Tool Search – Content Sharing / Collaboration

I’m looking for a tool – and I’m hoping that the magic of the interweb can help me find something. I’m working with a development team in Africa on a project for CIGI and we’re looking around for a new way to share content between the development teams. Here are some of the characteristics we’re looking for:

Social:  We’ve experimented with using Twitter (and similar tools) as a way to share links that we come across of, and although that works for our team in Canada, it hasn’t proven to be particularly useful for our African counterparts. We’re not online at the same time, and the internet connectivity issues there make Twitter clients painful for them. Also, linking to the content is a frustrating experience because of those same connectivity issues. We did, however, find a lot of value in the personal nature of the shared links – it was clear who it was from, and it could be easily directed at someone specifically.

Reader: The interface of a reader is a great interface, and both our teams currently use Google Reader, but we found that for the African team, it was less effective. Because of the internet connection issues, they are hesitant to open many articles at a time, so the speed of reading and linking it greatly hampered. The ability to follow a user has been nice, but non-optimal.

Off Line: I’ve been using InstaPaper for off-line reading, and find the interface particularly applicable to the internet connection issues. We’re going to give the social tools in Instapaper a try, but I’m not sure if it will be perfect (the need to mark for later reading, then to “like” it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be perfectly smooth)

Anyone have any suggestions for other tools that include a similar set of social offline blog reading?

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8 Comments

  1. Jim Morrison wrote on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink
    Jim Morrison
    Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Have you tried Evernote Joseph? I use it for personal use and I love it. I know it does have sharing and off line support but haven’t put those features in to practice. It may be worth a test run.

  2. Joseph wrote on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink
    Joseph
    Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I use Evernote extensively but no, I hadn’t tried the sharing – I’ll give it a shot – thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Hao Wang wrote on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
    Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Here is one trick I use, Zotero (http://www.zotero.org/) + Dropbox. Zotero allows collaboration, but the free version only has a limited storage space (100MB), not big enough to store many files. So I only store links and notes there, those actual files are stored in Dropbox. I am a heavy user of pdf articles.
    For interesting blog articles, I also print them into pdf files using primo (http://www.primopdf.com/index.aspx) and then Zotero and Dropbox them, I guess that can solve the offline reading issue you have.

  4. Joseph wrote on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
    Joseph
    Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Another neat mix – I keep hitting the Zotero limit myself, and never thought to mix it with dropbox. I’ll have to pass that on to the folks at the office – we just purchase a Zotero package upgrade that maybe we don’t really need.

  5. Aneil Singh wrote on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
    Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joseph, Hope all is well with you.

    While reading your problem I started to just think of the good old FORUMs. Have you considered you are trying to make this more completed then it needs to be?

    create a forum and have this there..

    Just a thought. Somethings less is more. :)
    And for dev files use drop box or bitbucket.

  6. Joseph wrote on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink
    Joseph
    Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    We’d ruled them out because they didn’t feel as fluid with work flow (very few have native apps that you can run in the background) and they also don’t deal with the issues of offline sync and reading. Thanks for the suggestion though – just not quite the right direction for us.

  7. Joan Sanger wrote on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink
    Joan Sanger
    Posted Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Look at Powernoodle as it may serve you in ways you did not even know you needed it to—

    • Joseph wrote on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
      Joseph
      Posted Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Interesting looking app – thanks for the tip Joan.

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JosephFung
web tech entrepreneur
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