A Week With…

First, an apology. I have done a horrible job with keeping up with my Monday Mac Tweak. Part of the reason for that is not only a lack of time but also running out of cool tweaks to post about. Therefore, I have decided to temporarily suspend my Mac Tweak series so that I may introduce another regular series that may end up doing a better job of keeping up with it’s spirit.

New series, I dub thee: A Week With…

I am sure by the title alone you can begin to get the idea. I will spend a whole week trying out a new thing. In most cases it will be software but it could be something else. Maybe a new piece of hardware or a new web based application or website. I all cases it will be something i am genuinely interested in trying and/or have been thinking about trying but have not gotten around to yet I will then tell you about how that week went and what the future holds. I will announce the item on Monday and tell you a little bit about it. Then, on Friday (or sometime during the weekend if Friday gets busy), I will post my experience. Make sense? Therefore, tune in on Monday to see what crazy thing I am doing first.

Adobe and Macromedia and You

My initial reaction to news of this merger was one of shock. The news has so many ramifications on the publishing industry, both traditional and web, that it is almost mind-boggling. I think part of the reason for my previous lack of direction on this matter has been that I am not quite sure how I feel about it.  

On one hand, these are the two most dominant creative software forces in the publishing and pre-press and web content creation industries. While there were certainly areas where they overlapped and were competitors (Dreamweaver vs. Go Live or Illustrator vs. Freehand for instance) more often they really do have two different audiences. Adobe has always been more focussed on the traditional publishing industry (Illustrator for design, Photoshop for graphics editing, InDesign for page layout and Postscript for printing) whereas Macromedia has been more focused on the Web and Multimedia (Dreamweaver for Web Editing, Flash for media rich web content, etc.). Therefore, the combined strength of these two should benefit users greatly by allowing them to produce more seamless integration between these two areas which means more flexibility for the designers and end users they serve.

On the other hand, this merger creates what essentially will be the Microsoft of publishing and media creation. Adobe will have a monopoly over the design world. One company will control the software used for the content of almost everything we read and see and output to both traditional print media and the web. Like Microsoft, having one company with that much power can’t and probably wont be a good thing.

To sum it all up, I have very mixed feelings. From a technological standpoint this will mean very exiting possibilities for those who use any of these software products. I just wish it did not come at the expense of competition.

Running Your Company On Web Apps

Evan Williams discusses running your company on web apps.

Key Quote:

“The improved efficiency of having these apps available, and not having to install and maintain servers for them is huge. At Pyra, we wrote our own discussion board at one time (not that there weren’t other available) and, later, I wrote a support management tool, because I couldn’t find anything like Kayako (or Neotonic — which Google bought and took off the market). And I was dying for email management, like FogBugz has.”

As I mentioned last week, this is becoming not only possible but increasingly attractive; especially to small groups in disparate locations.

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