I’ve recently been helping my sister put together an online store, using Volusion. It has been eye-opening how complex they make it and how clunky this system is. This is a product that is ripe for being replaced with something a lot cleaner.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking at Ignite Sebastopol, the first-ever local Ignite event. Started a couple years ago by O’Reilly Media, Ignite talks use an unusual, fast-paced format: 20 slides, 5 minutes, and the slides advance automatically every 15 seconds so there’s no such thing as running over. It’s a challenging format but it sure keeps things moving. The event was packed, with more than 150 people at the Hopmonk Tavern.
I was not an early adopter of social media, being of twice the optimum age. But in the past few months, I’ve become much more involved with it, and I now believe it is going to be central to the growth of my business.
After an amazing year of effort, I’m thrilled to report that the Webvanta beta is now live! Sign up for a free trial on the site and let me know what you think.
Among the vast diversity of applications written in Rails, you’ll find many that meet personal or business needs. A few go for higher goals, addressing the needs of less fortunate people worldwide.
As I’ve been exploring what kind of business I want to build, I’ve found my thinking settling on hosted applications for small business. Here’s my reasoning.
I’ve been using Outlook for a long time, for email, calendar, contacts, and notes. (I realize this may immediately lower your estimation of me, but at each step of the way it seemed a sensible thing to do for one reason or another—most recently because of Adobe’s edict that ‘thou shalt use Outlook’.) Now that I’m on my own, and trying to embrace the idea of hosted applications and transparent use of multiple computers to access a single source of data in the cloud, I’m working on weaning myself. So far, it’s been modestly successful.
For more than 10 years, I’ve arranged my computing around a single notebook PC that went with me everywhere. With docks, monitors, and keyboards at home and in the office, this was a pretty good solution. It avoided having to install software on multiple systems, and it ensured that I had everything I needed wherever I was.