After life offline, doing work online
Well, I'm back after spending the best part of a month entirely offline (visiting family & travelling in Japan). I thought it would be a real struggle, but surprisingly I didn't feel the withdrawal and in fact it was a refreshing change - though I think that was mainly because I was busy doing other things. I can imagine it would be very different trying to stay offline on home turf. In catching up with my feeds today, I read in TechCrunch that there's yet another online project management and collaboration tool that has sprung up, but this one, called Phuser, is taking a different tack than the others by incorporating other webapps directly into the product. Apparently Phuser will have all the usual features you'd expect from an online collaborative workspace - such as different spaces for different projects, ability to invite/manage other users, document storage, discussions, etc - but will also use existing popular 3rd party tools like Slideshare and del.icio.us to boost functionality.
If it all works and is as seamless as this slideshow promises, Phuser could provide welcome relief for users (like me) who find all these webapps useful, but disjointed. What would be really great is if Phuser eliminated the need for people to create separate accounts on these 3rd party sites, which I think is one of the main annoyances (if not barriers) to people who want to use these tools within the business context. I'll be interested to see how Phuser manages this.
I've been thinking about looking at alternatives to CentralDesktop now that there are a handful of others on the scene, so I've signed up to the beta and will be taking Phuser through its paces, alongside my old favourite CD and popular upcomer Huddle - especially interesting as both Huddle and Phuser are UK startups. If I have time, I'll try to include the now somewhat old skool Basecamp, plus others like Goplan and Zoho Projects. I might just end up with a handy comparison chart that others may find useful.