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Stop, Collaborate and Listen

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So much of business is "getting everyone on the same page." People are mobile, and teams do more virtually. That's why a quick collaboration solution will be useful to many companies who want to simply share files, view them at the same time, chat about them, leave notes for each other about them, and, well, there's a lot more.

Sam Lessin, Founder and CEO of Drop.io, told me his team created Drop.io because it was "too hard to share what I wanted, with people I wanted, when I wanted, and for as long as I wanted." The basic sharing unit is a "Drop." Anyone can create a Drop by going to http://drop.io, and giving it a name. (To chat with Sam, I created http://drop.io/howard123 —it's open for you to try — but if people abuse it I'll have to kill it.) You add a password if you want one, and an email address if you want to recover the password, and'¶that's basically it. You can then share the web URL with anyone.

David Schach, President of X-Squared on Demand, a Chicago Based SalesForce.com Consulting partner who works with Inc. 500 sized companies on their sales force implementations, said he loves how Drop.io has really easy audio and file conferencing built in, since Drop.io supplies a voice conference number for each drop. When doing sales calls for a client he'll have a 3rd party desktop sharing app for showing Salesforce.com in one browser tab, and use Drop.io in another tab.  He gives the client the phone number and the Drop address, and presents right in the drop. By putting his PowerPoint file in the drop, the presentation is shared, so it doesn't have to be emailed to the client. He can also show graphics or mockups, and the drop can be a place for him to exchange other files with the client.  He told me the best feature was the security, as clients can't delete things he adds to the drop.

As another example, a graphic designer is working on a few new logos. She loads up several of them to a Drop, and sends her client the address. The two are able to look at the graphics, and leave comments. These comments show with the graphic in real time. She could chat in real-time with her client as well. The client could even make a phone call, and leave a message about the graphics, and the message will be translated to an MP3 file which will get stored on the page — and it is easily playable right from the page. For the not too technical, and not good with 'uploading files' level of user, one can attach the file to an email and send it to name of the drop, in this case howard123@drop.io.

This is not magic — there exist any number of file sharing sites, collaboration tools, instant messaging clients, and screen-sharing programs (I know this because I got emails from all of them when I posted a query about Drop.io on HARO.)  Google Docs does a great job if you're sharing a text or spreadsheet document and you both want to work on it together.  However, Drop.io does really make sharing and collaborating quite simple. Lessin told me the Drop.io staff keep one drop open all day, pass notes and files and can even access the chat and files remotely via mobile web.

Do you collaborate with others remotely? What works for you? Share in the comments.

Last updated: Mar 19, 2009




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