That seems like a bold statement, huh? But I have been so won-over since the release of the public beta, that one of the reasons I got this wordpress.com blog in the first place, is simple: 30 Boxes has made me a more educated consumer, a more organized person, a better communicator, and more interested in where the World Wide Web is going.
I’m not sure how it all started, actually. I remember randomly clicking on links at the bottom of Webshots.com, I believe.
SideNote: For all you desktop tweakers out there, the first thing you remember doing when you bought your 1st computer was changing the background image on your monitor to something a little more interesting, or, perhaps, a little more personal. All of a sudden, you’re downloading Webshots and the revelation that follows is nothing short of immediate…this is my computer! [now, how can I change the way the toolbar looks?…haha]
Something I read about the co-founders of Webshots leaving and forming a new outlet for their expressions, 83 Degrees, lead me to research and dig more on the subject. One link followed another, and before I knew it, I had read blogs, interviews, perused Narendra Rocherolle‘s personal website, and, in general, found out more about the preview of this new online calendar event. I was so curious that I did something I had never done before…I signed-up for a beta testing. I haven’t looked back since…..
As a result of my research, many things happened to me all at once. Probably more than I can explain in the course of this post [which is going to turn into a novella, I’m sure of it…], but let me assure you, patient reader, the effects have been life-altering! I learned about many new and wondrous things. RSS feeds, for one. I had already had a small taste with the new features in the personalized version of My Yahoo! And who woulda thunk it…subscribing to a feed that updated itself whenever the poster made a new entry. It was mind-blowing…my favorite magazines, my local newspaper, world events, from soup to nuts, blogs that number the stars in the sky…anyone and everyone was typing out their daily lives, whether informative or personal for the whole world to read. Not to mention the browser integration of such, or feed readers, how will I choose? And podcasts. What the hell was that?! I didn’t have an iPod, but I knew it was time for me to take my mp3s on the go…but video as well…WOW! How-tos, corporate development, travel info…lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I had already delved into my own blog at Yahoo! 360, but I’ve been somewhat timid in making friends there…it was more of a personal outlet, a trial and error sort of thing…the www can be a pretty impersonal place when you’re a newbie, or at least, when you feel like one. I had already posted photos on Flickr [just before Yahoo! acquired them] and was experienced with Yahoo! Photos as well, but I just didn’t realize the full potential there until I happened across Thomas Hawk’s blog. Guess what? He has written up 30 Boxes also. I’ve had a website for awhile now, the free Yahoo! Geocities one, and I keep coming back to the same conclusions…less is more. Less clutter, less photos, less pages, less bandwidth…lol. This comglomeration of awakening was happening at a crucial time when I was trying to find applications that worked for me. Things that didn’t waste my time, things that I could use on a daily basis, things that I could access anywhere in the world I went, things I could make shortcuts on my desktop for [can you say Widgets, boys and girls…haha], things that were user-friendly, and last, but not least, things I could interest my daughters in, as well.
Did I mention that 30 Boxes was an online calendar? Did I mention that you can share as much or as little of your schedule as you want? Let’s finally get down to some brass tacks. [finally…whew]
My first thought after test-driving 30 Boxes was this: this is so simple, even my mom could use it [sorry, Mom]. So, after much hinting and subliminal messaging, Mom agreed to sign up and now we have a way of knowing each other’s schedules. Eureka! I could tell you why this was so important to me, but it would take another hour of typing. Another very important aspect, and perhaps the most unique, to this calendar is your Buddy Page. This is more like your “web presense” page. Flickr, My Space, Webshots, your blogs, any RSS feed can be assembled here. Your iCal subscriptions, Yahoo! calendar, Outlook, can all be integrated into your 30 Boxes calendar. SMS reminders, it’s there. Maps for directions to events, yup, that too. Forwarding your e-mail to add as an event…done. Taggable events and todo list, AJAXy, open-source API, Web 2.0 and more innovation on the way…and, introducing a One Box add event entry. I could go on and on, but you really need to check it out for yourself. Did I mention that I can see my Mom’s schedule…:)?
So, perhaps I’m a
slow late-bloomer, as far as web technology goes. I know there have been online calendars out there and I know there are up-and-coming calendars popping up all the time. Social networking…been around awhile. The Blogosphere, sure, that too. But 30 Boxes and I were ripe for each other…we were on the same page, so to speak. My eldest daughter would tell you how glad she is that it comes up in Outlook. My youngest would tell you how cools it is that Grandma can read my newest blogpost from the dayview. I would tell you that many people just like me were ready for a user-friendly, online, calendar-sharing application.
This post, more than likely, will be one of the longest posts I write. I’m sure you can tell how passionate I am about 30 Boxes and I hope that you click over there right now. But, better yet, do what I did…research it. Maybe you will have a Web 2.0 epiphany like I did. Knowledge is change. Knowledge is power.