But no one argues much about whether Google is useful.
I am a great fan of GMail, and have, one by one, abandoned all my other accounts. So simple, so efficient -- and I love search, don't sort. Some of you may have noticed that I now have email at my domain, which is thanks to GMail Domains Beta. I'm amazed that they let me in, this little one-person operation -- but I'm delighted. It's even better than regular GMail.
Do I mind the ads?
I signed onto Writely before Google bought it (I think someone at The Well pointed me to it) and now use it almost exclusively. When I first heard the prediction that one day we would do most of our work online, and our computers would be used mostly as terminals, I thought that was nuts -- of course I would want my own software on my own machine with all my own files. And if I were still working with client files and confidential information, I would no doubt still feel that way.
But now I'm at home, and have nothing that must be so guarded. I've experienced several hard drive crashes in the intervening years, and lost files due to my not-atypical haphazard backup practices. I've had TypePad crash repeatedly in the middle of preparing complicated posts.
Writely has never crashed on me, and when my browser has, the Writely document comes up exactly how I left it. Exactly how I left it, and accessible from any computer.
It was initially a bit buggy; less so every day. It offers direct publishing to some blog hosts -- not TypePad at present, which is not a problem for me. I prefer cut & paste and publish to draft in any case. Nice clean interface, all the usual bells & whistles, spellcheck, collaboration, and tagging! What more could one want in a word processor?
Only recently did I discover that I can offer it to you, even though it's currently not open for new registrations. The Writely Blog tells me:
No need to wait until Writely registration opens up again. When you have a Writely account, you have the power . . . Just add them as collaborators on a Writely document and click "OK" to email them. You can invite up to 50 new people by adding them as collaborators to Writely documents.
So, all 50 of you who would like a Writely account, drop me a comment or an email and tell me where to send the invitation. If GMail still requires invitations (surely not?) I can send you one of those, too.
[crossposted to Watermark]