We have internal SEO experts here, so I just listen to them mostly. When I want to go deep on this topic I read the SearchEngineWatch blog ( to see the latest on the topic.

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Web 2.0 and mobile world
by Lite Rocker / February 7, 2008 3:01 AM PST

Do you see the trend of having a dedicated mobile site continuing? Or will web 2.0 finally become truly mobile-friendly?

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Publishers should be more mobile-aware
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:05 AM PST

I'm stunned at how many sites *don't* auto-sense mobile browsers and serve up a simplified site for them. Web 2.0 won't be mobile friendly until site designers take these readers into account. Meantime, some cool services, like SkyFire ( are trying to make mobiles more Web 2.0-capable.

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Financial Tracking
by Shayna70 / February 7, 2008 3:03 AM PST

I use mvelopes which is similar to the free How trustworthy are these sites that capture all your financial info? Everybody wants you to give them all your other info. I love the ease of one stop shopping, but it scares me.

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You're right to be scared
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:08 AM PST
In reply to: Financial Tracking

Yes, services like do great things, but it's terrifying to put your bank passwords on a startup's server, isn't it? All you have to go on is the company's assurances on their encryption and security. In other words, it's all great and safe and wonderful until the moment that it isn't.

From my perspective, I completely trust the *intention* of Mint never to have a security breach, and the company is certainly funded well enough to invest in security. It helps that I personally have looked the CEO in the eyes and had this discussion. But a smart consumer will do research before putting sensitive passwords on a new site.

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Vizio Alternative
by jacobshm / February 7, 2008 3:08 AM PST

Hey Rafe,
Do you know any (free) online alternative to MS Vizio, something for basic diagrams and maybe website mockups?

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Check out Gliffy
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:11 AM PST
In reply to: Vizio Alternative
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by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:13 AM PST
In reply to: Vizio Alternative
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What is your Fav CMS?
by RTHJr / February 7, 2008 3:10 AM PST

What Content Management System do you prefer?

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Don't really use
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:15 AM PST
In reply to: What is your Fav CMS?

As a blogger, I manage to avoid real CMSes for the most part. But for blog content management, I like TypePad/Movable Type a bit more than Wordpress's default CMS.

Also, I've watched a friend built up Clickability ( from a small utility into a full-blown CMS. I'd check it out

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Will 2008 be all about Widgets?
by Lite Rocker / February 7, 2008 3:19 AM PST

Now that everyone has an API of sorts, will widgets be the big trend in 2008?

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"Year of the widget?" Maybe
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:22 AM PST

Widgets enable people to build sites from pieces and parts. And widgets are great for publishers since they, potentially, extend the reach of the content they are creating.

I really like the concept of putting content where your users are, instead of trying to get users to come to where you put it. So, in short: Yes.

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Web-based back-up
by RobinSK / February 7, 2008 3:21 AM PST

I just signed up for MOZY to back up about 40GB on my server. I have a DSL high-speed internet connection. The backup takes so long (hours and hours) that I had to reduce my backup to 20GB and it still takes about 14 hours. Is there anything out there that works better?

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Upgrade your broadband
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: Web-based back-up

I switched from DSL to cable two years ago and couldn't be happier. Much faster upload speed (and lower latency, which helps on gaming and VOIP).

Also, check on real-time incremental backup instead of set-based backup. I like Carbonite.

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Web 2.0 visual collaboration services
by geoperdis / February 7, 2008 3:22 AM PST

Hi Rafe,

What's your take on the emerging group of visual collaboration services like ConceptShare, Cozimo, Octopz, ReviewBasics? Are they likely to have any appeal for an audience beyond the primary target of creative professionals?



Disclosure: I'm a collaboration evangelist for Octopz.

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Limited audience
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:26 AM PST

Our first shill question! JK - We like Octopz.

There is *nothing wrong* for designing a product for a specific, small audience. Especially if that audience has a need that they will pay you to solve. Why would you want to create a general purpose service that people use for free if you don't have to?

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Popularity of Webware
by masanta / February 7, 2008 3:33 AM PST

Hello Rafe,

I find myself constantly checking Webware and reading about new applications and often thinking about how then can help solve or assist in real life business problems. I'm curious, how many unique user hits does Webware get on any given day?



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by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:35 AM PST
In reply to: Popularity of Webware

The powers that be won't let me reveal our exact internal log numbers, but I'm working on a post right now about how horribly the metrics panels (Comscore, Neilsen) under-report our actual traffic.

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Natural Dry Erase
by lunchbox1972 / February 7, 2008 3:39 AM PST

Dear Rafe,

Given that re-Surfacing Dry Erase is now in place and on the minds of a few important people, do you think Tackboards (e.g. cork, vinyl, etc) will every be replaced in hallyways, classrooms, offices, and other places? Or do you think these will continue to flank Markerboards and Chalkboards, and heaven-forbid, heavy slate-boards.


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Nothing smells quite like dry-erase
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:42 AM PST
In reply to: Natural Dry Erase

Dude, I don't know! If it doesn't have a CPU and a broadband connection, it's dead to me.

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Product or Company?
by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:40 AM PST

We just posted this review of a cool new thing:

Like a lot of Web 2.0 products, we think, "cool!," but then we wonder if the company/product can survive on its own or even if it's valuable enough to get acquired by a bigger company.

What's your favorite service or feature that you don't think can survive as an independent business?

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by welrdelr / February 7, 2008 3:41 AM PST

Why is it called webware whehn the same applications- both client and server- can be installed and implemented on one machine- two or more virtual environments and a "shared network"- or on two machines? In both scenarios there is no or can be no connection to any other host.
Even with flash or java interface- add Zend to that- the applications still don't need a remote host.

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by rafe CNET staff / February 7, 2008 3:46 AM PST
In reply to: Webware?

We chose the name "Webware" because I think the future of software is on the Web. The Web + Software = Webware.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of traditional apps the require a Net connection to work (like Google Earth) that sort of still fit into the Webware camp.

But it sure sounds better than SaaS and stuff. Plus, we had the domain.

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Visual bookmarking
by banker0679 / February 7, 2008 3:45 AM PST

With so many new websites and applications on the block, i am still finding it difficuly to bookmark and track them.
I started using Google Notebook a long time back, then a custom solution and now StumbleUpon but it still leaves me wanting more.
Any suggestion on how and what to use (maybe a good visual tagging site) ?


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